Boston University: Unearthing a Long Ignored African Writing System, One Researcher Finds African History, by Africans

Boston University: Unearthing a Long Ignored African Writing System, One Researcher Finds African History, by Africans. “In the same way that the Roman alphabet has been adopted to write English, French, and Spanish languages, [Fallou] Ngom’s research revealed that people in Senegal, Guinea, Nigeria, and other parts of West Africa use a modified Arabic alphabet to write in a number of local languages: Wolof, Hausa, Fula, Mandinka, Swahili, Amharic, Tigrigna, and Berber among them. It was an enormous discovery. This writing system, called Ajami, dispelled the false notion peddled by European colonialists that large swaths of communities in sub-Saharan Africa were illiterate, with no native written languages of their own.”

Cairo Scene: The Digital Archive Preserving The Fading Art Of Egyptian Typography

Cairo Scene: The Digital Archive Preserving The Fading Art Of Egyptian Typography. “Exclusively focused on Arabic street typography in Egypt, the Egyptian Type Archive has amassed a loyal community on Instagram. They collectively document any text they stumble upon, from the quirky to the horrific to the beautiful, whether it’s an ancient sign on a vintage shop or an announcement sprayed on the walls of a local cafe.”

Politico: Arabic social media remains an unchecked Wild West

Politico: Arabic social media remains an unchecked Wild West. “Suspected Kremlin agents peddle falsehoods masquerading as Instagram models. The terrorist organization Hezbollah posts propaganda updates as if it were a news organization. More than 2 million Iraqis join Facebook groups where guns are bought and sold without checks. Welcome to the world of Arabic-language social media — a Wild West where content moderation is minimal, foreign governments act with abandon, and jihadists foster online hate in arguably some of the world’s most war-torn countries.”

Middle East Monitor: Russia using attractive women to spread propaganda in Arabic, study finds

Middle East Monitor: Russia using attractive women to spread propaganda in Arabic, study finds . “Autocrats, dictators and serial human rights abusers employ some of the most sophisticated techniques to execute their war propaganda, which in recent years has been waged through social media. The latest example of such disinformation campaign was uncovered by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) which uncovered Twitter accounts posting pro-Kremlin narratives in Arabic by using attractive female to increase their followers.”

News Nine: Bhasha Centre’s new digital library aims to engage with theatre community, further collaborations between playwrights

News Nine: Bhasha Centre’s new digital library aims to engage with theatre community, further collaborations between playwrights. “The Drama Library is a free-for-all, open-access digital library of ‘unpublished’ Indian plays from English to Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Urdu, Gujarati, Tamil, Arabic, Sindhi and Dakhni Arabic.”

Bahrain News Agency: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre launches Digital Arabic Lexicon Website

Bahrain News Agency: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre launches Digital Arabic Lexicon Website . “The website features the most common Arabic expressions as per digital Arabic blogs, boasting an innovative design including advanced features and illustrations that go with each term, audio features to learn correct pronunciations, and other options to clarify ideas and provide detailed explanations for non-Arabic speakers.”

The Conversation: Timbuktu manuscripts placed online are only a sliver of West Africa’s ancient archive

New-to-me, from The Conversation: Timbuktu manuscripts placed online are only a sliver of West Africa’s ancient archive. “While Mali Magic displays 45 very photogenic manuscripts from one private library, the site doesn’t begin to tell the full story of the wealth of West Africa’s manuscripts that are found from the Atlantic to Lake Chad. But thanks to decades of scholarship and, recently, digitisation, that information is now accessible at a bilingual, open-access, online union catalogue of nearly 80,000 manuscripts at the West African Arabic Manuscript Database. This is a resource I began 30 years ago at the University of Illinois that now provides students access to most of the titles and authors that make up West Africa’s manuscript culture.”

Zawya: Ibtikar enables open access to digital library during UAE Month of Reading (PRESS RELEASE)

Zawya: Ibtikar enables open access to digital library during UAE Month of Reading (PRESS RELEASE). “Ibtikar, a UAE-based Educational Technology company, in cooperation with United Educational Publishing (UEP), a UAE-based Educational Press, has announced that 1,000+ Arabic stories on their reading platform, Al Diwan powered by Akadimi, is now available for access without log-in during the UAE Month of Reading this month.” I’m sorry this is so late in the month but the announcement is dated March 23. You don’t have to register to use the library, just click on a book and start reading.

NYU Abu Dhabi: Online Platform Provides Open-source Resources to Learn Arabic

NYU Abu Dhabi: Online Platform Provides Open-source Resources to Learn Arabic. “The new website, titled MAWARIDARABIYYA, is a plethora of materials and links aimed at empowering a learner to easily find specific lessons, courses, and online resources to meet their needs. Some of these materials include educational technology tools, popular books in the field of teaching Arabic as a foreign language, names of organizations and conferences, scholarships and programs, language centers and programs, as well as Youtube channels that focus on teaching Arabic and shedding light on Arab culture.”

The Hindu: Digital archive of school books launched

The Hindu: Digital archive of school books launched. “Azim Premji University on Monday launched an open access digital archive of over 5,600 school books and related material from India and other countries in South Asia. The Schoolbooks Archive, as the platform is called, has material in multiple languages including Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, Arabic, and other languages apart from English that span a period of more than 200 years.” Fourteen languages are represented here, but English has the most materials.

Arab News: New partnership aims to push boundaries of science for young Arabic speakers

Arab News: New partnership aims to push boundaries of science for young Arabic speakers. “King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia teamed up with a leading academic publisher for the recent launch of the Arabic version of Frontiers for Young Minds, an open-access educational resource through which young Arabs worldwide can access a library of child-friendly scientific articles in their own language.”

Getty: Online Exhibition Explores Palmyra in English and Arabic

Getty: Online Exhibition Explores Palmyra in English and Arabic. “For centuries the ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra have captured the imagination–testaments to the legacy of the prosperous multicultural center of trade that once dominated the region. Return to Palmyra, a new website presented in English and Arabic, invites audiences to explore the rich history of the city, including an exhibition of rare 18th-century etchings and 19th-century photographs of the site, new scholarship, and a moving interview with Waleed Khaled al-As’ad about the modern-day experience of living and working among the ruins of this storied locale.”

New York University Abu Dhabi: Researchers Develop Large-scale Readability Leveled Thesaurus in Arabic

New York University Abu Dhabi: Researchers Develop Large-scale Readability Leveled Thesaurus in Arabic. “Researchers from NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) have developed an Online Readability Leveled Arabic Thesaurus. The work was conducted by Associate Professor of Practice of Arabic Language Muhamed Al Khalil in collaboration with Professor of Computer Science Nizar Habash, who also leads the Computational Approaches to Modeling Language (CAMeL) Lab. The one-of-a-kind interface provides the possible roots, English glosses, related Arabic words and phrases, and readability on a five-level readability scale for a user-inputted Arabic word.”

MENAFN: UAE- Emirates Literature Foundation partners with Google to put global focus on Arab authors

MENAFN: UAE- Emirates Literature Foundation partners with Google to put global focus on Arab authors. “The Emirates Literature Foundation, together with Google, has launched ‘Kateb Maktub’, an initiative that will vastly increase the presence and visibility of Arab authors online, ahead of World Arabic Language Day. The initiative is designed to boost the number of Arab author pages on Wikipedia, one of the world’s most visited websites with more than 1 billion visitors per month.”