As the movement charter relates to and impacts all Wikimedia communities, groups, and individuals, all these parties are considered partners in composing the required movement charter. The MCDC’s responsibility is to draft the content and the communities hold the responsibility of reviewing it and suggesting improvements. This is a collaborative process that requires some effort and time to do it. Because we believe in this mission, we were happy to join the Ambassadors for Movement Charter Draft Committee to build a bridge between MCDC and the Arabic-speaking communities.
The ambassadors’ team that supported the Arabic community consisted of three volunteers: Ali from Iraq, Sandra from Syria, and Donia from Egypt. Let’s first introduce ourselves:
Ali: I’m a member of the Iraqi Wikimedians user group and Wiki world Heritage user group. During 2022, I organized some Wikipedia workshops in different cities in Iraq which targeted diverse groups of people around the country.
Ending 2022 as an ambassador for the MCDC was a great choice to reconnect with all groups and individuals I worked with during the year and introduce them to the movement charter, where I reached out not only to Arabs but also to Kurds whom I got to know through the workshops.
Working with a team is always a great opportunity to gain experience where I could share, discuss and implement ideas to reach out to as many people as we can in the middle east and deliver their thoughts to the MCDC.
I know we are making it harder for the MCDC to deal with all feedback we received and collected, and it’s just the first consultation cycle, but we believe that through these efforts, we can ensure that the Movement Charter truly reflects the needs and aspirations of the global Wikimedia community.
Sandra: I am Syrian, the projects coordinator of Wikimedians of the Levant user group since June 2022, a regional coordinator for WikiForHumanRights 2023, and a member of Wiki World Heritage User Group.
I am also an active editor and reviewer on Arabic Wikipedia since August 2019. Being a volunteer at Wikipedia added a lot to me and helped me to improve connections with people all over the world. I also edit Wikidata and Wikisource and add multimedia to Wikimedia commons.
While volunteering in Wikimedia projects, I have organized (alone or with teams) many workshops, editing, and photo competitions.
Donia: Member of Leadership development working program, Editor at Arabic Wikipedia since 2019, Founder of Wikipedian Editor Project, Organiser of many wide-scale edit-a-thons and local photo competitions, Member of Egyptian Wikimedia User group and Arabic Wikimedia User Group, and been an invited member at the Levant User Group.
All these diversities allowed us to have a wide-scale connection inside and outside the Arabic community.
The Ambassadors program allowed us to engage as Arabic volunteers with the organizing team in the Wikimedia foundation and gave us the formal name to communicate with the Arabic community and increase engagement in the MCDC process.
It was not easy, we made multi reunions to set the plan. The best way we followed to connect with the community was to conduct meetings for different Arabic-speaking countries, then we found that we need to hear every voice in our community, believing in “equity” in decision-making for all. According to this, we turned into one-to-one meetings, where we met people from the community, and spent hours in meetings to get their feedback and vision about the initial charter drafts.
For people who did not have time for online meetings, we sent them the online survey to document their feedback.
At the same time, along with conducting meetings, we worked on translating all documents and pages related to the charter and MCDC on Meta to Arabic to make them available for Arabic readers, so that they can read, discuss and provide their feedback with more confidence.
It was a great experience for us to have discussions with many people in the community and document their feedback, and we hope it was a great experience for the community as well.
The next time we become ambassadors, we hope that we will have more time to collect feedback so that we can reach more and more people.
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