Wikimedia Foundation elections/2022/Candidates/Farah Jack Mustaklem
|Introductory statement / Application summary.
This section to be translated. (150 word maximum)
|I’m a Wikimedian from Palestine, mainly contributing to the Arabic and English Wikipedias and Wikimedia Commons since 2005. I am a founding member and former treasurer of the Wikimedians of the Levant User Group, and a member of the Arabic Wikimedians User Group. I’m a former Affiliations Committee and was Wikimedia Strategy Steering Committee member and currently on the Regional Grants Committee for Africa and the Middle East.
Professionally, I am a software engineer working in the field of data analytics. I’m also an advocate for digital rights and open knowledge.
Coming from the Global South and living there for most of my life, while also being educated and living in the Global North for a considerable period of time, as well as being bilingual at a native level in Arabic and English, gives me the unique position of understanding issues pertaining to underrepresented regions and having a global worldview.
|Contributions to the Wikimedia projects, memberships in Wikimedia organizations or affiliates, activities as a Wikimedia movement organizer, or participation with a Wikimedia movement ally organization.
(100 word maximum)
|I have been an editor in the Arabic and English Wikipedias since 2005 with contributions in a variety of different fields. I've also contributed hundreds of photos to Commons. As far as offline activities go, I am a founding member of the Wikimedians of the Levant User Group, and a member of the Arabic Wikimedians User Group, and initiator of the Wikipedia Education Program in Palestine. Additionally, I've served on movement-wide bodies: I was an AffCom member, a member of the Wikimedia Strategy Steering Committee, and currently a member of the Regional Grants Committee.|
|Expertise in skill areas identified as needs by the Board.
(150 word maximum)
|Of the skill areas identified as needs by the Board, my experience in organizational strategy stems from my involvement in the steering committee for the Wikimedia strategy deliberations, as well as following the process throughout its different stages. The other area I claim experience in is the area of data analytics. As a software engineer for over 20 years developing analytics software for the semiconductor industry, including big data solutions, I am well aware of the field of big data analytics, and have dabbled with machine learning, but am by no means an expert in it. Additionally, my management experience spans over 8 years: I’ve managed a diverse team developing products using different software technologies.|
|Lived experiences in the world. We are especially interested in reading about lived experiences in the regions of Africa, South Asia, East and South East Asia & Pacific, and Latin America & Caribbean. We believe that experience in these regions could help expand the board’s ability to fulfill the movement strategy goal of more equitable participation, although we recognize that other experiences may also provide important contributions.
(250 word maximum)
|Although I do not have any lived experiences in the regions designated as especially interesting, I believe living in West Asia, in the Arab World, and especially in Palestine gives me a unique perspective on that part of the World. Living in Palestine poses a unique challenge, as one has to deal daily with both a developing country, and with military occupation. Navigating different systems, be the legal, financial, or otherwise, and living with uncertainty builds resilience and broadens one’s horizons. One example of the challenges I’d faced in my role as treasurer of the Wikimedians of the Levant User Group was that of moving (small amounts of) money to different countries in the region: a routine operation most in the more developed countries would not give much thought to. Having lived in the USA and the UK as well as in Palestine has opened my eyes to the different perspectives on life and given me the ability to discern and to understand the nuances of each country.|
|Cultural and linguistic fluency with regions and languages additional to your native region and language. Intercultural awareness helps build bridges in our multicultural community.
(250 word maximum)
|I am fluent in both Arabic and English at a native level. As a macrolanguage, Arabic has various dialects, spanning a large area across two continents. In addition to Modern Standard Arabic, I am fluent in the Levantine dialect and have a good understanding the other dialects. Additionally, I have basic conversational ability in French, Spanish, and Hebrew. I am continually learning new languages; currently I’m learning Dutch. My exposure to multiple cultures due to living in and traveling to different regions, as well as reading and inquiring about worldwide cultures and communicating with people from around the globe are the basis of my intercultural awareness.|
|Experience as an advocate for creating safe and collaborative spaces for all and/or experience in situations or contexts of censorship, repression, or other attacks to human rights.
(250 words maximum)
|In addition to advocating for free and open knowledge through the various Wikimedia activities, from editing Wikipedia to holding editing workshops (including a workshop for Syrian refugees in the Netherlands) and the Wikipedia Education Program in Palestinian universities, I have been vocal in supporting digital rights and other human rights. Digital rights are a universal human right, and are not limited to one country or the other. Any attack on digital rights anywhere is relevant elsewhere. From opposing SOPA and supporting net neutrality in the US, to opposing website blocking and the controversial “Electronic Crimes Law” enacted by the Palestinian Authority and other repressive regimes in the region, the struggle is real. These laws are used to encroach upon free speech and to silence political dissent in the guise of electronic crimes. I was involved in advocacy and activism to repeal the Palestinian law, which resulted in amending it adding safeguards for free speech. I have participated in and spoken at digital rights conferences in Palestine and in the region, working with like-minded organizations.|
|Experience in relation to (or as a member of, to the extent you choose to share) a group that has faced historical discrimination and underrepresentation in structures of power (including but not limited to caste, race, ethnicity, colour, national origin, nationality, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, language, culture, education, abilities, income and environment).
(250 word maximum)
|As a Palestinian who has lived in Palestine for most of my life, I have had the chance to experience first-hand the discrimination based on ethnicity and religious identity, as well as understand how different privileges are conferred onto different groups of people. I consider myself lucky to be among the more privileged, whose struggles pale in comparison to those further down the privilege scale.|
|Verification||Verification performed by elections committee or Wikimedia Foundation staff.|
Verified by: Matanya (talk) 08:36, 17 May 2022 (UTC)
Verified by: Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 23:52, 18 May 2022 (UTC)
2022 Board of Trustees Analysis Committee RatingEdit
|Candidate Name||Wikimedia Background||Sought Skills||Sought Regional Experience||Human Rights & Underrepresentation||Overall rating from the average score of the four categories||Overall rating from the average score of the nine criteria|
|Farah Jack Mustaklem||Gold||Silver||Gold||Silver||Silver||Gold|