The Arabic word 'meedan' - ميدان – means 'a town square' or 'gathering place.'
Meedan.net is a digital town square where you can share conversation and links about world events with speakers outside your language community. Everything that gets posted on meedan.net is mirrored in Arabic and English – whether it’s the headlines you read, the comments you write, or the articles you share.
Meedan was founded in 2005 and incorporated as a nonprofit charitable organization in 2006. We have been working since 2005 on technologies to improve cross-cultural tolerance, understanding and citizen’s diplomacy between web users in the United States and the Middle East.
Meedan is the first social network explicitly built to facilitate collaborations across languages. In the process we have built formidable assets, thanks in large part to a three-year research and development partnership with IBM's Computational Linguistics group. It is this combination of technology and community which underpins our vision for a new beginning for global civic participation and Arab World-Western relations. In our effort to create this vision we have built:
The events of September 11 and the ongoing crisis in the Middle East have highlighted the need for greater dialogue among the Arabic-speaking world, the U.S. and Western Europe.
In the West, there is limited understanding of the diversity of the Muslim world.
More concerning, levels of distrust are high. Nearly a quarter of Americans (22%) say they would not like a Muslim as a neighbor according to recent polls.
Within the Arabic-speaking world, distrust and misperceptions of the West, including the West’s foreign policy aims, run high.
Significantly though, this negative view does not translate to isolationist sentiments.
A Zogby Poll found that more than 70% of Moroccans, Jordanians and Lebanese responded that they would "like to know" an American citizen.
With 2.1 billion Internet users worldwide, and more than 60 million Arabic speakers on the Internet, the social potential for the web to play a key role in the solution seems apparent, though untested.
To date, no major ‘social computing’ initiative has sought to connect people of different languages in conversation.
We hope Meedan will change this.
Meedan's mission is to create better understanding between the peoples of the Arab Region and the West through dialogue online. We believe the emergence of the social web marks an opportunity as never before to connect people from different places, faiths, languages and cultural backgrounds. We seek to do this by empowering a community of translators and volunteers with language skills to translate conversation and media between Arabic and English.
Meedan is a nonprofit social technology company registered in California. Founded in 2005, we make technology for dialogue, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing across languages and cultures.
With our headquarters in San Francisco, Meedan is made up of creative technologists, designers, and content creators in more than ten cities around the world including Amman, Damascus, Cairo, Casablanca, Bethlehem, Beirut, London, Portland, Pozan, Brussels, and Toronto.
And we’d love to have you join the network if you have skills to share. Join our mailing list to stay in touch.
CEO - Ed Bice
Director of User Experience - Chris Blow
Director of Engineering - Karim Ratib
Senior Program Officer - George Weyman
Software Developer - Zeinab Samir
Software Developer - Rashad Majali
Account Manager - Yasmine El-Mehairy
Research Associate - Anas Qtiesh
Community Director (English Language) - Tom Trewinnard
Program Manager Shaheen Poetry Project Nosheen Ali
Systems Administrator - Ahmed Mekawwy
Abdellah Aoussar - Morocco
Amena el-Shafie - Egypt
Aya Mahrous - Egypt
Ottman Boutrig - Canada
Ghaydaa Habeib - Egypt
Hiba Traifeh - Syria
John Halliwell - Egypt
Malika Lakbiach - UK
Nouran Ibrahim - Egypt
Rebecca Saade - Lebanon
Rania El Maraghy - Egypt
Shaimaa Abdel Hamid - Egypt
Fariza Saadeh - Syria
Wessam Muhammed - Egypt
Wesam Abd El Nasser - Egypt
Yaser El Kosair - Egypt
Abdellah Aoussar - Morocco
Ahmed Ragab - Egypt
Alaa Majeed - USA
Jay Feghali - Lebanon
Kate Goodin - Egypt
Rami El Meghari - Gaza, Palestine
Riham Ibrahim - Egypt
Simba Russeau - Lebanon
Toleen Touq - Jordan
Ed Bice, Chair - CEO of Meedan
Jon Corshen, Treasurer - CEO of GoingOn Technologies, social software for education
Adnan Hassan, Vice-Chair - Senior Adviser to the Dean of the Board at the World Bank
Hanan Heakal, Secretary - Senior Human Resources Manager at Procter & Gamble in Cairo, Egypt
Dr Ismail Serageldin - Director, The Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Dr Osama El Ansari - former Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Network of Syrian Scientists, Technologists and Innovators Abroad (NOSSTIA)
Dr Sabri Saidam - minister of telecoms and IT for the Palestinian Authority serving in the ninth Palestinian cabinet
Muna Abu Sulayman - Executive Director of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, the philanthropic arm of HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal's Kingdom Holding Company