The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved the use of non-Latin letters, including Arabic, to write website addresses starting 16 November. Latin letters have been used exclusively since the Internet was invented four decades ago.
The decision was taken at ICANN’s annual conference which convened in Seoul, South Korea last week. The conference announced that Arabic and Chinese will be the first new scripts to be used in web addresses. The decision was welcomed by Egypt.
The change has been pushed by countries that do not use the Latin alphabet, according to an official from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. Arab countries have been especially vocal on the issue, he said.
Watchers hope that ICANN’s decision will be a positive step toward enriching the Arabic content on the Internet, which is currently very limited.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.