Urgent Invitation for Arabic speakers to support Nonviolent Activists In Iraq!

La OnfMetta Center for Nonviolence Education is excited to offer a unique opportunity to support nonviolent action in Iraq!

La Onf, which means “No Violence” in Arabic, is a network of Iraqi civilians and civil society organizations who are using nonviolent direct action to resist the war, factional violence, and corruption that is threatening to destroy their country.

Their work is ongoing, but each year they also promote a “Week of Nonviolence” during which nonviolent actions are scheduled to take place in locations throughout Iraq. The third annual Week of Nonviolence began in Iraq this October 10, 2008 and will continue through this Friday October 17th.

Earlier this year, Metta Center was approached by one of the founders of La Onf to provide support for the training of nonviolent actors. Specifically, Metta founder and president Michael Nagler was asked to lend his perspective to a list of questions being discussed within the La Onf network. These questions address the special problems faced by those engaging in nonviolence in Iraq, and in war zones generally. Metta Center has produced a 20 minute video of Dr. Nagler answering these questions.

Here’s what our Iraqi friends need:

La Onf would like to show the this video to their network of activists throughout Iraq, but the video is in English and currently lacks the Arabic subtitles needed.

DotSub is a site that hosts videos and enables users to add subtitles in almost any language. The site functions as a wiki, meaning that subtitles for a video can be added and edited collaboratively by many users. We need Arabic speakers to log on to the DotSub site and start adding subtitles. If you or someone you know would like to be a part of history by contributing to this exciting collaboration, please read on.


The video can be found here:


or go to the DotSub website at http://dotsub.com/ and search for “La Onf” and the video should appear.

If you are able to speak and type in Arabic and want to help, please do the following:

Anyone can view the video, but adding subtitles requires (really simple) registration and log-on. Once you are logged onto the DotSub site, a box appears in the righthand column next to the video that says “Translate and Transcribe”.

Choose Arabic from the drop-down list of languages and click the “translate” button. You will be taken to a page where the English transcript appears, line by line. Under each line of English transcript is a link that says “Click to translate into Arabic”. When you click the link, a box appears where you can type or paste your translation for that line of English text. Pressing enter after typing each line saves what you have added and moves you to the next line on the transcript. Pressing escape will cancel your changes.

We’ve posted a partial and rough translation we already have here as a pdf for anyone who finds that a helpful starting point, but that document is not a substitute for complete and accurate subtitling on the video.

The Arabic subtitles are the highest priority so that this video may be shown in Iraq. However, if you do not speak Arabic but are a fluent speaker of another language and wish to take part in this important project, please note that you can also add subtitles in additional languages. Videos on the DotSub site can be subtitled in multiple languages; viewers choose whichever subtitles they would like see with a drop-down menu under the video. The La Onf network is supported by a wider network of activist and NGOs in other parts of the world, notably in Italy, Spain and Romania, and we’re certain any additional languages added would be appreciated by the activists there and elsewhere.

Metta Center would like to extend our deepest thanks on behalf of ourselves and the La Onf network to anyone able to contribute to this unique effort. Please forward this message on to anyone who you think may be interested.