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Baher Esmat

VP, Stakeholder Engagement - Middle East

Forum Profile

Biography

Baher Esmat is a leading voice on Internet policy and regulatory issues in the Middle East. In his role as Vice President, he is part of the advance guard of Internet proponents for a free, open and affordable Internet within the Arab world.

A keen facilitator of collaboration and dialogue between ICANN and the broader Internet community, Baher promotes and supports domain name system operations initiatives and capacity-building projects in the region. Among these are efforts to promote adoption of Internet Protocol version 6 and the broader deployment of internationalized domain names. Another focus is on the further growth and development of the region’s domain name industry.

He joined ICANN in 2006 after a four-year tenure at the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, where he played a role in the nation’s efforts to build an information society. He served in various positions at MCIT, most recently as Telecom Planning Manager, and he was responsible for communications infrastructure and service development projects.

Baher is a former member of the WSIS Working Group on Internet Governance, and served as Chair of the Egyptian IPv6 Task Force until he joined ICANN. He is currently serving on the Internet Governance Forum’s Multistakeholder Advisory Committee, and the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Cairo University in June 1993, and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the American University in Cairo in June 1999.

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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."