[Wikimedia-l] Jimmy & Katherine for Tatarstan's July Wikimedia Educational Forum?

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[Wikimedia-l] Jimmy & Katherine for Tatarstan's July Wikimedia Educational Forum?

Фархад Фаткуллин / Farhad Fatkullin
Dear Wikimedia colleagues,

This is a preliminary heads-up & public outreach email on the initiative to invite Global representatives of Wikimedia Movement to speak at a Wikimedia projects dedicated program of Tatarstan Youth IT FORUM 2019 (July 16-21).[1]

The event is to bring together over a thousand young members of Selet Youth movement,[2] a partner of Wikimedia Russia & WUG TAT within a joint Selet WikiSchool project,[3] which is currently running its 4th session.[4]The project with Selet itself was initiated in 2016 on the request of Selet Founder Professor Dzhavdet Suleymanov [5] (Kazan Federal University & Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, D.S. in Computational Math, Founder of a Regional Applied Semiotics Institute).[6] Recently our institutional partner inquired on the willingness of Russia, CIS & Global Wikimedia Community to take the existing relationship to a new level, proposed to sign an MOU & start integrating participation in Wikimedia Projects & Programmatic activities into their ongoing Youth Outreach & Extracurricular Education work.

On the part of the speakers of Russian, we are to have Stanislav Kozlovsky [7] of Wikimedia Russia [8] & Wikimedia Education Program @ Moscow State University[9] & Susanna Mkrtchan [10] of Wikimedia Armenia  [11] & Wikipedia & Education UG [12]), both of whom expressed their preliminary agreement to come & speak. This email is meant to inquire about our Global Community's readiness, as well as Katherine Maher & Jimmy Wales' willingness & availability to join us in this effort. Formal invitation letters to our non-Russian colleagues will eventually be sent by official representatives of Wikimedia Russia, as well as the President of Tatarstan [13] (on the request of Selet).

Selet camps started back in 1994 by members of local academic community as an extracurricular educational activities engaging the winners of various regional contests - I've been an active participant in 1995-1998, as a winner of regional high-school contests (Physics/English), later as a co-teacher & a team leader. Annual Summer Forum bringing together participants of thematic camps from around the region takes place in the vicinity of historic site of Volga Bulgaria capital of Bilär. Before Wikimania Montreal in 2017, we made a public presentation of WikiSchool at the Forum whose topic was Environment, Green Energy & SDGs. To my knowledge, this is the second time the event has an IT focused session.The idea of the Wikimedia-specific component was born within Selet. Funding for the session was requested from Tatarstan President by the Deputy Prime-Minister of the Republic (Tatarstan Minister for ICT),[14] who was previously instrumental in moving Tatarstan.ru portal to CC-BY 4.0 last August [15] & later gave me a chance to present Smart Region wiki-initiative [16] to the President of the Republic & Russia's Federal Deputy Prime-Minister back in February.[17]

This development seems to be a logical extension of the fact that State Bilingualism Working Group under Tatarstan President Chief of Staff very much welcomes contribution of Tatar Wikimedians, Wikimedia Russia & WMF towards supporting Tatar-language projects - this was witnessed to me by the Regional Minister for Culture,[18] when she met me right after one of their cross-departmental meetings, immediately inviting Wikimedians to come up with something in the GLAM realm that could be done together with her department. Recently I also wrote about the fact that Mr. President instructed our Regional Ministry of Education to look into introducing Wikimedia projects into Education (within or as an extracurricular activity)  - I was contacted by the department of Tatar language education programs).[19] It seems that in such an environment a high-caliber public support on the part of the global Wikimedia community with its official representatives speaking directly to the young generation of Tatarstanians could help make the volunteer participation in the movement more popular in the region. I understand that representatives of cultures with less centralization might be concerned this kind of cooperation might lead the movement astray, so here I can only reiterate that we are to stay cold-headed, transparent & open to opportunities we are presented with.[20]

On top of strengthening fledgling movement within Tatarstan & throughout the Tatar world,[21] such an appearance by recognized figures, if possible, appropriate and desired, will contribute to improving Wikimedia recognition throughout the Russian Federation (Tatarstan is one of its leading regions), as well as in the Muslim world (Tatarstan is one of Russia's Muslim republics, Tatarstan President is a Chair of OIC-Russia Strategic Vision Group).[22] This will also be a strong signal to Turkey & and other Turkic nations, with whom Tatars [23] have common ethnic & linguistic roots. Other countries keeping an eye on what's happening in Tatarstan are China, Hungary, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkey & Uzbekistan (Consulate Generals in Kazan), as well as Belarus with a regional Office of their Embassy to the Russian Federation.[24] Germans, Americans, French & Dutch companies are among those that have strong presence and investments in the region as well.[25]

The project was initiated & the draft program in Russian [26] prepared by Mr. Timerkhan Shaykhutdinov,[27] a high-school senior WUG TAT volunteer from within Selet Community, who served as my replacement speaker at a panel during April's Wikimedia&Education Conference in Donostia - San Sebastian.[28] This gentleman, who was my first & only WikiSchool student back in 2016-2017 school year, has forwarded me an email confirming he was recently awarded a Full Scholarship to Wikimania 2019 in Stockholm.[29] 

The copy of the above was sent in Russian to [wikimedia-ru] list a few days ago. [30]


Farhad Fatkullin - Фархад Фаткуллин http://sikzn.ru/ Тел.+79274158066 / skype:frhdkazan / Wikipedia:frhdkazan / Wikidata:Q34036417

P.S. Should above mentioned specific dates be busy, Selet will be happy to welcome Jimmy & Katherine at an early July session to be attended by the President in person, though that one will not be Wikimedia projects specific.

[1] - http://selet.biz/news/vii-international-youth-educational-forum-selet-held-in-the-format-of-6-shifts/ (Russian)
[2] - http://selet.biz/en/
[3] - https://ru.wikimedia.org/wiki/Selet_WikiSchool
[4] - https://tt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Википедия:Сәләт_ВикиМәктәбе/Программа/Яз-2019 (Tatar)
[5] - http://www.antat.ru/en/staff/5110/
[6] - http://www.antat.ru/ru/ips/ (Russian)
[7] - https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q21191631
[8] - https://ru.wikimedia.org/wiki/en
[9] - https://ru.wikimedia.org/wiki/Образовательная_программа_в_МГУ
[10] - https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q20747474
[11] - https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q20515521
[12] - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_%26_Education_User_Group
[13] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rustam_Minnikhanov
[14] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Shaykhutdinov (needs to be toned down, I was unable to convince his press-staff to change the style just yet)
[15] - https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2018-August/090955.html
[16] - https://ru.wikimedia.org/wiki/Smart_region
[17] - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/CEE/Newsletter/February_2019/Contents/Russia_report#Tatarstan_pilot_of_%C2%ABSmart_Region%C2%BB_initiative_presented_to_the_Russian_Federation_Deputy_Prime-Minister
[18] - http://mincult.tatarstan.ru/rus/rukov/minister.htm (Russian)
[19] - https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2019-April/092264.html
[20] - https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2019-April/092331.html
[21] - projects with other local partners in Tatar realm https://ru.wikimedia.org/wiki/Smart_region/Multilingualism/Tatar that are worth mentioning include:
* Tatar 4.0 article project in conjunction with World Tatar Youth Forum's "I speak Tatar" campaign this year brought together 126 participants / 68 school teams https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:TATAR_4.0_contest
* initiatives with Tatar Internet Development Foundation http://tat-i.net/ (Tatar or Russian):
** Public Awarding of most fruitful contributors to ttWP - https://tt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Википедия:Белем_җәүһәрләре (Tatar)
** Taking ttWquote out of Wikimedia Incubator to engage participants of their other projects (planned)
[22] - https://www.ircica.org/news/meeting-of-the-group-of-strategic-vision-russia-islamic-world
[23] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatars
[24] - https://www.tatar-inform.ru/news/2019/02/08/641442/ (Russian)
[25] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alabuga_Special_Economic_Zone#Operating_enterprises
[26] - https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-ru/attachments/20190508/8dc32c18/attachment.docx (Russian)
[27] - https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q56705756
[28] - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia%2BEducation_Conference_2019/Submissions/Bridging_knowledge_gaps_through_mother_language_instruction_using_Wikimedia_projects
[29] - https://wikimania.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania
[30] - https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-ru/2019-May/005098.html (Russian)
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