“The Middle East and Africa” is one of those terms that seems both super specific and slightly redundant.
Egypt, for example, is considered part of the Middle East and is also quite clearly part of the continent of Africa. And yet putting out a call for articles focusing on the Middle East tends to result in very different submissions than if you ask for articles about Africa.
Widely-published news from the Middle East has not been rosy in quite some time, focusing as it has on war and unrest. It is certainly true that unrest in any country affects neighboring countries and the entire globe; Syria’s civil war is a poignant example. And yet the region is prospering in many ways that don’t always get wide billing. Arabic by all counts is an important emerging language for commerce.
This is underscored by a few articles in this issue, one focusing on opportunities for software development in the Middle East and Africa, and another looking at broader economic opportunities in the Middle East. Both highlight the emerging importance of Arabic. An article by Mikhal Heffer considers the challenges of translating between Persian (aka Farsi) and Hebrew. Thomas Gilmartin covers a project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and how its technology was localized for the immediate region by stakeholders.
All of the articles here take a positive look at the broad region of the Middle East and Africa. And in this climate, positive news is great news.