The Information Age
It has become an established fact that the age we live in these days is the age of communication and information. Over the last decade or so, entire oceans of information have formed, and continue to expand by the moment. Any piece of data has now become available and accessible to everyone – young and old – anywhere in the world, and time and distance are no longer considered barriers that impede the ongoing quest for knowledge.
Along with this enormous human contribution that manifested with the rise of the Internet, came new challenges and requirements that ultimately defined this era and its technology. As these endless oceans of information are continually nourished by the world’s organizations, businesses, institutes, individuals and others, there appeared the need for tools that share a unified goal: helping all knowledge seekers effortlessly and swiftly sail these oceans and find their destinations, where they would then be rewarded by the availability and authenticity of the information they embarked to search for, and ultimately contribute by adding to and enriching this human experience further and further.
Globally, measuring the progress and development of a nation or organization has become fundamentally associated with the amount of information and services they contribute to the Internet. Most organizations with an online presence have developed and utilized various tools through which relevant information and services are offered to their customers. In the Arab World, the process of developing these tools is considered one if the most significant challenges in this field, because even with the numerous efforts set forth by several organizations, and in spite of the relative success that some of these efforts have enjoyed, the road ahead is still long and we are only beginning to take the first steps just now. This challenge is typically demonstrated by how successful Internet system developers have been in integrating the Arabic language and implementing it in these tools, taking into account the fact that it is the native language of more than 300 million Arabs, and the second language of around 1 billion Muslims worldwide.