The Production of the Free App for the Birds of the Middle East Arabic Edition

The first working version is now being tested!

Can you help us with a Donation?

The launch at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai in March 2017 of the Arabic Version of the Birds of the Middle East was the culmination of many years of dedicated work by those who saw the book as making a significant contribution to celebrating the diversity and variety of the birds of the region.

The project is considered to be a major step forward in promoting future conservation, critically important in stimulating moves away from random hunting but most importantly will highlight just what the region has to offer and its vital importance in a global ornithological context.

It has always been OSME’s intention that this publication was the first step. The second, and in our view the most important step was to use the InDesign files and .png and .tiff plate images to produce an App suitable for both the Android and Apple formats. Calls and songs of all the species that are available will be added to create a ‘must have ‘product that would be made available for free download to any smartphone or tablet.

Anecdotal evidence from those in the Middle East convinces us that this approach will reach a far greater audience, particularly younger people and those just casually interested thus beginning to build a far wider community who care about their birds and most importantly their birds future.

Whilst the book was a partnership effort led by Bird Life Middle East, this time OSME is taking the lead to finance and produce the App. The strong partnership with Birdlife Middle East remains firmly in place and they are wholly supportive.

So what have we done?

We approached Nature Guides, who are internationally renowned for the production and distribution of some of the best Nature Apps including the award winning Collins Field Guide to the Birds of Europe.

Nature Guides are excited by the project and have now produced the first working version for testing and checking and it’s already looking really, really good. You will be able to select the bird names in either Arabic or English with the latin name constant but the text will be wholly in Arabic.

This process will take several months before the launch somewhere in the Middle East but it will certainly be ready to see and use at Birdfair in August 2018 a fitting contribution to OSME’s 50th anniversary year.

In Summary the App will:

  • Make a considerable contribution to the understanding, recording and conservation of birds in the Region.
  • Be a wonderful educational tool.
  • Be manifestly a celebration of the Region.
  • Be modern and accessible to all, to be downloaded in thousands upon thousands  
  • Be non-political, non-religious, crossing all national boundaries.

The project budget is significant running into tens of thousands of pounds which includes a significant sum for the ongoing maintenance, development and updating in both formats. OSME has successfully raised a considerable proportion of this to date but there is still some way to go so any donations would be so very welcome.

If you would like to talk further or find out more please contact Chris Hughes, OSME’s joint treasurer at

We would be more than happy to acknowledge significant donations on the App itself if so desired.

This is such a worthwhile and ground-breaking project in the new digital environment that we really do hope our members and supporters can support us in bringing it to a satisfactory fruition.

Some further early screen shots follow to give a flavour of the project. These are just working examples as we are at the early stages…but they do show what we can expect.

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