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Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Wikimedians of UAE User Group General Support 2023

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Wikimedians of UAE User Group General Support 2023
start date2023-01-012023-01-01T00:00:00Z
end date2026-12-312023-12-31T00:00:00Z
budget (local currency)559400 AED
amount requested (USD)152273.5 USD
amount recommended (USD)87000
grant typeWikimedia Affiliate (chapter, thematic org., or user group)
funding regionMENA
decision fiscal year2022-23
funding program roundRound 1
applicant and people related to proposaluser:Reda Kerbouche

user:Serine Ben Brahim User:Iyhab1994 User:هاني يكن

User:دانية دروبي
organization (if applicable)Wikimedians of United Arab Emirates User Group
Midpoint Learning Report 
Final Learning Report

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Applicant details


Wikimedia username(s):

user:Reda Kerbouche

user:Serine Ben Brahim User:Iyhab1994 User:هاني يكن User:دانية دروبي


Wikimedians of United Arab Emirates User Group

G. Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?

Applied previously and did receive a grant

H. Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?


H.1 Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?

Emirates Literature Foundation

M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


M1. Fiscal organization name.

Emirates Literature Foundation

Additional information


R. Where will this proposal be implemented?

United Arab Emirates

S. Please indicate whether your work will be focused on one country (local), more than one or several countries in your region (regional) or has a cross-regional (global) scope:


S1. If you have answered regional or international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.

T. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)

https://www.instagram.com/wikimedians_uae/ - Instagram

https://www.facebook.com/Wikipedia.UAE - Facebook https://twitter.com/Wikimedians_uae - Twitter

M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


M1. Fiscal organization name.

Emirates Literature Foundation



1. What is the overall vision of your organization and how does this proposal contribute to this? How does this proposal connect to past work and learning?

Our User Group’s vision is to assist and encourage all UAE citizens and residents, regardless of social or other status, to collect, develop, create, and disseminate knowledge for free by fostering public interest in the culture of volunteering and creating and editing content. This proposal contribute by helping implement our vision and mission in the UAE and the region. We had an annual grant from 2022 which helped us in starting a movement in the UAE by applying objectives and goal which also gave us a chance to learn from our previous work and plan for future improvement.

2. What is the change that you are trying to bring about and why is this important?

Our main targeted change as Wikimedians of the UAE User Group is to increase the content of Wikimedia projects (the most important being Wikipedia) in Arabic and English language.

The second change that we aim is to increase the volunteers and newcomers of Wikimedia project editors as the growth of the Wikimedia content and its quality depends mainly on the number of contributors.

We also seek different groups and individuals, including those under-represented in our community by supporting and organizing trainings aimed at increasing participation in the Wikimedia movement. We are working with our community to find opportunities to increase participation and improve the climate for newcomers in Wikimedia projects. This is done through outreach activities, partnerships with educational institutions, and on-wiki initiatives (such as Wiki-marathons, contests, Edit-a-thon, and workshops). These activities have parallel aims of improving content and attracting more participation from the target groups.

Overall, this is important because we want to start a movement in the UAE and create a sustainable and continuous newcomers and a community of Wikimedians in UAE as well as to encourage the volunteering in making information and knowledge free for everyone through Wiki projects.

3. Describe your main approaches or strategies to achieve these changes and why you think they will be effective.

1. Education and Digital literacy

This program sums all the actions and activities that seek to connect the work of Wikimedians of the UAE UG and the WM Educational projects with Educational institutions and Universities in the UAE, to spread the WM philosophy on the national stage. Will will be reaching out to Universities and school to sign MOUs and integrate Wiki project in their curriculum as well as form partnerships with organizations around the world.

2. Community Outreach

This program brings together all the actions and activities that the UAE UG displays to recruit new members and train editors and content creators and facilitate collaboration with other WM structures in the region. We will be organizing monthly gatherings with all our volunteers to discuss and share our experiences, as well as give new opportunities to new volunteers. We will also focus on reaching out to more audiences and volunteers through our social media accounts by sharing our achievements, activities, and events.

3. Media Outreach​

This program considers actions and activities that aim to promote the pedagogical use of the Wikimedia philosophy and projects and also to discuss the importance of data sharing and open-source information within the media.

4. Research​ Programme​

The UG will allocate a research fund to conduct research in different areas to support reliable data collection.​ The research will focus on specific subject areas including all GLAM projects. The selected researchers will be assigned to a specific subject area such as Art, Calligraphy, History, Tourism, Science etc.​ The researchers will be tasked to develop and organize strong database in Arabic and English for each of the identified research areas. ​We will use this research as a base for our volunteers to create content Wikimedia projects.

5. Local Identities

This program refers to the actions and activities that seek to improve the quantity and quality of the content related to the United Arab Emirates and its identities and territories in Wikipedia by engaging local communities in the creation of that same content. This is an initiative that promotes the creation of visual content that represents UAE cultural and social life, as well as its natural and urban values and characteristics.

4. What are the activities you will be developing and delivering as part of these approaches or strategies?

1. Education and Digital literacy:

we will be conducting training sessions to help our volunteers start their contributions on Wikimedia projects. We will as well create short videos and tutorials on how to edit/contribute on each Wiki project and publish them on our Meta page. Also, we will form Wiki Clubs in some of UAE universities to create a continuous group of volunteers.
2. Community Outreach:

We will develop this strategy through our partnership with Universities by visiting them and organizing meet-ups to introduce the Faculties and students our work and activities. We will hire a social media employee who will developing a content plan for all our social media platform for the aim of reaching out to more audiences in the UAE and raise awareness of the importance of data sharing and open-source information.

3. Media Outreach:

We will organize Media breakfast to discuss and talk about our initiatives and publish press releases about our activities.

4. Research Outreach:

Will a freelance researcher(s) who will be developing a strong database and reaching out to different GLAM organizations in the UAE for data gathering.

5. Local Identities

Organizing local contents such as WLX, Kateb Maktub, Regional Thematic Workshops/edit-a-thons (e.g. Ramadan edit-a-thon)

5. Do you want to apply for multi-year funding?      

Yes, for 3 years

5.1 If yes, provide a brief overview of Year 2 and Year 3 of the proposed plan and how this relates to the current proposal and your strategic plan?

We will continue our program and activities for the full 3 years, however, will be updating our KPIs, focused areas, and contents each year based on our learnings from our previous year(s).

6. Please include a timeline (operational calendar) for your proposal.

7. Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?

Name: Ahlam Bolooki Role: Project Coordinator / Executive Director of WM UAE UG (Paid staff) Username: Ahlam Bolooki Responsibilities: Responsible for the programmes and strategic planning of the User Group. She leads the execution of all programmes and projects.

Name: Dania Droubi Role: Project Manager (paid staff) Username: دانيا دروبي Responsibilities: planning and developing the project strategy, managing the budget of the UAE UG, evaluating Project performance.

Name: Serine Ben Brahim Username: Serine Ben Brahim Role: Researcher, Trainer and Content Writer Responsibilities: In charge of all the training programmes, organizing data and volunteers work. She will be in charge of the Education and Digital literacy program. She reports to the Executive Director of WM UAE UG.

Name: Reda Kerbouche Username: Reda Kerbouche Role: Communities Coordinator Responsibilities: In charge of planning, executing, and evaluating the Communities and new users program. He reports to the Executive Director of WM UAE UG.

Name: Hani Yekan Role: Outreach Coordinator/Partnership Manager (paid staff) Username: هاني يكن Responsibilities: Responsible for the execution of the Group’s communication, activities and strategies. He will be also responsible for planning, executing, and evaluating the activities in the Outreach and Media program. He reports to the Executive Director of Wikimedia UAE UG.

Name: Iyhab Barakat Role: Research Specialist Userame:iyhab1994 Responsibilities: researching and collecting data for Wikimedians UAE UG, reaching out to GLAM organizations for data collection.

Vacant positions: Full-time remote researcher and social media manager.

8. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified CONTENT knowledge gaps (Knowledge Inequity)? Select up to THREE that most apply to your work.

Content Gender gap, Geography, Language, Important Topics (topics considered to be of impact or important in the specific context), Cultural background, ethnicity, religion, racial

8.1 In a few sentences, explain how your work is specifically addressing this content gap (or Knowledge inequity) to ensure a greater representation of knowledge.

There's a huge content gap between Wikipedia AR and Wikipedia EN. We want to focus on enriching the Wikipedia AR by creating/translating more articles as well as bridging the content gap between AR Wikimedia projects and other wiki projects in different languages.

9. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or THEMATIC focus. Select up to THREE that most apply to your work and explain the rationale for identifying these themes.

Education, Culture, heritage or GLAM , Open Technology, Diversity

10. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Please note, we had previously asked about inclusion and diversity in terms of CONTENTS, in this question we are asking about the diversity of PARTICIPANTS. Select up to THREE that most apply to your work.

Geographic , Disabilities, Linguistic / Language, Age, Digital Access

11. What are your strategies for engaging participants, particularly those that currently are non-Wikimedia?

1- This is an open proposal for diverse communities in the UAE. Whilst it is open we hope to specifically engage students, women, and grass-roots organizations working in the area.

1.1. Content Gender Gap: focuses on including female authors, artists and others, not only representing their work but also as participants in the workshops and editors. The proposal also seeks to include grassroots cultural and governmental organizations that represent these communities as partners.
1.2. Geography: will include youth as editors and also future organizers from this area.
1.3. Socioeconomic status: will be working on including students as editors and future organizers from diverse socioeconomic levels. We will also include expats and residents from other countries, who are living in the UAE.
1.4. Age: will seek to include youth as one of the main groups of contributors as well as people from all age groups.
2.No prior experience with WM is needed to participate: we will be providing training to all our volunteers and contributors.
3.we will engage participants who are already active, by forming partnerships and collaboration projects. We will reach out to them through effective local communication channels such as posters, social media, local radio networks and local organisations.

Strategies to engage and maintain new contributors:

1. Reaching out to local communities and organisations:
By working with these organizations and aligning their missional work with Wikimedia movement philosophy, we look into benefiting from their community engagement dynamics, such as: regular meet-ups etc....

2. Visibility and impact: We will give recognition to contributors' work to show the impact of their work, for instance highlighting the content views. In this way, the local authors, artists etc... can see the potential of Wikimedia in giving them not only local exposure but also global one.
3. We will maintain participants to stay active, both online and offline, according to each person's time, interest, and capacity as well as a communications strategy via emails and email newsletters and social media engagement.

12. In what ways are you actively seeking to contribute towards creating a safer, supportive, more equitable environment for participants and promoting the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy, and/or equivalent local policies and processes?

We have included the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy in our strategy and policy to create a supportive environment for participants. We will work on our by-laws and send it to the AffCom for review and approval.

13. Do you have plans to work with Wikimedia communities, groups, or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?


13.1 If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.

We started working with the communities of Arabic speakers across the Arab world as well as communities in the Arab Gulf where there are no WM user groups, through our Arabic Literature project “Kateb Maktub” and organizing a competition on writing articles on Arab Authors in all the Arab world. We also have shared collaboration initiatives with other Arab User groups through the Wiki Arabia Conference 2021 in Algeria that was organized virtually in October. We communicate normally with the rest of these connections through social media, Facebook groups mainly. We aim to work with the educational team of Wikimedia foundation. https://www.facebook.com/groups/arwiki

14. Will you be working with other external, non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?


14.1 Please describe these partnerships and what motivates the potential partner to be part of the proposal and how they add value to your work.

We will be working with local collectives. such as the artists and authors collectives/unions and media collectives and entities. These are formally and informally organized grassroots organizations with a long tradition of community building in the UAE. These collectives will provide some of the equipment and physical spaces to carry out the activities, as well as help to engage existing participants of these communities with the proposal's activities by using their existing communication channels and mobilization capacities. The proposal aims to be able to benefit the collectives by expanding their range of activities and making their work more visible through Wikimedia sites and future partnerships with NGOs. the educational system, and local government.

15. How do you hope to sustain or expand the work carried out in this proposal after the grant?

Most of our proposed actions in the attached Strategic Plan are self-sustainable, with the right push and initiation during the grant year, we aim for our participants and volunteers to stay engaged and active and continuously growing even after the grant year.

16. What kind of risks do you anticipate and how would you mitigate these. This can include factors such as external/contextual issues that may affect implementation, as well as internal issues, such as governance/leadership changes.

1. The implementation of the University Road Map might be challenging as we would to liaise with the every Universities based on their timelines. Therefore, we should start reaching out with the Universities before beginning of next year's semester.
2. Signing MOUs and partnership might take months to sign as it take time to meeting arrangements and discussion and this might lead to delay in activities.

There would be also the risks of inflation regarding our budget.

17. In what ways do you think your proposal most contributes to the Movement Strategy 2030 recommendations. Select a maximum of three options that most apply.

Increase the Sustainability of Our Movement, Provide for Safety and Inclusion, Ensure Equity in Decision-making, Coordinate Across Stakeholders, Manage Internal Knowledge, Identify Topics for Impact, Innovate in Free Knowledge

18. Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here.  


Learning, Sharing, and Evaluation


19. What do you hope to learn from your work in this fund proposal?

• What makes participants more engaged and willing to continue participating? How can we create a sustainable movement of volunteers and content creators?

  • What activities are more effective for generating content around various topics on each Wikimedia project?
  • What are the strategies that help generate the skills needed to promote youth volunteers as organizers of future activities?

20. Based on these learning questions, what is the information or data you need to collect to answer these questions? Please register this information (as metric description) in the following space provided.

Main Metrics Description Target
Wikipedia Articles All the articles in English and Arabic Wikipedia will be created through our edit-a-thon, workshops, and/or contents 5000
Wikidata Items All the items will be created through our volunteers, researchers, partners by gathering in edit-a-thons and creating Wikidata items. Some of the items will be uploaded by using a Bot. 16500
Wikimedia Commons We will uploading photos through our applying our program of local identity such as participating in Wiki Loves X, and other activities. 10600
Wikinews Through our edit-a-thon and workshops, our journalism students will be creating articles on Wikinews. 50
Newcomers Through our community reaching program we aim to have newcomers to all Wikimedia projects. 200

Here are some additional metrics that you can use if they are relevant to your work. Please note that this is just an optional list, mostly of quantitative metrics. They may complement the qualitative metrics you have defined in the previous boxes.

Additional Metrics Description Target
Number of editors that continue to participate/retained after activities N/A N/A
Number of organizers that continue to participate/retained after activities N/A N/A
Number of strategic partnerships that contribute to longer term growth, diversity and sustainability N/A N/A
Feedback from participants on effective strategies for attracting and retaining contributors N/A N/A
Diversity of participants brought in by grantees N/A N/A
Number of people reached through social media publications N/A N/A
Number of activities developed N/A N/A
Number of volunteer hours N/A N/A

21. Additional core quantitative metrics. These core metrics will not tell the whole story about your work, but they are important for measuring some Movement-wide changes. Please try to include these core metrics if they are relevant to your work. If they are not, please use the space provided to explain why they are not relevant or why you can not capture this data. Your explanation will help us review our core metrics and make sure we are using the best ones for the movement as a whole.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of participants N/A 500
Number of editors N/A 200
Number of organizers N/A 12
Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
Wikipedia N/A 5000

21.1 If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation.


22. What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?

We will be using google forms, interviews, feedback surveys, informal coffee-mornings… we also are open to any support or suggestions from the Foundation.

Financial Proposal


23. & 23.1 What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency. If you are thinking about a multi-year fund, please provide the amount for the first year.

559400 AED

23.2 What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?

152273.5 USD

23.3 Please upload your budget for this proposal or indicate the link to it.

budget is included in the attachment

23.4 Please include any additional observations or comments you would like to include about your budget.

This budget plan is only for one year only but our aim is to apply for a three-year budget. This amount will be reviewed at the end of each year.

Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.

Other public document(s):

Final Message


By submitting your proposal/funding request you agree that you are in agreement with the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct.

We/I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.