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ICANN in the Middle East – A Glance at the Past Year

With ICANN's Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) coming to an end, now is a good time to reflect on our achievements and provide an overview of the future of our engagement strategy in the Middle East.


Community Regional Engagement Survey

In June 2019, the regional engagement survey was sent out, seeking feedback from the community on ICANN's regional engagement efforts during FY19.

  • 70% of the respondents found ICANN efforts either effective or extremely effective.
  • 74% of the respondents were either satisfied or extremely satisfied with ICANN's engagement efforts in the region.

Survey results can be found here [PDF, 737 KB].

Engagement Effectiveness
Satisfaction Levels

The 6th Middle East DNS Forum (February 2019)

For the first time, the Middle East DNS Forum (MEDNSF) was held in conjunction with another Internet-related event, Asia Pacific Top Level Domains 75 (APTLD75).

The initiative stemmed from the "Middle East DNS Forum 5-Year Assessment Survey", distributed to the regional community in May 2018. One of the key outcomes of this survey was to realize the suggestion to organize the Forum in conjunction with similar events in the region to add value and maximize attendance.

As customary, we distributed a survey to participants of the MEDNSF 2019 to get feedback on their experience. 79% of the respondents rated the Forum as either excellent or very good. Survey results can be found here [PDF, 547 KB].

MEDNSF 2019 Rating

The First GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP) Training in the Middle East

This day-long training, tailored for participants from the Middle East involved in ICANN's work, took place as a pre-event of the 6th Middle East DNS Forum. It aimed to help develop participants' skills to become better engaged in ICANN's Generic Name Supporting Organization (GNSO) Policy Development Process (PDP).

A follow-up survey was conducted to get feedback on the next steps and the training as a whole, and the support participants needed to become more involved in ICANN.

We have followed up on some of the PDP areas of interest and will continue to assess the training's impact to see if similar trainings are needed or demanded in the future.

ICANN Public Meetings: Readout Sessions

A first for the region, two face-to-face readout sessions were held in Istanbul, Turkey, and two webinars were organized for the wider Middle East community to share updates on the ICANN63 and ICANN64 outcomes.

Universal Acceptance (UA) Talks & Workshops:

UA has become an integral part of our engagement activities. We have coordinated with the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), and over a dozen talks and workshops on the topic were held across the Middle East through the regional UA Ambassador. Additionally, the Middle East Space at ICANN64 was dedicated to discussing UA, issuing a statement to ICANN on this subject. The ICANN organization has replied [PDF, 130 KB].

Engagement & Capacity Building Workshops

The following map highlights some of the events, meetings and capacity development activities held across the region.

Engagement & Capacity Building Workshops

What's Next?

The regional strategy working group has agreed to extend the current regional strategy term for one more year, concluding at the end of FY20. The decision was made following community consultations at ICANN63, based on information provided on the ICANN Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025. The community believes that aligning the next cycle of the regional strategy with the ICANN Strategic Plan would be the best way forward. During FY20, the regional community will begin planning for the regional strategy beyond FY20, and a new community-led working group will be put together to embark on this journey.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone, particularly members of the Middle East and Adjoining Countries Strategy Working Group (MEAC-SWG), for their tireless efforts and commitment to supporting our work. Without our regional community members, none of the above would have been possible.

If you have any questions or comments, or if you are interested in our regional work, please reach out to us at


    larsonreever  22:46 UTC on 22 July 2019

    yes now was not a good time to reflect on your achievements and provide an overview of the future of your engagement strategy in the Middle East. Thanks fixbit .com

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."