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Submissions/Growing the Arabic Wikipedia through the Wikipedia Education Program

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2013.

Presentation Media

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission
Growing the Arabic Wikipedia through the Wikipedia Education Program
Type of submission
Author of the submission
LiAnna Davis and Arabic Wikipedia volunteers Mohammed Ouda and Aya Mahfouz
Country of origin
United States, Egypt
Wikimedia Foundation
E-mail address
User:Ldavis (WMF)
Personal homepage or blog
Program home page

Already in its third term, the Wikipedia Education Program Arab World is having dramatic effects in growing the content and contributors on the Arabic Wikipedia.

Detailed proposal

With more than 280 million native speakers, Arabic is one of the world's most spoken languages, but the Arabic Wikipedia has lagged behind other language Wikipedias in terms of the amount of articles. The Arabic Wikipedia has only 225,000 articles — a tiny fraction in comparison to the English Wikipedia, which has 4.2 million articles. But the Arabic Wikipedia has been steadily growing over the last year, thanks in part to the efforts of college students in Egypt participating in the Wikipedia Education Program.

The Wikipedia Education Program kicked off in Egypt with a Cairo pilot at two universities, Ain Shams University and Cairo University. In the first two terms, the program introduced more than 200 new editors to the Arabic Wikipedia, and students contributed more than 8.34 million bytes of content. The program has now expanded to Jordan, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia as well as growing within Egypt. Even in the second term, students were making up about 10% of the active editors on the Arabic Wikipedia, and contributing around 3–5% of the content added to the Arabic Wikipedia each month, meaning the program is a catalyst for growing a small language Wikipedia quickly. The program also helps address the gender gap: More than 87% of participants are female.

In this presentation, we will talk about the experiences and lessons learned from the Arabic program, and share how other education programs can be successful by following the model of Egypt.


Cultural and Educational Outreach

Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Language of presentation/talk
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