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Baher Esmat

VP, Stakeholder Engagement - Middle East & Managing Director MEA

Türkiye, Republic of


Baher Esmat is the ICANN Regional Vice President for stakeholder engagement in the Middle East, and Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) Regional office in Istanbul. In his role, Esmat oversees ICANN’s engagement in the MEA region and facilitates collaboration with stakeholders to fulfill ICANN’s strategic objectives at the regional level.

Esmat has been involved in Internet technical and governance issues for over two decades. Prior to ICANN, he spent over three years with the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), where he served as Telecom Planning Manager spearheading various projects aiming at expanding Internet access at the national level. Before MCIT, Esmat worked for Newbridge Networks as a Systems Consultant and was part of the sales support team providing technical consultation and developing solutions for clients across the Middle East. Esmat began his career as a Systems Engineer at Egypt’s Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) where he was part of the team that helped bring the Internet to Egypt.

Esmat is a founding member of the Egypt ISOC Chapter. He also served on several Internet governance related groups including the UN Working Group on Internet Governance, the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development Working Group on IGF Improvements, and the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Committee (MAG).

Esmat holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Cairo University, and a master’s degree in Computer Science from the American University in Cairo.

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."