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Press Release / Blind on Facebook: Erada Portal makes it possible
Egyptian online service Erada Portal receives UN-based World Summit Award. Cairo ICT presents the best e-Content Websites worldwide from April 26 to 29.
Wael Zakeria is a website developer, language teacher, Facebook user and blind. Incapable of seeing daylight does not prevent Wael from actively participating in Egypt’s Society and helping to include others. Utilizing the Egyptian Website “Erada Portal”, he provides other visually impaired people with valuable information and for instance empowers them to communicate on Facebook. Together with 39 other winners, “Erada Portal”, selected from 460 projects and 105 countries, will receive UN-based World Summit Award (WSA) on April, 27 at Cairo ICT trade fair.
Worldwide 344 million people speak Arabic. Arabic is among the top ten of languages on the web. However, only about one per cent of all online content is in Arabic. People with disabilities (PWD) and their families are eminently excluded. They even lack the basic Arabic information that could support them with crucial knowledge to take care of their relatives.
Since its initiation in 2010, Erada Portal, an online service with 700.000 specialized pages, 610.000 daily visits, and 2.000 monthly blog entries, has filled this gap. Created by Egypt ICT Trust Fund, Erada Portal has enriched Arabic content in all disability related subjects. It has gathered PWDs, their families, NGOs, the private sector and governmental entities in one place to exchange specialized knowledge and experience. “An important aim of Erada Portal is to allow society to move away from regarding people with disabilities as dependent on welfare and social handouts”, says Marwa Elnokrashy from Egypt ICT Trust Fund.
Wael Zakeria is only one 2.000 persons who use Erada Portal daily. His digital encyclopaedia “blindopedia” which is embedded in the Portal, has already reached 280,342 hits. “ICT, especially the Internet is the gateway to a better life for ‘normal folks’. But for blind it is life itself”, Marwa Elnokrashy adds.
Winner from New Zealand in e-Culture and Heritage builds a digital wall in Cairo
Besides Erada Portal, that will receive a World Summit Award in the category „e-Inclusion and Participation“, 39 other winners’ projects from 26 countries will be honoured in front of UN representatives, ICT ministries and the private sector. The WSA Winners’ Events will be hosted in the Middle East for the first time ever.
“With the winners from World Summit Award in e-Content, Cairo will host the best digital producers, interaction designers and content developers from all around the world. They will demonstrate the richness and diversity of the content industries. Cairo will be a special stage to highlight what can be done with modern ICT to develop local communities, national social strategies and meaningful jobs”, says WSA Chairman Peter A. Bruck.
This is proved by category winner in e-Culture and Heritage “The Wall” from New Zealand. “The Wall” is assigned by Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI) to support the construction of an Interactive Multimedia Installation in Cairo. The “Cairo Wall” will follow the role model on the streets of Copenhagen that already has attracted well over one million visitors and that will picture the Egypt’s rich cultural heritage.
Hosted by the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and Cairo ICT under the patronage of H.E. Mohamed Salem, Egypt Minister of Communications and Information Technology, the WSA winners will showcase the best digital e-Content projects worldwide. Between April 26 and April 29 Cairo will see “a global panopticum of knowledge and spirit in e-content”, Peter Bruck says.
The Programme contains workshops, conferences with UN attendance and above all the Winners’ Ceremony on April 27th at 9 p.m at the Cairo ICT. The Winners’ Events will be life streamed on www.wsis-award.org and tv.wupy.org.
Journalists who wish to attend the Winners' Events or be connected with interviewees kindly contact Ms. Anna Gauto: email@example.com