While numerous in-person events were shut by COVID-19, and non-closing virtual meetings were opened via Zoom, Jitsi, etc. Does this portend the end of Wikimania? Well, in 2021 and 2022, our movement was able to host two online Wikimanias. I’m Nada, a Wikimedian from Gaza, and here is my journey to attend Wikimania Singapore. I feel a sense of belonging to this community and a greater understanding of the huge universe of free knowledge as a result of having the opportunity to participate in Wikimania online for two years in a row. I participated more in global discussions, created interactive sessions about movement strategy for my community, and became more involved in leadership in our movement.
I need 24 hours to get to Cairo in order to leave Gaza; I can only travel by car; I must wait a long time for my documents to be checked; and I must remember that Rafah, our exit point from Gaza, is blocked for two days over the weekend. I crossed the Sinai Desert 4 days prior to my departure to Singapore to attend my first in-person Wikimania, which is known later to be the biggest edition ever, but what makes it special to me is that it is my first time to travel, and a future note for first-time travelers: make sure to chew something during takeoff and landing; your ears will thank me later.
While fighting jet lag, my first Wikimania activity was at Google, where we are minding the gap not only in content in sister projects but also in indexing it. Thank you, Google and Wiki organizers. Now I have to run to prepare for a learning clinic hosted by Let’s Connect and the Leadership Development Working Group (LDWG).
I am a member of the Leadership Development Working Group. A community-driven working group of 15 diverse members from the 8 regions has been selected to draft a shared definition of leadership and a leadership development plan and to advise on community development’s role in the implementation of the leadership development plan (LDP). In Wikimedia’s definition of leadership, it is a collective effort that can be supported by communication skills and practices delivered during our second learning clinics. I had fun co-facilitating the learning clinic with Jan-Bart de Vreede, Chinmayee Mishra, and Beverly Jiang.
I have also presented our LDWG work in a session, and in a very excited, unbiased tone, I ENCOURAGE you to join the Telegram group for Kickstarting a Leadership Development Network to help implement the leadership development plan and exchange stories, experiences, and efforts in this domain.
A trivial fact about me, aside from my leadership work, is that I am a doctor, and I am super fascinated by Wikicite, Scholia, upgrading medical practice using Wikidata, and enriching Wikidata with scholarly publications.
I had the pleasure of attending a meetup at Wikimania Singapore organized by Manar, specifically for the Arabic-speaking community. It was an enlightening experience, filled with engaging discussions about the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing within our community. What made the event even more memorable was the karaoke session where we sang an Arabic song.
Wikimania was the place to discover the hidden gems in our movement. It also joined me with friends whom I have known online for years. I have got to make new ones too. I talked about Gaza a lot instead of providing a Wiki link. And finally, I attended a Wiki wedding. Nassima and Yamen are married in the eyes of Wikidata. I was the lucky girl to get the wedding bouquet, and yes I still have it.
Nanour, Nassima, Yamen, Manar, Jan-Bart, Chinmayee, Beverly, Domenika, Florence, Euphemia, Sky ex, and many more. Thank you for making my first Wikimania a great one.
Pause here and play my journey to attend Wikimania over and over again; it makes me happy. On the other hand, I will go to finish the Gardens by the Bay puzzle, my souvenir from Singapore.
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