Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 17:26 pm (KSA) 14:26 pm (GMT)

Few Arabs submit ideas in Google contest

Contestants could post videos to YouTube as part of their submission
Contestants could post videos to YouTube as part of their submission

A Yemeni media researcher expressed his disappointment at the meager participation of Arabs in the Google competition for ideas to change the world. The last day to submit an idea was Monday.

On the occasion of its 10th birthday, Google launched ‘Project 10 to the 100th’ to fund ideas that help others and change the world. The ideas could be big or small, technological or not, as long as they are creative and help as many people as possible.

Contestants could submit their ideas on www.project10tothe100.com in more than 25 languages, including Arabic, in one of eight fields including community, environment, opportunity and shelter.

 Where are those young Arabs who have always claimed they have ideas that could change the world? 
Researcher Marawan Almuraisy

Researcher Marawan Almuraisy expressed his disappointment at what he said was the low level of Arab participation among more than 300 ideas that included videos posted on YouTube.

"Where are those young Arabs who have always claimed they have ideas that could change the world? Looks like Google will reveal who are those who feign creativity and distinguish them from the really creative," Almuraisy said.

Almuraisy based his conclusion on an analysis of the names of the contestants who submitted videos to the contest on YouTube. Out of more than 300 videos there were no Arab names or Arabic titles. While this does not mean that Arabs did not submit ideas, it does seem to indicate a lack of participation by non-Westerners.

The videos, which can be no longer than 30 seconds, are considered “supplementary” materials.

"We are in a serious situation, Almuraisy told AlArabiya.net. “The names of the five winning countries will be announced. They will be referred to as countries that encourage the creativity of their citizens, and this is like an indictment statement for our Arab world."

A spokesperson for Google told AlArabiya.net that the company has not analyzed the submissions but and would not announce the finalists until Jan. 27, 2009.

“We are in the midst of judging the many incoming submissions and have not broken down the submissions by language or geographic region, except to note that we've received submissions in all 25 languages we are supporting,” said Jamie Yood.

The project seeks to give any good idea that can help the most amount of people the funding to become reality, because “helping helps everybody, helper and helped alike” according to the website.

People will vote between Jan. 27 and Feb. 2 for their favorite ideas out of the 100 selected by Google, after which an advisory board will make the final selection from the top 20 chosen by the public. The five winning ideas will be announced in mid February and receive $2 million in funding.

The ideas will be judged according to their reach, depth, attainability, efficiency and longevity, according to the contest guidelines.

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