Marefa (in Arabic : المعرفة ; literally “knowledge”) is a not-for-profit online encyclopedia project that uses the wiki system to provide a free Arabic encyclopedia similar to Wikipedia . It was set up by Nayel Shafei on February 16, 2007. [2] [3] Sister projects include Manuscript documentation, Sources, Collaborative books, forums, Blogsphere, E-mail accounts, Video / Audio library.

In September, 2007, Marefa received 25,000 manuscripts and old books, in Arabic script , from the Government of India . These are scanned images of books stored in and around Osmania University , Hyderabad , India . The books are in Arabic , Persian and Ottoman Turkish . Marefa started the electronic publishing of them, immediately, and made them available for free. University of North Carolina (UNC) Marefa as one of top eight sources for Arabic Manuscripts, [4] with notable global cultural centers of Arabic heritage, like, Süleymaniye Library , Istanbul , And Azhar University , Cairo . Middle East Librarian Association recommends the Marefa to its members, and its cited Marefa’s receipt of 25,000 Arabic and Persian books and manuscripts from the Government of India. [5]


In addition to articles and original manuscripts, Marefa offers a vast variety of multimedia projects for its visitors. On the home page, viewers can find new stories from around the world, updated daily. Marefa, who has been writing for a long time.

In Spring 2009, Marefa began offering weekly live Webinar readings for site visitors. Marefa and others in the world discuss the pressing global issues, on the webinar, by hooking up webcams and microphones to their computers and communicating with each other in real time. The weekly Webinar features a guest lecturer speaking about his or her area of ​​expertise. Past Webinars have included talks on the Yemeni secession movement, 2009 Iranian national elections, and historic roots of current crisis in Somalia.

Marefa offers e-mail accounts to members who choose to sign up for such service.

Relationship with Wikipedia

The founder of Marefa, Nayel Shafei , was in 2005-06, one of the contributors to Arabic Wikipedia in number of different articles. After what he describes as a takeover of the Arabic Wikipedia that culminated in banning him, [6] [7] he stopped contributing to it, and formed Marefa.

Marefa Started with happy from Several Permitting [8] sources Including Wikipedia. Marefa uses Wiki-format for its site but provides articles on individuals, issues, and items often not found on the Arabic Wikipedia site. Marefa is the author of a series of articles on the subject of Marefa. Marefa’s articles are in Arabic but also have a multilingual linking system in which alternative language Marefa are linked to Wikipedia editions in those languages.


  1. Jump up^ “ Site Info” . Alexa Internet . Retrieved 2014-04-01 .
  2. Jump up^ Ghosn, Zeinab (18 October 2007). “Marefa, a free online encyclopedia, to increase digital content, and revive Arabic epistemologic heritage” . Assafir (in Arabic) . Retrieved 9 October 2008 .
  3. Jump up^ Mostafa, Aghareed (16 October 2008). “New Online Project to publish manuscripts and Heritage books” . Al Raya (in Arabic) . Retrieved 9 October 2008 . Dead link ]
  4. Jump up^ “RESOURCES ON PERSIAN AND ARABIC SCRIPTS & MANUSCRIPTS” . A C. October 2007 . Retrieved 2008-10-09 .
  5. Jump up^ Omar Khalidi (2007). “D¯a-irat al-Ma, ¯arif al-Uthmanyanah” (PDF) . MELA Notes 80 . Retrieved 2008-10-09 . Dead link ]
  6. Jump up^ personal page of Nayel Shafei at Arabic Wikipedia
  7. Jump up^ page of Shafei checkpoint on Arabic Wikipedia.
  8. Jump up^ “Sources Permitting Rebuilding and Copying (in Arabic)” . Marefa . Retrieved 2009-07-11 .

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