[Foundation-l] thank you

Moushira Elamrawy moushirah at gmail.com
Tue Jul 29 17:22:29 UTC 2008


That was very touching! I made sure to deliver your thank you note to my
colleagues as well. Everyone around is just glad that we ended up with a
nice Wikimania. Since we won the bid and we have been having doubts of
whether or not the community would feel comfortable in the formal BA, and if
the local community would really benefit, expand and grow much more mature
after Wikimania..
I suppose -and hope- that the first doubt went fine, and we are all still
working our best to ensure a real transformation in Arabic Wikimedia

It was certainly a pleasure meeting everyone who made it to Alex; especially
the ones whom we have had a year or more of email exchanges, it was just a
lovely reunion, as Wikimanians filled the place with energy and bright

Wishing Patricio and all 2009 team the very best of luck, hopefully we meet
in Buenos Aires..

Many Thanks Phoebe for your kind words..

On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 5:47 AM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki at gmail.com> wrote:

> For the people who were at Wikimania, there was a lengthy thank-you
> session at the end where we got to applaud the volunteers and staff
> who worked hard on the conference. But I would just like to reiterate
> that, and give my personal thanks to:
> * Mido, for leading the bid and planning (with all of the stress for
> months on end that entails -- just ask any of the former organizers),
> thereby giving many of us the chance to meet our Egyptian colleagues
> and have a great conference
> * Moushira -- I recognized and sympathized with the way you were
> frantically running around during the conference :)
> * Nada, Abdel, Ahmed, and lots and lots of other people I didn't meet
> (and people I did meet but can't remember the names of); you guys
> pulled it off!
> * The BA staff generally, but especially Drs. Ismail Serageldin and
> Noha Adly for being supportive of the conference, for putting the
> considerable organizational weight of the BA behind it, and for
> offering up your resources and space to us; I hope that we are able to
> work together in the future, as two organizations with truly shared
> goals.
> * Delphine, as always, for tying up a thousand loose ends,
> coordinating Foundation-side work, making reconnaissance trips to
> Alexandria, and on and on :)
> * The Foundation staff, especially Jay and Cary for getting little
> things done like press and scholarships
> * Lodewijk and Jakob for doing nearly all the organizational work on
> the program, off-site and on; and all the program reviewers
> But thanks especially to everyone who showed up, especially those who
> took the risk of flying in from far away, and those who came from
> nearby who didn't know much about Wikipedia and wanted to find out
> more. It was great to see old friends and make new ones. I did not
> work on the organization of this year's conference as much as in past
> years, so I got the somewhat novel experience of going as an attendee
> -- you get to attend sessions that way, it turns out :)
> Here were some of my favorite parts of this year's conference:
> * Learning more about the Arabic Wikipedia and the challenges it
> faces; listening to a heated debate in the lightning talks about
> whether educated Egyptians should contribute in Arabic or English
> * Learning about the Bibliotheca Alexandrina's efforts to digitize
> their Arabic-language collection, using OCR software they developed
> in-house
> * Meeting some of the librarians of the Bibliotheca Alexandria,
> especially the children's librarians and my compatriots the reference
> librarians; giving an ad-hoc talk to them about how Wikipedia works
> * teaching a dozen Egyptian children how to make sockpuppets
> * 75 piastre (15 US cents) falafel (especially hearing Mako wax
> enthusiastic about the falafel all weekend)
> * eating (delicious!) fish in a restaurant overlooking the
> Mediterranean while talking about academic impressions of Wikipedia
> * getting to applaud the third! Board Chair of the Foundation; it
> really does feel like the organization is finally mature
> * being in Egypt itself (despite being hot and sick): things like
> getting in a taxi then waiting for the driver to fix his engine before
> we could go; sitting out on the corniche in the evening along with
> everyone else; finally realizing how small the Sphinx actually is
> compared to the pyramids
> * Singing "I Will Revise" at the final party
> In my personal view, Wikimania shouldn't be thought of as just a
> holiday, a chance to meet friends, a way to introduce the projects to
> people in the local community, or a way to have organizational
> business meetings, though of course it is all of those things.
> Wikimania is above all a chance to start projects -- to take the
> relationships that we've all built by meeting people we knew online
> (and those we didn't) and make them stronger, and take the things
> we've collectively learned -- about the Foundation, the place where
> the conference was, and the various projects that the attendees
> represented -- and then make those projects stronger.  For me, the
> success of this year's Wikimania will be measured for in large part
> not just by the last couple of weeks but by what happens next --
> whether the Foundation collaborates with the BA to host public-domain
> Arabic texts, whether the Arabic-language media takes a stronger
> interest in writing about Wikipedia, whether the many new people who
> showed up start editing Wikipedia, and whether the rest of us who
> attended have renewed inspiration to work on Wikimedia projects and
> stay in touch with one another, to follow up on all those
> conversations.
> Finally, do keep the comments coming about Wikimania, good and bad; as
> Patricio said, we do have another conference to work on and input is
> great. Beyond that, we have the future of Wikimania to plan -- 2010
> and beyond. There is going to be an effort to formally collect
> feedback soon as well, and I hope all of you will participate. This
> conference is ultimately a community effort, for the community; and
> it's something that everyone interested should help shape.
> -- Phoebe, who is already looking forward to next year
> p.s. there's a whole lot of people that I didn't get the chance to say
> goodbye to in person. By the last night, I had entirely lost my voice
> and was basically unable to talk -- just at the moment when I most
> wanted to talk to many of you. So I guess I'm making up for it by
> writing this very long email :)
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