This article is a personal account of how I, a professor of Arabic with no computer background, managed to get Arabic word-processing capabilities out of the computing facilities already intact in my college, with relatively little capital outlay. Although many of the details would be different at other institutions, it is clear that the same basic strategies could be followed to get word-processing capabilities anywhere the basic computing facilities already exist.
Before I begin my story, I should explain that there are Arabic word processors “out there” of varying qualities. CPT, Wang, Apple, Merganthaler, Xerox, and others have products either out or almost out which range in cost from a few thousand to almost a hundred thousand dollars. Except for the Xerox product, the Arabic on the screen is rather ugly, but when connected to a letter quality Arabic printer the hard copy of most is acceptable.