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24 November 2017 09:14 (South Africa)

Egypt set to launch Arabic Internet domain name

.masr will confuse .com junkies for a while, as Egypt registers the world's first Arabic language Internet domain. Written in the Arabic alphabet, .masr translates as .Egypt. Internet regulator Icann has voted to allow non-Latin web addresses, so expect a proliferation of domain names in Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic and maybe even Sanskrit (and countless more scripts). We would love to give you a few examples, but none have immediately come to our attention. Egypt has 15 million Internet users out of a population of 80 million, which is a heck of a lot more than South Africa, and is nearly 25% of the African total. .masr was announced at the start of the Internet Governance Forum being held in Egypt. The forum also saw outraged international rights groups decrying heavy government censorship in Egypt that has seen bloggers and political dissidents arrested. Read more: BBC, Internet World Stats

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