With more than 350 million Arabic speakers worldwide, the appetite for Arabic-language information online is huge – yet unsatisfied.
Qatar Computing Research Institute, a member of Qatar Foundation, and Wikimedia Foundation hope to tackle that problem through a new partnership to “reinvigorate” Arabic content on Wikipedia, the world’s largest free encyclopedia.
AME Info reports:
As of July 2011, the Arabic Wikipedia comprised 150,000 articles, created and managed by 552 active editors. By comparison, Portuguese, a language spoken by 290 million, has 693,000 articles and 1,694 active editors.
In year one of the collaboration, the goal is to add 50,000 articles to Arabic Wikipedia – comprised of both translation of existing contributions and original articles, and 1000 editors. By year three, the goal is to grow Arabic Wikipedia to 500,000 articles.
QRCI and Wikimedia will also work to incorporate Wikipedia article editing into classroom curriculums, develop article translation tools and reach out to recruit and train contributors and editors.
What a cool initiative!