As Regional Director for Google in the Egypt & North Africa region, Mr. Fakharany will address how the Internet has had nothing short of a Tsunami effect on the most basic way of life in the Arab world. With a population of 400M people, of which 60% are under the age of 25, there are more than 120M Internet users in the MENA region, which represents a growth well over 1000% during the last decade. Because of this technological phenomenon, many facets of life have changed. By harnessing the powers of the Web to bring about gargantuan economic, social and political changes for the nearly 400 million inhabitants in the region, the Internet has given the young people a podium from which their voices can now be heard far and wide.
The swift rise and power of the Internet in the region has represented itself as both a momentous opportunity and a simultaneous challenge for many governments in the Middle East region. On one hand, it has provided an excellent medium by which to further increase services, utilize the power of the Cloud and harness the Internet economy to increase exports. On the other hand, it has also proved to be both a cultural and political challenge as it allowed individuals to mobilize, express themselves freely, reach a mass audience and even topple regimes, as evident by the still-ongoing Arab Spring.
This is a time like no other. We are indeed lucky to be part of this pivotal moment in history to witness a change so utterly magnificent. In one of the fastest growing regions on this planet, with Arabic the fastest growing language on the Internet, this powerful technology presents itself as a two-edged sword. So how can the Arab World truly embrace its powers? More importantly, how can these very powers be harnessed to benefit Arab youth, provide a higher caliber education, increase the quality of basic day-to-day services and, eventually, the overall quality of Arab life? Mr. Fakharany will share his unique insights and observations regarding these critical questions during his keynote address.