Pakistani Group Becomes Official Wikimedia Affiliate

KARACHI, May 15: A Pakistani group has officially joined the global movement behind Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Operating across the country, the new group has joined the ranks of more than 50 official Wikimedia affiliates around the globe and has become a voice for the Pakistani Wikipedia community in five languages.

“We are delighted at being officially recognized as a Wikimedia user group,” said SaqibQayyum, a Karachi-based Wikipedia contributor and one of the founders of the group. Operated by the San Francisco, California-based Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia is the 7th most popular website in Pakistan, and is known by the vast majority of the more than 19 million Internet users in the country. “Wikipedia is a unique source of free knowledge, and we are excited to be part of the effort to provide free information in the languages of Pakistan”, said Qayyum.

Founded in March 2014, the Wikimedia Community User Group Pakistan numbers around 100 Wikipedia contributors and supporters living in Pakistan or belonging to the widespread diaspora. The group aims to empower Pakistani Wikipedia contributors in their activities and to increase public awareness, support, and participation in the free encyclopedia, of which the Urdu edition reached a milestone of 50,000 articles last month.

One of their goals is to engage the public by organizing an open photography competition called Wiki Loves Monuments, which will take place during the month of September. A global initiative, Wiki Loves Monuments is certified as the biggest photography competition in history by the Guinness Book of World Records with some 350,000 entries from 35 countries submitted in its 2012 edition.

Organized for the first time in 2014, the Pakistani competition will encourage participants to take photographs of the country’s cultural heritage sites and upload them to Wikipedia’s file repository under a free license, which will allow them to be used in over 287 language editions of the encyclopedia. “It is a great opportunity to promote Wikipedia and the free culture movement in Pakistan,” said Qayyum. “We also hope to use it to celebrate Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage and proudly share it with the world,” he added.

The Youth Republic Brings Pakistan UN Wide Recognition

The Youth Republic has successfully made Pakistan’s way to WITSA’s 18th World Congress on IT, in Montreal, Canada. It has been selected as a Runner-up of the World Summit Youth Award, 2012 from over 1224 submissions from more than a hundred UN-member states that entered into the global contest.

An international jury of 21 young multimedia experts, IT experts and social entrepreneurs from 15 countries and all continents selected the very best entries in each of the six WSYA categories. As a result, The Youth Republic from Pakistan has earned UN-wide recognition!

The Youth Republic is a Global Youth Network, founded by Hina Hazrat from Chitral, Pakistan. The team includes Sara Baig from Hunza, Zar Nigar from Morkhun, Naureen Bhamany, Abiha Zehra and Fakhar Bokhari from Karachi, Hussain Roomi from Gojal, and Mohammad Innamuddin and Mujeeb Saboor from Karachi. The Youth Republic has an extensive network spread through almost 58 countries in the world. It provides the youth with a platform to be united, let their voices be heard, share opportunities, strengthen inter-cultural dialogues, stay pluralistic, spread love for global cultures and traditions, respect diversity, and support multilingualism.  The initiative pushes them to work for a better tomorrow and an inclusive future by developing Global Partnerships, hence paving the way towards achieving the mission of a better tomorrow and impacting the whole world at once.

The official public celebration of the winners and runners-up will be at the WSYA Winners’ Event which will be held for the first time in the framework of WITSA’s 18th World Congress on Information Technology, in Montréal, Canada.