Joint training for university students: Promoting cultural interaction and diversity through Wikimedia projects

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The Wikimedia Levant recently launched a diverse and unique training series aimed at strengthening Wikimedia projects by bringing together a group of visiting students. This series of training was distinguished by the unique diversity of its participants, as it included students from various universities around the world, including students from the University of Granada in Spain, the University of Paris-Scaleli in France, and Indiana University Bloomington in the United States, in addition to students from Yale University, the University of Beirut, and Queen’s University. This initiative comes as a joint effort to enhance understanding and international cooperation between different cultures, and to promote mutual learning and knowledge exchange in the areas of Wikimedia projects.
The training was organized by Osama Eid in Palestine, and this post provides a summary of the results and comments:

On June 18, 2023, a series of training sessions commenced, characterized by remarkable cultural and linguistic diversity. This series brought together students from various disciplines such as physics, law, engineering, and programming, representing different universities from around the world. Throughout the diverse training period, participants engaged in interactive workshops, lively discussions, and inspiring editing sessions. A comprehensive overview of Wikimedia projects was presented, with a special focus on “Wikidata,” “Wikimedia Commons,” and “Wikiversity.” Editing workshops were also conducted on Wikipedia, involving students proficient in various languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, and French, along with visiting students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, contributing significantly to the success of this series.

The series of training sessions continued until September, with weekly sessions held. In each training, it was astounding to discover something new about Wikimedia projects. During the month of August, the focus shifted to Kiwix, as most trainees were studying programming. The training delved into the workings of Wikimedia projects, programming languages, and explored “bots” and how they operate in various Wikimedia projects. A total of 26 trainees participated, contributing to diversity and cultural enrichment with a mix of nationalities and languages.

This training serves as a significant example of diversity and the promotion of different cultures within Wikimedia projects. Participants emerged from this series immersed in valuable knowledge and a heightened interest in Wikimedia projects. They gained a deep understanding of the concept of free knowledge and the leading role played by the Wikimedia Foundation in promoting the spread of free knowledge.

After completing the training series, it was agreed that the trainees would launch educational programs at their universities upon returning to their countries. These educational programs will be an integral part of the Wikimedia Levant initiative.

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