On behalf of OSSCOM team, it is an honour to cooperate with you in developing open source software community at the Arab regional level.
The Arab countries have been suffering from a rapid growth in unemployment among university graduates, especially in the field of computer and information technologies and communications. This is happening at a time of increasing youth population who are deprived from a complete access to the digital world of today. This is mainly due to a little contribution of Arabic resources and repositories in the global digital industry when compared with the rest of the countries. In this context, the initiative of building communities of open software (Open Source Software Communities - OSSCOM) is meant to contribute to reducing unemployment by providing support and expertise needed to build capacity of younger generations in technology towards excellence and global competitiveness. This in turn will lead to building communities that support digital economies, create knowledge repositories, and build technology industry in the Arab region.
OSSCOM will develop partnerships between universities and the private sector in Jordan, Lebanon, Germany, Spain and Britain. It is funded by the European Commission - Tempus for a period of 4 years. It is the first Arab regional initiative of this size that aims to contribute to building economies through creating open source software and introducing its capabilities to university students and faculty members through raising awareness and developing courses material to be taught in technology related programs. The project supports exchange of experiences with companies and universities in Europe and Partner country institutions as well as holding conferences, workshops, and training seminars. It will setup two technology centres in Jordan and Lebanon, which are based on the provision of cloud computing architecture. The centres will provide sources of open sources software to employees and students as well as to create an environment to accelerate business in the participating universities to embrace open software and to provide the necessary support as entrepreneurs and founders of specialised companies. The project will foster the localization of technology and will reduce licensing volumes and expenditures as it promotes the use of free and open source software as alternative solutions to proprietary software.
In order to identify digital gaps and technical requirements related to open source software, we launch a detailed questionnaire on our http://survey.osscom.org/index.php/159473/lang-en as an essential foundation to identify OSS trends and define appropriate recommendations that can contribute to the project goals in serving Arab youth and building their capacity in this important technology trend. This will help us to take advantage of this wealth through the provision of technical education towards the development of knowledge industry.
Your response to the questionnaire is a great contribution to the quality and impact of of the project to serve our institutions in the Arab countries in building communities of open source software and the related industry.
We promise to make use of your information in the interest of the project and will keep you informed on the results of the questionnaire through the launch of a detailed report on the status of open source software, guidelines and challenges and ways to disseminate for the sake of the development of quality technical education and relevant software industry as well as indigenising and reducing the volume of licensing imports and improving security and reliability.