Spotlight Wikimedians of the Islamic Civilization User Group Activities in the last three months of 2023

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Wikimedians of the Islamic Civilization User Group (ISLMGRP) is an unofficial user group established in August is a thematic group in nature, transcending borders, countries, translations, and languages. It caters to individuals who have a keen interest in Islamic traditions, cultures, and civilizations.

Since its establishment, ISLMGRP has been keen to develop knowledge about Wikimedia projects and Islamic Civilization. Thus, with the near-activities, there were “Teaching Wikimedians to run online events”, “Essentials of Wikisource”, and “Having collaboration with The Khalili Foundation representative”, plus having two general meetings to discuss the user group updates.

Starting with the first workshop: (a workshop on unpacking translation books: Al-Alam by Al-Zarkali as a model) was oriented to the Arabic community, The presenter was Michel BAKNI (Ph.D.), an administrator and active member of the Arabic Community and was responsible for the International campaign of WikiForHumanRights 2021.

This workshop was in two sessions, one is theoretical and the other is practical. We achieved to have 16 new organizers for events in Arabic Wikipedia, and an event to be run in January 2024 by a fresh organizer.

Figure 1: A screenshot from the workshop on unpacking translation books: Al-Alam by Al-Zarkali as a model presented By Michel BAKNI

The second workshop was (Principles of Editing in Wikisource), which was an introduction to Wikisource, ISLMGRP invited Adel NEHAOUA to present it, an Active Adminstrator in Arabic Wikisource. According to this workshop, we had 10 members learn to work on Wikisource and added a new book to Arabic Wikisource, edited and verified.

Figure 2: A screenshot from Principles of Editing in Wikisource presented by Adel NEHAOUA

Then, in November, ISLMGRP started activities at the international level, where we had two sessions focused on improving the Islamic content on Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons.
The first session was a webinar with a representative of the Khalili collection, Martin Polter (PhD), facilitated by Bassem Flefl (PhD). The webinar was in English, and fully interpreted into Arabic.

This workshop achieved to have a description of 70 items from the Islamic collection of the Khalili collection.

Figure 3: Poster of the Khalili Collection Webinar on 11th November 2023

On the 17th of December, ISLMGRP collaborated with Wikimedians of the Levant user group, and Wikipalestine to host a webinar on Arabic Language Day, directed to the importance of using Literature Arabic. 

This session is presented by Dr. Bassem Flefl, hosting Dr. Muhammad Hassan At-Tayyan, A member of the Arabic Academy in Damascus, and Ayman ZouLghina, a researcher in Arabic and tutor of spoken classical Arabic. The session was streamed on YouTube, it is licensed with CC BY 4.0.

The live session was attended by over 150 people, who joined us either on YouTube or our Facebook channel.

Figure 4: The poster of the Arabic Language Day Webinar on 17th December 2023

This is but the start! ISLMGRP is still under construction! The group is waiting to be fully recognized by the Wikimedia Foundation in the next few months. Meanwhile, activities to improve the Islamic content on Wikimedia projects will not stop, stay tuned!

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