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Wikidata Arabic Community

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Wikidata Arabic Community is a user group in the process initiated by Wikimedians from the MENA region looking forward to fostering a vibrant and inclusive community that promotes the creation, curation, and utilization of structured data by Arabic-speaking Wikimedians.

Wikidata Arabic Community Logo

The idea for this group emerged during Wikimania 2023, where six Arabic Wikimedians met and discussed the importance of creating a Wikidata community in the region.

Region of Focus

Scope[edit]

The scope of the Arabic Wikidata Community affiliate is to promote the creation, curation, and utilization of structured data in the Arabic language on Wikidata, while also fostering a supportive community, advocating for open knowledge, and engaging in educational and outreach activities.

The affiliate's activities aim to empower individuals and organizations within the Arabic-speaking world to actively participate in the Wikimedia movement and contribute to the global pool of structured knowledge.

Our scope targets Arabic community members who are eager to engage with structured data and its role in documenting knowledge. We are also looking forward to sharing global Wikidata-related skills and abilities from experienced contributors with our Arabic Wikidata Community members. We are planning to expand our scope to include institutions that share our vision and aim to establish an open database for Arabic GLAM projects, maps, and future innovative projects.

Mission[edit]

Our mission is to champion Wikidata and structured data within the Arabic-speaking region and among Arabic-speaking Wikimedians, with the aim of unlocking the complete potential of structured knowledge for the advancement of society.

Vision[edit]

Our vision is to create a vibrant and unified Arab community specialized in Wikidata. This community will serve as a gathering place for enthusiasts, experts, and learners alike, fostering the exchange of experiences and expertise within the Arab world. By doing so, we aim to significantly contribute to the development and enrichment of Wikidata, enhancing its content with valuable Arabic data. Ultimately, we envision a future where Arabic-speaking communities actively participate in shaping the global knowledge landscape through Wikidata

Values[edit]

  • Openness: We believe in the principles of open knowledge and open collaboration. Our community welcomes contributors from diverse backgrounds, regardless of their level of expertise, and encourages the free exchange of ideas.
  • Inclusivity: We are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment where all individuals, regardless of their language proficiency or technical skills, can actively participate and contribute to Wikidata.
  • Quality and Accuracy: We prioritize the accuracy and quality of data in Wikidata. We aim to ensure that the local knowledge of Middle East and North Africa as well as information in Arabic language such as labels, descriptions, aliases, and lexemes is well-represented and reliable, contributing to the broader Wikimedia mission of providing free knowledge to all.
  • Community Building: We seek to build a strong and supportive community of Wikidata enthusiasts, editors, and advocates. We facilitate knowledge sharing, mentorship, and collaboration to empower our members.
  • Education and Outreach: We actively engage in educational activities to raise awareness about Wikidata and structured data. We provide resources and training to help individuals and institutions harness the power of Wikidata.
  • Multilingual Collaboration: While our focus is on Arabic content, we encourage collaboration with other Wikidata communities and projects to promote multilingualism and facilitate cross-cultural understanding.
  • Innovation: We embrace innovation and creative solutions to enhance the Wikidata experience for Arabic speakers. We explore new tools, technologies, and methodologies to streamline data contributions and usage.

Why?[edit]

Limited Awareness of Wikidata: Despite its significant impact on other Wikimedia projects, Wikidata remained conspicuously absent from the latest edition of Wikiarabia, with no proposals related to the project in the final program, even though the conference took place during the 10th birthday of the project.

  • Limited expertise among Arabic Wikimedians: Only few arab speaking Wikimedians have been involved in the different Wiki conferences with presentations and projects.
  • Scarce Arabic Labels: Alarmingly, 3% of Wikidata items are equipped with Arabic labels, indicating a substantial gap in language representation.
  • Missing Arabic Descriptions: A mere, 44% of all Wikidata items lack Arabic descriptions, reflecting a significant knowledge void within the Arabic-speaking community.
  • Knowledge Gap Challenges: This knowledge gap is primarily attributed to the predominance of English documentation and the scarcity of training materials available in Arabic.
  • Specialized Skillset Opportunities: Wikidata presents a valuable opportunity to engage new users with an interest in structured data, such as data science students. It's obvious that Wikidata caters to a distinct community separate for instance from the existing Wikipedia community.
  • Expertise Gap: bridging the gap between experienced editors and newcomers from the region.
  • Preservation of Arabic knowledge: Arabic has a rich cultural and historical heritage, and a dedicated Wikidata community can help preserve and document this knowledge in a structured and accessible format. It can include information about historical figures, landmarks, scientific discoveries, and much more, making it easily accessible to people around the world.
  • Increased participation: By creating a community specifically for Arabic speakers, you can encourage more people from Arabic-speaking countries to contribute to Wikidata. This can help bridge the content gap and ensure that knowledge from the region is adequately represented on the platform.
  • Improved accuracy and quality: A dedicated community can work together to ensure the accuracy and quality of Arabic-language content on Wikidata. They can collaborate to verify and curate data, correct inaccuracies, and maintain high standards, which benefits both local and global users.
  • Promotion of multilingualism: Wikidata's multilingual nature allows information to be accessible to a global audience. By contributing in Arabic, the community can promote the use of the language on a global platform, increasing its visibility and relevance.
  • Cross-cultural collaboration: A Wikidata community for Arabic-speaking countries can foster collaboration and knowledge exchange between Arabic speakers and contributors from other regions. This can lead to a richer and more diverse knowledge base, as well as greater cultural understanding.
  • Support for research and education: Wikidata is a valuable resource for researchers, educators, and students. An Arabic-speaking community can help create and curate data relevant to Arabic-language academic and educational needs, facilitating research and learning in the region.
  • Global accessibility: When Arabic-speaking contributors enrich Wikidata, they make information more accessible to Arabic-speaking individuals who may not be fluent in other languages. This can promote digital literacy and empower individuals in the region to access and contribute to the world's knowledge.
  • Encouragement of open data initiatives: A Wikidata community can serve as a catalyst for open data initiatives in Arabic-speaking countries. It can advocate for government agencies and institutions to release data in open formats, fostering transparency and innovation.
  • Cultural representation: By actively participating in Wikidata, Arabic-speaking countries can ensure their cultural heritage is accurately represented, helping combat cultural stereotypes and biases that may exist in global knowledge repositories.
  • Personal and professional development: Contributing to Wikidata can offer valuable skills and networking opportunities for individuals in Arabic-speaking countries. It can also enhance their understanding of data curation, collaboration, and digital literacy.

Objectives[edit]

  • Promote Wikidata and Structured Data in the region: by recruiting new users and by showing the potential of data especially in the fields of GLAM and Eductaion.
  • Increase Arabic Content: Expand the presence of high-quality Arabic data on Wikidata by encouraging contributions in Arabic and related languages.
  • Community Growth: Foster a diverse and engaged community of Wikidata contributors by providing support, resources, and mentorship.
  • Education and Capacity Building: Promote Wikidata awareness and literacy through workshops, seminars, and advocacy efforts, both online and offline.
  • Data Quality: Maintain and improve the quality of Arabic data on Wikidata by implementing best practices in data curation and verification.
  • Collaboration and Partenerships: Collaborate with other Wikidata communities, Wikimedia projects, and building partnerships with external organizations to enrich and share knowledge effectively.
  • Innovation and Tools: Develop and promote tools and resources that facilitate data contribution, access, and utilization in Arabic and related languages.

Plans and Activities[edit]

Previous activities[edit]

Executed activities by the founding members:

  • Wikidata Training workshop as part of Arabic Wikipedia Day (link)
  • www.matahef.wiki, a website that uses data from Wikidata to display Museums in the MENA region.
  • Creation of Wikidata project for Tunisia on Wikidata (link)
  • Wiki Ksour Project: a project to document old villages and fortifications in North Africa using Wikidata (Link)
  • Wikidata Day in Baghdad
  • Research Project on developing clinical knowledge in Wikidata using Data Science, Semantic Web and Machine Learning (Link)
  • Wikidata Workshop in Sfax, Tunisia (Link)

Future planned activities[edit]

  • Wikidata Arabia Workshop: Designed for beginners and experienced users from the MENA region, this 3 days workshop aims to equip the participants with the knowledge and skills needed to harness the full potential of Wikidata and an excellent opportunity to initiate new projects.
  • Wikidata Arabic MOOC: providing a Mooc in Arabic will have a big impact on disseminating knowledge and improve the skills among the participants.
  • Wikidata Loves Museums: improve data about museums and collections.
  • Wikidata Anniversary Activities: celebrating Wikidata anniversary with the Arabic Wikidata community by supporting the organisation of events in the MENA countries.

Other possible activities[edit]

  • Wikidata For Education : Join the project initiated by the foundation in order to to ensure that the "sum of all knowledge" can be aligned with school curricula and easily accessible by teachers and students to achieve their learning objectives.
  • Wikidata in Education: Introduce Wikidata in universities and data science departments.

Partnerships[edit]

Soon...

Members[edit]

Founders[edit]

Participants[edit]

This group is open to everyone interested in promoting Wikidata in the Arabic-speaking community:

Contact[edit]

  • Telegram ː link
  • Emailː contact[at]arabicwikidata.org