Tips & Resources

Wharton School Reaches Out to the Arab world

Knowledge@Wharton, the Wharton School’s online research and business-analysis journal, started up an Arabic edition in March 2010 that has developed into a relatively rich collection of information that academics interested in the Arab business world might find useful. The free journal presents articles in both Arabic and English that focus on business trends, research, innovation and entrepreneurship relevant to Arabic-speaking countries.

“It is no secret that the Middle East is fast developing into a hub for the emerging global economy and the Wharton School is very interested in understanding the region’s growth and its future roles in the global economy,” says Pankaj Paul, the managing editor of Arabic Knowledge@Wharton, who is based in Abu Dhabi.

Knowledge@Wharton, founded in 1999, distributes business information to more than 2-million registered users in 200 countries. The journal reaches readers through a fortnightly e-mail newsletter that links to the Knowledge@Wharton website. It captures knowledge generated at the Wharton School and elsewhere through such channels as research papers, conferences, speakers, books, and interviews with faculty members and other business experts.

The Arabic version joined Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Indian editions. Arabic is, in fact, the fastest growing language on the Internet. From 2000 to 2011, Arabic language use of the Internet grew by more than 2,500 percent, according to Internet World Stats, to become the seventh most popular Internet language. The Arabic edition of Knowledge@Wharton is particularly popular in the United Arab Emirates and the Arab Gulf states.

The journal has an advisory board that draws on Wharton’s academic departments and other international business leaders.

The online journal reaches thousands of students and professionals in the region. One reader, contacted independently by Al Fanar, says he finds it useful. “Business ethics and executive education are my favorite sections; I do not know other websites that offer such information in Arabic,” says Rami Alsayed, a public relations officer at private company based in Amman. Rami found the website during an Internet search and now visits it regularly.

Recent issues of Knowledge@Wharton have included articles about the power of Arab consumers, the role of corporate social responsibility in the Middle East, how Middle Eastern countries are protecting themselves from Europe’s ongoing woes, and mobile entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

Arabic Knowledge@Wharton is one of a few efforts to increase quality Arabic content on the Internet. But many more such efforts are needed, observers say, particularly in the area of e-learning.

“There are indeed challenges: pedagogy, technology, and acceptance of the new educational models,” says Paul. But, he says, “I believe the region can make great progress by leapfrogging past some of the traditional models of learning being used in the developed world.”

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania calls itself “the first collegiate business school” and has 5,000 undergraduate, M.B.A, executive M.B.A., and doctoral students and more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs. Those who are interested in the Arabic edition of Knowledge@Wharton can subscribe here.

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