Arabian rights

Thursday 10 June 2010

imageThe Internet>> Addresses • Egypt

Dominance of Latin characters in Internet addresses might soon end. On May 6, Egypt granted three companies approval to register names using the country’s new Arabic suffix. On May 13, Internet domains using the Cyrillic script were launched after Russia was officially assigned the .rf (Russian Federation) domain by the global Internet governing body.

Until now, websites had to end their addresses with .com or a string using Latin characters. Advertisements targeting populations unfamiliar with English or other languages of the Latin script had to use the characters.

Non-Latin characters were sometimes permitted for portions before the suffix. Arabic websites did not have that option as Arabic characters are written right to left. Egypt will keep its .eg suffix in Latin and will offer .masr—the country’s name in Arabic—alongside that.

In October last year, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Numbers and Names—the body that supervises Internet directories—allowed used of non-Latin characters.

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