Emirates Literature Foundation’s Kateb Maktub To Drive Visibility of Arab Authors with New Competition
- In the nine months since the Foundation and Google launched Kateb Maktub, the number of Arab author pages on Wikipedia has increased by 320%
- Grand slam prize winners get all expenses paid trip to Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2022 in Dubai
Emirates Literature Foundation’s Kateb Maktoub, together with Google, is launching a competition to exponentially increase the number of Arab author pages on Wikipedia. The month-long competition is starting 1 June and calls on the public to create articles about Arabic authors in Arabic. Ahead of the competition launch, the Foundation is offering a free webinar giving attendees the Wikipedia skills they need to create author pages on 30 May, so even those who have no previous experience can take part.
The aim is to create the largest number of articles about Arab authors, following the Wikipedia guidelines. The first prize winner is awarded US $500. Runners-up receive US $400 for second place and US $300 for third place. There is a second round of the competition that starts 1 August, offering another chance to compete for the prizes, and the person with the most articles across both cycles will scoop the Grand Slam Prize of an all-expenses paid trip to the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai 2022, with runners up receiving subscriptions to Abjjad, giving access to more than 30,000 Arabic books.
Ahlam Bolooki, Festival Director, said: “The Kateb Maktub initiative is an important step in the right direction for bringing Arab literature to a wider audience and shining a light on Arab authors. We are extremely proud of the results so far which couldn’t have been achieved without our talented and dedicated volunteers. The Grand Slam prize is a unique chance for literature lovers to meet some of the greatest authors at our Festival, and I am sure we will see fierce competition.”
The Kateb Maktub initiative was launched in December 2020 and has rapidly gained momentum. Between September 2019 and September 2020, the number of Arab author pages on Wikipedia had grown organically by 100. In the first four months after the launch of the initiative, the number of pages has increased by 4,800, or 320%. The Foundation has engaged with more than 10 educational institutions and corporates and offered 10 workshops and webinars to train volunteers.
There are two categories in each cycle of the competition: one for Wikipedia experts, and one for novices. To qualify, each article needs to be approximately 300-500 words and structured according to Wikipedia guidelines, including author introduction, notable works, awards, biographical information, and references and reliable quality sources. The Emirates Literature Foundation has a list of 6,000 author names contributors can develop pages for, and they have 48 hours to upload the article to Wikipedia from the time they select the author to ensure there are no duplicates.
The competition will be judged by a committee of experts, certified editors and administrators from the Arab wiki community. There are resources on the Kateb Maktub website, www.katebmaktub.org, including training sessions and tips. The free webinar will share insights into general and specific guidelines of writing Wikipedia biographies, criteria for the ideal Wikipedia article, and the steps to publishing an article. Registrations for the webinar are open, katebmaktub.org/training, and you can find all the competition details on this wikipedia page.
About the Emirates Literature Foundation:
The Emirates Literature Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which supports and nurtures a love of literature in the United Arab Emirates and the region, through a programme of varied cultural initiatives.
Established in 2013 by Royal Decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Foundation aims to foster a love for literature, with a focus on the Arabic language.
In line with the National Reading Policy of the UAE, the Foundation has implemented several long-term projects including the School Librarian of the Year Award, Kateb Maktub, and From the Inside Out, as well as conducting year-round student education programmes, book clubs and creative writing courses. The Foundation’s previous initiatives included the 2020 International Literary Festivals Conference, 2016 Dubai Translation Conference and the 2017 Dubai International Publishing Conference.
The Foundation is also the governing body of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the UAE’s premier literary festival.
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