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Virtual Community in the Middle East


July 25, 2000: This message was distributed by Papyrus News, a free e-mail distribution list on the global impact of information technology on language, literacy, and education. Feel free to forward this message to others, preferably with this introduction. For information on Papyrus News, including how to (un)subscribe or access archives, see <>.


I just learned about this group, MEViC.  It is planning two online conferences, one on "People Across Borders" (August 1-15) and one on "National Identity in an Era of Globalization" (winter 2000/2001, with paper proposals being accepted now)....mark


The Virtual Community of Academics and Intellectuals in the Middle East (MEViC), <>, is a regional effort to network the countries in the MENA region through the use of information technology and telecommunications.  The idea is to create a virtual community of academics and intellectuals in order to foster joint cooperation and understanding.  Aside from face to face meetings of the steering committee, all communication will take place via the Internet.


The project is jointly managed by a Steering Committee composed of members from Palestine, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Gulf, Morocco and Turkey. A concrete result of the building of the network is the inaugural Virtual Conference, taking place August 1-15 2000 at the MEViC Website <>.


This conference will be the first of its kind in the Middle East and will address real human, political and economic issues facing the peoples of the region.  We hope that conference will lead the way for many other benefits that the regional network will provide, such as linking libraries, resources, researchers, joint cooperation beyond the community, etc.


This all, of course, will be accompanied by an inclusive capacity building process that provides each participant with the necessary training and support to come online. We urge you all to participate in this conference. The unique aspects of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) and virtual communication are particularly relevant to creating the kind of community and discussion groups dealing with the issues related to regional cooperation. CMC has the potential for creating a strong dialogue between participants, with an extended exchange of information while at the same time providing archival capabilities which can be related to and retrieved at later points of time.


The commitment of members in a virtual community to the community itself is a key factor in proceeding with the initiative.  The creation of a core group of committed members, acorporal and not limited by time nor space serves to enhance the later stages of the project. The character and quality of interaction provided by the medium of CMC serves to overcome the problems that have manifested themselves in the past in attempts to foster cooperation among groups and individuals that suffer from restraints of time, space and preconceived notions.


Should you have any questions regarding the project, you may contact me directly, Michael Dahan MEViC Coordinator <>

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Last updated: July 30, 2000 in Word 2000