New Arabic ‘app’ on Middle East birds launched

Arabic-speaking birdwatchers throughout the region will benefit from a new telephone ‘app’ launched today at the ‘Summit for Flyways’ conference in Abu Dhabi.

The ‘app’ is adapted from the Arabic version of the book ‘Birds of the Middle East,’ which was launched at last year’s Emirates Literature Festival in Dubai.

The book, the first of its kind to cover the birds of the region in Arabic, was translated from an English language edition written by Richard Porter, formerly Middle East adviser to the international bird conservation charity, BirdLife International, and the late Simon Aspinall, formerly chairman of the Emirates Bird Records Committee. The English edition was partly sponsored by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, EAD.

The new ‘app’, which is already available for downloading, has been produced by the Ornithological Society of the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia, OSME.

Talking to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, OSME’s Chairman, Rob Sheldon, who began his career in conservation at EAD’s National Avian Research Centre in Sweihan, over twenty years ago, said, "We believe that the ‘app’ will be a game-changing way of promoting support for birds and conservation to people throughout the Middle East."

Co-author Richard Porter, also a veteran of bird study in the region, added, "For me, the production of this ‘app’ by OSME and its partners has probably been the most important development I have seen in my many years of involvement with conservation in the Middle East."

"It is wonderful to be involved in something which will help generations of Arabic-speaking children to come to love and to study the birds of the region," Porter continued.

The ‘Summit for the Flyways’, which closes tomorrow, Thursday, is being organised by BirdLife International in association with EAD, OSME, the Swiss-based Mava Foundation, and the UN Environment Programme’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, CMS. It is being hosted by the Abu Dhabi-based International Fund for Houbara Conservation, IFHC.

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