Ayna, Arabic for “where”, has succeeded in establishing itself as the premier portal and search engine in the Arabic language.
Ayna has grown over the years to offer a range of services tailored to the Arabic Internet user. Ayna, founded in 1997, is a division of EGS Inc., a developer of Arabic-specific technologies which enable users to search and locate Arabic-language resources.
Some of the features specialized for the Arabic market include the ability to display Arabic-language e-mail, regardless of whether the computer supports the Arabic font, and controls for text direction in the messages.
Beetaqa (“card”) is a digital greeting card service for Middle Eastern and Islamic holidays and occasions, designed in Arabic and other languages. Beetaqa’s service is free for individual use, while business are charged a fee. Arabic artists who post their work in the card service include the Jordanian artist Nawaf Al-Bukhari and the Lebanese artist Joseph Matar.
Ayna also includes Heewar (“dialogue”), which is a discussion forum and chat Web site.
“We are building a strong and dependable community online, for Arabs worldwide,” said Adonis El Fakih, founder and CEO of EGS Inc. “We have been working hard to bring these services to our online visitors today, because we believe that Arabs deserve to have the best online community. Currently Ayna serves over 2 million pages a month, making it one of the most active communities for Arabs on the Internet.”