A Report on the Kateb Maktub Project
The Kateb Maktub project is an initiative by the Emirates Literature Foundation, a non-profit and non-governmental organization which fosters the love of literature in the UAE and worldwide. The project members work hand in hand with key institutions such as Wikipedia, Google and ISNI to ensure that Arab authors have unique identifiers, which reduces ambiguity in relation to identity online.
This project was initiated in response to the lack of presence and visibility of Arab authors on the internet, especially on Wikipedia, the largest public online encyclopedia.
This project aims at:
- increasing the presence and visibility of Arab authors on Wikipedia.
- raising awareness of not only authors and books but of the critical importance of high-quality information.
- reaching the goal of 15,000 Wikipedia pages dedicated to Arab authors, in English and Arabic, by encouraging volunteers from schools, universities and individuals to contribute by either authoring or translating articles on Arab writers.
Department of Foreign Languages Collaboration with the Kateb Maktub Project:
Target group: Department of Foreign Languages (DFL) students
Number of Volunteers: 24
Prof. Sane Yagi
Dr. Najib Jarad
Ms. Dana Khalil
Ms. Serine Brahim (former graduate from the department and currently working on Kateb Maktub project)
DFL Students' Role:
- Participate in a two-day training session (4 hours)
- Translate documents about Arab writers written either in Arabic or English for Wikipedia
- Gather credible information about missing Arab writers either in Arabic or English
- Author articles about different Arab writers in Arabic or English for Wikipedia
Volunteers from DFL participated in two hands-on training sessions on the 2nd and 3rd of February, 2021 in order to:
- Learn how to create an account on Wikipedia
- Learn how to create pages on Wikipedia
- Learn how to find reliable and accurate information
- Learn about the different types of sources
- Learn how to write and translate biographies on Wikipedia
- Learn how to edit articles on Wikipedia
- Learn how articles are classified on Wikipedia
Upon completion of the training sessions, students need to create one page about an Arab writer either in Arabic or English and then publish it on Wikipedia. Then, they will receive a certificate from the Emirates Literature Foundation indicating training completion.
This project will:
- provide DFL students with an opportunity to be involved in voluntary work that aims at promoting Arab writers and their work to the world.
- provide DFL students with the opportunity to assist a non-profit organization and thus serve the community.
- enhance the students' CVs by gaining first-hand work experience in translation.
- provide DFL students with extra-curricular activities.
- become recognized by the Emirates Literature Foundation as translators/authors on Wikipedia.
- receive a certificate from the Emirates Literature Foundation for participating in the Kateb Maktub project.
Member of the extra-curricular activities at COAHSS