Dear Hisham,


I’m thinking back on your time here and want to thank you for so much that you’ve done and built in these one and a half years. For setting up things from scratch when there was neither a team nor an office and you were on your own. For building and motivating a small team to venture into unknown terrain (and for even daring to step into this terrain) without any surefire guarantee of success. For tirelessly and successfully supporting many Indic language wikipedias and the first-ever community-led WikiConference India. For keeping up team morale in the difficult days following the India Education program. For reaching out to hundreds of people in India through any means necessary to create new editors. And, yes, for being bold.


One of the things that makes this kind of work difficult is not just its newness or its experimental unsure nature, but also its publicness. Brickbats pour in much faster than bouquets in public fora, creating a narrative of their own that is hard to buck. I want to thank you for being able to smell the roses, for having a tough enough hide to survive the brickbats while continuing to steer India programs and motivating your team to do its best. I also want to urge the Wikimedia India community to be constructive and rigorous in holding India programs accountable in its next avatar - without being destructive or personal.


You’ve laid a very solid foundation for India programs that I expect the team will continue to build on. I hope you enjoy your remaining time here and leave with many more good memories than bad.


Will miss you, my friend!


On Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 4:11 PM, Hisham <> wrote:
Dear India Community

I'm writing to inform you that I plan to leave my current role supporting Wikimedia in India.  I am going to be exploring opportunities and evaluating options that are closer to my career aspirations and my personal circumstances.  I will be working through to ensure that there is a smooth transition - and this is likely to take 2-3 months.  I am writing now because I felt it appropriate and opportune to inform you as early as possible. 

I want to start off by thanking the Wikimedia community and movement for giving me this extraordinary opportunity.  Working on something like India Program has been something that has been professionally enriching and personally fulfilling. Over the past 1 1/2 years, I have been supported by so many of you - and I want to thank you for everything you have done!  The passion and intellectual firepower of our community has been my constant source of drive and guidance.  There are so many examples of powerful stories from all over the country: the incredible efforts put in by the IEP Campus Ambassadors in Pune; the army of volunteers that drove the outreach push across the country in the first few months of this year; the beautiful stories of fantastic community initiatives from far and wide across the country and sub-continent, and indeed the world; the remarkable stories from so many communities - large, small and tiny ones!

I want to thank the team that I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with - Nitika, Noopur, Shiju & Subha.  You guys have been wonderful.  The work that we are doing is experimental and we have been innovating every day, and I know the circumstances have not always been easy.  Take strength and inspiration from the large number of community members who have been touched by you and appreciate your efforts and value your work.
I will send an actual "over and out" message later.  In the meantime, I will continue to work on everything that needs working on.

Happy Editing!

Warmest Regards,


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