Yes. I visited israel this spring and had no trouble at all getting in-
super fast. But- and this was very surprising to me- all the questioning
came when I left :) so do leave extra time when you go back to the airport.
On Jul 29, 2011 1:32 PM, "Osmar Valdebenito" <osmar(a)wikimediachile.cl>
I'm in Haifa. I know my way around the town, i used to live around
here, i know the sights to see.
If you arrived early and think about things to do, just call me on the
phone - 050-6950507. I'll be very glad to meet you any time on Friday,
Saturday and Sunday. (On Monday i'll probably get myself busy
preparing the venue.)
See you soon!
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
"We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace." - T. Moore
A few questions about the schedule: (I asked on Talk:Schedule but didn't get
1. The programme seems to be colour-coded but there isn't a legend. What
does each colour (orange vs. grey) mean?
2. Two of the venues swap columns halfway down the programme. I recommend
that they be "unswapped" to reduce confusion.
3. Some items (mainly those that span multiple columns) do not state a
venue. Can the venues of each of those items be specified please?
forwarding on behalf of Megan. Get in touch if you'd like to be interviewed
during Wikimania about your Wikimedia story :)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Megan Hernandez <mhernandez(a)wikimedia.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 13:14:13 -0700
Subject: Wikimania Interviews
Over the past two months, the fundraising team has started testing new
messages from WMF staff members, donors, and editors. We're really excited
that we've found new messages that perform at the same level as the "founder
appeal" from Jimmy Wales. This year, the fundraiser will rely as much as
possible on voices of many different members of our community.
Doing in-person interviews and then writing appeals using people's exact
words is the key to making these appeals work as well as the Jimmy appeal.
Victor Grigas, Aaron Muszalski, and Matthew Roth -- three Storytellers
working on the 2011 Fundraiser -- are doing the interviews. They will be
attending Wikimania to interview attendees who would like to have their
personal appeal run during the fundraising campaign. While on this story
gathering mission, they will also be taking photos to be used in fundraising
We would like to feature editors for as much of the fundraiser as possible.
But we've found that editor appeals are the hardest to make work. So we're
really looking for people who think they can explain in their own words why
donating to WMF or a chapter is important. If you'd like to get involved,
please get in touch by emailing wikistory(a)wikimedia.org. We'll be
interviewing throughout Wikimania, so please come talk to us about the
importance of Wikipedia and tell us your own personal story of how you're
connected to the Wikimedia movement.
You don't have to attend Wikimania to get involved. We will be interviewing
people from all different areas of the world over the next several months.
If you're interested in sharing your story, please send a message to
If you'd like to see a review of our weekly testing and read the new
appeals, check out our test updates page:
Looking forward to seeing you next week and hearing your stories,
I personally contacted people from the Palestinian community of Israel and spread the word in the meetings I had with Palestinians from the West Bank. People showed some interest, some of them were not too acquainted with Wikipedia and asked questions, but apparently it didn't bring them to the registration page. Furthermore, I was responsible to the translation of the whole site into Arabic, including the landing page and registration page. This means that Wikimania in Haifa pops up in Arabic in Google or any other search engines. I also translated the press release about the event and I know it was sent to the major Arabic-language newspapers in the country.
That said, I am more than willing to contact any person in the West Bank in order to promote Palestinian participation. Many Palestinians have permanent entry permits into Israel, so they can reach Haifa easily, and there are many with Jerusalemite residency, who also don't need any bureaucratic arrangements. In case some bureaucracy is required, I do my best effort, as I have the necessary phone numbers at hand.
It is important to note that we encountered this year unprecedented attempts to discourage people, particularly Arab people, from coming to the event. I don't blame anyone, and I respect the freedom of speech of everybody, but it is very hard to promote an event among Arabic-speaking people, when there are FaceBook groups and blogs, some of them initiated by Wikipedians, calling upon Arab people not to attend, and even spreading false information.
Looking forward to next week in Haifa.
Any recommendations for an Israeli prepaid mobile provider for international
calls and for internet access?
Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
(Geschrieben von meinem Mobiltelefon)
I received an email asking me to enter my registration code and travel
information into a google spreadsheet page... is this email legit? Just
want to be sure, sorry for my paranoia :)
Is this mandatory? For which purposes will it be used (e.g. specifically
helping attendees who have problems with entry to Israel at the airport?)
Ps.: Please don't see this as an malicious inquiry, I'm just curious
what this is about.
Some statistics about Wikimania 2011:
* We expect upwards of 470 confirmed attendees. The exact number is
difficult to tell, but all those we consider confirmed are paid for and have
* Our confirmed attendees hail from 56 different countries. The highest
participation is from Israel (26%), United States (16%), Germany (9.6%),
Netherlands (4.7%) and India (4.3%).
* 22% percent of participants are female. That's a wonderful number,
considering the research finding that only about 13% of editors are women.
* About 1150 people submitted a scholarship application, 450 made it to the
second round of filtering. About 80 full scholarships and about 60 partial
scholarships were awarded by the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia Deutschland
gave out 16 scholarships, WM Italia 8, WM France about 7 (?), WM Austria
about 5, WM Russia 3, WMCH 2. The average age of scholarship applicant was
about 31, the median age about 27.
* About 11% of participants are vegetarian or vegan.
See you all soon in Haifa!
Wikimania 2011 local team