قصاصات (Qusasat) or Arabic Snippets is the application that has been developed for the 2016 NYUAD Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World. This application won both First Place and Audience Choice award. The application is called قصاصات (Qusasat) or Arabic Snippets. It is a crowd-sourcing solution for Arabic text digitization.

There is a huge amount of Arabic data that is not easily accessible or searchable (old books, government archives, etc.). We can scan these documents and make them available as images. But that is not useful for search, automatic translation or any language processing application. 

The current quality of optical character recognition (OCR) for Arabic is rather low. The solution we propose is to chop the text images into little snippets and send them through our app to users who can read and type Arabic on their mobile phones. The users collect points which can be donated or cashed. 

The social good advantages are two fold: increasing digital content and providing an additional source of income for Arabic speakers who are under employed or unemployed, including refugees (since the work is done completely on the mobile phone). The data we collect can also be used for many applications such as improving OCR quality, Captcha-like security in Arabic, etc.


    • Nizar Habash
    • Salam Khalifa
    • Anas Shahrour