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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Ian Goldsmith, Ed Featherston, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

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Top Internet Experts to Attend Arab Regional INET Conference in Doha, Qatar

A one day conference, The Rise of the Arab Information Society, is being organized by the Internet Society and ISOC Qatar, in partnership with ictQATAR and Carnegie Mellon Qatar. The Internet Society holds multiple INETs every year, each with a unique regional focus and a selection of topics most relevant to the communities involved. This is the first INET conference held in the Gulf region, following recent events such as INET Madrid, INET Tallinn, and INET Bangalore.

ISOC Qatar was launched at QITCOM earlier this year with a vision to make the Internet in Qatar inclusive and accessible so that everyone could use the Internet to enhance their personal and professional lives.

The Qatar Chapter, which has over 300 members, is one of more than 90 Internet Society Chapters around the globe working to identify and address the challenges and opportunities that exist online.

A number of these key challenges will be addressed at the INET Qatar conference, with participants addressing topics such as Arab businesses on the Internet, the development of online Arabic content, and how the Internet is governed in the Arab World.

High profile regional speakers at the event include ictQATAR’s Secretary General, Dr. Hessa Al Jaber; Qusai Al-Shatti, Deputy Chairman of Kuwait Information Technology; Dr. Imad Hoballah, Chairman and CEO of the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority in Lebanon; and Khaled Koubaa, Policy Manager for Google in North Africa.

Dawit Bekele, the Director of the Internet Society’s African Regional Bureau, which includes North Africa, stressed the importance of the conference to help inform the Internet Society’s work both in the Middle East and North Africa regions, as well as globally. “The Arab regional INET will focus on the importance of connecting with Internet communities throughout the Arab region. The Internet Society believes that local conditions require local solutions focusing on the specific regional needs.”

Dr. Bekele also emphasized that the event would be assisted and informed by leading Internet experts, such as Professor William Dutton from Oxford University and Taylor Reynolds, Senior Economist at the OECD, both of whom are also taking part in the event.

Fadel Al-Enazi, Chair of ISOC Qatar, stated that the INET – the first of its kind in the Gulf region – was a real step forward for Qatar and that it provides a great platform to demonstrate Qatar’s vision for the Internet and its interest in engaging others in the Arab region to work together to take full advantage of its potential.

He added that the event is open to anyone with an interest in the future of the Internet in Qatar and the region.

“Our vision is for as many people in Qatar as possible to benefit from the opportunities to learn about the Internet at the conference,” he explained. “This includes not just ICT professionals, but also students, businesses, and teachers.”

For more information on INET Qatar: ‘The Rise of the Arab Information Society’ please visit: www.internetsociety.org/events/inet-qatar.

About the Internet Society

The Internet Society is the trusted independent source for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. With its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and future development among users, companies, governments, and other organizations. Working with its members and Chapters around the world, the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone. For more information, visit www.internetsociety.org.

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