Grants:Simple/Applications/Wikimedians of the Levant/2021

Application or grant stage: draft
Applicant or grantee: Wikimedians of the Levant
Amount requested: 16,000 US$
Amount granted: TBD (to be added by WMF)
Funding period: 1 July-31 December 2021
Midpoint report due:
Final report due: 31 January 2022

Application edit

Background edit

Annual Plan edit

  • Required. Link to any outside relevant document around your annual plan.
    • For returning grantees, the annual plan should focus on what is being done differently compared to last year.
    • New summaries or explanations are not required for any continuing programs from the previous grant that have no or minimal changes, and can be linked to a previous proposal for reference.
    • 2000-word limit recommended. If you have an annual plan already prepared for other purposes that is over 2000 words, this is satisfactory, and it is not necessary to prepare a separate one for your Simple APG application. Please clearly indicate any new programs or changes from last year.

Budget Plan edit

Strategic plan edit

  • May be required. Link to your strategic plan, if you have one. This is not required for new applicants or affiliates developing their strategic plan.

Introduction edit

Wikimedians of the Levant is a user group for Wikimedia volunteers in Jordan, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. It was established in May 2015, as the fourth UG in the Arabic-speaking countries, and has since grown to perhaps one of the leading affiliates in the MENA region. With over 63 members, almost weekly activities and a successful grant record, Wikimedia Levant has grown in terms of structure and organization to the point of regularly applying for Simple APGs.

The four countries of the Levant share a mediocre level of economy and income (ranking within the range of #78 to #118, globally), which, consequently, places them as part of the Global South as well as among the so-called emerging communities of Wikimedia. This fact does not reflect well on the corresponding content of the Levant on Wikimedia Projects: for example, English Wikipedia has over 60,000 pages under the label "Switzerland", a country populated by eight million people, but only 6,000 entries under "Jordan", (a country with slightly higher population and a similar land area). Additionally, Arabic, the native language of the region, suffers from a severe content gap relative to the number of its native speakers. With about one million articles, the Arabic Wikipedia version has a single entry per almost 300 speakers; in comparison, the same ratio in the case of German would be a Wikipedia page per 33 speakers.

In order to bridge these gaps and create knowledge equity, Wikimedia Levant aspires to support access to free knowledge within and about the region of the Levant. Our Strategic plan for 2021 consists of three broad programs that build on our earlier plan for 2020, and which we believe may help us achieve this goal:

  1. Capacity and community development: To upscale the community in both number and skill, ensuring a sustainable knowledge transfer and potential for further future scaling, as also suggested by the 2030 Strategy (recommendation 6).
  2. Support Wikimedia Projects content: To improve and expand Wikimedia projects, thus sticking to our primary goal of improving content and impact (related to recommendation 8 from the movement strategy).
  3. Partnerships in education and GLAM: To create long-term partnerships and outreach that support us in achieving our key mission and enhancing the rest of our goals altogether (related to recommendation 5 from the movement strategy).

Programs edit

Capacity and community development

Having had community development as one of its three major programs for 2020, Wikimedia Levant already surpassed its metrics for the previous year and recruited a massive member base. The natural step to follow such large recruitment, however, would be to increase capacities and skills that balance the number of active members with the quality of their contributions.

Why do we need this program?: The need for capacity building is not unique to Wikimedia Levant: ending up among the ten recommendations for the Wikimedia 2030 Strategy, capacity building has repeatedly proved as a leading priority for the emerging Wikimedia communities across the globe. Although many of these communities, like ourselves, have managed to do massive outreach and recruit many new members, it wouldn't be possible to retain this member growth without a parallel program of skill development. While we have recently witnessed relatively wide participation in our activities, organizing these activities still falls over the shoulders of a select few veterans, thus risking a quick burnout and exhaustion of those experienced organizers. During the upcoming year, Wikimedia Levant seeks to look more internally and to invest in the capacities of its members, organizing internal events, workshops and meetings to exchange expertise. These exchanges and training aspire to promote both wiki-related skills (e.g. editing, finding resources, licensing, etc.) and administrative skills (e.g. organizing events, logistics, partnerships, documentation, etc.).


  • Mandatory on-wiki training workshops for all new members with less than one hundred edits.
  • Monthly introductory sessions in various topics related to affiliate work.
  • Monthly, regular online meetings for all user group members.


  • Train new members regularly to equip basic skills and literacy in Wikimedia projects
  • Support new members to be actively engaged in on-wiki as well as in Wikimedia Levant communities
  • Train regular members to equip advanced editing skills
  • Train and support regular members to organize activities
  • Build a sustainable user group community with a more distributed expertise

Program metrics and targets:

  • Number of total members to reach: 30
  • Number of new member training workshops (once every two months): 2
  • Number of trained new members in basic skills: 20
  • Number of trained members in advanced editing skills: 8
  • Number of unique members organizing activities: 8

Community Outreach
“As [a part of] a non-profit organization, it is important to be engaged and relevant to the community that [we] are located in”. By becoming an active institution in the local area, we do not only increase the recognition of our user group, but we can also meet the people that make up the very community we operate in.

Why do we need this program?:
The Outreach Program thus consists of community outreach strategies that are much more likely to connect us to the local institutions and people. "Community outreach", as a term, refers to efforts that connect ideas and practices to the public. Such outreach strategies are also linked directly to the mission of Wikimedia Levant. In order to build wider and stronger connections, it is important for our communities to know who we are and what we are about and to gain more visibility.

The key to engaging with the local community is to make sure that our activities are mutually beneficial for community members and the organization. To get people engaged, it is important that people feel fulfilled for their effort: whether we are working with a volunteer or with students doing a project, we should make sure to know what is important to them and what will make them proud.


  • Social media: We will develop a plan to create more and better relationships with local and Social media.
  • Introductory video: We will create animated videos that introduce Wikimedia Levant and its work to the public.
  • Printing: We will print out and distribute brochures, roll-ups and professional cards that help our members spread the word about Wikimedia Levant.


  • Reach out to a wider audience of students, free knowledge enthusiasts and other parts of the public.
  • Raise awareness of the mission and work of Wikimedia Levant.
  • Raise awareness of the regular and publicly open activities of Wikimedia Levant.
  • Connect with partners and like-minded organizations.

Program metrics and targets:

  • Advertising each of Wikimedia Levant publicly open activities on social media (a total of 8)
  • Reaching at least 2,500 followers on Facebook
  • Reaching at least 1,500 followers on Twitter
  • Reaching at least 1,000 total views on the videos
  • Handing out at least 100 brochures

Support Wikimedia Projects content

As part of Wikimedians of the Levant's vision and objectives, bridging content gaps is a particular priority. The Content Creation Program focuses on bridge the content gap in articles, images and data. This program will be targeted at major projects; Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata, and interested in the culture, history, architecture, monumental structures and gender gap. Contests have also been run on various other Wikimedia projects, generally eliciting excitement and support, and encouraging significant participation in content (and awarding those who excel at it) without risking paid editing.

The program activities are broadly grouped into 1. Workshops, which consist of training as well as the direct contribution of content, and 2. Contests, which award incentives to encourage contributions in particular areas of content.

Why do we need this program?:
Wikipedia is, first and foremost, our primary Wikiproject and the long-term focus of Wikimedia Levant activities, and our plan is incomplete without it. We will launch a variety of editing campaigns and competitions with a focus on bridging content gaps on Arabic Wikipedia: especially those related to the Levant region. but also broader content gaps. We will host small Wikipedia celebrations to get editors together and keep them motivated as editors around the year, while also employing competitions and online collaborations to improve the content, raise team spirit and retain our editor base. Within Wikimedia Levant's vision for organizing Wikimedians who share "similar interests, challenges [and] needs", it's extremely important to eliminate gender bias as far as possible in our community.

While our user group already has a nearly equal percentage of male to female members, this balance is yet to be fairly represented in either our online editing community or our content. Our means to contribute to mitigating the gap and raising awareness include gender gap partnerships and seasonal events with international embassies as well as organizing Arab women collaborations across the region.

To keep up the pace with the wider Wikimedia movement, it is also necessary to devote resources to another leading sister WikiProject: that is, WikiData. In this area, Wikimedia Levant focuses on two main aspects: 1. Holding local WikiData training that can increase the number of active contributors in the Arabic language; and 2. Contributing content relevant to the user group's scope of work. For 2021, we will proceed with our previous effort to build a core WikiData community in the region.

On another hand, Wikimedia Commons, in particular, severely lacks content about the Levant region in general. Reasons include lack of photographer community, scarcity of people able to afford photography equipment, low copyright awareness, and disconnection from the Commons community and its regulations. Our goals from holding photography competitions for this year would be to retain a Commons/Arabic Wikipedia photographer community through awareness campaigns and outreach and to increase the impact of the photography competitions by requiring a minimum quota of images to be used in actual articles and Wikiproject pages.

Online and offline content workshops


  • Books support Content
  • internet in a box
  • Scientific Research Workshop
  • Geography and topography (terminology) workshop
  • Palestine-Wales Editathon
  • Arabic Wikipedia Anniversary workshop
  • WikiData workshops
  • Heritage of the Islamic World workshop
  • Wikimedia Levant Wikiversity
  • Syrian Refugees editing workshops in Turkey


  • Improve Arabic Wikipedia content related to the Levant region.
  • Improve Arabic Wikipedia content related to the Arabic Language.
  • Motivate members to participate in editing campaigns and stay as active editors.
  • Recruit a core Wikidata community in the Levant
  • Improve Wikidata content related to the Levant region.
  • creating open educational resources and collaborative learning communities To learn more about Wikiversity.
  • Promote the Wikiversity project in the Arabic language

Program metrics and targets:

  • Total number of workshops: 10
  • Total number of participants: 150
  • Number of articles to improve: 400
  • Number of articles to create: 400
  • Long-term contributors to recruit: 8



  • World Heritage Sites in levant Competition (editing competition)
  • 2nd Al-Arz (editing competition)
  • Wiki Loves Pharmacy (editing competition)
  • Wiki Loves Monuments (photography competition)


  • Increase the amount of visual and written content on Wikimedia projects that are related to the culture, society, and cities of the Levant.
  • Raise awareness locally of Wikimedia Commons as an open repository for donating photos and images.
  • Retain a photographer community contributing visual content to the Levant.
  • Motivate the participation and engagement of new Wikimedia users.
  • Add more images about the local natural heritage and scenic landscape in the Levant region.
  • Increase the number and quality of articles in high-impact areas related to the Levant (e.g. heritage and culture).
  • Increase the number and quality of articles in high-impact areas on Arabic-language Wikipedia (e.g. pharmacy and environment).

Program metrics and targets:

  • Number of competitions to organize: 4
  • Number of photos to upload: 1,000
  • Percentage of photos to be used in Wikimedia projects: At least 10%
  • Number of articles to improve: 400
  • Number of articles to create:400
  • Long term participants to recruit: 10
  • Total number of participants in the editing and photography competitions: 100

Partnerships in Education and GLAM

Partnerships, being one of the nine aspects of the second phase of the 2030 Wikimedia Strategy process, are a high priority for the future vision and work of Wikimedia Levant. One of the main advantages of having a user group (as opposed to an online volunteer community) is the potential of making strong alliances and collaboration with like-minded organizations that may seek similar goals to promoting free & open knowledge.

Why do we need this program?:
By the end of 2020, Wikimedia Levant had at least half a dozen official or semi-official partnerships set in motion with universities, libraries, non-profits, and open-source organizations. The impact of those partnerships has resulted in an increase in quality content and in new contributors to the Wikimedia projects.

The Education Program, as a particular kind of partnership, has long proved as one of Wikimedia Levant's most successful endeavors. It serves a multitude of purposes all at once: delivering content, building capacity, raising awareness, and recruiting volunteers. After five years of continuous activity across Palestine and Jordan, the program proves successful and sustainable. In our 2021 annual plan, we are looking to engage with more educational institutions in both Palestine and Jordan.

While the program's goals will remain, as in previous success stories, to generate content and build capacity, we are looking to introduce another, new success metric: to create an effective and sustainable process of implementing Education Programs. This goal will be realized through an information portal to guide Education Program (and potentially students) through the entire organizational process. This will ensure that we capture our institutional memory as a group, a purpose in line with the Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy. By collaborating with educational institutions, we can ensure students are introduced to the Wikimedia projects in a deeper way and understand they too can help improve the content for others, and that they learn how exactly to do it.

We also aim to continue the successful Open Jordanian Heritage projects by curating and creating more partnerships to protect the cultural heritage and preserve the particularly sensitive cultural memory in our region. It is only through cooperation with the local institutions that we can properly document this heritage on Wikimedia projects: including Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons and WikiData projects.

We want to encourage students to gather knowledge for themselves. We look forward to working more in partnership with our local communities as we support education programs in service of the Wikimedia mission. so we will start a new partnership with universities like the German Jordanian University (GJU), Palestine Polytechnic University (PPU), Hebron University (HU), and Many primary and secondary schools. We aspire to make Wikipedia one of the major parts of the curriculum in various local educational institutions.


  • The fourth edition of the Wikipedia Education program/Hebron 2021.
  • Wikipedia Education Programs portal (Optional).
  • Ministry of Communications and Information Technology partnership.


  • Increase student awareness of Wikipedia policies, and how they can constructively contribute to the encyclopedia.
  • Build sustainable partnerships with educational institutions.
  • Set up an effective, self-sustaining process to guide new Education Program officers through an on-wiki portal.

Program metrics and targets:

  • Number of new educational institutions working with Wikimedia projects: 2
  • Number of students to train: 50
  • Number of articles to improve: 50
  • Number of articles to create:50
  • Number of long-term participants to recruit: 3

Wikimedia Levant will Reinforce its existing partnerships and will work on further building its recent partnerships with The British Institute in Amman (CBRL), The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS-Jordan), and Centre for Architectural Conservation (Riwaq). While most of these partnerships have traditionally focused on heritage and history, we will also seek to work on environmental and ecological sustainability.


  • Partnership with the Centre for Architectural Conservation (RIWAQ).
  • Partnership to promote ecological and environmental awareness.


  • Build sustainable partnerships with different institutions.
  • Increase the participant's awareness of Wikipedia policies and how they can contribute.
  • Protect the cultural heritage and preserve the particularly sensitive cultural memory in the Levant region.
  • Promote cultural understand and the mutual bond between the Levantine community and other regional and international communities.

Program metrics and targets:

  • Number of participants in workshops: 50
  • Number of newly registered users during workshops: 50
  • Number of content pages to be created and improved during workshops: 100
  • Number of pictures to be uploaded: 100

Grant Metrics Reporting edit

Required. Metrics, targets and results: grants metrics worksheet here.

Needs Request edit

Optional. The Community Resources team would like to understand the best way to support the success of your programs and organization in general. If you have any requests or needs you have related to your programs, organizational operations, or other needs below under the appropriate section, please describe them here. You may instead e-mail simple to reach your program officer if you prefer.

Suggestions for Simple APG Application process edit

  • ...

Requests for programmatic support edit

For example, requesting guidance or expertise from Wikimedia Foundation staff on GLAM- or Education-related areas.

  • ...

Requests for operational support edit

For example, requesting guidance or expertise from Wikimedia Foundation staff on public communications, financial practices, or hiring procedures.

  • ....

Other requests edit

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No requests needed edit

If you have no specific requests, please confirm this here.

  • ...

Midterm report edit

Program story edit

Optional. Please tell or link to one program story that showcases your organization's achievements during the reporting period. This can be another meta page, a blog post or any other source that tells your program story.

Program Progress edit


Spending update Midterm edit

Please link to a detailed financial report for your spending during the first half of your grant period. This should be in the same format as your detailed budget from your Simple APG application.

Please include the total amount of Simple APG funds you spent during the grant period:

  • XXXXXX.XX USD/Local currency

Grant Metrics Reporting Midterm edit

Metrics, targets and results: grants metrics worksheet here.

Final report edit


17th Arabic Wikipedia's Day

Logo of 17th Arabic Wikipedia's Day

As a part of the Arabic community, Wikimedia Levant participate at 17th Arabic Wikipedia's Day edit-a-thon, Which is an annual Arabic Wikipedia event, It Happened on the first Saturday after the 9th of it (date of establishing Arabic Wikipedia), The duration of the edit-a-thon was 24 hours editing on Arabic Wikipedia to help in improving Articles. This year it was on the 10th of July, with the participation of 25 members of Wikimedia Levant. Where they have organized teams to create and improve articles. (You can get more details from here in Arabic Wikipedia)


  1. Improve 11 articles to be (good/Featured) Articles.
  2. Translate 100 images From English to the Arabic language Then upload on Commons.
  3. Improve 7 lists to be Featured lists.

After finished this day, The results were:

  1. 13 articles were Featured Articles.
  2. 1 was a Good Article.
  3. 100 Pictures were translated to Arabic then uploaded on Commons.
  4. 10 were Featured Lists.


Wikimedia Levant’s members celebrate 17th anniversary in Palestine

After more than six months of virtual meetings due to the pandemic, the members and volunteers of Wikimedia Levant gathered in Amman-Jordan and Ramallah-Palestine to celebrate the 17th anniversary of Wikipedia Arabia. The members also celebrated their development of feature articles on various topics and their improvements to lists on the platform, such as the World Heritage List on sites in Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.

For more information:Click here

Online Workshop with ICOMOS-Jordan

On the 17th Arabic Wikipedia Day, the second workshop with the Wikimedia Levant was held on 3 and 10 July 2021, as a part of the regional initiative aimed to enrich the Arabic content of World Heritage sites on the Arabic Wikipedia. A large number of architects, archaeologists and those interested in cultural heritage in Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon participated in the workshop, which presents by Princess Dana Firas. This workshop aims to provide an opportunity for all experts and those interested in heritage sites to share reliable information on one of the most visited websites in the world. The workshop coordinator is: Nedhal Jarrar.

For more information:Click here

2021 Palestine-Wales Editathon

Palestine-Wales Cultural Exchange Program

The Palestine-Wales Cultural Exchange Program is a content exchange program between Wikimedians of the Levant and the Welsh Community (both Welsh and English languages). It is a part of the content exchange program between Arabic/Welsh/English speakers and English/Welsh/Arabic speakers. With this program, Wikipedians from both communities will exchange the most important articles from their respective languages and translate them into their own as a token of friendship. This will contribute to reducing the cultural as well as content gap and strengthen the bond between the State of Palestine and Wales, both Levantine and Welsh communities.

The Wikimedians of Levant/Palestine will translate from English to Arabic (Welsh Content) and Welsh Wikimedians will translate from English to Welsh (Arabic Content) and non-Welsh speakers will develop English articles on Palestine to express Arabic culture in Welsh and English. NB 'Welsh' can refer to both the country of Wales or the language, depending on context. The Program will focus only on the historical places, food, women, and events in both nations.

Then, Cornish editors joined the editathon and translate articles about Palestine into Cornish! they prepared a shortlist of possible articles about Kernow (Cornwall) which could possibly be translated into Arabic.

The results included contributed by 32 volunteers who created 242 articles. 57 from Wikimedia levant side, 142 from the Welsh Wikimedians and 44 from the Cornish Wikimedians . The program coordinates is: Bara'a Zama'reh and Robin owein.

For more information:Click here

Wiki-Histo Project

Wiki-Histo Logo

It is a medical Project held throughout August 2021, aimed to cover histology Topics on Arabic Wikipedia, The results included contributed by 11 volunteers who created 30 articles. it was forward to Palestine Polytechnic University students in med-school at Hebron/Palestine.

The project coordinates is: Bara'a Zama'reh,Dr.Mohammad Fares and nagham ashraf.

Wikidata for beginners

In September 2021, Wikimedia Levant held a Workshop for beginners to introduce fundamentals for Wikidata.
The workshop aims to:

  1. Defining participation on how it works in Wikidata
  2. Enrich Wikidata with terms based on trusted sources
  3. Documenting Arabic terms and ensuring their scientific and literary accuracy
  4. Increasing the number of volunteers involved in projects outside the free encyclopedia
  5. Reviving the use of Arabic terms and making it easier for researchers to find them
  6. The use of Arabized terms from trusted parties in articles and their titles in Arabic Wikipedia.
  7. Activating the role of members in the Bilad Al-Sham group and establishing the importance of teamwork in increasing female productivity in projects affected by the gender gap.
    The results included contributed by 11 volunteers who uploaded 121 words and 8 images on wiki commons.

The project coordinate is: NANöR.
For more information:[here] or [here]

Alarz Competition

the second competition of Alarz is dedicated to developing content in the Arabic Wikipedia, where participants compete to write new articles, develop existing articles in various fields of knowledge, and promote them to obtain the mark of good or selected articles organized by Wikimedia Levant.

For more information:[here]

Program story edit

Optional. Please tell or link to one program story that showcases your organization's achievements during the reporting period. This can be another meta page, a blog post or any other source that tells your program story.

Learning story edit

Optional. Please link to one learning story that shows how your organization documents lessons learned and adapts its programs accordingly.

Programs Impact edit


Spending update Final edit

Please link to a detailed financial report for your spending during the grant period. This should be in the same format as your detailed budget from your Simple APG application.

Please include the total amount of Simple APG funds you spent during the grant period:

  • XXXXXX.XX USD/Local currency

Grant Metrics Reporting Final edit

Metrics, targets and results: grants metrics worksheet here.

Activity Total participants Added content (articles/photos/data) New accounts New members Shared Knowledges
17th Arabic Wikipedia's Day 25 24 improved article + 100 Photo uploaded on Commons 0 0 2
2021 Palestine-Wales Editathon 32 24 articles created 0 0 1
Wiki-Histo Project 11 30 created articles 4 0 0
Wikidata for beginners 11 121 words uploaded + 8 Photo uploaded on Commons 0 0 0
Alarz Competition 2 0 0 0 0 0
  • xxx articles created
  • xxx articles developed
  • Including xx nominated as featured content
  • xxx photos uploaded
  • xx photos translated
  • xxx articles with new photos
  • xxx photos with Arabic-language description
xx xx xx