1- When was the website launched, and what is its relationship to the previous project IslamOnline.net?
Preparations for the website began in March 2010 and was first launched as a beta-version in August 2010/ Ramadan 1431 A.H. OnIslam.net is not linked in any way to IslamOnline.net except that the team that founded and launched OnIslam.net is part of the team that founded and run IslamOnline.net for 10 years up until March 2010.
This website is now one of the main initiatives of Mada Media Development Association, a non-profit civil society institution.
Kindly refer to “Who We Are” and “About OnIslam” for more information about the initiative for launching the website and the association.
2- What are the goals of OnIslam.net?
Kindly view the “Overall Roles of Mada” for information about the goals and roles that form the core of our website.
3- Where are the staff and headquarters based? Do you accept volunteers from other countries?
The headquarters of OnIslam.net and Mada are located in Cairo, but our activities extend to all parts of the world. Correspondents, consultants, and writers for the website are located all over the world. Volunteers are welcomed to communicate with us and join our team effort wherever they are. We intend to rely on volunteer work whenever possible.
4- Do you have a specific plan for funding this project so that it does not come to an early end as many similarly ambitious projects do?
We have agreed to run the project under the umbrella of a civil society association, and to diversify its sources of funding from within the civil society of Egypt as well as from around the world rather than to rely on one specific patron.
Accordingly, the association’s funding philosophy is based on the following principles:
- Having multiple sources of funding and be open to anyone who wishes to contribute through the different means and forms of charitable donation (such as zakat, charity, endowments, and so on)
- Achieving a degree of self-sufficiency by implementing and running projects for other institutions and providing services to subscribers
- Acquiring stable and sustainable sources of funding that would guarantee the association’s intellectual independence
5- Is the association concerned with other activities besides those within media?
Mada sees itself as playing a role in the social sphere in addition to its media role. These roles are undertaken by different units within the association such as:
- A social and media training center, which conducts its workshops in real classrooms as well as in virtual classes online
- A unit that provides consultations to institutions working in the media, social, digital, marketing and e-marketing fields. You can refer to “About OnIslam”, “About the Association”, and “Governing Laws within the Association”.
6- What are your experiences and accomplishments as a team running IslamOnline.net during the past 10 years?
Over the past ten years our team produced massive amounts of journalistic, intellectual and counseling materials, which made IslamOnline.net one of the biggest Islamic websites in terms of content. Added to this was the distinguished quality of the produced materials that were marked by high-level creativity and intellect, along with a variety of topics covering many fields and interests and opening new horizons for purposeful media work.
Seeking to reach out to our audience through a variety of media forms we were able to reproduce many parts of our online content in the form of printed books, multimedia applications, and e-books. Some of that production included around:
- 425,000 online articles in Arabic
- 150,000 online articles in English
- 60 printed books
- 15 CDs
- 5,000 mobile text messages
In addition to content that was produced to serve academics and researchers in both Arabic and English which included around:
- 200,000 bibliographic citations
- 166,000 full text documents for research papers, books, theses and dissertations
- 8,500 book abstracts
- 240 book reviews
Societal and Intellectual Activities
The vision of our team in tackling societal and intellectual issues stems from Islam’s nature as a way of life. Some of the areas we succeeded in implementing this vision include:
- Presenting balanced guidelines and fatwas in all aspects of family life and marriage through competent counselors and Islamic scholars
- Presenting guidelines and consultations on how to respond to misinformation and stereotypes directed against Islam and its followers
- Providing opportunities for young Muslim around the world to do volunteer work by connecting them to relevant organizations and institutions seeking such volunteers
- Shedding a light on the sound social practices required to build a happy marriage
- Encouraging families to facilitate marriage and not to ask for high dowries
- Presenting guidelines for marriage seekers
- Providing information on the psychology of men and women
- Contributing to finding practical solutions to family problems
- Focusing on sex education, which is one of the key factors in a happy marriage
- Presenting guidelines on how to effectively raise children, follow up on their growth, and deal with their problems
- Providing guidelines and support to traditional families units (having both parents and children) as well as families with single parents
- Tackling issues of interest to Muslims living in the West, especially those related to integration and citizenship
- Helping new converts understand the correct moderate nature of Islam, and providing them with support during the transitional phase following their declaration of Islamic faith
- Presenting the true image of Islam to non-Muslims, and refuting the suspicions raised in the media about the religion
Our team has a lot of experience in providing social, media, and educational training. Over the years it had conducted a number of training programs to a variety of audiences including:
- Members of Arab families and marriage seekers
- Those working as counselors in social, family, and psychological spheres
- Those working in media
- Those working as tutors and teachers
Training programs conducted by our team include training courses in life skills conducted in Arabic and English. Life skills involve all what a person needs for managing his affairs competently in the areas of education, marriage, Shari`ah, health, psychology, volunteerism, and self-development. These programs were conducted using a variety of online interactive tools including virtual classrooms, counseling Q&As, and Live Dialogues.
Other specialized programs geared towards professionals trained:
- Media workers
- Mental health workers
- Trainers working in online education and e-training
Social and psychological training programs were geared towards:
- Individuals who are about to get married
- Dealing with sexual molestation
- Educational camps for boys and girls
- Psychological support programs for those affected by wars or disasters (both children and adults)
Specialist training programs were geared towards:
- Media training for print press, electronic press, television, new media, and specialized media
- Preparing social consultants
- Enhancing teachers’ competence
- Preparing effective electronic trainers
- Preparing da`iyahs for social preaching
7- What partnerships did you establish with other organizations over the past 10 years?
During those 10 years we were working with many bodies and institutions, both inside the Arab world and outside. For more details, click to view Partners in Success