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Arabic Internet search engine to launch

What is the Arabic for Google?
Wed Apr 26 2006, 16:41
EUROPEAN SEARCH engine Seekport is to launch a search engine named Sawafi, that's Arabic for sandstorm.

The engine is "specially designed to meet the challenges of the Arabic language," says Seekport which teamed up with a Saudi Arabian partner, MITSCO Group to launch the service in Dubai.

"We will launch Sawafi this year. It will be the first search engine optimized for the Arabic language," said Hermann Havermann, managing director of the new Seekport Internet Technologies Arabia, at a contract-signing ceremony in Riyadh. "This joint venture is pioneering work, because it is the first Internet search engine to take up seriously the challenges of the Arabic language and culture."

Seekport is to provide the baseline technology for the search engine, to provide a "complete range of all Arabic language websites, in combination with English and French language contents from Arab countries".

Accordiing to the partners, the ten most popular websites in the Arabic region account for between 16 and 70 million page-impressions daily. Estimates put the total number of Arabic language websites at around 100 million but doubling every year.

Current search algorithms used in Internet search engines "are hardly capable of observing even the simplest morphological conditions required to process Arabic-language contents in a meaningful way for users," they say. µ

Sawafi on Seekport


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