More than one year after launching its website, the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) received the 2010 Shaikh Salem Al Ali Al Sabah Informatics Award for being recognised as the finest website among civil society organisations in the Arab world that exceeded all criterions of the award.
This year, the award celebrates its 10th year anniversary and its 5th year of extending the award to cover the Arab region outside of Kuwait. Among the Awards considered this year, was civil Societies websites. The intention was to measure the quality of websites according to meticulous criteria including the content, design, technicalities of the website and the services it offers.
According to the Award Director, Dr. Khalil Abdullah, 3,330 websites had been selected, evaluated for the award, of which 953 were Kuwaiti.
The judges who are also volunteers are nominated from around the Arab world and are chosen based on their specialisation in the field of IT and the Internet. Although ESO did not apply for the award, nonetheless, it was among thousands of civil society websites that were selected by browsing the internet.
The websites that got through the initial filtering process were then screened thoroughly by different sets of judges. ESO's website was among the three finalists and consequently was chosen by the final panel of judges and awarded the civil society category. It is the first time an organisation from the Sultanate is awarded by the Sheikh Salem Al Ali Al Sabah award.
Dr. Mehdi Ahmed Jaffer, Vice President of ESO received the award on behalf of the society. During his visit to Kuwait city, Dr. Mehdi met with Shaikha Aida Salem Al Ali Al Sabah, the chairperson of the award's Board of Trustees, who praised the ESO website.
"ESO is both surprised and honoured to receive this prestigious award. It is equally heartening to learn that our website was selected among more than one thousand contestants and evaluated by different referees to finally earn the award" said Dr. Mehdi.
"We shall continue our formidable work in enhancing the role of ESO as a national think tank focussing on environmental advocacy to safeguard our environment and ensure sustainability in our activities" he added.
The ESO website www.eso.org.om is bilingual, includes details of projects that target marine and terrestrial wildlife and tips on how to conserve energy including details of its community outreach and awareness raising activities. The website is updated daily with news clippings and activities posted on its online calendar.
The website offers the facilitation of donations and membership applications. It also caters to all ages and includes a children's section that displays information in an interactive way and offers an online forum for members to exchange ideas.
ESO is a non-profit organisation founded in 2004 by Omanis representing different regions and many different professional backgrounds. ESO's mission is to raise awareness through educational and outreach activities on environmental issues.