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Middle East

The Internet Society’s Middle East Bureau opened in 2016 with the aim to better support regional efforts towards the development of the Internet by building technical knowledge and know-how within the Internet community. The Middle East Bureau works in close collaboration with the African Bureau to also engage our North African Chapters.

You can read stories from our Middle East Chapters here.

Regional focus

The Middle East bureau focuses its work on community empowerment, Internet infrastructure and technical aspects as well as policy discussions that are relevant to the region.

Community empowerment

Empowering the regional Internet community is at the core of all of the Middle East bureau’s activities.

Currently, the Middle East region counts 5 Internet Society Chapters and more than 4000 individual members. The Chapters are located in Bahrain, Lebanon, Palestine, UAE and Yemen. The greater Middle East region also includes Chapters in Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia. We are also working with various groups interested in forming additional Chapters.

Internet Society Chapters in the region typically engage in capacity building and awareness raising activities.

At least once a year, we bring them together on the occasion of a Chapter meeting. In April, 2017, Chapter leaders from the Middle East and North Africa met in Muscat, Oman, alongside MENOG.

Read more about Internet Society Middle East Chapters Meeting 2019.

Infrastructure

The Internet infrastructure relies on many operational technologies and standards such as DNS, DNSSEC, RPKI, IP, IPv6…  Our technical activities include organizing trainings and supporting the development of the Internet infrastructure. Our focus is Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), Communities Networks, and supporting Network Operators’ Groups (NOGs).

Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)
IXPs are traffic exchanges that let networks interconnect directly instead of making the data travel long distances internationally. IXPs, help to keep traffic local or regional, lowering costs, and improve network resilience. Internet service providers (ISPs) and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) typically exchange Internet traffic between their networks at IXPs.

Community Networks
Half of the world’s population is not yet connected to the Internet. After more than 25 years of Internet development, traditional business models are slow to reach remote, rural, and underserved areas. Community Networks provide alternative forms of access and break the one-way, monolithic access prerogative.

Network Operators’ Groups (NOGs)
Internet Network Operators’ Groups (NOGs) are informal, country-based, or regional groups that exist to provide forums for Internet network operators to discuss matters of mutual interest, usually through a combination of mailing lists and annual conferences. MENOG is the Middle East Network Operators group and convenes once a year.

Policy

Based on wide ranging consultations with the region’s Internet community, the following policies have been identified as being particularly relevant for the region:

  • Digital economy: Job Creation, Innovation, and entrepreneurship
  • Education and online learning
  • Development of Local Content

The Internet Society’s Middle East bureau thus made it its mandate to focus on these policy areas going forward. Together with a group of representatives from the regional Internet community, the bureau is in the process of finalizing a booklet that provides context, background and recommendations in view of enabling the region to make use of the great social and economic digital opportunity.

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Middle East news

Celebrating 25 Years of Internet in Bahrain
Bahrain Business News logo
In the News 25 November 2020

Celebrating 25 Years of Internet in Bahrain

Bahrain Business News
On the Road to Better Routing Security: What Are MENA’s Next Steps?
On the Road to Better Routing Security: What Are MENA’s Next Steps? Thumbnail
Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) 17 November 2020

On the Road to Better Routing Security: What Are MENA’s Next Steps?

In a region with a wealth of resources and network expertise but a higher than average number of global...

How IXPs Can Help Achieve Digital Transformation across the Middle East
How IXPs Can Help Achieve Digital Transformation across the Middle East Thumbnail
Infrastructure and Community Development 3 November 2020

How IXPs Can Help Achieve Digital Transformation across the Middle East

In September the Internet Society, in cooperation with Middle East Network Operators Group, held an online workshop on Internet...

MENOG 20: Impact of COVID-19 on Internet in the Middle East
Al Bawaba logo
In the News 23 September 2020

MENOG 20: Impact of COVID-19 on Internet in the Middle East

Al Bawaba Business
Well-designed digital skills development programs
World Bank Blogs logo
In the News 25 August 2020

Well-designed digital skills development programs

World Bank Blogs
INTERNET DAY Bahrain 2020
Al Bilad logo
In the News 12 July 2020

INTERNET DAY Bahrain 2020

Al Bilad
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Middle East newsletter

Monthly highlights from Middle East Bureau

Middle East Newsletter – January 2019 Edition
Newsletters 21 January 2019

Middle East Newsletter – January 2019 Edition

2018 was all about success for Internet Society. We not only achieved milestones but also left our mark across...

Middle East Newsletter – October 2018 Edition
Newsletters 27 November 2018

Middle East Newsletter – October 2018 Edition

We are bringing to you all the important regional highlights from October.

Middle East Newsletter – September 2018 Edition
Newsletters 10 October 2018

Middle East Newsletter – September 2018 Edition

Welcome to our second newsletter from the Middle East.

Middle East Newsletter – August 2018 Edition
Newsletters 6 August 2018

Middle East Newsletter – August 2018 Edition

Hello World, and Marhaba from the Middle East! Thank you for reading our very first Middle East member newsletter.

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Resources

Please find in this section, relevant material and policies for the Middle East Region.

Middle East team

Nermine El Saadany

Regional Vice President - Middle East

Our Chapters and members in the Middle East

The Internet Society’s Middle East region currently counts 2,050 individual members, out of whom 50% (1,001) are also members of one of our Chapters in the region. Our Chapters in the region are in Bahrain, Lebanon, Palestine and Yemen.

Members globally
Chapters & SIGs
Organization members