This is wonderful news. Expecially the fact that they can edit for free.
Congrats to all involved :-)


On Tue, Feb 28, 2017 at 11:28 AM, Pine W <> wrote:

> Forwarding.
> Pine
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Samantha Lien <>
> Date: Tue, Feb 28, 2017 at 3:28 AM
> Subject: [Wikimedia Announcements] [PRESS RELEASE] Wikimedia community in
> Iraq partners with Asiacell to bring Wikipedia to nearly 12 million
> subscribers free of mobile data charges
> To:
> This press release is also available online here:
> Wikimedia_community_in_Iraq_partners_with_Asiacell_to_
> bring_Wikipedia_to_nearly_12_million_subscribers_free_of_
> mobile_data_charges
> *Wikimedia community in Iraq partners with Asiacell to bring Wikipedia to
> nearly 12 million subscribers free of mobile data charges*
> *Mobile data fees waived for Asiacell customers in Iraq to access
> Wikipedia, a free collection of knowledge available in nearly 300
> languages*
> (Barcelona, Spain) February 28th, 2017 -- Today, Wikimedia community
> members in Iraq, the Wikimedia Foundation, and Asiacell, one of Iraq’s
> largest mobile operators, announced a new partnership to provide access to
> Wikipedia free of mobile data charges to Asiacell’s nearly 12 million
> subscribers in Iraq. The partnership was announced today at a press event
> hosted by Ooredoo during Mobile World Congress 2017.
> The partnership, developed in large part by Iraqi volunteer editor and
> Asiacell employee, Sarmad Saeed Yaseen, marks the first Wikipedia Zero
> program in Iraq. The program, overseen by the nonprofit Wikimedia
> Foundation, addresses one of the greatest barriers to internet access
> globally: affordability. In a recent phone survey in Iraq led by the
> Wikimedia Foundation, roughly 80% of surveyed participants reported that
> mobile data costs limited their use of the internet. About 33% of
> participants also reported rarely or never being able to find online
> content in their preferred language.
> Through the Wikipedia Zero
> <> program, mobile data
> fees are waived for subscribers of participating mobile operators so that
> they may read and edit Wikipedia without using any of their mobile data.
> Sarmad, who is part of a community of local volunteer Wikipedia editors in
> Iraq, started the partnership to extend access to knowledge in his home
> country of Iraq. Together, he and his wife, Ravan Jaafar Altaie, have been
> active editors (or Wikipedians) since 2008.
> “I've always believed that it is better to light a candle than curse the
> darkness, so I decided to volunteer in Wikipedia to provide knowledge for
> free to my people in their own language,” said Sarmad Saeed Yaseen. “When I
> was first introduced to Wikipedia Zero, I felt right away that this could
> be the best thing ever to share free knowledge in my country and encourage
> the people of Iraq to contribute knowledge and share this with the world on
> Wikipedia.”
> Wikipedia is an online collection of knowledge written by volunteer editors
> from every corner of the globe. Available in nearly 300 languages,
> Wikipedia is a place to learn about virtually any topic -- from ancient
> history to science to the arts -- in your local language, for free, and
> without advertising. Wikipedia editors use reliable sources to support
> information that is included in Wikipedia articles, so readers can explore
> the sources that verify the facts. Wikipedia is completely non-profit,
> independent, and maintained by everyday people around the world.
> Wikipedia in Iraq is supported by a local community of volunteer editors in
> almost every major city of the country. In 2015, Sarmad and Ravan organized
> the first series of workshops in Erbil to teach Iraqi people how to edit
> Wikipedia. The workshops led to 600 new articles and more than 12,000 edits
> primarily to Arabic and Kurdish Wikipedia. In October 2015, this community
> launched the first formalized Wikimedia group from Iraq, the Iraqi
> Wikimedians user group <>
> (a formalized Wikimedia affiliate group that has been recognized by the
> global Wikimedia community of editors). Today, the majority of unique
> device visits to Wikipedia in Iraq come from mobile devices.
> Worldwide, Wikipedia is recognized as an important learning resource, but
> it also offers a platform to share knowledge with the world. Edits from any
> country contribute to the world’s common knowledge repository, seen by
> hundreds of millions of people every month. This allows many to learn from
> what just a few people might otherwise know. As more voices contribute to
> Wikipedia, it becomes a better representation of the diverse cultures,
> history, people, viewpoints, and perspectives of our world.
> “Asiacell believes that sharing knowledge is a way to enforce the
> interaction among human beings. We strongly believe in contributing in the
> global project of Wikipedia. Beside all the modern technologies that we
> offer, this partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation is one of the
> achievements that we are proud of. We will enable our 12 million subscriber
> base to have free access to Wikipedia, this will enable them to widen the
> scale of their knowledge and thus direct them towards a brighter future for
> themselves and for humanity,” said Zring Faruk, Chief Commercial Officer at
> Asiacell.
> With this partnership, Asiacell customers will be able to edit Wikipedia
> without mobile data charges -- adding to and improving articles in their
> preferred language and sharing knowledge of Iraq’s rich cultural history,
> heritage, and its people with the rest of the world.
> “Wikipedia is guided by a powerful vision: that every single person should
> be able to share in all of the world’s knowledge, for free and without
> restriction,” said Katherine Maher, Executive Director of the Wikimedia
> Foundation. “Sarmad, Ravan, and the Iraqi Wikimedians User Group have been
> passionate advocates of this vision in Iraq. They've nurtured the growth of
> Arabic and Kurdish Wikipedia for nearly a decade, and have built a vibrant
> community committed to sharing knowledge of Iraq and its heritage, people,
> and culture with the world. We are thrilled to have Asiacell join us as a
> partner in this journey.”
> The Wikipedia Zero program is overseen by the Wikimedia Foundation, the
> nonprofit that supports Wikipedia and a number of other Wikimedia free
> knowledge websites. Since the program first began in 2012, Wikipedia Zero
> partnerships have taken place with 68 mobile operators in 52 countries.
> *# # #*
> *About Asiacell*
> Asiacell is a leading provider of quality mobile telecommunications and
> data services in Iraq with a subscriber base of nearly 12 million customers
> as of December 1st 2016. Asiacell was the first mobile telecommunications
> provider in Iraq to achieve nationwide coverage, offering its services
> across all of Iraq’s 19 governorates including the national capital Baghdad
> and all other major Iraqi cities. Asiacell’s network covers 99.06% of the
> Iraqi population which makes its national coverage the widest among the
> mobile operators in Iraq.
> *About Wikipedia*
> Wikipedia is the world’s free knowledge resource. It is a collaborative
> creation that has been added to and edited by millions of people from
> around the globe since it was created in 2001: anyone can edit it, at any
> time. Wikipedia is offered in hundreds of languages containing more than 40
> million articles. Wikipedia and its sister projects are collectively
> visited by more than a billion unique devices each month.
> *About the Wikimedia Foundation*
> The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports and
> operates Wikipedia and its sister projects. More than a billion unique
> devices access the Wikimedia sites each month. Roughly 70,000 people edit
> Wikipedia and its sister projects every month, collectively creating and
> improving its more than 40 million articles across hundreds of languages –
> this all makes Wikipedia one of the most popular web properties in the
> world. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is a
> 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.
> *Press contact*
> *Asiacell*
> *Wikimedia Foundation*
> Juliet Barbara
> --
> *Samantha Lien*
> Communications Manager
> Wikimedia Foundation
> 149 New Montgomery Street
> San Francisco, CA 94105
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James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
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