Discussing Wikipedia in Damascus

For those of you who are in Damascus, Syria, tomorrow 5th of may, there is a very interesting event happening at 4pm in Al Asad Library organised by Syrian Computer Society to discuss about the famous Wikipedia.

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Wikipedia is the largest online encyclopedia but the pages written in the Arabic language are still very poor in numbers. Lots of efforts have yet to be done within the Arab community of Wikipedia contributors.

One of the major problem till now was the fact that many of them prefer writing articles on the Wikipedia English, in order to communicate with other communities more directly (and, let’s admit it, also because writing in Classical Arabic is not the easiest thing to do, not even for native speakers).

Things got even more complicated when Egyptian Wikipedia appeared under the name of  Wikipedia Masri, written in the Egyptian dialect. Last december, this move has generated lots of discussions in the Egyptian and in the Arab blogosphere,  as reported by Global Voices.

Is it the opening of local Wikipedia “versions” in local Arabic dialects the right solution for the lack of Arabic content on the web?

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