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Wikimedia Tunisie/Report 2019

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This is the Wikimedia TN User Group report of the year 2019



On 25, 26 and 27 June 2019, Houcemeddine Turki and University of Sfax researchers Mohamed Ben Aouicha, Mohamed Ali Hadj Taieb, Raida Ktari, Ali Salem and Mahmoud Ghorbel organized the first Wikidata Workshop in Tunisia. This workshop has been organized with the collaboration of Aix-Marseille University and aims to introduce Wikidata and SPARQL query language to the computer scientists of the University of Sfax. The workshop was presented by Houcemeddine Turki and respected Semantic web professor Odile Papini and was attended by 31 research scientists. Thanks to this meeting, SPARQL applications have been proposed for ontology validation and use of Wikidata.



"ClubWiki" is a club for students and teachers in the Higher Institute of Technological Studies (ISET) of Nabeul in Tunisia. Launched by Habib M'henni, the purpose of this club is to introduce WMF wikis to the community of ISET Nabeul and consequently to train people there to become active contributors to Wikipedia and sister projects.

Houcemeddine Turki, Mohamed Mseddi and Houssem Abida when working on MedinaPedia Sfax project

This year, in partnership with Carthagina and Sfax El Mezyena organizations and the National Institute of Heritage, the user group continued its work to ameliorate the coverage on the old town of Sfax in Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata. Thanks to provided efforts, the project has been finished in late July 2019 with the upload of 547 images to Wikimedia Commons and the creation of 72 articles in French Wikipedia with a significant rate of non-stub articles. The project is led and coordinated by Houssem Abida and is developed with Houcemeddine Turki, Mohamed Mseddi and Nouha Dammak.

Launched by Houcemeddine Turki in 2011 and closed on August 31, 2019, TunSci is a project that tries to ameliorate the coverage of Tunisian science-related topics in French Wikipedia. For years, this mostly online project succeeded to create non-stub biographies of Tunisian scientists as well as several overviews about the Tunisian science systems. For a full account of created or adjusted articles, click here.

WikiLingua Maghreb is a project to ameliorate the support of Arabic languages in WMF wikis. The purpose of this important mission is to ameliorate the intelligibility of Arabic Wikipedia to Arab people. It is jointly led by Wikimedia TN User Group, Wikimedia Algeria, Wikimedia Morocco and Wikimedians of Tamazight User Group. So far, we have added detailed descriptions and overviews about these languages to Wikipedia, Wikiquote and Wikivoyage. This year, we continued to promote Wikidata as a tool to add support of Arabic languages other than Modern Standard Arabic. This should be done through the mass integration of Wikidata labels in these languages and the creation of Wikidata Lexicographical data in these varieties. Further information can be found here. We also continued to upload reference books about these languages to Wikimedia Commons to raise awareness about their distinctive features that let them absolutely different from Modern Standard Arabic.

Wikimedia Research

Dr. Mohamed Ben Aouicha

Since 2011, the University of Sfax has begun doing Wikimedia Research under the supervision of Dr. Mohamed Ben Aouicha. At that time, the main project of the team is to use semi-structured data in Wikipedia (Category Graph) and Wiktionary (entities and glosses) as a reference database for semantic similarity and relatedness measures. The team succeeded to find excellent results for using Wikipedia and Wiktionary for assessing semantic similarity and relatedness and to publish their findings in highly prestigious journals: Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Knowledge-Based Systems, Applied Intelligence, Soft Computing, Data and Knowledge Engineering and Neurocomputing. This year, the team continued to work on this topic. However, it began to shift its interest to Wikidata-Wikibase by launching two new research projects with the special contributions of Wikimedia TN User Group members Houcemeddine Turki, Helmi Hamdi and Sami Mlouhi:

  • Wikidata-Wikibase applications for smart cities: This project mainly interests in using Wikidata-Wikibase to ameliorate the support of Health, Education, Communication, Linguistics, Science, IoT, Heritage and other fields. This research project is highly linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In 2019, we published a research paper about Wikidata applications for Health in Journal of Biomedical Informatics.
  • Knowledge graph refinement, validation and learning for Wikidata: This project tries to use ontological data, IoT and deep learning for evaluating, adjusting and enriching Wikidata.

The outcomes of these two projects can be only based on Wikidata or can be hybrid approaches that couple the use of Wikidata-Wikibase with the one of other resources like Wikipedia and MeSH.

Representing the Group



Zeineb Takouti with the Moroccan user Anass Sedrati

During Wikimania 2019, a record of five active members went to Stockholm to represent Wikimedia TN User Group: Emna Mizouni, Houcemeddine Turki, Sami Mlouhi, Yamen Bousrih and Zeineb Takouti. These members are implicated in a variety of projects ranging from Wikimedia Strategy and Legal issues to Wikidata Research. During this international conference, we participated to African Wikimedians Meeting and to WISCom meeting with strategy team to contribute to the drawing of a strategy for growing African Wikimedia Community from a quantitative and a qualitative perspective. We also participated to Arab Wikimedians Meeting to establish an Arab Council for the coordination of projects between Arab Wikimedia User Groups and for the development of Arabic Wikipedia in a more efficient way. We also attended Strategy meetings to have an update of the works of interest groups and we discussed its parys with users from Armenia, India, Nigeria and Jordan as well as other countries.

Sami Mlouhi during his Wikimania session on Free Speech vs. Hate Speech on wikis
Houcemeddine Turki at Wikimania 2019 Libraries Space

Houcemeddine Turki has presented his works related to reference and language support for Wikimedia projects in Libraries and Languages Spaces. Effectively, he has shown an efficient model of offline collaboration between user groups and local libraries that was used to provide reference support to many projects of adding Tunisia-related knowledge to Wikipedia such as TunSci, MedinaPedia Sfax and WikiLingua Maghreb. Also, he discussed the matter of Wikimedia and Arabic Sociolinguistics from a linguistic point of view in Languages Space and proposed a Wikidata-based initiative to add support of Arabic languages to WMF wikis so that the interesting information of Arabic Wikipedia can be more intelligible to the broad Arab audience. Furthermore, Houcemeddine Turki presented his viewpoint about the usefulness of Wikidata in Medicine in Health Space and discussed the development of a research project about Medical Wikidata and of a Tunisian Wikimedia Research Unit in Research and Technology Spaces. Moreover, Sami Mlouhi presented the dilemma between free speech and hate speech on wikis from his experience as an AffCom member. We think that this dilemma should be further considered in building a strategy for Community Health in wikis in the next years.

Emna Mizouni at Wikimania 2019 Closing Ceremony

Finally, we were honoured to have Emna Mizouni as Wikimedian of the Year for 2019 for her work on adding support of Tunisian GLAMs to WMF wikis. This honor will absolutely push our user group forward to continue to contribute to this topic in a more inspiring way.

Tunisian team in WikiConvention 2019

The Wikimedia TN User Group was represented by a group of 9 participants in Brussels. Many members were helping in the organization team.



Three Tunisians (Emna, Sami and Zeineb) attended the fourth edition of WikiIndaba conference, held in Abuja (Nigeria).

Wikimedia Summit


Wael Ghabara was the representative of Wikimedia TN User Group for this big event. In addition to his participation in the summit, he attended several regional and thematic meet-ups.



Youssef Ben Haj Yahia was the ambassador of the Tunisian affiliate for WikiArabia 2019, held in Morocco. Youssef gave a good reputation through his participation.

WikiMahdia Contest

WikiMahdia 2019

Habib Mhenni, was invited to the WikiMahdia event The Capital of Arab Youth, to give a brief presentation about Wikimedia Commons. Hamed Gamaoun was invited too to join Habib in order to select the winning photographs about monuments in Mahdia. The winning photos will be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and will be used to illustrate articles about Mahdia in Wikipedias.