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Community Projects 28 March 2014

Local Solutions With Global Impact in the Middle East

With six Chapters and over 2 759 Members, the Internet Society’s local presence has long been active in the Middle East.

With this growing energy and support from these extraordinary people, it’s clear the 2014 must be the year to further our commitment to an open, robust, global, and accessible Internet in the Middle East.

It’s this unique way of working – one that combines global reach, a foundation in technology, and involves action at every level from local to global – that helps us realize our ambition of a world where everyone can access and develop a connected, borderless, permission-less, limitless Internet that creates opportunity and progress for all.

Our current focus for our efforts in the Middle East is on three areas:

  • Working with local governments and decision makers on core Internet issues and to support multistakeholder IG processes at the local and regional level;
  • Accelerating the deployment of key Internet technologies and;
  • Advancing solutions that enhance Internet infrastructure and data security while working to preserve an open, global Internet.

Here’s some concrete ways of how we’re turning strategy into reality:

Focusing On Local Solutions with Global Impact

Our Chapters in the region are doing fantastic work.

Here are some examples:

The Internet Society Lebanon Chapter’s Strategic Plan 2013-2015 defines many excellent activities.  In working with University clubs, they seek to bring together and listen to students who share an interest and belief in the Internet Society’s principles and mission and who are committed to furthering ISOC Lebanon (ISOC-Lebanon) goals and objectives within their University.

The Internet Society Yemen Chapter (ISOC-Yemen) held its official launch event at the end of 2013.

Its objectives include:

  • Improving and expanding the use of the Internet in Yemen;
  • Tackling many policy, technology and infrastructure aspects that could help make the Internet more widely used across the country; and,
  • Represent Yemen in global initiatives related to the Internet.

As of October 2013, the Chapter had more than 100 members from various provinces in Yemen and from abroad.

Since its inception in 2001, the Internet Society Bahrain Chapter (ISOC-Bahrain) has focused on spreading awareness on the benefits of Internet and ICT and working towards an efficient e-Bahrain, as well as on promoting and developing the use of internet culture for the benefit of the community in The Kingdom of Bahrain.

Access and Affordability

Working with business and industry to create an Internet that people can afford is a core focus of our work. A core part of this will be to broaden our Internet Connection and Traffic Exchange Opportunities (ITE) throughout the region.

Holding Local Events

Last month, we were in Dubai, where we co-organized The Middle East DNS Forum with ICANN, hosted by the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Attended by more than 100 participations from across the region, including governments, country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) registries, local registrars, small businesses, universities, and local media. Attendees engaged actively in discussions and interactive sessions and feedback was positive, with many wanting to host future DNS forums in their respective countries.

We hold meetings like this to help build human capacity, and to build and strengthen local infrastructure.

Commitment, passion, and hope are all an essential part of protecting the open Internet.

If you’re in the Middle East and would like to take part, we welcome your energy and your drive.

You can become a member of the Internet Society on our website.  It only takes 5 minutes and it’s free.

Here’s how you can contact any of the Internet Society’s Chapters in the Middle East:

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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