||This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2008)|
|Type of site||Internet encyclopedia project|
|Created by||Arab wiki community|
|Launched||9 July 2003|
The Arabic Wikipedia (Arabic: ويكيبيديا العربية Wīkībīdyā al-ʿArabiyya or ويكيبيديا، الموسوعة الحرة Wīkībīdyā, al-Mawsūʿa al-Ḥurra) is the Arabic language version of Wikipedia. It started on 9 July 2003. As of 9 April 2013, it has over 224,000 articles, 616,327 registered users and over 15,361 images. The Arabic Wikipedia is currently the 23rd largest edition of Wikipedia by article count, and is the first Semitic language to exceed 100,000 articles.
The design of the Arabic Wikipedia differs somewhat from other Wikipedias. Most notably, since Arabic is written right-to-left, the location of links is a mirror image of those Wikipedias in languages written left-to-right. Prior to Wikipedia's update to MediaWiki 1.16, Arabic Wikipedia had a default page background of the site inspired by Arabic/Islamic tiling or ornament styles. Switching from MediaWiki's new default Vector layout to the original MonoBook layout may restore this page background.
As of July 2012 there are around 630 active Arabic Wikipedia editors around the world. Ikram Al-Yacoub of Al Arabiya says that this is "a relatively low figure." The Wikimedia Foundation and the nonprofit group Taghreedat established the "Arabic Wikipedia Editors Program" intended to train users to edit the Arabic Wikipedia.
The Arabic Wikipedia has been blocked in Syria with no official reasons given by the Syrian government. The block began on 30 April 2008 while all other language versions of Wikipedia remain unblocked and freely accessible. And it is still blocked in the country so far. Wikimedia continues to be blocked, which causes all images on Wikipedia (in all languages) to be unavailable.
Evaluation and criticism 
In September 2012, Arabic Wikipedia scored 243 in terms of depth (a rough indicator of the encyclopedia's quality). Which is better than the German version (89), the French version (159) or the Japanese version (59), making it the 2nd highest +100,000 articles Wikipedia in the terms of depth after English Wikipedia (696).
At WikiMania 2008, Jimmy Wales argued that high-profile arrests like those of Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer could be hampering the development of the Arabic Wikipedia by making editors afraid to contribute.
In 2010, Tarek Al Kaziri, from Radio Netherlands, believed that Arabic Wikipedia reflected the Arabic reality in general. Low participation lowers the probability that the articles are reviewed, developed and updated, and political polarisation of participants is likely to lead to biases in the articles.
In 2008, an article from The Jerusalem Post, an Israeli newspaper, accused the Arabic Wikipedia of being biased against Israel and on many other issues. The article was written by a journalist who says that he doesn't "read or speak Arabic" and used Google Translations to understand the content of the Arabic Wikipedia.
According to Alexa Internet, the Arabic Wikipedia is the 11th most visited language version of Wikipedia, with the "ar.wikipedia.org" subdomain attracting approximately 1.37% of the total traffic of the "wikipedia.org" website, despite being ranked no. 23 in term of the article count.
- Arabic Wikipedia was launched in September 2001, yet due to Mediawiki software migration, the oldest surviving edit dates back to 9 July 2003.
- Article number 10,000 was نكاف (Mumps) created on 25 December 2005.
- Article number 50,000 was جامعة تكساس مدرسة الطب في هيوستن (University of Texas Medical Branch) created on 31 December 2007.
- Article number 75,000 was ترتيب الصحارى من حيث المساحة (List of deserts by area) created on 30 August 2008.
- Article number 100,000 was المعهد العالي للفنون والحرف بقابس (University of Gabès) created on 25 May 2009.
- Article number 200,000 was created in 2012.
See also 
- List of Wikipedias by number of articles
- Al-Yacoub, Ikram. "‘Taghreedat’ to offer Arab Tweeps their own search engine." (Archive) Al Arabiya. Thursday 19 July 2012. Retrieved on 24 August 2012.
- (Arabic) "ويكيبيديا" يختفي عن صفحات الانترنت السوري
- Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report - Wikipedia Page Views Per Country, September 2009 to July 2010, map by Ziko van Dijk and numbers by Erik Zachte (recent stats)
- Noam Cohen (July 17, 2008). "Wikipedia Goes to Alexandria, Home of Other Great Reference Works". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- (Arabic) "ويكيبيديا والعرب: خلل في المشروع أم في الثقافة؟".
- http://digital.newzgeek.com/wikipedias-arabic-language-version-skews-the-middle-east/ Wikipedia’s Arabic-language Version Skews the Middle East
- Alexa - Wikipedia.org Site Info
|Arabic Wikipedia edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|