History and Timeline of Deoband Community Wikimedia

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Deoband Community Wikimedia

The Deoband Community Wikimedia is a recognised user-group affiliate of Wikimedia. It has a thematic focus and does not limit itself to single language projects. It was established on 31 July 2021 to disseminate knowledge related to the global Deobandi scholarship on free knowledge projects such as Wikipedia. It was subsequently recognised by the Affiliation Committee on 16 January 2022. The affiliate has since its inception organised events, meet-ups, participated in programs, formed collaborations within the movement and outside the movement, for its strategic development. The focus of the affiliate has extended to general Muslim academia and scholarship, historical and contemporary, including the Western Oriental Islamic scholarship as well.

History and works[edit]

The idea of Deoband Community Wikimedia (DCW) was thought of by TheAafi in July 2021, and it began to exist since 31 July 2021. It was introduced to its early members on 12 August 2021. Its strategies and future was further discussed in a meeting held on 20 November 2021. It was subsequently recognized by Affiliations Committee on 16 January 2022.

DCW has worked on the English Wikipedia, through the DYK and the ITN. As a part of the program, Hayat al-Mashayaikh initiative was launched on various social media platforms in June 2021, to help promote the goals of the group and inspire people to write about the scholars associated with the Deoband Islamic seminary. DCW's major on-wiki accomplishments are recorded here.

Participants of the June meet-up
Dorcas Omolade training newbies on how to contribute to the July 2022 Drive Deoband Yoruba Collaborative

Between 17 and 20 March 2022, an offline meet was arranged in Deoband in which a workshop event with the collaboration of Bayt al-Hikmah Deoband was planned. The workshop however remains postponed due to unavailability of resources. On 25 June 2022, the DCW began an international collaboration, Deoband Yoruba Collaborative Project, aiming to include thematic content on Yoruba language Wikipedia. A series of meetups and little workshops about Wikiquote was organized between 7 August and 10 August 2022 in Delhi.

Inscription in Persian language depicting modern constructions of Madrasa Aminia, Delhi.
An Islamic seminary in Bhopal

Bhopal Photo Event was hosted between 15 and 20 October 2022 in Bhopal, the capital city of Indian state Madhya Pradesh. DCW volunteers celebrated first successful decade of Wikidata on 30 and 31 October 2022. The group has also begun a series of conversations inviting scholars from around the globe, and also the people from within the movement, to build its base strategically. This program was inaugurated by Donia Al Domiaty, an Arabic Wikimedian, who provided a brief presentation to DCW's female volunteers on 30 September 2022. Dr. Ashraf Dockrat from the University of Johannesburg delivered second lecture of this series on Islamic scholarship and Wikipedia on 13 November 2022.

DCW Movement Charter conversation in Deoband 13-12-2022
DCW and Indic-Urdu Wikimedia community MC discourses in Hyderabad 09-12-2022

On 12 November 2022, the group put forth a proposal to participate in the Movement Charter Ambassadors Program under the leadership of TheAafi, aiming to represent DCW and the Indic-Urdu language community at a global level. The proposal worth 1508 USD was approved by Movement Strategy and Governance team under the lead of Yop Rwang Pam on 29 November 2022. Under this program, several online and offline meetups and discussions were arranged and a research study was initiated about possible ideas and approaches required for the conversations. TheAafi represented the group during the South Asian Movement Charter regional conversations. The offline conversations were held at New Delhi, Hyderabad and Deoband.


Foundation and AffCom recognition[edit]

  • 31 July 2021: Its first draft page was published on Meta-Wiki.
  • 12 August 2021: First introductory meet.
  • 4 October 2021 to 21 November 2021: A form seeking recognition was filled with the Affiliation Committee, and a series of discussions about the user-group's scope was discussed with AffCom liaison person MKaur (WMF) and the initial review was provided on 3 November 2021. The then proposed name was subsequently discussed by the AffCom with Legal, and the application's result was ready by 4 January 2022. During the review process, opinions from existing Indic-language affiliates were also sought. During the review process, an introductory was arranged in Deoband on 20 November 2021.
  • 16 January 2022: The user-group agreement was signed by TheAafi and Browniewikipedian and the affiliate was recognised by AffCom.
  • 31 January 2022: Affcom liaison published the recognition agreement.

2022 activities[edit]

For further information, see Deoband Community Wikimedia/Reports/2022.

2023 activities[edit]

Aafi at DCW general meet-up 18 February 2023