LibreOffice Localization Program in Saudi Arabia announced to enhance Arabic language related features

The Document Foundation and the National Program for Free and Open Source Software Technologies (Motah) at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Saudi Arabia work at the further enhancement of LibreOffice

Berlin, September 13, 2012 – The Document Foundation and the National Program for Free and Open Source Software Technologies (Motah: at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Saudi Arabia announce a Localization Program to enhance the Arabic language support in LibreOffice and solve related bugs, and contribute to the improvement and development of LibreOffice.

liberoffice_imageMotah LibreOffice Project ( is one of the activities of Motah program at KACST, where several software products in various fields are studied to explore the extent of Arabic support and their suitability to the needs of Arab users. Thereafter, Motah team will work at improving the selected software products to meet those needs and requirements. LibreOffice was selected to be the first localization project because of its importance as an office suite whose functions are needed by all computer users.

The main objectives of the project are the following:

  1. Study LibreOffice and identify the bugs related to Arabic language, and validate that the software correctly supports languages written from right to left in all its functions and operations.
  2. Work to solve these bugs and improve the LibreOffice support to languages written from right to left. The bugs are either discovered by Motah team members or posted in the LibreOffice Bugzilla website.
  3. Work on simplifying and enhancing LibreOffice graphical user interface, to enhance the usability of the software.
  4. Work on improving the Arabic Documentation as well as improving the Arabization of the graphical user interface, by reviewing and enhancing the existing translation.

arab-language“As the first leading project in the Arabic region to support LibreOffice, Motah program is committed to support Arabic language and its use in modern technologies. Through local software engineers, young and open source enthusiasts, Motah has made its first contribution to LibreOffice 3.6.1 solving several bugs related to Arabic language and RTL format support. Motah will continue solving related bugs as well as improving the Arabic help and documentation as part of its contribution to the Arabic speaking ICT community. It is fascinating to see The Document Foundation combining people from different cultures, languages and geographical locations around the development of LibreOffice, the best free office suite ever”, says Abdulrahman Alarifi, Motah Program Director.

“Motah key contributions to LibreOffice are a demonstration of the unique advantages of TDF as an independent body, capable of pushing forward the free office suite and raising the bar of interoperability”, comments Florian Effenberger, Chairman of the Board of The Document Foundation. “Only the balanced mix between organization and volunteer activities within TDF can guarantee the global reach of LibreOffice, and offer users a free office suite in their native language independently from their geography or language”.

Modern Standard Arabic is the official language of 26 states (Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen), and is spoken by as many as 440 million native speakers.

The modern written language is derived from the language of the Quran (known as Classical Arabic or Quranic Arabic) and is widely taught in schools, universities, and used to varying degrees in workplaces, government and the media.

LibreOffice is available in their native language to over 95% of the world’s population, thanks to a global volunteer community spanning over the five continents

LibreOffice can be downloaded at

About The Document Foundation (TDF)

The Document Foundation is an open, independent, self-governing, meritocratic organization, which builds on ten years of dedicated work by the Community. TDF was created in the belief that the culture born of an independent foundation brings out the best in corporate and volunteer contributors, and will deliver the best free office suite. TDF is open to any individual who agrees with its core values and contributes to its activities, and warmly welcomes corporate participation, e.g. by sponsoring individuals to work as equals alongside other contributors in the community. As of August 30, 2012, TDF has over 140 members and over 2,000 volunteers and contributors worldwide.

Media Contact Motah

Abdulrahman Alarifi – Motah Program Director
Mobile: 00 966 561939678 – Email:

Media Contacts TDF

Florian Effenberger (based near Munich, Germany, UTC+1)
Phone: +49 8341 99660880 – Mobile: +49 151 14424108
E-mail: – Skype: floeff
Charles H. Schulz (based in Paris, France, UTC+1)
Mobile: +33 6 98655424 – E-mail:
Eliane Domingos de Sousa (based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, UTC-3)
E-mail: – Skype: elianedomingos
Italo Vignoli (based in Milan, Italy, UTC+1)
Mobile: +39 348 5653829 – E-mail:
Skype: italovignoli – GTalk:


  1. By Sasan