This is the third annual report for Wikimedians of the Levant user group. It covers the financial and project year from May 20th, 2017 until May 19th, 2018. During this period, Wikimedia Levant hosted various activities both online and offline, with a particular focus on the Wikipedia Education Program and on recruiting university students from around the region.
Ongoing activities between May 20, 2017 and May 19, 2018:
- Wiki Loves Monuments: Jordan, Palestine, Syria
- 13th Arabic Wikipedia Day (Jordan, Palestine, online collaboration)
- Education programs (Najah, Birzeit, Hashemite)
- Monthly meetings held on the first Saturday of each month (minutes)
- Lectures by Mohammad Abdellatif of Dadd Initiative at Birzeit University (blog post)
Wiki Loves Monuments 2017Edit
Wikimedia Levant has organized the fourth regional version of Wiki Loves Monuments, the international photo contest, in September 2017. The contest for this year involved three of the region's four countries, with those being Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. The contest produced fairly small pool of pictures (about one thousand for the entire region), but it has been carefully organized, with a jury of two professional photographers to choose the winning photos.
Bridge Across CulturesEdit
As one of Wikimedia Levant's first major partnerships with fellow affiliates from the Wikimedia Movement, Bridges Across Cultures was one of the group's most successful projects for 2017. This editing contest was designed as a process of cultural exchange, where volunteer editors from both Latin America and the Middle East/North Africa get to contribute Wikipedia articles in their native language about a region far away from them in the world. The contest was first proposed at Wikimedia Conference 2017, planned at Wikimania Montreal and conducted online during October 15th to November 15th. Wikimedia Levant was a primary organizer among other affiliates from the MENA region and Latin America. The results were highly successful, with a total of over 800 articles produced over the duration of one month. Detailed data can be found in the table below.
|Region||# of Participants||Pages created|
|Latin American participants||415|
|Total||64 contributors||832 articles|
- Najeh Al-Hasan, a member of the user group, has created a series of online Youtube videos to introduce new contributors to Wikipedia's rules and editing, as a followup on WikiGap event in Amman.
- Mervat Salman, an outstanding member from Jordan, has participated in the Women in Leadership in Wikimedia Movement conversation, which was hosted by the Learning & Development Team at the Foundation to celebrate a Women in history month.
- Bara' Zamaareh was interviewed by Al-Jazeera about her experience in the Yerevan editing competition (Watch here)
The Palestinian edition of the program was extended during this year to higher level schools, introducing students from Talae'e Al-Amal Schools to Wikipedia and how to contribute to it. The program also continued to be active in the Universities of Birzeit, An-Najah and Al-Quds. The program consisted of two parts. In the first, students were taught how to edit Wikipedia through taking part in WikiMasaq, an online MOOC of Wikipedia in Arabic language. In the second part, students got to start applying what they learned and contributing articles to Wikipedia in their respective disciplines. Results are shown in the table below.
|Class||Participating students||Pages created||Pages expanded||Words added||Uploaded files||Article views|
|Al-Quds University||15 students||-||3 articles||75K bytes||130||-|
|An-Najah National University||31 students||11 articles||0 articles||173K bytes||-||-|
|Class||Participating students||Pages created||Pages expanded||Words added||Article views|
|Medical Biochemistry, Birzeit University||39 students||10 articles||28 articles||517K bytes||34K views|
|Geology, An-Najah National University||13 students||-||2 articles||-||-|
|11th grade, Talae Al-Alam School||12 students||4 articles||-||-||-|
Wikimedia Levant participated in the global WikiGap event on March 8th 2018 in Amman, celebrating an International Women's Day in a very Wikimedian spirit. The event was hosted at Al-Khwarizmi Academy in Amman, in partnership with over a half dozen local and regional groups such as UN Women, the Swedish Embassy, Women Studies Center at the University of Jordan and the Jordanian Open Source Association, among others. Several volunteers from Wikimedia have dedicated an entire work day to train nearly a hundred volunteers on how to contribute to Wikipedia, with three training sessions being held during the week leading to the event. The results were a surprising success, producing a total of 149 articles contributed during the day, which was (according to employees of the Swedish embassy) one of the top results by country during the event. The event was concluded with a dinner at the residence of the Swedish Ambassador in Amman.
Wikipedia Education program has continued to run in the Hashemite University for the forth edition in a row, under the coordination of Wikimedia Levant's members: Mossab Banat (team leader), Eman Dawod, and rawan abuawad. The program has produced fairly successful results in 4 courses: over the counter drugs, communication skills for nursing (second edition), translation methods 1, and child Parenting, with about 371 articles and around 931.79 kilobits contributed by 151 participating students (statistics).