In the summer of 2022, Arabic ENS Domains were flying off the shelves. Twitter influencers started rocking keffiyehs and people from around the world became obsessed with Arabic culture. While many people trying to join this wave, they didn’t understand the right way to understand the possibility.
I know an Honorary Arab when I see one.
Shout out to the the Honorary Habibi @danielgothits for doing so much for the Arabic ENS community, it's much appreciated.
This E-Keffiyeh is for you 😝🙏🏾❤️ pic.twitter.com/rSdcxFyS0g
— YallahHabibi.eth (@YallahHabibiEth) June 29, 2022
You see, as it happens with many languages, not everything in Western culture translates into Arabic well (either due to language or cultural barriers). Well, do not fear as we’re here to clear everything up.
We spoke to Hydrate.eth, the first registrar of an Arabic digit ENS, a former Arabic teacher, and a specialist in Quranic Tajwid (the reading of the Holy Quran) to get the do’s and don’ts when registering an Arabic ENS.
How to Register Arabic ENS Digits
The popularity of English ENS domains such as the 999 and 10k clubs has led many to wonder if the same trend will occur with Arabic digits. And it’s a reasonable question to ask, given the potential for these domains to become just as sought-after.
Arabic culture has a history of digits, purchasing license plates and phone numbers at high prices as a flex.
“I wouldn’t assume that certain numbers are hot in Arabic, just because they are in English. Some of my first mints were 69, 420, you know?” Hydrate.eth said, “But [the Arabic community] wasn’t interested in those. They were interested in three repeaters or 050, 070 — stuff that looked cool!”
As tempting as it may be, meme numbers may not be the most popular digits to register in Arabic. Instead, Hydrate pointed to area codes, and cool-looking numbers, and suggested researching license plate culture as a reference.
One thing he did note, however, was that he did not see an increased demand for digits with religious or cultural meanings. Numbers 70 and 72 which both hold historical Islamic importance, didn’t attract higher demand.
Influence of Religion
Arabic is the sixth most spoken language in the world but it may be even higher due to the influence of Islam. Nearly a third of the world is Muslim and most practicing Muslims will learn the Quran in Arabic — even if their primary language is something else.
“There is a thing called the Bismillah ceremony in some Islamic countries, like Pakistan, where they teach the kids how to read Arabic script at a very early age. They read the whole Quran before maybe age 10 or 15, then have a party.” Hydrate told Web3Domains, “so Arabic in Islam is a lot different than Latin in Christianity.
A very small amount of Christian kids are learning Greek or Latin, right? [..] But in every mosque across the world, the prayers are in Arabic. People have a collection of 300 to 500 religious words that, even if they’re not Arabic, they know those Arabic words.”
It’s impossible to ignore the impact of Islam when considering the popularity of Arabic ENS names. Nevertheless, some devout Muslims find it off-putting to use religion as a basis for speculation.
“I feel shy about speculating on the religious names. If I made money off one, I’d give it all to charity — we call it Sadaqah.” Hydrate.eth said, “I would just say approach any religious terminology with the utmost respect. Approaching collectors about those words is like walking on thin ice. It’s an eggshells-type topic.”
Another tip is to avoid bad or dirty words as the Arabic community doesn’t take to it as well as the western world does. Words like sharmuta (شرموطة) or kalb (كلب) meaning dog — one of the highest insults in Arabic culture — do not translate well, most of the Arabic community is not attracted to that type of domain. Arabic culture is very respectful in this way, unlike Western culture where shit.eth can sell for 10ETH.
Words That Don’t Connect
A key thing to consider when registering an ENS domain is: firstly, the Arabic language is written right to left — rather than left to right — and some words connect to the left while others don’t. This means that when you’re trying to string words together without spaces, you will end up with gibberish.
“But you can do some interesting things even without the space,” Hydrate.eth told Web3Domains. “You have the concept of kunya. It’s not your given name but it’s a kind of formal nickname. For example, my oldest son’s name is Adam, so I would be abū Adam — you’re known as the father of your firstborn. With abū, the long u in abū, does not connect to the left. So you can write abū Adam, abū Mohammed, you can write all these things. And, it will appear as if it has space even though it doesn’t.”
So please, keep that in mind when registering Arabic domains, otherwise, your grail of a domain will turn into something no one will ever want to buy.
The Best Way to Register Arabic ENS Domains
In writing this article, my initial goal was to provide a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to choosing Arabic ENS domains. However, I soon realized that such a task is impossible. It’s akin to collecting every grain of sand on a beach or reading between the lines of a dictionary – a futile endeavor.
Instead, I suggest that those interested in registering or buying an Arabic ENS domain immerse themselves in the culture and language. Arabic culture is rich, respectful, and welcoming. Engage with the Arabic community, attend public events at mosques, join on-campus societies, or simply connect on social media. Don’t approach these conversations with the sole goal of making money, but rather to genuinely connect with others through their culture.
“There’s a saying in Islam, that the people that will carry the religion forward are not Arabs,” Hydrate.eth said. “There is a huge enthusiasm amongst non-Arabs for the language.”