Friday, October 12, 2007

Here we go!

After months of preparation, Alexandria was finally chosen as the winning bid for the Wikimedia Foundation’s fourth annual international conference, Wikimania 2008. Chosen by the Wikimania jury as the winner over two other exceptional bids, Atlanta and Cape Town, Alexandria will be hosting the event in the summer of 2008 at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), the newly reconstructed library of Alexandria.

Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization based in St.Petesburg, Florida, USA, with local chapters in several cities around the world. It was founded in 2003, since when it has acted as a portal for developing and maintaining multilingual open content through several Wiki based projects. Its annual Wikimania conference is intended to provide a venue for discussing various Wiki projects, their possible evolution, and to discuss several related research papers and topics. The conference typically consists of hacking days, workshops, panel discussions and presentations. The conference also acts as a meeting point for Wiki users, providing them with an opportunity to interact and exchange expertise.

Alexandria, which has entered the bid for the second time, was chosen by the jurors based on 12 criteria, of which it Alexandria led in six areas, and was placed second in five others. In the Foundation’s official press release, it is stated that Alexandria was favored due to “[its being] particularly strong in the areas of
reflecting the Wikimedia Foundation's roots in geo-diversity and multi-lingualism, [ the] very exciting nature of the proposed venue and its local facilities, and of the particularly advanced nature of
the financial planning.”

The Alexandria bid team, which consists mainly of eager youth volunteers, will start work immediately at making next year’s Wikimania an outstanding event. The venue of the conference provides a good start, as the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Conference Center is a fully equipped, state of the art, facility, and the involved ICT department will be providing its full range of technical support throughout the entire conference.

This conference will be made possible by sponsorship from several parties; confirmed sponsorships have been given from the BA, Microsoft Egypt, governmental authorities, and several local companies, such as eSpace and Gawab.

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1 comment:

Hani said...

Congratulations and best of luck with the preparations.