07 Oct 2011
Meedan has released a new Drupal discussion forum for cross-language conversation, media sharing and networking. The site was developed with Qatar Foundation International (QFI) as a tool for the alumni of its student exchange programs.
YALLAH, or Youth Allied to Learn, Lead, and Help, was developed to enable Qatari and American students to build friendships, learn about each others' culture, and collaborate on community service projects. The site is entirely bi-lingual, using a combination of instant Machine Translation and human editing to produce translations for every post and comment between Arabic and English.
To mark the release, QFI staff presented the site to delegates at the annual Clinton Global Initiative as students took part in active discussions about culture, careers, and community service. Meedan provided translators to translate comments and posts between Arabic and English in near realtime.
The site enables students to create discussions around media resources of interest, such as videos, photosets, podcasts and files, and to reply to and translate other comments and posts. Users can also create profiles, upload galleries and follow calendar updates from QFI.
Meedan's development team is now interested to see how the site could be packaged for download and customization by other partners for their own cross-language discussion projects.