Wikimedians of the Levant/Reports/2019/2020 Report

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This is the fourth annual report for Wikimedians of the Levant user group. It covers the financial and project year from May 20th, 2019 until May 19th, 2020. During this period, Wikimedia Levant hosted various activities both online and offline, with a particular focus on the Education program, online editing competitions and face-to-face events.

Overview[edit]

Ongoing activities between May 20th, 2018 and May 19th, 2019:

  • Wiki Loves Monuments: Jordan, Palestine, Syria
  • 13th Arabic Wikipedia Day (Jordan, Palestine, online collaboration)
  • Education programs (Najah, Birzeit and Hashemite universities)
  • Annual user group elections
  • Reinsituating onthly meetings held on the first Saturday of each month (minutes)
  • Lectures by Mohammad Abdellatif of Dadd Initiative at Birzeit University (blog post)

Administration & Memebership[edit]

  • In this activity year, Wikimedia Levant set up a systematic Membership application process where membersihp has to be renewed every year. As of May 19th, 2020, at the time of completing this report, Wikimedia Levant has grown to have 69 active members.
  • Before its 3rd elections in September 2019, Wikimedia Levant has moved into a new governance structure, where the group includes 4 active team specilizing in the folllowing:
  • Wikipedia Editing
  • Events & Partnerships
  • Education Program
  • Social Media

Wikipedia[edit]

Arabic Wikipedia Day[edit]

Ammman
On July 13th, Arabic Wikipedia's 16th birthday, around ten members of Wikimedia Levant met at Mehtab Center, Amman in a small edit-a-thon format. The event produced several articles of high quality on Arabic Wikipedia, including two successfully nominated featured articles: about House Sparrow and Emperor Penguin.

For Wikipedia

Asian Month[edit]

Wikimedia Levant participated in the Wikipedia Asian Month 2019 version.

Caucasus[edit]

500 Scientist Women[edit]

Earth Day[edit]

For more details and a list of articles, see the Arabic event page.

Events & Partnerships[edit]

Community Health Working Group Meeting[edit]

Wikimedia Levant provided support for the participants in the in-person meeting for the Community Health Working Group of Wikimedia Strategy 2030. The support was mainly in logistics, as well as in escorting the group for a walk in Amman's Citadel and old town, as well as for two traditional dinners. Two of Wikimedia Levant members participated in the meeting, although not in their user group capacity.

GLAM Workshop[edit]

Temple of Hercules model at ACOR, Amman.

In July 2019, the American Center for Oriental Studies (ACOR) held an Archival Methods Workshop' in Amman, with an official participation from Wikimedia Levant. The user group's Chief Coordinator, Abbad Diraneyya, gave a presentation titled: Wikimedia and GLAM: Promoting Free Knowledge. The presentation raised awareness of Wikimedia Levant's work to promote free knowledge about Jordanian heritage, and helped connect with important partners that later helped support heritage edit-a-thons (see below).

Amman's Strategy Salon[edit]

Wikimedia Levant's Strategy Salon was hosted in Amman, Jordan on August 7th, only a week before Wikimania (to which several members were headed) and a weak after the Community Health Working Group meeting in the same city, which greatly helped inspire facilitators. The event's budget included funding of a (short) international travel for almost half of the participants, to come from Palestine, which created a lot of logistic challenges but added a unique diversity and a broader representation of a user group that operates in four different countries. Due to the travel included, the duration of the Salon was a rather lengthy six hours, with a dinner included. The topics discussed were those of Capacity Building and Community Health. A detailed report is also available.

Group photo of Wikimedia Levant's Strategy Salon.

Jordanian Heritage[edit]

Main article: Open Jordanian Heritage
Arch of Hardian in Jerash, Jordan. From the donated collection, CC-BY-SA 4.0, by Bashar Tabbah.
Historic station of the famous Hejaz Railway at Jiza, south of Amman, Jordan. From the donated collection, CC-BY-SA 4.0, by Bashar Tabbah.
Colonad Street in Jerash, Jordan. From the donated collection, CC-BY-SA 4.0, by Bashar Tabbah.

Edit-a-thons

  • 7 October 2019: Was hosted by ACOR and in partnership with several other organizations with similar interests. Participants were briefly trained on how to edit Wikipedia, and were asked to choose from a list of about 200 important topics about archaeology in Jordan. You can find the event on the outreach dashboard. The results included 13 articles in Arabic and English contributed by 45 volunteers. Page views exceeded 35,000.
  • 1 February 2020: Hosted again by ACOR and facilitated by Raya Sharabin from Josa/Wikimedia Levant. The even included a brief training workshop followed by a Wikipedia editing session. The event has produced around a dozen articles and almost 5,000 words. Almost two dozen people were trained, 25-50% of which were ably to successfully create a Wikipedia page. A valuable output was building great connections with the academic archaeological community in Jordan. A professor even invited Wikimedia Levant to launch an Education Program at a major national university.

Photo Donation
On 7 October 2019, the Jordanian photographer Bashar Tabbah has kindly donated +250 photos for over a hundred heritage sites around Jordan from his personal collection. The invaluable collection is available on commons.

Wikipedian in Residenc
Since early February 2020, ACOR has recruited two volunteer, part-time Wikipedians in Residence: Neal and Areen. That's the first time a Wikimedian in Residence program has been implemented in Jordan. The two part-time volunteers have been greatly contributing to the Open Jordanian Heritage Project and are exploring new opportunities and events to promote participation.

Arabic Language workshop[edit]

WikiGap 2020[edit]

Wikimedia Levant participated in the global WikiGap event during March 2020, celebrating an International Women's Day in a very Wikimedian spirit. This was the first time for the user group to organize the event in two locations: in Hebron, Palestine (March) and in Amman, Jordan (March 5th). Several volunteers from Wikimedia have dedicated an entire work day to train and facilitate nearly a hundred volunteers contributing to Wikipedia. The results were a yet another success, producing a total of 163 articles contributed during the day about Jordanian, Arab, and global women. The event was concluded with a dinner at the Canadian embassy in Amman on March 9th.

Wikimedians, embassy staff and volunteer contributors at WikiGap Amman 2019.

Education Program[edit]

Jordan[edit]

The Wikipedia education program at the hashemite university in Jordan activities between May 2019 until May 2020 yields the creation of more than 427 articles and more than 269 students involved with one primary school involved in collaboration with Hashemite University.For the first time the law department has participated in Wikipedia education program activities in the University which contributed to this critical area of knowledge. The program coordinators are: Mossab Banat and Areen.

Class Participating students Participating schools Pages created Words added
Al omariah school 10 students 1 school 9 pages 29K bytes added
Hashemite University 259 Students 1 University 418 pages over 1.25M bytes added

Palestine[edit]

The edition programs in this year also introduced programs that are not connected primarily to schools. In Hebron city, the editing program was open for students from different schools and universities to participate. The program took 2 months starting from august 2019. the program enriched Wikipedia with pages in different fields including History, Medicine, Psychology, women, science, Astronomy, Religion, Philosophy, Math, chemistry and general topics about Palestine. The program coordinates are: Bara'a Zama'rah, Naeem Zalloum and Sami Jabari.

Class Participating students Participating schools Pages created Words added Uploaded photos
Wikipedia Editing Program/Hebron City 2019 30 students 11 schools, 3 universities 231 pages 1000K bytes added 520 photos
Nursing Courses, An-Najah National University 23 Students 1 University 108 pages 515K bytes added 50 photos

Social Media[edit]