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Happy birthday, Dr. Nabil Ali!

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Egyptian pioneer of Arabic language computing, Dr. Nabil Ali, on his 82nd birthday. Dr. Nabil Ali’s innovations in the field of computational linguistics propelled the Arab world into the Information Age by creating programs that enabled computers to understand Arabic in digital form.

Dr. Nabil Ali was born in Cairo on this day in 1938. Expressing an interest in art at a young age, Mohamed was inspired to apply his creative passion for visual aesthetics to the world of engineering. After obtaining his PhD in Aeronautical Engineering at Cairo University, he spent over 20 years working as an engineer with the Egyptian Air Force, as well as with various computer and electronics companies throughout the world.

For Dr. Nabil Ali, digitization of Arabic, with its complex linguistic rules and morphology, was a way to connect Arabic speakers with the world.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Nabil Ali published a number of papers, books, and technical reports in support of the developments he was making in the field of computational linguistics. His work won him several awards, including the prestigious Saudi Arabian award, the King Faisal Prize, in 2012—recognizing his pioneering contributions to the Arabic Language and Literature.

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