[Foundation-l] (Flashback) A short (and revised) FAQ about Wikimania in A...
daniwo59 at aol.com
daniwo59 at aol.com
Sat Apr 19 20:33:00 UTC 2008
In a message dated 4/19/2008 12:33:02 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
mgodwin at wikimedia.org writes:
Are there questions, other than the one in the FAQ, that we should
have asked, or should be asking?
I have one question, and I ask it with all seriousness. As someone who lived
in the Middle East for twenty years, I can attest that the situation
everywhere there is volatile and subject to sudden, unanticipated changes. It is
simply a fact of life over there. As such, I ask, are there contingencies for
unanticipated changes in the coming weeks/months?
Some background to this question: In 1990, I was a senior coordinator for
student summer tours in Israel, in charge of the well-being of some 40,000 kids
from North America, Britain, France, and Eastern Europe. After many
successful summers, this was the year from hell. On July 30, a Canadian student named
Marnie Kimmelman was killed by a bomb on a Tel Aviv beach. Since she was on
one of our groups, parents from all over were hysterical about the security of
their kids (exacerbated by the fact that some network news channel in the
US--I think it was CBS--mistakenly showed a different group standing outside my
office and identified it as Marnie's group). Parents called nonstop,
demanding that we get their kids on the first plane home. Three days later, Iraq
invaded Kuwait and then shit really hit the fan. This was before cell phones and
email too, and as I ran the largest facility in Jerusalem, all calls for the
kids staying there (500 beds) inevitably went through my office.
While something like this recurring is unlikely, it is probably best to have
contingencies for just such an event. This could be as simple as plans in
case the conference must be cancelled at the very last minute, or contact
numbers for family members of participants in the event of an emergency--as simple
as making sure someone is picking up phones in the SF office while the event
is underway. Like I said, a serious problem is highly unlikely, but better
safe than sorry, especially in the Middle East, where things can change
overnight. And announcing such plans might well remove some of the concerns.
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