In the bustling African Wikimedia community, where open knowledge flows freely and creativity knows no bounds, Donia Domiaty is a perfect example of how far dedication and passion can take you. She recently joined the Wiki In Africa team as a multi-skilled program facilitator; specifically as the live broadcast facilitator for WikiAfrica Hour and the Lead Ambassador for WikiAfrica Tools (supporting the Wikimedia community working with WikiFundi and the ISA Tool), and brings with her a wealth of experience and a belief in the power of freely accessible information and the importance of local perspectives in that knowledge.

 A Journey of Passion and Continuous Learning

Like many on our team, Donai’s journey to joining the Wiki in Africa team is rooted in the Open Movement. “I started editing on Wikipedia out of sheer curiosity,” she admits, “but soon, I found myself drawn to the ethos of the Open Movement—the idea that knowledge should be freely accessible to all, irrespective of geographical or cultural boundaries.”

Donia’s trajectory within the Wikimedia ecosystem is remarkable. “Over the past five years, I’ve traversed a path of endless learning and sharing,” she reflects. Donia began in the Open Movement as an editor and participant in community-driven projects in her home country, Egypt, where she is doing her clinical internship as a medical doctor. 

From those humble beginnings as a volunteer editor on Wikimedia Projects organised by the Egypt Wikimedians User Group, she soon found herself organising edit-a-thons, workshops, and local editing and photo contests and went on to become a board member. In late 2019, she founded the Wikipedian Editor Project, initially with the aim of attracting volunteers for the Arabic Wikipedia, but the projects soon expanded to include all Wikimedia projects.  Her energy did not go unnoticed. Soon, she was being invited to present local and regional events and became passionately active in regional and international discussions related to Wikimedia strategy, such as the Leadership Development Working Group. “Joining Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects was like stepping into a whole new universe, where I could not only explore but also contribute to the wealth of human knowledge.”

A New Chapter Begins: Embracing the Wiki In Africa Vision

With her recent appointment to the Wiki In Africa team, Donia embarks on a new chapter—one that holds the promise of meaningful impact and collaboration. “Joining Wiki In Africa is more than just a career move for me,” she confides. “It’s an opportunity to channel my passion for open knowledge towards serving the African community, a cause that resonates deeply with me.”

As she delves into the intricacies of her new role, Donia’s enthusiasm is palpable. “I’m eager to work alongside experienced colleagues who share my vision of empowering communities through knowledge sharing,” she says, her words echoing with a sense of purpose. “Together, we can make a real difference in bridging the knowledge gap and fostering a culture of learning and collaboration.”

Aspirations and Dreams: Her Vision for the Future

When asked about her aspirations with Wiki In Africa, Donia’s response is brimming with optimism and determination. “I hope to leverage my experience and expertise to address the unique challenges faced by the African community in accessing open knowledge,” she asserts. “Whether it’s through organising edit-a-thons, facilitating workshops, or forging strategic partnerships, I’m committed to making a tangible difference.”

Her eyes light up as she speaks of WikiAfrica Hour, the Wiki in Africa project she will now lead. “As a facilitator for WikiAfrica Hour, I see immense potential in amplifying voices, sharing experiences, and sparking meaningful conversations,” she says. “By reaching new audiences and engaging in thought-provoking discussions, we can create a ripple effect of positive change across the continent.”

Donia’s ambitions extend beyond WikiAfrica Hour, encompassing tools like ISA and WikiFundi as well. “I believe that these tools have the power to revolutionise the way knowledge is accessed and shared,” she says. “By harnessing the power of technology and innovation, we can overcome barriers and empower communities to chart their own path towards enlightenment.”

A Lifelong Commitment: Nurturing the Spirit of Volunteerism through her new position

Reflecting on her journey, Donia is filled with gratitude for the opportunities that volunteering within the Wikimedia ecosystem has afforded her. “Five years ago, I could never have imagined the impact that this journey would have on my life,” she muses. “But now, I see it as a lifelong commitment—a journey of endless possibilities and opportunities for growth.”

“There’s something truly special about being part of a global movement that transcends borders and cultures.” When she speaks of the boundless potential of volunteerism within the Wikimedia community, her words resonate with the rest of the Wiki in Africa team.  “In this ever-evolving landscape of knowledge sharing, there’s always something new to learn, someone new to connect with, and a new way to make a difference.” We couldn’t agree more. Welcome to the team, Donia!