– A Different View is a good example of the widespread and international nature of the Internet. Al-Sham is a site, mostly in Arabic, that offers news feeds, a message board and many other amenities commonly found on English-speaking sites. Reading it with the help of a translator is a very interesting experience – it allows those unfamiliar with Arabic culture to take a closer look at how regular people think and feel and express themselves online.

The site is quite comprehensive. has a front page with a streaming news banner that is constantly updated. The menu points to the particular items of interest to Arabs – Syria, The Arab World, News Articles from around the world and an editorial page. There are also subsections for science and technology, medicine and health, the arts and sports. The interactive features of Al-Sham offers the visitor a well-populated user forum, with creative and political topics under discussion, as well as social issues and other topics regarded from the Islamic point of view. Users may participate in live chat rooms, do crossword puzzles in Arabic, take the daily quiz and even play games or send greeting cards. A special feature at the bottom of the main menu launches a virtual Arabic keyboard, allowing users to type in that language without special hardware. All of these features on are free of charge – there is no subscription fee or cost needed to access it. There are several ads on the main page for businesses of interest to Arabs, however, which help defray the cost of running the site.

Al-sham In The Web