December 5, 2002
Mafhoum.com launches the “Arab Decision
Having introduced on the Internet the Arabic version of Le Monde Diplomatique (www.mondiploar.com), A Concept, the editor of www.mafhoum.com web site is pleased to announce the launch of its “Arab Decision Makers” project: www.arabdecision.org. After two years of preparations, taking the example of similar French and European sites such as Profession Politique, this project describes government, civil society, economic and educative institutions of the Arab countries. It clarifies the interactions between such institutions, and shows their key managers (Decision Makers) and ways to contact them.
The site is first targeted towards citizens providing greater transparency into the workings of government and society at all levels. It is also of interest to all those, whether Arabs or non-Arabs, wishing to interact, trade, invest in or simply understand the Arab world.
Originally funded by our company, ‘A Concept’, it has since received support from the Ford Foundation, with the participation of UNESCO, ESCWA and UNDP.
The “Arab Decision Makers Project” makes a new contribution to the Arab medias and to the already numerous institutional websites dealing with the Arab world. At any time, and independently of any particular event, it gives the most complete picture of a country and of the key persons who are active in it. The site describes: political institutions (head of state, legislative, government, judiciary), local institutions (governmental and representations), civil society (political parties, unions, job creators groups and social organizations), the economic system (regulation authorities, public and private large companies), the financial system (central banks, banks and insurance companies), and the system of graduate education and research centers.
The project consists on a significant database, accessible freely on the net in a user-friendly and organized way, in both Arabic and English languages. More than 4,000 individuals and 3,000 institutions have been identified and described in this first phase focusing on four Arab countries: Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Specialized tools have been developed to manage the activities of filling and validating information for our database, and to allow for interaction with out network of researchers and contributors throughout the Arab region.
Our overall aim is to follow and keep track of the careers of Arab decision-makers and of the institutions with which they are connected, in close connection with Arab national governments, international institutions, the Arab press and various social groups. The present activities of the project teams target to extend the database to a further 10 Arab countries.