Jump to content

Grants:Conference/Wikimedia MA User Group/WikiArabia 2019 Conference

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

This WMF grant has a fiscal sponsor. The Youth Forum for Democracy and Citizenship (YFDC) administers the grant on behalf of Wikimedia MA User Group.

Wikimedia MA User Group/WikiArabia 2019 Conference
4th annual conference for Wikip(m)edians from across the Arabic world
targetWikimedia projects in Arabic
strategic priorityImproving Quality and Increasing Participation
event datesOctober 2019
amount-local600 000 MAD
amount61 750 USD
contact• wikimaug(_AT_)gmail.com
organizationWikimedia MA User Group
Youth Forum for Democracy and Citizenship

Event overview[edit]

Purpose and vision

Please give a brief description of the event you are planning. What do you hope to accomplish during the event? Why is this event important for your community?

The purpose and the vision of WikiArabia 2019 is to provide an opportunity to the Wikipedians/Wikimedians of the Arab region to interact and to share their experiences and their activities. It is also a chance for the Arab community to bring up organisational problems and discuss possible solutions in order to enrich the quality and quantity of content of Arabic projects.

Important details

Please add key information to the table below. The dates, location and number of participants can be estimates and do not need to be finalized at this time.

Proposed date(s) October 2019
Proposed location Marrakesh, Morocco.
Number of participants 60
Event page WikiArabia/2019
Primary contact person Anass Sedrati
Reda benkhadra


Community input[edit]

Use the results from the community engagement survey to fill in the table below. Since you cannot cover all topics or meet all needs at one event, prioritisation is important. Please rank the priority of each topic, skill, project or problem as high, medium or low. Finally, please answer the questions below the table.

Description Priority
Strategic discussions:

What are the top issues affecting your community that need to be discussed in person?

Wikipedia Education Program, GLAM, Partnerships, Wiki Loves contests, Wikidata, Commons, Bots, Volunteers, Arabic Wikipedia policies. High
Capacity development:

Are there important skills that many people in your community need to learn?

Team leading, Project management, communications, training new contributors, technical skills. High
Working groups:

Are there joint projects that need to be planned in person?

Translation projects, Edit-a-thons, Workshops, GLAM projects, Education projects. Medium
Community building:

Are there other in-person activities are important for community building?

Build a powerful and cohesive Arabic speaking community, Closing the gender-gap, Local languages. High

Survey analysis:

1. How many people did you send the survey to? How many people responded to the survey?
The survey was sent via email to around 40 Arab Wikimedians, and the link was also shared on social media. 19 people responded to the survey.
2. Did you see consensus around shared goals that this community wants to focus on in the next 12 months? What were the top 2 goals?
The goals shared by the community for the upcoming year were various and touched a number of areas. Consensus can be seen if we interpret the goals as aiming to strengthen the community and enlarge it. In fact, this was the common idea even if it was formulated in different ways. The top 2 goals that came in the responses were “keep community’s cohesion” and “work on growing the Arab Wikipedia, both in content and quality”.
3. Based on survey responses, what are the most important things your community should do at the conference to achieve those goals?
According to the survey, there is almost a consensus about the fact that getting more volunteers will help achieve the traced goals. Other relevant answers were “building strategic partnerships with other communities to learn from their experiences” and “gathering the community in events such as WikiArabia to brainstorm and find the way forward for the different challenges”.
Update (20/09) The program committee held its first meeting on Wednesday September 19th, 2018. The objectives of this meeting were to discuss the community feedback as well as the way to proceed forward. The committee has among its members an administrator of the Arabic Wikipedia, as well as an experienced member in preparing programs for Wikimedia events (former member of among others Wikimania program committee). The input from our colleagues helped us to shape a clear strategy on how to proceed forward for the program. We will have a theme for the conference, and from that theme, related topics will be suggested to the candidates so that their presentations can be within the scope of the theme. We have also agreed that there will be cross-thematic presentations, such as those related to the gender gap, as well as technical workshops. We have also discussed have various types of presentations (lightening talks, longer presentations, an eventual small hackaton related to the theme). In our internal documentation and meeting report (can be provided upon request), we have also included reports from the former WikiArabias, in order to define the successful and instructive presentations, and to work with the lessons learned. To summarize, the initial meeting was very useful, first to introduce the team, and second to clarify the thoughts about the program (type of presentations, content, theme). We have a clearer strategy, and plan to meet in two weeks period to follow up the advancement, as well as to finalize the theme and the sub-themes we think will be most relevant for this conference.


It is helpful to get an understanding of why this event is important to your community, and what experiences you have had in the past. Please answer the applicable questions below.

1. What inspired your community to begin planning this event?
The necessity to hold the fourth edition of WikiArabia, especially since the conference did not take place in 2018, and only informal meetups were organized on the sidelines of international conferences, and so the aim is to perpetuate this annual gathering between Arab contributors on Wikimedia projects, in order to meet their needs and achieve goals set in the continuity of previous editions. Also, given the fact that previous conferences were hosted by our colleagues from other Arab User groups, and we, in Morocco, have never organized it even if we have a user group with several active volunteers ready to help with the organisation.
2. How does this event relate to other activities that your community is working on?
The community agreed four years ago on the necessity of having a conference bringing together contributors from the MENA region and also Arabic speakers to facilitate their work and discuss initiatives and activities. Three conferences were held until now, this edition will be in line with the previous ones.
3. Please list the priorities identified in the report from the last conference organized by this community. What progress have you made in those areas?
The report from WikiArabia 2017 in Egypt listed several priorities such as fostering collaboration between the user groups in the region, increase engagement in Wikimedia projects, sharing experiences on past GLAM, Education projects. Much progress has been made in several areas such as the engagement of many user groups in Wikimedia projects such as Wiki Loves contests. However, more collaboration and sharing of experience is needed between the groups.
4. If your community has hosted a similar conference in the past, what key lessons were learned, and what would you like to improve on?
Based on the report from the previous conference, many lessons have been mentioned such as following-ups, importance of social media usage, good communication. However, documentation and reporting could be improved.


Venue and Logistics[edit]

1. If the venue is more than 1 hour away from a major airport or transportation hub, how will participants travel to the event venue?
There is a big international airport in Marrakesh close to the city center, for the participatants arriving at Casablanca airport transportation will be available, either by bus, train, or connecting flight.
2. Is the event venue within walking distance from the hotel? If not, how will people travel between the two locations?
The event is planned to take place at the same place where the participants will be accomodated. This option is very common in Marrakesh, the offer is high especially during october.
3. Is the event venue and hotel accessible for people with physical disabilities?
The venue is equipped to facilitate the accessibility to people with physical disabilities.
4. Do you anticipate any challenges with using the space for the event you are planning?
One risk that we can see is that not all participants cannot be accomodated in the same hotel (venue), but this can be mitigated by booking in nearby hotels. Since, the venue will be at the city center, hotels will be close to each other. Also, as the event will be happening in five months from now, there is a high probability to find a hotel where rooms can be booked for all participants. Moreover, the period of october is not a peak time which make the probability even higher.

Friendly space policy[edit]

Friendly space policy for Wikimedia Foundation events will be used for this event.


It is crucial that most participants have a minimum level of Wikimedia experience so that they can engage actively in workshops and discussions. Please answer all applicable questions below.

1. Please describe the target audience for this conference or event.
Attendees are active Arab speaking contributors on Wikimedia projects, and also other people working on open knowledge questions, as well as local Moroccan contributors.
2. If your conference has an outreach component, how will you ensure engagement with these participants after the conference, and what impact do you see them having on the projects?
Since the participants will be chosen based on their activity and therefore their commitment, the follow-up will be done through social networks and online meetings. An email will be sent three months after the conference to the participants to hear from them and get their updates.
3. Are you thinking about inviting WMF staff to attend or participate in the event? If yes, please list individuals or teams who you may want to invite, or describe how you would like WMF staff to be involved in the event.
The Foundation's staff will be invited to share their experiences and projects in the manner of a training adapted to the Arab framework (e.g procedures for establishing a partnership). Among the teams of the Foundation we’re thinking on inviting members working on the following fields: Wikipedia Education Program, Strategic Partnerships, Emerging Wikimedia Communities, Language, and GLAM. We are also considering to invite the current executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation (Katherine Maher), in order to encourage the local community and promote the foundation and free knowledge work in Morocco.


1. How many scholarships would you like to offer?
A total of 60 scholarships will be offered, including 40 for international participants and 20 for locals.
2. What expenses will the scholarship cover?
The scholarship will include travel expenses from the participants' hometowns to Casablanca/Marrakesh airport as well as accommodation, catering, and visa fees for internationals. Office tools such as pen, notebook and small bag for each participant will also be covered by the scholarship.
3. How will scholarship recipients be selected?
Scholarship recipients will be selected based on a clear defined and transparent criteria taking into account:
  • The involvement of the candidate in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects
  • The involvement of the candidate within their communities to promote the Wikimedia projects,
  • The involvement of the candidate to promote the Open Knowledge. The participation in similar events. In case of equality between highly qualified candidates, priority will be given to the candidate that has never attended WikiArabia. This will give them the opportunity to experience this event similarly to their colleagues.
Diversity - In case of equality between highly qualified candidates, priority will be given to the candidate coming from an underrepresented fraction (gender, region, minority). The reason is that the their candidates will be more likely to promote Wikimedia within their community and close the gaps experienced in the region.
A scholarship form will be published and shared via different communication channels (mailing lists, social media channels, conference page on meta). Wikimedians will be invited to submit their scholarship requests.

Resources and risks[edit]

Describe the resource potential for successfully executing this project and the key risks/threats.


Organizing team
Team User Names
WMF Liaison Reda, Anass
Logistics YFDC
Conference Program Reda, Anass, Fath-Allah, Abderrahman,Bachounda,Walaa
Scholarships Anass, Emna, Abderrahman, Reda Kerbouche, May
Communications Afek
Volunteer Coordinators Reda
Administration Reda, Anass
Other team members Zakaria


The main risks facing the event the ways to minimize them are as follows:

  1. With the evolution of the conference, requests for participation will increase, we anticipate this with the desire to accept more people and diversify profiles.
  2. The other fear is the refusal of a visa, for that as soon as the deadline of the call for participation is finished, the scholarship committee will start its work to send the answers to the people so that they can begin the procedure. In case of refusal, the people on the waiting list will be contacted.
  3. Since the conference will be organized in the MENA region, for some there would be fears about security; Morocco compared to other countries enjoys stability and is not inadvisable for travelers, and for that reason that the country is a good destination to host the conference (see especially U.S. Department of State data).


Please provide a detailed breakdown of project expenses according to the instructions here. See Budget Guidelines.

Event budget table
Nr. Item description Unit Quantity Cost in MAD Cost in USD Comments
1. Travel costs & visas 33 700
1.1 International travel costs participant 40 280 000 28 800 Estimated average price for return flight: 7000 MAD.
1.2 Domestic travel costs participant 20 10 000 1 000 Transportation of local participants from other cities of Morocco to Marrakesh Airport.
1.3 Visas participant 20 8 000 850 Cost of a single Moroccan visa is 400 MAD
1.4 Visa travel - - 19 500 2 000 Travel costs for those applying for a visa outside of their hometown or country.
1.5 Traveling Agency - - 10 000 1 050 Fixed cost.
2. Accommodation & catering 21 400
2.1 Accommodation double rooms * nights 30 x 4 180 000 18 500 Accommodation in double rooms (including breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Participants will travel in the night of third day depending on the flight tickets availability.
2.2 Coffee breaks - - 28 000 2900
3. Venue costs 2 500
3.1 Conference room days 1 x 3 24 000 2500 The venue will be located at the same place where participants will be accomodated.
4. Additionnal expenses 4 150
4.1 Materials and gifts for participants participant 60 6 000 650 Pens, notebooks, t-shirt, bags (100 MAD/participant)
4.2 Social event - - 10 000 1000 Visit to nearby Atlas mountains and dinner
4.3 Refunds - - 5000 500 Refund from previous expenses by some participants who already bought tickets to Tarfaya
4.4 Emergency & contingencies - - 19 500 2 000
TOTAL 61 750
Total cost of event
The total estimated cost of the event is around 61 750 USD.
Total amount requested from the Conference and Event Grants program
The total amount requested from the conference and event grant program is 61 750 USD.
Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this event, and amounts funded
A discussion is currently ongoing with Google MENA to cover additional services (translation, other social event, etc.)
Please confirm that you are aware that changes to the approved budget beyond 10% in any category must be approved in advance.

Yes, we do confirm that we are aware that changes to the budget beyond 10 % needs approval in advance.



Do you think this project should be selected for a Conference Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.

  • Support Support I am extremely glad that Morocco is hosting WikiArabia 2019. I think it is a huge opportunity for the Morrocan community to expand, experiment, engage and outreach. North Africa is a very active, culturally rich area, and also diverse. It is worth a try. Good luck guys, We, all, are cheering you on! May Hachem93 (talk) 08:32, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support --J. Ansari Talk 10:54, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support i believe in the capability of Wikimedia morroco to host that important event. Kind Regards--مصعب (talk) 18:33, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support Sidheeq (talk) 18:45, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support... Only two points I need to be answered.
    • Why Tarfaya is proposed? There are many cities in Morocco that can be reached more easily? I think that the additional domestic flight is a negative point.
    • As an Iraqi Wikimedian, I think I will face 2 barriers in visa issue. The first, we don't have a Moroccan embassy in Iraq. So we need to visit Amman, Jordan for visa application. The second is that visa rejection for Iraqis is expected. As organizers, can you help in this point? Mahmood (talk) 18:58, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
      • Hello Mahmood, on behalf of the organizing committee and the Moroccan User Group, I would like to answer your questions, that I hope can clarify these points for you and for anyone who has the same:
        • The choice of Tarfaya was made for two reasons: First of all because we would like to show the diversity of Morocco, and make Wikimedia known not only in the big cities and regions, but everywhere, and have the local community involved and active in the movement. The second reason is that our colleague El Wali El Alaoui is based in Tarfaya. His association "CAP 10 Foundation" that will help organizing this event has good contacts in the region, and has experience in hosting international events. We do not unfortunately have (yet) partners in other Moroccan city as experienced and willing to help as El Wali and his great team. Moreover, they are very keen on helping with their own means in a number of activities, and really would like to promote their region. We can never find better for such an event!
        • After discussing with El Wali El Alaoui, the Association "CAP 10 Foundation" will issue official invitations to the selected candidates and will even have direct contact with the Moroccan embassies to follow up and ensure that the participants will be issued visas. We have included in the scholarship a budget for visa, so we will also do our best to refund even the trips that were done for that purpose.

I hope that this answer clarifies the idea, and please feel welcome to ask if you have any further questions. Anass Sedrati (talk) 21:40, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

  • Support Support Per above and Anass Sedrati answer --Alaa :)..! 09:19, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support 100% i am for organize this annual arabic meeting - Mohammed Bachounda (talk) 09:39, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support Me like all the community of the Algerian Wikimedia supports this conference. We know well this country and this team that can organize and host this event perfectly.--Reda Kerbouche (talk) 06:34, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support I support the Moroccan bid to host the fourth WikiArabia. The past three in Tunisia, Jordan, and Egypt were a great opportunity for Wiki(p/m)edians from around the Arab World to meet up and work on advancing the cause for free knowledge by learning and collaborating. Hosting it in Morocco will also give a chance for the local community to engage in the movement. --Fjmustak (talk) 10:48, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support I trust that Wikimedia MA User Group can make from this event a big success. Sami Mlouhi (talk) 14:10, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support Great opportunity for Wikimedia MA User Group Great11 (talk) 08:37, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support I think the team is capable of organizing and making the event a success. This event is important to work on the development of Arabic Wikimedia projects. Omar2040 (talk) 20:54, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support A big support for the conference Mounir Touzri (talk) 09:58, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support Having the chance to meet and work with most of the WikiArabia team, I am certain that we are going to witness a great a well organized and a productive conference that will strengthen the partnership between us. Youssef Ben Haj Yahia (talk) 00:28, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support for our fourth Arabic regional conference and for the Morrocan Wikimedian community!--ولاء (talk) 15:11, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support seems like a good plan :)Reem Al-Kashif (talk) 17:20, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support As per discussion. --Helmoony (talk) 11:28, 14 October 2018 (UTC)