Based in Newcastle (UK) and previously Dubai Studio City (UAE), Diwan is one of the leading Arab IT companies.
Its current work includes manufacturing and selling of educational software and systems in the Middle East, Europe and America.
It is one of the main regional companies working on electronic learning and digitisation of educational curricula in the Middle East.
It is an Intel Learning Series Partner and regional OEM for the Intel-powered classmate PC.
It is a major multilingual software company. Diwan’s technology has been used in millions of mobile devices worldwide and licensed by a variety of international companies from Apple Inc. to Zynga.
It has one of the largest libraries of quality Arabic typefaces. Diwan also produced the award winning Mishafi font that is able to faithfully replicate the holy Quran.
It is one of the largest regional investors in software research and development. Results of Diwan research have been accepted at prestigious international conferences such as UIST, ITS, EDMEDIA and the Unicode Conference.
Starting the Electronic Publishing Revolution
Diwan (Science and Information Technology Limited) was founded in 1985, and pioneered Desktop Publishing (DTP) in the Arabic language. Diwan soon developed the DTP applications al-Nashir al-Maktabi and al-Nashir al-Sahafi based on the publishing application, "Ready,Set,Go!" for the Macintosh Operating System. These programs are still the leading DTP products in the Arabic language.
Diwan started the electronic newspaper publishing revolution with those products and a number of new ones for newspaper workflow like NewsNet, PictureNet and CommsNet. Al-Hayat newspaper was launched in London in 1987 using Diwan's systems. It was, according to a BBC programme, the first ever fully electronic newspaper in the world. Soon other Arab newspapers adopted Diwan's system, like Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Al-Ahram and others.
The current company, Diwan Software Limited, is still owned/managed by original founders of Diwan (Science and Information Technology Limited) and represents some of the longest experience and best knowledge of any company in the Arabic software market.
The first major act of Diwan Software Limited was to buy the full international marketing and copyrights to Ready,Set,Go! from The Esselte Group. The products selling point is that it is very easy to use yet provides all the features needed by a high-end publisher such as advanced typography, colour separations, and support for Prepress systems.
The Windows version won an award from PC Magazine Middle East. It fully supports transparencies, Multilingual OpenType and AAT fonts, text on a path and other features to match those found in other high-end publishing applications.
"Diwan TPRE" is a fully multilingual text engine optimised for mobile phones and other small devices.
• The engine features a small memory footprint and can load language specific information as data directly from a remote site. The text engine can handle display as well as editing and is designed to integrate within an existing text editor.
• Licensed to Siemens and Openwave Inc. This software has been embedded in millions of devices around the world.
• Language support includes Arabic, Thai and the major Indian scripts.
Diwan Oannis-Mobile is a new publishing application for handheld computers. It incorporates Diwan’s text rendering engine to provide new levels of readability for Arabic and English text on a small device.
Diwan produces one of the largest ranges of original, quality Arabic typefaces. The typefaces range from simple headline fonts to complex calligraphic typefaces that contain over 5000 glyphs.
• The Diwan Mishafi font won a prestigious award from the Type Directors Club in New York. Diwan was also awarded a medal of honor from the Sharjah Calligraphy Exhibition.
• Diwan Geeza Pro is the standard Arabic typeface for Mac OS X and iOS from Apple Inc.
Diwan has produced a complete encoding of the Holy Quran into Unicode together with a typeface containing all the necessary shapes required for a complete printed Quran. Our advanced font technology has been designed to layout the Quran correctly from the text alone without any need for manual formatting from the user. A version of this system is being built to display the text of the Quran through the Internet while another version will be applied to display the Quran in educational software and hand-held devices.
Oannis is a complete solution for bringing education books to computers. The publishing system can hold within the capacity of a single CD the complete set of curriculum books for a high school education. It includes many required features for an electronic book browser as well as advanced study utilities like summaries, bookmarks, search and high quality printing. It also adds full networking allowing a teacher to manage a whole classroom of computers.
What made this work possible is that Oannis depends mainly on Diwan publishing software with Diwan fonts and rendering engines for those fonts. From this software, Diwan developed a special books reader (Oannis) which can read the format of the books and view it in a clear and readable way on the screen of a computer.
Back in 1986 Diwan revolutionised the printing and publishing industry of the Arab world by making it possible for designers to transfer their experience of laying out newspapers and magazines to the computer. Diwan Oannis is part of the computer revolution for the world of education. It provides the essential role of evolving the wealth of knowledge and years experience embodied in the school books to the computer age.
Research and Development
Software development at Diwan is backed by extensive investment into research at the highest international level. Diwan sponsors PhD research at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom into future educational software and user interfaces. The results of this research has been presented at the prestigious UIST (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology) conference in 2008, ITS (Interactive tabletops and surface) conference in 2010, and EeMedia (Educational Media and Technology) conference in 2010. Diwan is also a regular presenter at The Internationalization & Unicode Conference showing its work in multilingual software design.