Welcome to Islam
Welcome to Islam is a spin-off from New Muslim Support, being developed in association with Kalemah in Dubai. The aim is to produce a series of informational videos, using infographics and 3D modelling, for the first week of a person's life as a new Muslim. The material is to be converted to multiple formats (print, video, audio, etc.) and hosted on our newly acquired domain welcometoislam.com. The ultimate goal is for small business cards to be produced with the website address that can be given out to new Muslims, either on their own, or as part of a new Muslim pack. All content will be provided free to Islamic centres around the world, to redistribute in whatever way best suits their needs. The final goal of the project is to have the work translated into multiple languages. The official launch of Welcome to Islam is scheduled for the Dubai New Muslim Summit, hosted by Kalemah at the end of 2015 in shā' Allah.
The Need for This Project
As discussed on the New Muslim Support project page, new Muslims around the world face significant challenges. One of these challenges is that despite an abundance of material on the internet, information is of varying quality and accuracy, and is often spread across many sites, some of which may also host content which is inappropriate or confusing for a new Muslim. Additionally, we often meet new Muslims for only a few minutes, without having specific material at hand. Finally, there is a lack of a structured set of material to give a new Muslim in their first week. New Muslim guides often require many hours of detailed study, and often deal with a huge number of things, many of which are not a priority.
There are a number of aims for this project, in it's first phase:
- To develop a website with a memorable domain name, hosted at welcometoislam.com, with the aim of hosting nothing more than the material that a new Muslim needs to get through the first seven days.
- To develop and customise materials, specifically for this need, in a variety of formats, including video, print, and audio media.
- To base this material around the concept of 1+6 days of video content, at two hours per day. From day two to day seven are 12 hours of video, dealing with only the things that new Muslims desperately need to know in their first week. Day one is a condensed summary of the following days, in 12 videos of 10 minutes each.
- To develop videos that are relatively easy to edit, maintain, and translate. This means that the video should be computer-generated, rather than being a video of a person, and that it should make use of infographics and 3D modelling.
- To lead the user to New Muslim Support, as the second phase of their learning and development.
The project will have some local variations of the website, such as welcometoislam.ae, to ensure compliance with local laws, and to allow greater adoption. These will receive content from the main welcometoislam.com website, but will have some local changes, such as partnerships with local institutions, including local government.
The domain was listed as a premium domain for sale, and as such was the most expensive cost to date, at £1330, bought after lengthy negotiations on price. It was chosen because it is easy to remember, easy to pronounce for people who don't speak English as a first language, and has minimal confusion with regard to spelling.
The initial development of the project is being sponsored by Kalemah, and as such, we do not need to raise any further funds at this time.
Welcome to Islam is our highest priority project, and has a strict deadline of Hajj 2015. This is because Kalemah is hosting the New Muslim Summit shortly after Hajj, and they plan to launch the Welcome to Islam project there. Completing the material and website by Hajj will allow enough time for branding and promotional material to be readied in time for the event, in shaa' Allah.
Where Are We Now?
Work started in early November, and is progressing nicely, including regular weekly interviews and testing with new Muslims. It is expected that the video scripts will be completed this Ramadaan, in shaa' Allah.