About the Digital Safety Sign-Language Dictionary

This dictionary is a new gateway to digital safety for the Deaf community across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It presents more than 100 digital-safety terms in Arabic—with visual demonstrations of sign-language equivalents.

Curated by Salam@, this tool channels the efforts of 20+ specialists from nine countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Qatar and Tunisia. Working with local organizations supporting Deaf communities, they’ve built a unified set of signs for digital tools, risks, responses and more.

This meant surveying today’s patchwork of related signs. It meant filling gaps with new signs. It meant engaging stakeholders from media, academia and beyond. It meant working together to land on canonical expressions. And the result is a first-of-its-kind practical tool for the MENA region’s Deaf community.

As people seek new opportunities online, this exposes them to new digital risks. That’s why Salam@ helps at-risk people become more resilient to hackers, scammers, harassers and others. And we see how people’s growth depends on new language describing new digital platforms, threats and responses.

While Salam@ produces accessible printed resources in Arabic, we especially know the power of dynamic communication. People learn and cultures grow through conversation. So for people who rely on sign language for rich interaction, a gap in digital terminology constitutes a real form of exclusion.

The Deaf community is determined to turn this around, and we hope this dictionary helps. We hope it becomes a useful tool for individuals, organizations and professional interpreters. And we hope it supports a more inclusive dialog on digital safety and digital opportunities.

See what Deaf communities are saying:

Acknowledgements

Salam@ recognizes the remarkable co-leadership of The Turjoman Agency’s Moroccan team, along with  key contributions from the Maghrebian League of Sign Language Interpreters, the Anamel sign language team (Bahrain), the Al Amal Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Benghazi), the Social and Cultural Association for the Deaf (Mauritania), Association l’Arbre des Mains, Tawassol Association for the Deaf, sociation ALFATH for Deaf Children, and the Let’s Communicate online sign dictionary team.

Special thanks to the many women and men who shared their time and expertise, including: Mariam Amrani, Fatima Zahraa Benlagha, Mohammad Ali Al-Binali, Mohammed Chegri, Wael Al-Garmasi, Islam Hamidi, Ahmad Hicham el Jamal, Nemsi Jassim, Najia Mohamed el Maghraby, Imane Mubarak, Mounir Naily, Dr. Mohammad Al-Ramzi, Samar Shawat, Mohamed Shoukry, and Ali Al-Warfalli. And finally to Ayoub Abu Tajeddine for performing all the sign demonstrations in our videos!