Would you introduce yourself?
Wafaa Mohiy, general manager of the Saudisoft Co. Ltd. Egypt office.
Where do you live?
How did you get started in this industry?
It has been a long journey. I graduated with a computer science major and worked as a business application software developer for the first three years of my career. It was a good start, but I did not find my passion in developing business applications. I took systems engineering courses and afterwards I specialized in enabling applications/OS to support Arabic languages, as there were not many back then!
In the early 1990s, I participated in enabling the first Arabic GUI operating system on a PC, which was based on an English OS called GEM. I really found my passion enabling different applications to support Arabic and complex bidirectional features. Then, I moved to Saudisoft as a software development manager, and my first project was developing Arabic file converters for Microsoft Word 2.0. Afterwards, we were asked by Microsoft to start our first localization project (Microsoft Access 2.0). It was a huge localization project with no CAT tools, no industry standards or even experience. Despite the difficulties, we successfully delivered the project, and since then I have been involved in the localization industry, which I found very interesting and informative. It also helped me to develop (professionally and personally) through the years.
How long have you worked in it?
More than 25 years now!
What language(s) do you speak?
Arabic as my mother tongue, and I’m fluent in English. I also studied French at school and took German courses as I really love learning new languages. Unfortunately I could not master any other language like English, because I don’t practice them.
Whose industry social feeds (Twitter, blog, LinkedIn, Facebook) do you follow? (If any)
I follow LinkedIn on a daily basis to keep updated with industry news, events and reports. I am also connected with many colleagues in the industry. Besides localization, I also follow many technology providers groups to keep updated with the latest trends and innovations.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I have some free time, I either read or have coffee in a place with a water view. I also like travelling to coastal cities for long weekends.
What industry organizations and activities do you participate in?
After being in the industry for so many years, there was this moment where it was important to get involved in different activities and associations. Paying back into the industry and community is really rewarding and it is a real use for the experience gained. It is a way to share knowledge and gain new expertise. Some of the activities I have participated in were as program committee member for LocWorld and as a GALA (Globalization and Localization Association) board member for four years (January 2016 to December 2019). I was also a speaker and program committee member at the American University in Cairo with the first translation and localization conference in Egypt in 2018. With other local industry professionals, we were able to establish EAGLS (Egyptian Association for Globalization and Language Solutions), the first localization association for the middle east region, and we are running many events for industry professionals locally.
Why do you read MultiLingual?
Multilingual has been always the place to go to for industry updates, trends and events. It covers topics from every angle: technical, linguistic, tools, processes, events and so on.