Muhammad Alsebaey wrote:
Hey Aude and George, thank you for voicing that
opinion, it is exactly how I
feel. Another point for everyone to consider: If Wikimania was restricted to
being in USA and Western Europe, it's kind of a closed-membership club,
people from Africa, the Middle east and various other places will have a
hard time getting a visa there if they have a shot at that at all (I know
that a US visa requires that you prove beyond doubt you have ties with your
home country that will force you to come back after the conference, and that
you have a considerable amount of money in your bank account, which is
something hard to do for young people without established families.).
I think that
many of us look forward to visiting Alexandria and, if we
can make the time, the rest of Egypt. The press tends to blow the
occasional criminal or terrorist incident completely out of proportion.
The American media in particular attaches a far greater degree of
tragedy to the one or two Americans that die in such incidents then the
200 local individuals who also perish. I do not attach a lot of
importance to whether a country is "democratic"; that is not something
to be decided by outsiders I regret the concerns of the LGBT people,
but sometimes it is simply not possible to adjust to all the interests
of special interest groups.
I did not hear of visa problems at Frankfurt, but it affected many
people who would have liked to attend in Boston. AFAIK, unfortunately
and ironically, the only people that were kept from Taipei because of
visa issues were the Egyptians.
I expect that visa issues will continue to be a factor in choosing
American hosts at least until after they have had a change of government.