My Wikimania Singapore bottle and Wikipedia backpack got a chance to have a “trip” outside my home for the first time after my first in person Wikimania. However this “trip” was because of the ongoing war in Gaza; I was displaced and forced to leave my home to stay safe. I live with my souvenirs in a tent for a month, we are surviving.
Until today, my laptop has taken a rest for more than a month in my backpack. This laptop is my window to the Wikimedia Movement. I can’t charge it and the internet is barely letting me say hi to others. But those others are more than data on my mobile. They are my Wikimedian friends who warm my heart with their messages.
The open knowledge movement gave me dear Wikimedians, who always come up with creative ideas to keep me connected to the movement despite the hardships I face daily. We even talked about organising a workshop for Wikidata (spoiler alert: I can’t open Wikidata but the spirit is there until the workshop comes to life). With some Wikimedians, I became more sustainable with my contributions, the movement is vast, and moving between projects and groups increased the burnout threshold. From organising workshops for Wikipedia to Wikidata, it will never be boring.
Before the forcible displacement, I am one of the founders of an Arabic Wikidata Community, while hearing bombings in the background. I felt like the Titanic violinists.
In the tent, I have a lot of time to think, and I still think about WikiChat. It will be cool to ask a side chat where the x or y thing can be found. I will be a more efficient contributor, to be honest.
I am a member of the Leadership Development Network which has arisen from the Leadership Development Working Group (LDWG). I walk around the tents to find a good Internet signal to see what happened to the network that I have announced in Wikimania Singapore. I am happy to see my colleagues in the LDWG are still taking care of the network. My LDWG came from the movement strategy and its recommendations, I can’t wait to see more recommendations and initiatives see the light.
I am part of the Movement and the Movement is part of me. As I listen to the radio, I realize the desperate need displaced people have for free, reliable information. I wish I could take internet in boxes or in my Wikipedia backpack. I believe displaced people need Internet access, hardware, and many tools more than any one because sometimes their lives can be saved by knowing where to go, are there any functioning hospitals around, is there another life outside the tents?
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