17 Nov 2010
When the Elders were founded by Nelson Mandela, in July 2007, a leading aim of the group was to “amplify the voices of those who work hard to be heard, challenge injustice, stimulate dialogue and debate and help others to work for positive change in their societies.”
Since their foundation, the conflict in the Middle East has been a priority for the group, who first visited the region in August 2009 and returned in October 2010. During the two visits, the Elders and their team have worked creatively to use social media and the internet as a space to serve their goals of stimulating dialogue and amplifying voices too often unheard.
To maximize the accessibility of their website, blogs, tweets and media releases, the Elders showed an inspiring and important commitment to making all their content available in both Hebrew and Arabic, in addition to English.
At Meedan, we were honored to be given the opportunity of leading the Arabic translation effort, an opportunity which speaks directly to one of our organizational goals:
To seed and enable cross-language conversations on the web that attest to individuals from different places, faiths, languages and cultural backgrounds learning about each other.
During the course of the visit, Meedan translators worked admirably to translate and edit some 20,000 words, which, when published to the Elders’ website allowed Arabic speakers around the world access to articles and blogs written by the likes of Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson, Ela Bhatt, Lakhdar Brahimi, along with a host of guest bloggers.
In addition, we also had the pleasure of translating the Messages for Peace posted by visitors to the Elders website, in support of the peace process in the Middle East and the Elders’ work there.
We are greatly looking forward to continued work with the Elders on translating Arabic content for their website in support of their bold mission to promote a “just and secure peace for all” in the Middle East.
Many thanks to Meedan translators Rania, Abdellah, Yaser, John, Wessam, Ghaydaa, Hiba, Mariam, Asma, Nouran and Deena for their efforts during the course of the Elders’ visit.