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  15 February 2012  | 15:46  . ET

About Aafaq
The Aafaq website is a news site that focuses on the issues of reform and enlightenment in the Arab region. This web initiative is one of the programs of the Aafaq Foundation – “Aafaq means “horizons” in Arabic – a new, independent, non-governmental organization that focuses on Reform in the Middle East. The Foundation is funded by grants and individual contributions and has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Aafaq Arabic website, aafaq.org, was launched on June 16, 2006 and quickly attracted a large number of Arabic speaking readers from many different countries. Each month aafaq.org (which has been joined by aafaq.org/english, its English-language counterpart) registers more than 4,261,026 clicks, 242,641 site visits, and 325,184 page views (data as of June 2008). 

In addition to around the clock coverage of major news from the Middle East – such as stories on Iraq, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Lebanon, terrorist bombings by Al-Qa’idah, and others, the website devotes itself to a wide range of matters related to reform and violations of human rights, including topics ranging from the excesses of the “Committee for the Promotion of the Right and Suppression of Evil” in Saudi Arabia and the difficulties that liberals face there, to the issues of democratic reform and human rights in Egypt, Bahrain and Iran, to the repression of the opposition by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Asad. In addition, Aafaq organizes meetings of prominent representatives of civil society and activists in the region. 

Aafaq publishes the most important American and other international news, as well as digests of publications and research findings published by research institutes in America. In the sphere of opinion and essays, the website attracts a diverse and outstanding community of liberal and reformist Arab writers from most Arab countries and from among expatriate Arabs living in Europe and the United States. At this point more than 40 Arab intellectuals and reformers write in Aafaq.

Moreover, many legal and other research organizations, and Arab political organizations and organizations that publish in Arabic send their announcements and releases to Aafaq for publication. Among these organizations are the Damascus Declaration for National Democratic Change in Syria, the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR), the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, the Committee of Women’s Petition (CWP) in Bahrain, the League for Human Rights First in Saudi Arabia, the League of Demanders of Women's Right to Drive Cars in Saudi Arabia, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS),  the Yemeni Southern Democratic Assembly (TAJ) in southern Yemen, the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and others. Information from these sources comprises about 40% of the content of the website. 

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