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ITP possible story

Okay guys,

I don't know who I told what, but 'Greg Wilson' of 'ITP.net' have sent us some
questions to run a little piece on Arabeyes.

Here is the list of questions, please answer what you can. I'm at work right
now, so I am not at extreme comfort to answer with a cigarette and a hot cup
of coffee (well, maybe I have the coffee, but no smokes :(..).


| Mohammed Elzubeir    | Visit us at:                 |
|                      |  http://www.arabeyes.org/    |
| Arabeyes Project     | Homepage:                    |
| Unix the 'right' way |  http://fakkir.net/~elzubeir/|
Q1. How many people and from which countries in the region are currently
working on Arabeyes?

Currently there are approximately 20 members to the Arabeyes project.
Those members have CVS access to our repository. Our team comes from
several countries of the region but not limited to, Bahrain, Kuwait,
Saudi, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, and Morocco.

Q2. How did the project start?

[will answer that when I get home - my favorite question ;)]

Q3. What do you mean that this is the only real GNU/GPL open source project
to Arabise Linux. I thought there were other projects in the pipeline?

There are many scattered projects on the internet, many of which have no
maintainers. There is also the Saudi Linux LUG, which has been active in
experimental development (checking for Arabic support, patching gui
toolkits, etc.). However, these projects have not been open to the
public and have been for the most part served as parts of courses that
students participate in.

Our project differs in that it is completely voluntary, open to new
members, and of course open source. Arabeyes projects will live on
irrespective of commitment maintainer, location, or sponsorship. That is
one of the major shifts in previous paradigms.

Q4. How are you working with the other group's in the Arab world to ensure
that a standard emerges for Arabic Linux?

[up for grabs]

Q5. How are you working with any vendors, particularly with IBM, on building
your open source solution?

We have no 'one' solution, but we have many solutions that individual
vendors and distributions can bundle into a 'solution'.

[also up for grabs]

Q6. What do you mean that your project delivers all the recipes of 'open

CVS,mailing lists, openness, democratic decision-making process,etc.


Q7. What stage is the Arabisation project at? When do you expect to diliver
a solution?

A few months ago I would have said very early, but things are moving at
a very rapid speed [a Good Thing (tm)] ;)

[up for grabs]

Q8. How are you working to educate the market as a whole to the benefits of
open source and Linux?

[hrmm.. dunno how to go about this one]

Q9. Other than local language support what do you believe are some of the
biggest hurdles in front of the growing deployment of Linux in the region?

Brand loyalty and fear of change are probably going to be the biggest
problems. Most people don't care if the system is 'slower' or 'crashes'
often. They are more interested in knowing that when it DOES, someone
will be responsible for fixing it. 

Using Linux poses too problems, a) no central support  b) hard to find
expert sysadmins. So, businesses tend to avoid that. We are trying to
remedy that by dispelling the mysteries that surround linux and unix

That is just about all of my questions. Please try and make your answers as
detailed as possible. I also need the answers as soon as possible.
Thanks for your interest.
Best regards