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The Middle East Strategy: Two Years Later

Over two years ago, when the members of the Middle East Strategy Working Group (MESWG) developed the strategy document, there was consensus that the findings of the document be implemented on annual basis as three separate Implementation Plans. At the same time, and in order to evaluate the progress of the strategy and its impact on the regional Internet community, it was agreed that annual reviews are to be conducted and shared with the regional community at-large.

While the first year Implementation Plan review did show substantial progress, the results of the second year Implementation Plan were even more interesting concluding with the following key milestones:

  1. The DNS Entrepreneurship Center (DNS-EC) was off to a great start with two business track training programs and one train-the-trainer program on DNS Operations and DNSSEC. This blog post is a good summary;
  2. A study on the DNS Industry in the region was initiated. The findings of this study will be shared with the community during the ICANN Dublin meeting October 18-22 this year;
  3. The Task Force on Arabic Script IDNs (TF-AIDN) concluded their work on LGRs at the root-level, MSR at the root-level, and Arabic Script Variants. Their next stop is LGR at the Second Level as well as work on Universal Acceptance;
  4. The organization of the second edition of the Middle East DNS Forum (ME DNS Forum 2015) in Jordan, as well as the second edition of the Middle East and Adjoining Countries School on IG (MEAC-SIG 2015) in Tunisia;
  5. Dedicated outreach activities in countries such as Yemen, Sudan, Iran, Jordan, and Pakistan by holding meetings with all stakeholder groups;
  6. Bi-Monthly Webinars, quad-annual newsletters, more media coverage, targeting new events… and much more.

Currently, the third year Implementation Plan is underway. One of the goals of the Middle East Strategy is to foster two-way engagement between ICANN and the regional stakeholders, therefore your input; and suggestions are very welcome. Please write to us at meswg [at] icann [dot] org.

We would love to hear from you, and we look forward to working with you in hopes of fulfilling our commitment to the region.


    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."