Minister says ‘Egyptian Facebook’ is underway, users already looking for a name

Egypt has said it is looking at creating its own version of Facebook, but the country’s people have already started questioning the motives (AFP)
Updated 13 March 2018
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Minister says ‘Egyptian Facebook’ is underway, users already looking for a name

CAIRO: Egypt has taken concrete steps toward establishing an “Egyptian Facebook” and a hashtag on the subject has already strarted trending on Twitter Egypt.

The country’s telecommunication and information technology minister said Monday that Egypt is working on establishing a social networking platform similar to Facebook.

Minister Yasser El-Qadi said the move was part of a plan to be an active partner in the field of social media internationally, according to Ahram Online.

Though he did not provide further details regarding the project, he said the protection of data and information was important, and that the Egyptian state was keen on safeguarding the personal privacy of its citizens.

He added that Egypt had grown capabilities in protecting information and preserving the privacy of its citizens online.

The minister made the statements during a workshop organized by the Egyptian Justice Ministry to face extremism and ways to combat it.

But Facebook users decided they could not miss the opportunity to poke fun at the announcement, embarking on a Twitter hashtag that read in Arabic: #Suggest_a_name_for_theEgyptianFacebook

The hashtag was widely trending on Twitter in Egypt, as some suggested calling the local version of the global networking site as “Egyptian Face,” “Fake Book” “Facebookii.”

Others commented on their fears that the Egyptian version of the platform would be used by the government to spy on its users.

According to statistics in 2017, Egypt leads the number of Arab Facebook users, with approximately 34.5 million active accounts, representing 23 percent of all Arab Facebook users.


Arab News launches ‘Road to 2030’ section to track Saudi Arabia’s bold reforms

Updated 22 September 2018
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Arab News launches ‘Road to 2030’ section to track Saudi Arabia’s bold reforms

  • Section to provide news, opinion and analysis on country’s transformation
  • Newspaper’s National Day coverage looks ahead to 
Kingdom’s high-tech future

RIYADH: Arab News, the Middle East’s leading English-language daily, today announces the launch of a digital service to track and explain the ambitious reforms underway in Saudi Arabia.
Announced on the eve of Saudi National Day, the new “Road to 2030” section will include the latest news, analysis and opinion around the reforms and transformation underway in the Kingdom.
Hosted on the paper’s website, the section  —  www.arabnews.com/road2030 —  is named after the Vision 2030 program unveiled in 2016 by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the Kingdom’s heir to the throne. 
It coincides with Arab News’ special coverage of Saudi National Day, which marks the formation of the Kingdom on Sept. 23, 1932.
The theme of the souvenir edition, published on Sunday, will be around the future of the Kingdom —  and how the country will look as the 2030 reforms continue to take shape. 
The edition of the newspaper features a unique wrap-around cover illustrating how the country could look in 12 years’ time, as well as a timeline about the reforms and articles about their progress and young people’s views on the future of Saudi Arabia. 
 “We decided to not to limit our Saudi National Day to celebrating the Kingdom’s past —  but to also look ahead to its bright and promising future under the ambitious Vision 2030 plan,” said Faisal J. Abbas, Editor-in-Chief of Arab News.  
“This is reflected via the newspaper’s commissioned cover artwork, which imagines Saudi Arabia in 12 years’ time, as well as the stories by our promising team of young Saudi journalists and contributors. 
“We are also proud to launch the Road to 2030 section, which will track the changes underway in the Kingdom and be a reference for observers, visitors and investors in Saudi Arabia.”
Arab News is part of the regional publishing giant Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG). It has been the English newspaper of record for Saudi Arabia and the region for over 40 years.