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Wharton School Reaches Out to the Arab world

[email protected], the Wharton School’s online research and business-analysis journal, started up an Arabic edition in March 2010 that has developed into a relatively rich collection of information that academics interested in the Arab business world might find useful. The free journal presents articles in both Arabic and English that focus on business trends, research, innovation and entrepreneurship relevant to Arabic-speaking countries.

“It is no secret that the Middle East is fast developing into a hub for the emerging global economy and the Wharton School is very interested in understanding the region’s growth and its future roles in the global economy,” says Pankaj Paul, the managing editor of Arabic [email protected], who is based in Abu Dhabi.

[email protected], founded in 1999, distributes business information to more than 2-million registered users in 200 countries. The journal reaches readers through a fortnightly e-mail newsletter that links to the [email protected] website. It captures knowledge generated at the Wharton School and elsewhere through such channels as research papers, conferences, speakers, books, and interviews with faculty members and other business experts.

The Arabic version joined Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Indian editions. Arabic is, in fact, the fastest growing language on the Internet. From 2000 to 2011, Arabic language use of the Internet grew by more than 2,500 percent, according to Internet World Stats, to become the seventh most popular Internet language. The Arabic edition of [email protected] is particularly popular in the United Arab Emirates and the Arab Gulf states.

The journal has an advisory board that draws on Wharton’s academic departments and other international business leaders.

The online journal reaches thousands of students and professionals in the region. One reader, contacted independently by Al Fanar, says he finds it useful. “Business ethics and executive education are my favorite sections; I do not know other websites that offer such information in Arabic,” says Rami Alsayed, a public relations officer at private company based in Amman. Rami found the website during an Internet search and now visits it regularly.

Recent issues of [email protected] have included articles about the power of Arab consumers, the role of corporate social responsibility in the Middle East, how Middle Eastern countries are protecting themselves from Europe’s ongoing woes, and mobile entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

Arabic [email protected] is one of a few efforts to increase quality Arabic content on the Internet. But many more such efforts are needed, observers say, particularly in the area of e-learning.

“There are indeed challenges: pedagogy, technology, and acceptance of the new educational models,” says Paul. But, he says, “I believe the region can make great progress by leapfrogging past some of the traditional models of learning being used in the developed world.”

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania calls itself “the first collegiate business school” and has 5,000 undergraduate, M.B.A, executive M.B.A., and doctoral students and more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs. Those who are interested in the Arabic edition of [email protected] can subscribe here.

By: Rasha Faek

Rasha is an experienced journalist and editor, who has joined Al-Fanar Media since its launch early in 2013. She has contributed to international publications such as USA Today and Bloomberg BAN. Rasha holds three bachelor’s degrees in English literature from Damascus University, in dramatic arts from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus, and in journalism from Damascus Open University. She was a keynote speaker at the Denver University Internationalization Summit in 2017, titled:  Refugees, Migration and the Internationalization of Higher Education. Rasha contributed to a manual on Education Journalism, produced by Al-Fanar Media in 2014, and put an Arabic guideline on how to write about Women, security and peace, published by the Syrian Female Journalists Network in 2018. She has also contributed a 7,000-word chapter entitled “Syria: Educational Decline and Decimation” for the book Education in the Arab World, published by Bloomsbury in 2017.

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