Ten major academic or research institutions in Egypt, the Middle East and Europe indicated their desire to participate in the project at the foundation level. A similar number have indicated a willingness to participate either as institutional subscribers or information partners once ENAWU is launched. Building on this established network, AWF will identify additional information partners as well as develop relations with institutions that have a particular interest in or focus on wider access to information, the development of civil society, Middle Eastern studies, etc.
The key benefits for organizations becoming an ENAWU ‘information partner’ include:
AWF is in discussions with ENAWU partner institutions and others with a view to technical collaboration, sharing their proven experiences in advanced communications technology, to provide programming, data management and other e-system expertise required for this project. An ENAWU search portal has been designed using up-to-date search technology, allowing users at a variety of levels to access information about key topics and prominent individuals via the internet. The ENAWU portal also includes facilities for on-line collaboration and sharing of other institutional resources.
Through monitoring of Arabic and English news stories and academic journal articles, AWF expects to issue regular corrections and analysis of published material through the Arab West Report.
Developing Regional Information Repositories
AWF has already established an electronic archive of the Arab West Report in Egypt which will be launched in June 2008. This will continue to be updated, through existing and new sources, as a key regional information resource. We would be interested in hearing from partner organizations in other Arab countries that are interested in replicating the model developed by AWF in Egypt so that we could subsequently make these available through ENAWU. There are organizations interested if funding could be made available.
Awareness - ‘marketing’ ENAWU
One of the project objectives is for ENAWU to become self-perpetuating after the initial development and implementation period of three years. This will require detailed marketing plans targeting a range of potential users such as universities offering Middle Eastern and/orArab Studies, international relations or communications; foreign service personnel seeking deployment to the Middle East; expatriates living in the West who have interests or businesses in the Middle East; and the wider international public, which would have access to the data to check the veracity of news stories in the region.
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