Today I got an email from PayPal notifying me that the payment I made
for Wikimania had been returned. It said something about it having to
be manually confirmed, and that that had not happened, so I got the
money in return. This is obviously not the way it is supposed to be,
so I wonder what I should do about it?
Jon Harald Søby
Ah, August, when people's thoughts turn towards <s>the beach</s>
<s>school</s> Wikimania bidding!
This is an informal reminder to those interested in bidding for 2012 to
start thinking about putting up your public pages:
There isn't a timeline yet but last year's makes a pretty good guide.
There's plenty of time, but the sooner you put up your ideas the sooner
other people can offer to help :)
Also, please remember that everyone is welcome *and encouraged* to comment
on the bids, even tentative bids, with your concerns and ideas; your
constructive support will help the bidders come up with the best possible
proposal and will ultimately help the bid jury select the best bid. I would
love to see more feedback on the bids ahead of time. The bid talk pages are
the best place for this.
Especially since there is a lively discussion about Wikimania locations and
requirements going on now anyway, this is probably a good time to review the
existing bid criteria and propose any changes.
A list of past criteria and official requirements (largely the same from
year to year, with some minor revision) can be found here:
please discuss and propose changes on the talk page. There are also general
comments on many of the individual year pages that it might be helpful to
aggregate, if someone has some free time :)
This might also be a good time to consider possible improvements to the
process for choosing a bid and running Wikimania, as well as how to move
forward with the process for this year (including determining a timeline,
bid jury, etc). There was lots of discussion on the lists earlier this
summer about a Wikimania committee, but these ideas aren't reflected on the
wiki yet; probably the best place for this discussion is:
phoebe.ayers(a)gmail.com | http://phoebeayers.info
support Wikimedia: http://donate.wikimedia.org
okay i will address this issue, and please excuse me had it been addressed
elsewhere online, and point me to where i can have a look on the discussion.
One of the most important criteria in deciding on the place to host
wikimania annual conferences is “ease of attendance”, which is only logical.
[http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania/Judging_criteria] Now there are
some serious concerns regarding hosting the next wikimania conference in
Haifa, Israel. Please bear with me, and understand that non of these
concerns has anything to do with politics, and that they are entirely
1) This is a quote from a website of an American company called “A Briggs
Passport & Visa Expeditors” [
http://www.abriggs.com/high_level/FER_I/Israel_FER.php] which specializes in
securing “expedited passports and travel visas for international travelers
...” It says:
“Israel has strict security measures that may affect visitors. Prolonged
questioning and detailed searches may take place at the time of entry and/or
departure at all points of entry to Israel, including entry from the West
Bank and Gaza. Travelers with Arabic surnames, those who ask that Israeli
stamps not be entered into their passports, and unaccompanied female
travelers have been delayed and subjected to close scrutiny at points of
entry. Security-related delays or obstacles in bringing in or departing with
cameras or electronic equipment are not unusual. Laptop computers and other
electronic equipment have been confiscated from travelers leaving Israel
from Ben Gurion Airport during security checks. While most are returned
prior to departure, some equipment has been damaged, destroyed or lost as a
result. Americans who have had personal property damaged due to security
procedures at Ben Gurion can contact the Commissioner of Complaints at the
airport for redress. During searches and questioning, Israeli authorities
have denied American citizens access to U.S. consular officers, lawyers, or
This is not the only source that confirms these practices.
2) It is frequently reported, that airport and entry points officials,
refuse to stamp the israeli entry permit in a separate paper and insist on
stamping it in the passport. Travelers with an israeli visa, or even
exit/entry stamp in their passports, may not enter many countries, including
Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, and Sudan, and
perhaps other countries of which i have no knowledge. Carriers of visas and
stamps from any of these countries and other countries as well (such as
Bahrain, Pakistan, Algeria, Indonesia, and Malaysia) are reported to be
frequently harassed and maltreated as they attempt to enter Israel.
3) I am rather concerned about the difficulty, and impossibility of some
interested participants to be able to attend had they wanted. There are
problems on the levels of acquiring a visa, then leaving their countries to
Israel without trouble, then entering Israel, then leaving Israel, then
getting back to their countries from Israel; the prospect of trouble and
maltreatment exists with every step of these. Participants from Iran, Syria,
Lebanon, and Palestine, and maybe other countries, are not even allowed to
enter into Israel. Why should they not be able to participate in the
wikimania annual conference? And why should the conference be held in such a
place, in which precisely “ease of attendance” is absolutely lacking?!
I believe that Israel is not an appropriate place in which to hold a
conference such as wikimania for all the reasons mentioned above, and i
believe that it is fair to reconsider the decision, and i hope that we,
along with the wikimedia foundation, and along with the israeli participants
too, will find reason to address the issue with view to fairness and
Forwarding message that was accidentally bounced. -- phoebe (listmod)
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: WereSpielChequers <werespielchequers(a)gmail.com>
> To: "Wikimania general list (open subscription)" <
> Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 22:07:31 +0100
> Subject: Re: [Wikimania-l] Problematic aspects of hosting the next
conference in Haifa, Israel
> I did raise some of the issues about access to Israel during the
> bidding process - see
> But Haifa was the winning bid and we now need to try and resolve any
> of the resulting issues that we can.
> Apparently Gdansk had good streaming coverage, but it was one way. I
> think it would be good to top that and have two way interaction with
> the facility for people around the world to ask questions via Skype,
> and would request that the organisers consider that.
> The event is also going to take place during Ramadan which I assume
> has implications for any Moslems who do attend. Though I assume that
> the combination of hosting the event in Israel and during Ramadan will
> mean that relatively few Moslems attend. However I'd like to suggest
> to the organisers that they reconsider their commitment in
> http://wikimania2011.wikimedia.org/wiki/FAQ#Ramadan from "Is there a
> mosque in the vicinity of the venue? Unfortunately not so close to
> the venue. Most of the mosques are located in the lower (older)
> neighborhoods, while the venue is at the top of Mt. Carmel. We can
> arrange a prayer hall for Muslims at the venue. " to "Is there a
> mosque in the vicinity of the venue?
> Unfortunately not so close to the venue. Most of the mosques are
> located in the lower (older) neighborhoods, while the venue is at the
> top of Mt. Carmel. If one of the attendees requests it in advance we
> will arrange a prayer hall for Muslims at the venue"
Hello to all,
Is there any news about the video recordings of the many talks in the last
conference in Gdansk? I remember that there were so many interesting talks
which I couldn't attend because they were happening at the same time with
other interesting talks that i attended! I really look forward to see the
video recordings of these talks.
Please let me know if you've got any news.
Thanks Harel for your email..
On 8/11/10, Harel Cain <harel.cain(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Israel is well aware of this situation, and offers the special
> possibility of stamping not the passport but a separate page on entry
> and exit, for any visitor that requests it
A confirmation for the possibility of getting the stamp on a separate
paper will be helpful for people who might have fear of losing their
jobs in UAE or other gulf countries or of being banned from religious
rituals in Saudi Arabia.
> As to visiting Israel being socially unacceptable in some societies, or a good reason for being harassed by one's own government, this is a very regrettable fact of Middle East politics, but totally not within the organizing team's sphere of influence.
As I put it before it is a complex and complicated situation which I
believe is better discussed without any judgments on politics,
governments or social reactions.
For participants who might have any conservations on going to Israel,
attending Wikimania will have its own cons and pros which will remain
up to the personal evaluation of the attendant, after all.
Good luck with all..
> Harel Cain
> Wikimania 2011 team
>> Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 17:26:09 +0300
>> From: moushirah at gmail.com
>> To: foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
>> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Partecipation in Wikimania 2011
>> Abbas: Let us not generalize; it is a complex and complicated matter
>> about the will/ability to visit Israel if you happen to be a resident
>> of an Arab or Muslim nation.
>> I believe the "difficulty" of getting a visa varies from one country
>> to another, but even with the help of the bidding team, an issue will
>> remain unresolved, that is: Some countries do not allow persons with
>> an Israeli stamp on their passports, to enter their borders. The list
>> includes: Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, UAE, Turkey ..and other
>> destinations. I am not sure if there are exceptions for this rule in
>> those countries. It is a complicated situation on political and
>> ethical levels.
>> Maybe it remains a personal choice of the participant whether to make
>> it Haifa or not.
> Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.
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