As the world’s largest encyclopedia with over 40 million articles, Wikipedia is likely your go-to destination whenever you need an overview of a topic you gain new interest in.
Because Wikipedia creators are also keen on sharing knowledge with as many curious minds as possible, Wikipedia is now available in over 325 languages.
However, the content of some non-English Wikipedia editions is often not of the same quality as that of English Wikipedia.
To rectify that misfortune in the Arab world, a group of contributors works round the clock to enrich the content of Arabic Wikipedia. Most active among these contributors isDr. Mossab Banat.
Dr. Mossab Banat is a fresh Medicine graduate of the Hashemite University in Jordan, who aims to provide Arabic readers with reliable digital information on Wikipedia and other platforms. Today, Dr. Banat is one of the top 10 Arabic Wikipedia contributors with over 180,000 contributions. As fascinating as that sounds, the beginning of his love story with Wikipedia is just as fascinating.
Dr. Banat’s first use of the internet was shortly after graduating from high school. He stumbled upon Wikipedia as a Medical school freshman. Most advantageous to him was that Wikipedia articles did not consume any of his (already small) internet quotas so he became hooked quickly.
Although Wikipedia helped him immensely as a student, he found many of the Arabic articles to be weak. So, he took it upon himself to enrich the content of Arabic Wikipedia articles, especially those about medical topics.
Soon enough, Dr. Banat would transfer his passion for Wikipedia to others when he brought about the founding of the first Wikipedia Education Program in the Middle East at Hashemite University. Through the program, professors of courses such as Pharmacology and Cellular Biology encouraged their students to contribute to Arabic Wikipedia to make their coursework more engaging.
Over 2000 Hashemites participated in the program generating significant leaps in the quality of Arabic Wikipedia content. Most recently under the leadership of Dr. Banat, the group embarked on an initiative to translate English articles about the COVID-19 pandemic to Arabic. The initiative saw remarkable success with the creation of 255 new articles which brought in over 266,000 page views.
Dr. Banat is currently a research assistant at his alma mater. In addition, he founded the Jordanian Digital Arabic Content Association to promote informative Arabic content throughout the entire internet and beyond the scope of his university.