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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.

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 2017.

Read more about Beirut IXP Workshop.

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. The booklet will be published later in 2017.

Get involved

Start a SIG

Start a SIG

How to start a Special Interest Group The application and charter process is the same as for Internet Society Chapters, so...

Start your own SIG!
Join a Chapter

Join a Chapter

What is an Internet Society Chapter? Internet Society Chapters are communities of like-minded people who work together to run...

Join a chapter!
Take an online course

Take an online course

Take an online course to learn more about Internet technologies and policies, including Internet governance, spam, networking and IPv6.

Learn more
Join the Internet Society

Join the Internet Society

Help us build an Internet that is open, globally connected, and secure.

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Middle East news

Learning About Blockchain, Internet Governance, and Cryptocurrency
Learning About Blockchain, Internet Governance, and Cryptocurrency Thumbnail
Blockchain 15 August 2018

Learning About Blockchain, Internet Governance, and Cryptocurrency

My first task as the Internet Society’s Regional Community Manager for the Middle East was to organize three events...

Internet Access and Education: Transforming Lives in the Middle East
Internet Access and Education: Transforming Lives in the Middle East Thumbnail
Access 7 August 2018

Internet Access and Education: Transforming Lives in the Middle East

Internet access and the development of digital skills can transform lives of over 350 million people in the Middle East. With...

2018 Internet Society Asia-Pacific & Middle East Chapters Meeting
2018 Internet Society Asia-Pacific & Middle East Chapters Meeting Thumbnail
About Internet Society 24 July 2018

2018 Internet Society Asia-Pacific & Middle East Chapters Meeting

The APAC & Middle East Chapters joined hands to organize their combined Regional Chapters Meeting from 11 to 12...

Digital Self-Defense for Palestinian Schoolgirls
Digital Self-Defense for Palestinian Schoolgirls Thumbnail
Beyond the Net 18 May 2018

Digital Self-Defense for Palestinian Schoolgirls

Cyber-bullying is a growing phenomenon amongst preteens. Studies have established that nearly 43% of children are victims of cyberbullying...

Promoting Routing Security in Middle East R&E
Promoting Routing Security in Middle East R&E Thumbnail
Deploy360 9 January 2018

Promoting Routing Security in Middle East R&E

The Internet Society continues to deepen its engagement with the Middle East by participating in the e-AGE 2017 Conference....

I’m Planning to Change the World
I’m Planning to Change the World Thumbnail
Economy 3 November 2017

I’m Planning to Change the World

Earlier this week, the Internet Society published the booklet Enabling Digital Opportunities in the Middle East. Using research created...

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Middle East Newsletter

Monthly highlights from Middle East Bureau

Middle East Newletter – August 2018 Edition
Newsletters 6 August 2018

Middle East Newletter – August 2018 Edition

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

Resources

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

Middle East team

Salam Yamout

Regional Director Middle East

Layal Jebran

Community Manager - Middle East

Kevin Meynell

Manager, Technical and Operational Engagements

Christine Saegesser Baethge

Senior Manager, Global Chapter Development

Nermine El Saadany

Regional Policy Advisor, Middle East

Our Chapters and members in the Middle East

The Internet Society’s Middle East region currently counts 4,501 individual members, out of whom 2,478 are also members of one of our Chapters in the region. Our Chapters in the region are in Bahrain, Lebanon, Palestine, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. However, there is a close collaboration with the African regional Bureau with regards to the Chapters and members in North Africa.

(Numbers as of March 2018)