Education/News/March 2018/Beirut WikiClub: Wikijourney that has enriched our experiences

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Beirut WikiClub: Wikijourney that has enriched our experiences[edit]

Authors: Sevan Tanielian, Lilit Tarkhanyan (Wikimedia Armenia)

Sevan with her students

Summary: This is an inspirational story of a teacher who could gather her students around the idea of Wikipedia.

In 2015, Sevan Tanielian, a teacher from Yeghishe Manoukian College, Beirut, Lebanon, participated in the wiki seminar for Western Armenian teachers and journalists organized in Aghveran, Armenia․ The aim of the seminar was to prepare teachers and journalists for becoming Wikipedia editors who would later share their learning with their students and colleagues.

Even if, at first, it seemed challenging, I realized quickly that this work would be very interesting and exciting. Indeed, I understood that it would help us keep Western Armenian language alive, moreover, those documentations would guide people in finding information they are looking for in their mother language.

By acknowledging all the possible positive results, Sevan reached for her school’s (Yeghishe Manoukian College) headmaster and explained all the promising achievements they would make through this work with the students. The headmaster, Mr. Zohrab Ghazarian, immediately encouraged Sevan to lead this project and urged to create a group with the students who participated at the Summer WikiCamp that year in Bzommar, Lebanon.

The project increased enthusiasm among the students and the number of candidates grew very quickly. The chosen students worked very hard that summer. Since then, every year a group of students, from Yeghishe Manoukian and other Armenian Schools in Lebanon, have been participating in the Summer WikiCamps. Those camps have taken place in Armenia, Portugal and France where students from the diaspora came together to enrich Wikipedia.

It is important to underline that the aim of Western Armenian WikiCamps is mainly to bring together young Armenians, to create relationships, to have the opportunity to share experiences, to encourage speaking in mother language, to learn editing Wikipedia, create articles in Western Armenian and to have fun at the same time.

It is obvious that these camps have created bonds among the students as the relationship between them is going on even after the end of each camp. Nowadays, Sevan and her 8 students have a weekly meeting in their school in order to work on articles together and share them on Wikipedia.

As an Armenian, I feel proud of being part of this experience, as a teacher I am proud of my students for all the work we have done together. This journey has given me all the amazing teachers and coworkers, who brought in the spirit of cooperation and teamwork. It has enriched our experiences through sharing and learning from each other.

Tags:Western Armenian Wikipedia, WikiCamps, Yeghishe Manoukian College, Wikimedia Armenia