[Foundation-l] Reply to Mark

Mark Williamson node.ue at gmail.com
Fri Feb 29 16:31:08 UTC 2008

The US gay community? I find the implications of that more than a
little insulting.

Gatto Nero is Italian, for one; we have fielded comments here from many people.

As I have said before, gay people exist in every culture and country
on this planet. Obviously, in some cultures they are used to hiding it
so travel to Egypt would not be an issue, but this is an issue for all
GLBT people from countries with societies that are friendlier to gays
than is Egypt, which is a lot of countries, not just "western" ones!
There is a list on Wikipedia if you actually care.


On 29/02/2008, Lars Aronsson <lars at aronsson.se> wrote:
> Mark Williamson wrote:
>  > It has come as a shock to us that such a decision as the one
>  > about the location of this Wikimania could be passed down with
>  > such little consideration of our safety.
>  >
>  > As I have said, this seems unlikely to change now, and as we say
>  > in my family there is no use crying over spilt milk.
> Your concerns are valid.  But hey, your problem is not the only
>  problem in this world.  People are oppressed by states, by their
>  fellow citizens, by poverty, and by their own lack of skills,
>  abilities and knowledge.  If more people knew how to advance
>  agriculture, or how to pool their resources in ventures such as
>  the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, they wouldn't have to work so hard
>  to support themselves. Oppression from states is made harder by
>  the dissemination of knowledge to individuals.  Wikipedia is here
>  to disseminate knowledge to individuals.  How can we improve this?
>  Perhaps you feel you need to stay at home from this Wikimania.
>  That's bad, but it doesn't mean the whole Wikimania is wasted.
>  Wikimania should be kept open to the people who, for various
>  reasons, can't be there in person.  You can submit a paper and a
>  video presentation, and join the live chat session, but everybody
>  doesn't need to buy the air ticket.  We're not here to sell air
>  tickets.  We're here to disseminate knowledge.
>  Hosting Wikimania in Europe or the U.S. might be a problem for a
>  lot of people who can't get a visa or who just can't afford to go.
>  And for some people who feel that this is just another scheme that
>  "the west" is trying to push down their throats.
>  As an outreach it is really important to host some major
>  Wikipedia-related event on the African continent and it is
>  important to host a major Wikipedia-related event in the Arab
>  world.  It doesn't have to be Wikimania, last year there was a
>  "Wikipedia Academy" in South Africa, but now it happens to be
>  Wikimania.  And as such, Egypt is an excellent combination.  Many
>  other countries would be far worse.  Wikipedians in Syria, Algeria
>  and Malawi should certainly try to organize local or national
>  meetups, and we need to encourage this, but I doubt they will be
>  able to host Wikimania in the near future.
>  Rather than the U.S. gay community, our first question should be:
>  Can wikipedians from Iran, Syria, Algeria, Kenya and Uganda travel
>  to Wikimania in Egypt?  Are there any wikipedians at all in Libya?
>  What about guest workers from the P.R.C. on duty in Africa?  Or
>  Filipinos who work in Qatar?  Are there affordable flights from
>  Qatar or Nairobi to Cairo, and what about visa regulations?
>  --
>   Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
>   Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se
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