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ICANN Middle East – One Year in Review

Icann emea 750x467 23aug17 en

In July 2016, a community-led working group of over 50 members and observers began working on a three-year regional Middle East engagement strategy, along with a one-year implementation plan. Over the past year, ICANN has made significant progress on this strategy. The following are some of the highlights.

Key highlights

  • A variety of regional events and webinars on various ICANN-related issues were held for the regional community, which attracted a wide range of stakeholder groups, with over 350 participants attending from across the region.
  • Domain Name System (DNS) capacity building workshops were conducted in several cities throughout the Middle East. Key development in those programs is the participation of trained instructors from the region.
  • The DNS Entrepreneurship Center (DNS-EC) partnered with industry and academia to offer DNS capacity-building seminars to students and young community members.
  • The launch of a youth education initiative, in cooperation with Tunisia's Centre de Calcul Khawarizmi (CCK), to raise awareness within the local community about the Internet's system of unique identifiers.
  • The Task Force on Arabic Script IDNs made significant progress towards established Label Generation Rules at the second level and Universal Acceptance.
  • ICANN Fellows have become more active and engaged in ICANN's various groups, including in the Middle East Strategy Working Group (MEAC-SWG).
  • Thousands of ICANN-related news pieces were published in Middle East countries, with the UAE, Turkey and Egypt representing the largest share.

For a visual representation of relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from this period, see the infographic here [PDF, 286 KB].

What's next?

The second year implementation plan has been developed in consultation with the strategy working group and can be found here. Also, planning is underway for outreach activities in the lead-up to ICANN60 in Abu Dhabi. We look forward to seeing significant participation from the region.

For any questions or comments, or if you are interested in helping with regional strategy work, please reach out to us at


    Michael Oghia  02:01 UTC on 23 August 2017

    Excellent job, keep up the good work!

    Chokri Ben Romdhane  04:06 UTC on 23 August 2017

    Great team congratulations to all.

    Sogand Ghorbani  04:29 UTC on 26 August 2017

    I was lucky to join this amazing group! Happy to see its growth day by day as a result of the efforts of many active members and mentors.

    Nadira Alaraj  11:24 UTC on 02 September 2017

    Thank you Baher for highlighting the work of the MEAS-SWG in a precise points. The idea of visual infographic is an excellent tool on capturing the development of the implementation of the strategy.

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."