26 Apr 2018
The ground-breaking Arabic app offers a unique learning experience for its users
By Dima Obeidat
While bird lovers in the Middle East have been enjoying the perks of smartphone technology for a long time now, few apps have focused on the region’s birds, and none of them were in Arabic. Until now. Ornithological Society of the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia (OSME), the organisation behind the new Birds of the Middle East app, first explored the idea in March 2017, following the launch of the Arabic version of the book with the same title. Now, two years later, these plans have resulted in the first-ever Arabic language field guide app.
The app was launched yesterday for Apple devices during the Summit for Flywaysconference in Abu Dhabi, hosted by International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC), and organised by BirdLife International, in association with EAD, OSME, Mava Foundation, and the UN Environment Programme’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
Rob Sheldon, Chairman of OSME, expressed his excitement over the first of its kind app, and stressed on its value for the Middle East region. “We want this app to be a tool that inspires a new generation of birdwatchers”, says Sheldon. “Birdwatching has always been associated with the older generations, and we need to encourage a new generation of bird enthusiasts that can carry on with conservation in the Middle East region”.