Tunisia: Introducing Dahsha

Tunisian blogger Mohammed Marwan Meddah introduces us to Dahsha – an online encyclopaedia, which he describes as “one of the serious efforts to enrich Arab content on the internet.”

Meddah explains:

A lot like Wikipedia, the encyclopedia relies on volunteers to write articles and publish content.
Volunteers can post books, reports, studies, articles and even video, audio and useful programs to the encyclopaedia.

Dahsha Screenshot

Writing about the project launched by Jordanian software and web development company Jordan Tek, at StartUp Arabia, Meddah adds:

Even though I usually encourage Arab users to try and focus on enriching the Arab version of a global encyclopedia like Wikipedia instead of launching smaller regional or local versions, this project is still a pretty interesting one as it covers some types of content that Wikipedia doesn’t support.

Speaking about the project's limitations, the blogger says:

The system isn’t as open as Wikipedia though, as users can’t change or edit articles by other users; they can only reply or comment on them. Which means that the site’s administrators have to be more involved in reviewing the submitted content, its quality, and whether publishing it violates any copyright laws.

A quick review of the site [Ar] shows a massive collection of articles, which could be easily accessed using a search option on the front page. They include:

عدد المواد المنشورة: 32330
عدد الأعضاء: 5661
عدد التصنيفات: 514

Number of published articles: 32,330
Number of members: 5,661
Number of categories: 514

According to the site's About page:

فمكتبة الموسوعة الآن تحتوي على حوالى 60 ألف كتاب ومجلد . كما تحتوي الأقسام الأخرى على آلاف البحوث والدراسات ، كلها مصنفة في مكانها الصحيح ضمن أقسام الموسوعة ، بحيث يسهُل على المستخدم الوصول اليها والاستفادة منها وتوفَّر عليه ساعات طويلة من البحث. هذا غير المواد الصوتية والبرامج والأفلام التعليمية والثقافية في شتى المجال

The encyclopaedia's library currently hosts around 60,000 books and collections. It also features different sections which contain thousands of studies and research papers, all properly categorised in their respective places, making it easy for users to access and make the most of, thereby saving him long hours of searching. This is in addition to the audio recordings and cultural and educational resources which span different fields and which are available on the site.

The About page concludes its mission statement with the following:

وما هذه الموسوعة سوى بوابة وأداة بحث لمنفعة المستخدم العربي والارتقاء بنوعية وجودة بحثه … الأمر الذي من شأنه إثراء الثقافة العربية الإسلام

This encyclopaedia is only a gateway and a search tool for the benefit of Arab users, in a bid to improve the quality of research .. which will in turn enrich the Arab and Islamic culture.

Photocredit: StartUp Arabia

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