Program Feedback Details


Abdulaziz Al-Zoman


Important Issues: Part 1 out 5

25 Jul 2012 at 10:06:51 UTC

Note: This feedback consists of 5 parts (due to the restriction on comment’s size). They are submitted in 5 separate postings.

This is Part 1 out 5



I found myself personally obligated to write to you and make you aware of some very important issues regarding the new gTLD programs that will have unconstructive impact on our societies. I would not carry out such an obligation if I have felt that ICANN outreach activities for the new gTLD program are successful and effective in our region (see 1 below). I am writing so that ICANN can be aware of and care for my community’s rights and interests, as I expect that few participation from my country mate, language community as well as the larger Islamic community.

I am writing to you in my personal capacity utilizing my professional extensive experience in this field. I am an associate professor with more than 25 years of experiences in the field of IT, Internet, and domain name systems. I have fully managed and operated a ccTLD since 1995. I chaired a number of committees related to IDN and linguistic tasks, such as the chairman of the steering committee of the Arab Domain Name Pilot Project (, the chairman of the linguistic committee as part of AINC (Arab Internet Naming Consortium). In addition, I am the principle author of the internet document RFC 5564: “Linguistic Guidelines for the Use of the Arabic Language in Internet Domains”, and a number of scientific papers in the field of Arabic IDN. For more information, see:

This personal background is presented to provide you with the total confidence that the comments that you about to read are based on years of solid understanding and experiences.

1. Outreach and Language Barrier

Largely, the new gTLD process (including announcements, website pages, consultations, documentations, forms, communications, people who are involved, objection process, …) is done in English. Even if a translation is provided to some documents they are done very late and to very limited documents. Many sessions are running without translations. Thus, Non-English speaking communities, such as our Arabic community, would be left behind because of the language barrier.

Many of my country colleagues are not aware of the program. So, they cannot participate in its process, and hence, their rights and interests are not protected. One indication for ICANN to verify (with respect to the participation from the Arab world, for example) can be the percentage of participation from the Arab world in the “New gTLD Application Comments Forum” to the total participation. I will expect this percentage to be very low compared to the participation from USA and Europe.

... to be continued in Part 2 out 5