Arabic Language Initiative/Outreach

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Outreach for Arabic Language focuses on expanding the number of Wikipedia contributors by promoting to how Wikipedia and free licensing works. Our approach relies on activating nodes of existing and new Wikipedia editors who are able to sustain different activities on the ground in their geographies, such as editing sessions, Arabic Wikipedia days, and other campus based campaigns. Like minded FOSS communities are potential supporters for hosting events and engaging with Wikipedia community. Outreach also includes GLAM activities, especially focusing on the release of digitized historic Arabic content, under CC license.

The ALI started in September 2011, and since then, the work has mainly focused on:

  • Investigating opportunities in the region
Reaching out to local communities, finding support groups that can partner with Wikipedians and co-lead projects
  • Empowering the community to lead its own activities
Supporting the community to patriotize its activities, and help local groups in each country with helpful contacts and ideas for pilots

* Expanding a healthy network of Wikipedians across the region and connecting them together for mutual learning

The Arabic Language Initiative focuses on expanding the number of contributors of Arabic Wikipedia who can expand the Arabic Wikipedia content and create a new generations of Wikipedians who are able to execute and sustain more online and offline activities that attract more users. The work with user groups focuses on supporting each local group to find the most convenient and achievable plans within their capacity and enable them to lead it.

The work planned/supported by local groups (Last updated August 2012)[edit]


Activity Details

Local Supports
Egypt Possible creation of a "community space" in a university or a cultural center in Cairo to serve as a meeting point and a support center for newbies. Guidance and educational materials will be made available, while scheduling office hours ( 2-3) hours a week for on-site help.
  • Southern Geeks , an Open source activist group to collaborate with Taghreedat on organizing and sustaining a series of workshops that lead a theme-oriented workshops, to edit more content on cities, cultural and history of southern Egypt, and other topics
  • Arabic Digital Expression Foundation (ADEF), to continue to support Wikipedia projects, and focus on working with special interest groups, namely (historians, geophysicists, young writers, and linguists) to organizes and lead the creation of working groups that create content in their perspective areas of interest. A working documnt/grant proposal is being prepared for projects to start in early 2013.
Mohamed Ouda
Ahmad Gharbeia
Maysara Abdelhak
+many others + very long list of Campus Ambassadors, ADEF team: (Ranwa Yehia, Ali Shaath)
Jordan The Jordan Open source association (JOSA) will start with two themes:
Supporting working groups that create articles on cities of Jordan, and the other is working with the association of Jordan writers in creating content related on Arabic literature and Arabic writers. A task force is now ready to lead the project. Their next steps are:
  1. A kick off meeting inviting all interested supporters to define next step and larger working groups.
  2. Plan a workshop in late september and assign 3 volunteers (Wikipedians and others) to be responsible for each group, not only in terms of editing support, but mainly in terms of sustaining the work and meetups and development of future ideas.
  3. Draft a grant/funding proposal
Bilal Dweik
Ramez Qeniebi
JOSA contact: Issa Mahasneh
Tunisia The local group is expading keeping their efforts documented in their blog. Ideas for near future are:
  1. Expand the use of deaddrops and offline Wikis.
  2. Continue to expand WikiCities: A wiki, which is a sandbox for articles around Tunisian cities, where the best articles move to Arabic Wikipedia domain.
  3. Apply for a grant for WikiTour (nearly $2K) planning a Wikitour across Tunisia for Photo capturing and campaigning for Wikipedia editing.
  4. Experiment with small pilots of Wikipedia based student assignment before expanding it
  5. Continue to steer the plan already agreed upon with the national archive, national library and presidential office for content donation
Habib Mhenni
Yamen Bousrih
Wael Ghabara
Saleh Mohamadi
Morocco The local group of Morocco has got an approved grant of $2K and they interested in working in three parallel axis: a) Working with the translation school in Tangier, to encourage a team of MA students to translate articles or content from Spanish and French to Arabic, b) Working with NGOs to create working groups that add content from their field surveys and local information about cities, demographics, etc., c) Encouraging groups of specific interest in becoming active working groups enriching WP content in their respective subjects of interest. Next steps are:
  1. Expanding their base of current Wikipedia editors in Morocco, while waiting for their submitted grant to be approved
  2. Organizing one outreach (for general public, NGOs, and interested groups) event that focuses on capturing the interested individuals that will become the starting team for organizing events
  3. Organizing one outreach session in university that introduces the idea of editing Wikipedia as part of a classroom or extra curricula activity.
  4. Planning next steps of training sessions for interested groups or student groups, based on numbers of interested supporters.
CMNT contact: Mohamed Amarochan
Lebanon AltCity proposed a grant for a series of firm short and long term steps, which focus on adding content related to Arabic women, and encouraging the integration of Wikipedia as part of social media courses taught at a number of Lebanese universities, where the target is to introduce WP as a tool for enriching Arabic web content. Altcity Team (Dima Saber, David Munir, Joulnar Doweik, Assad Thebian
Ilyas Zaide
Algeria Fareh is our active individual in Alegria, he is a CS professor, who represents CC and Mozilla groups and other FOSS initiatives! Due to the lack of a larger team we are currently unable to decide on firm steps for the next plans, however, for the shot term we need:
  1. Reach out to more local Wikipedians
  2. Move forward with the idea of translation portal for opensource material (tech manuals, EOR, etc) that will serve as WP articles sources
Mehdi Reamoun
FOSS supporter: Fareh AbdelHak