My name is Farah Jack Mustaklem, and I’m a Wikip(m)edian from Palestine. My involvement with Wikipedia began in 2005, when I started editing the Arabic and then the English Wikipedia, and later uploading photos to Commons.
Off-wiki, I have held several Wikipedia workshops to promote contributing to free knowledge in Palestine, as well as a Wikipedia workshop for Syrian refugees in the Netherlands. I have also been active at clarifying some widely-held misconceptions about Wikipedia, be it on social media, traditional media, or word of mouth.
I firmly believe that free access to knowledge is a universal basic human right, and that digital rights are paramount to creating a free and open global society. As such, I have been involved in advocacy for digital and other human rights in the Arab World and outside. This activism is very dear to my heart, and it is my hope that the Wikimedia movement plays a greater role in promoting these rights. If elected to the Board, I will make this one of my top priorities.
A software engineer by profession, I spend much of my time behind a screen (be it for work, for Wikipedia, or for digital advocacy). When not at my computer, one of my favorite pastimes is participating in the weekly Quiz Night trivia competition. I credit Wikipedia and the time I have spent perusing it with enriching my general knowledge and helping my team maintain its leading position. Other hobbies include hiking, photography, and spending time with my family.
I was born in the United States, and have lived my life between the US and Palestine, which is why I can claim both English and Arabic as native languages. I have a passion for linguistics and for learning new languages. Living in two very different societies has helped me gain a nuanced perspective on life, and has made me better appreciate the cultural differences that exist between people, as well as the common humanity that binds them.
Top 3 Board priorities
- Increase diversity on the Board and represent marginalized communities.
- Promote more transparency in the governance and decision-making of the WMF.
- Align WMF with digital rights and other human rights movements, as free knowledge is a right for all.
The candidate is a dedicated contributor to the Wikimedia movement. Eligible contributions include: contributions to the Wikimedia projects, membership in a Wikimedia organization or affiliate, activities as a Wikimedia movement organizer, or participation with a Wikimedia movement ally organization.
10+ years: I have been a Wikimedian since 2005. I have been a co-founder of a user group, and a member of AffCom.
The candidate has served on the board of trustees/directors or other similar governing body of a nationally- or globally-focused organization (non-profit, for-profit, or governmental).
<1: I have had no significant board experience at this level.
The candidate has worked at an executive level for an organization, department, or project of comparable (or greater) size, complexity, and scope to the Wikimedia Foundation.
2-5 years: I served as part of the executive committee of the Wikimedians of the Levant User Group.
Subject matter expertise.
The candidate has worked or significantly volunteered in an area relevant to the work of the Foundation and the Board. Such areas will be determined on an annual basis and may include areas such as Global movement building and community organization, enterprise-level platform technology and/or product development, public policy and the law, knowledge sector (e.g., academia/GLAM/education), human rights and social justice, open Internet/free and open source software, organizational strategy and management, finance and financial oversight, non-profit fundraising, human resources, board governance.
10+ years: I was involved in the initial phase of the WMF strategy. Additionally I am a proponent of digital and other human rights, having participated in several talks and conferences about the status of digital rights in Palestine. I am also a big proponent of free knowledge.
The candidate belongs or belonged to a group that has faced historical discrimination and underrepresentation in structures of power (related to, for example, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQ+ identity, social class, economic status, or caste).
Yes: Palestinians have and continue to this day to face discrimination, whether in Palestine or abroad
The candidate would contribute to the overall geographic diversity of the Board of Trustees, based on the geographic regions where they have lived.
Yes: I have lived significant portions of my life in both the United States and in Palestine.
The candidate is a native speaker of a language other than English.
Yes: My native language, in addition to English is Arabic. I speak/understand at various levels French, Hebrew, Spanish, Dutch
Diversity: Political system experience
The candidate has substantial experience living in and/or working to share knowledge in a non-democratic, state-censoring, or repressive context.
Yes: I continue to live in a country where there is very little political freedom.