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Wikipedia gave light to a community during ISIS' REIGN

When ISIS banned the internet in Mosul in June 2016, we became totally out of this world.

No TV… no cellphone… finally no net.

I had already expected ISIS would ban the internet, so I wanted to keep Wikipedia with me offline. Wikipedia had been my sweet spot to resort to in the midst of all the tension...depression...and fear. So I found a way to download one gigantic file of Wikipedia 2017 (in English). 

It was about 5GBs (without pics) and I found a special app to get it to work on the phone.

Then, I also managed to get the full Arabic version the same way.

I spread it secretly to my friends who love reading, and to my aunt.

I had been reading in it until the last moments of the war.

Mustafa | Iraq

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THE BAYT AL HIKMA 2.0 program is empowering Young women

I'm a medical student in my last year and a translator at this project... I joined this family more than a year ago. It was one of my best decisions. IBB gave me a stable job in a very unstable region. I really love my work in this project because I'm helping my community. I fought to get to medical school and being part of this project helps me as a woman reach out to people by providing them with knowledge and awareness. I'm a member of a big team of medical students and doctors within the bigger translation team. We have translated over 90 thousand words about COVID - 19 pandemic, helping to fight conspiracy theories and misinformation. We are still working on this nonstop as it is still an on-going problem.

Raghad| Syria

It's so important that the BAH2.0 program translated the Women in Science articles, because most women in my community don’t believe in themselves, and what they could really achieve. Most women in my community don’t work, so having work makes me feel independent, and because my work is as a translator, it has a positive impact, which makes me feel proud of what I do. I think other women see me like a role model when I tell them about my work.

Walaa | Syria

as a female translator who is doing what she loves and is very proud of herself, i care that young girls around me see that they don't have to follow a certain path, that they can be what they want to and leave a mark.

 

Working at Bayt al hikma 2.0 helped me see something different. I want them to see that too. 

Because of BAH2.0, I'm more independent and proud than ever in my life. There are new concepts and ideas to deal with every day for BAH2.0, which is thrilling. Basic information in all fields of science and knowledge is accessible for Arabic speakers, but when it comes to frontline knowledge, new ideas and concepts, and trusted references there is very little. In some areas, it's literally impossible to find anything in Arabic.

 

When a regular person needs to search for a piece of information they need, a good deal of what they get -if any- is misleading. As a translator for Bayt Alhikma 2.0 I rarely translate something people around me know about or are aware of. My town is crowded, but people here are not well-connected with the world. Language is a major barrier which is why we are doing this.

 

Knowledge is power, lack of knowledge is suffering. Humans here have had enough suffering. Science topics were fascinating, but personally, I was excited to translate articles on social movements, and how people changed their own lives by their own will. Articles dealing with civil rights. It touched my heart seeing how beautiful a society can be here, when ours isn't.

 

As a female translator who is doing what she loves and is very proud of herself, I care that young girls around me see they don't need to follow a certain path, they can be what they want to and leave a mark, I'm a good translator, I have my own view of the world, and soon will become a doctor. Being here in Bayt Alhikma 2.0 helped me see something different. I want them to see that too.

SARAH | Syria

I hope for my children to live in a better place, and Bayt Al Hikma 2.0 is a part of the path to that place. As for me, I feel satisfied when I am a part of this too. Living in a war-torn country enabled me to see a lot of women who suffered every kind of hardship. I am blessed to be a translator, and I hope to give other females an inspiration about the importance of education.

alisar | Syria

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access to information in my community is limited, or even worse: Biased. 

enriching communities with knowledge and opportunity

The feeling I have every night when I go to bed that I made a difference today is priceless. Not only do I make a difference in other people's lives, but also in my own. When translating or publishing an article, you're also reading it and affected by it. It's a win-win situation for everybody.

Access to information in my community is limited or even worse: biased. Many ideas are represented wrong because the Arabic sources are biased. That's why the program is doing an amazing job in providing sources for any Arabic speaker to have unbiased information that displays all aspects.

Bayt Al Hikma 2.0 is needed because everybody, especially in the Arab World, needs unbiased sources covering all fields and specially civil rights, women rights and secular principles. Articles about civil rights, women rights, and secular principles really changed my mind and widened my scope. It's important for society and for me; for society because it displays ideas and thoughts really needed in this region, and for me to feel like I'm making a difference.

abdullah | egypt

The Bayt Al Hikma 2.0 project helped me organize my time and find time to learn and educate myself on topics I had never considered reading. It both increased my knowledge and experience and gave me a great opportunity to help my people. When I tell my friends, family and colleagues about the project, I can see the astonishment and admiration in their eyes... [Articles translated by the program] talk about the experiences of countries that have managed to overcome religious, sectarian and other differences and moved towards a secular state. For example, I translated an article on German War Crimes throughout history, and felt that we could benefit from understanding the German experience in our own country. I place great hopes on this project and I feel that it is the beginning of many similar projects that will help our country to grow. The continuation of the project will give many young people the incentive to work harder, along with the hope to raise the nation toward science and eliminate ignorance. Almost half of the translators are females, and I couldn't be more proud. I and my colleagues feel we are role models for many.

ALISSAR | syria

[Working as a translator for BAH2.0] gives a sense of motivation in daily life knowing that you are doing something that is benefiting people all around the world. Because of the internet being the easiest source of information to access, it opens endless learning opportunities for people seeking information, and here is where Bayt Al Hikma 2.0 plays it’s role, providing Arabic information about different topics and in a better quality compared to the rest of the Arabic websites. And also compared to formal education which can be biased in some scientific topics. Education is the key to better communities and more developed countries.

karam | iraq

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