Communications of the ACS, Vol 1, No 001 (2008)

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Arab Computer Society: History and Prospect

Nashat Mansour

Abstract


The Arab Computer Society (ACS) was officially established in 2001 in the first meeting held in Beirut after the successful completion of the first ACS/IEEE International Conference on Computer Systems and Applications (AICCSA). ACS was founded by a group of academics who are from Arab universities or of Arab origin and work overseas. However, ACS' membership is open to all who believe in its goals regardless of nationality, race, gender, religion, etc....

ACS's vision is based on the need to bring together our various human and physical resources inside and outside Arab countries in order to address the challenges of the IT age, to contribute to the IT revolution, and to compete at the global scale. The ultimate goals are: economic, social, and human development and better quality of life in the Arab region.

The mission of ACS is to advance the theory and practice of information science and technology. In particular, ACS shall enhance the participation and contribution of the Arab world in Information Technologies and aim to maximize its benefits.

 Consequently, some objectives of ACS are:

  • To encourage and develop computer science and engineering research and development.
  • To organize knowledge transfer and capacity-building activities.
  • To facilitate cooperation among computer science scholars, researchers, academicians, and professionals.
  • To coordinate with local IT organizations in the Arab countries.

The most important activity of ACS has been the series of AICCSA conferences, held with 50% sponsorship by IEEE-Computer Society. So far, we have held AICCSA conferences in Beirut, Tunis, Cairo, Sharjah, Amman, and Doha; in 2009, it will be held in Morocco. In addition, ACS has co-sponsored a few Arab conferences. Also, we have attracted more than 100 academic members, from most Arab countries, Europe and North America and have set up and maintained a web page at www.arabcomputersociety.org.

But despite 7 years of operation, we still consider ACS to be in the founding phase. Our ambitious plan is to transform ACS into a well established scientific society where its members will find reward and benefit in joining ACS. Some of our planned short term activities are:

  • To publish the e-magazine, "Communications of the ACS", which aims to publish applied research and technology articles, surveys, higher education practices, as well as industry trends and practices.
  • To hold annual summer/winter schools or short courses for capacity building and knowledge transfer.
  • To establish Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for the purpose of facilitating the establishment of research groups.

But all these plans cannot be realized without increasing our membership and without the involvement and participation of more members in implementing activities. Hence, we call upon academics, researchers, and professionals to join ACS not only as registered members but rather as active members and partners.

Our human and physical resources inside the Arab countries are not abundant; we need to consolidate them. Many expatriates are willing to help; we need to invite and to open the door wide for their contribution. Competition in the IT age is tough; time will not stop and wait for us to catch up! We need to unify our efforts and take up the challenge; this is the main message of the Arab Computer Society.


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