Ideas Beyond Borders and Wikipedia Arabic Educational Outreach


Faisal Saeed Al Mutar is the founder of Ideas Beyond Borders and Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0, Global Secular Humanist Movement, and a columnist for Free Inquiry

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What are some other milestones?

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar: There have been some pretty amazing milestones since our last conversation. Over the last few months, we have Wiki groups in the Levant mainly.

We have a number of translators and people focused on different subjects emphasizing the Arabic language. Unfortunately, the Wikipedia Arabic used to be the 18th language.

But, fortunately, we were able to translate more than a 1,000 articles as we speak. These articles never existed before in Arabic. This would be the Civil Rights movement figures.

Today, I was reading a story about how Saudi women’s rights activist for driving was inspired by Rosa Parks. That has been translated into Arabic by our group.

Also, the library of evolution has been translation. It is a banned subject in many education systems across the Arabic world. I have been focusing over the past few months until now on the building of a full library of evolution.

It would be from the beginning to the end. It is already gaining us a lot of momentum with partnering with groups in the Middle East. We are really definitely creating and institutionalizing a movement that is very helpful for new ideas.

The Wikipedia Arabic project has been working really well. We have expanded our translation efforts to expand to Kurdish too. We have expanded beyond just the Arabic language.

Now, we have included articles in Kurdish and about 15 or so in Farsi. These have been in subjects including freedom of the press, pluralism, John Stuart Mill and the concept of liberty, progressive values, and also the values of the Enlightenment.

Many of these articles did not exist in these languages before. We are happy to be a part of this movement. We are expecting other countries in the Middle East, including Iran and the Northern part of Iraq and Kurdistan.

It has been going perfectly. We are releasing our books very slowly as we are trying to make sure that the reach and the partnerships that we are building in the region will help distribute them, to make sure it is a success and the quality of the translation is the highest possible in the organization.

We are very happy to work with experts in translation.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Faisal.

Photo by mostafa meraji on Unsplash

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