Over 50% of Arabic Content on the Internet is of Jordanian Origin
By: Eman El-Ajlouni / Arab America Contributing Writer
Jordan and Arabic Content
Jordan has significantly aided the growth of Arabic online content. The nation has established an educated and technologically advanced ecosystem, which has encouraged innovation and digital content production. Entrepreneurs, content producers, media, and developers from Jordan have significantly influenced the Arab world’s digital scene.
The expansion of Jordanian media firms and content platforms, which have become well-liked and influential in the Arabic-speaking world, is one striking example. For instance, the popular Jordanian digital portal Mawdoo3 offers a variety of Arabic content, such as articles, films, and infographics, on a range of subjects, including health, lifestyle, culture, and education. One of the biggest Arabic content websites, Mawdoo3 now draws millions of visitors on a monthly basis.
The Jordanian Internet Sensation, “Mawdoo3”
Jordan was a pioneer in enriching Arabic content and Mawdoo3 played a big role in it. Mawdoo3 is a Comprehensive website and an online Arabic content publisher that uses the Wiki system. Mawdoo3 was initially established in 2010 by Mohammed Jaber and Rami Al Qawasmi, as an initiative, it won first place at the time for the Queen Rania National Entrepreneurship Award for the category of universities and academics in 2011. It was officially launched in 2012. The company expanded its online content with over 140k articles to date, and it provides the largest Arabic-language content platform in the world. The online encyclopedia is the most frequently viewed site in the area with 84 million site visits and 42 million unique visitors per month.
In light of this, Jordan has seen the emergence of well-known social media influencers and content creators who have built a substantial fan following on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. In Jordan, 6.61 million people used social media in January 2023, making up 58.4% of the country’s entire population. Early in 2023, there were 8.61 million active mobile phone connections in Jordan, which is the equivalent of 76.1% of the country’s population. By producing vlogs, comedy routines, educational videos, and comments on social and political issues, these people broaden the range of Arabic internet content.
King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein said that Jordan has become “a corridor of innovation, as the technology sector in Jordan generates seventy-five percent of the Arabic content on the Internet. Information and communication technology exports have flourished, and small companies have grown and taken their place in the ranks of international companies, generating new projects.” These achievements are due to our youth who master the most important languages, culture, and global knowledge, and they are also a gateway to a boundless future.”
The Leading Nation in Arabic Content
Jordan was the leading Arab nation, contributing 75% of the Arabic content on the Internet, which makes up only about 3% of the total content on the Internet, according to a recent study by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Compared to the ITU, just 29% of people in the Middle East accessed the Internet in 2017. The area in question has one of the fastest-growing Internet penetration rates in the world, with two-thirds of the population under 30.
Dr. Eng. Alaa Nesheiwat, Executive Director of the Secure Services Company for the Software Industry, said: “the Kingdom of Jordan, despite its limited resources and population, compared to other Arab countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, was able to play a major role in creating and enriching Arabic content on the Internet.”
He added, “The problem lies in the fact that the size of the digital Arabic content does not exceed 3%, and, therefore, cannot be weighed against English or any other International language, especially given the fact that the largest part of this content is translated either literally or freely,”
Dr. Ensheiwat urged public and private sector organizations to accept their duties and work to alleviate the pain of Internet users looking for Arabic-language web material by warning of the effects of such a shortage on future generations.
He also emphasized the need to include Arab institutions in the process of boosting digital content by encouraging students to post their scientific and academic output, such as graduation projects and dissertations, online. Additionally, in order to meet the demands of Internet users in the Arab world, Dr. Nesheiwat advised allowing young people to take part in the translation of specific articles into Arabic from any language. Surprisingly, more than 46% of Saudi Arabian web content is dedicated to various medical specialties as well as other environmental and health-related topics, with Egypt (15%) and Syria (10%) occupying the second and third places, respectively.
Within the framework of the ArabNet Summit 2012, representatives of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia appealed for the promotion of the Arabic language and encouraged everyone to contribute to creating Wikipedia in the Arabic language.
In his comments, the Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan Mohammed Bataineh, said: “ Over 80 percent of Arabic content on the internet is of Jordanian origin. Dubai is our number one competitor – mostly with Jordanians working for them – but we are more affordable.”
Overall, Jordan has taken the initiative to promote the development of the Arabic digital content market. The government has put in place programs to boost digital innovation and entrepreneurship, helping new businesses get off the ground and fostering the growth of Arabic content production. The development of the nation’s digital industry has been greatly aided by organizations like the King Abdullah II Fund for Development and the Information and Communications Technology Association of Jordan.
Although Jordan has made a significant contribution, it is important to understand that Arabic content on the internet is not restricted to one nation. Millions of people around the world speak Arabic, and each country has a distinctive cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic perspective that adds to the variety of Arabic information that is available online. In conclusion, although Jordan has contributed significantly to the creation and growth of Arabic material on the Internet, it would be incorrect to say that Jordan is the source of all Arabic content. The diversity and richness of the Arabic-speaking population as a whole are reflected in the Arabic material that is created by individuals and organizations from diverse Arabic-speaking nations.
Check out Arab America’s blog here!