Wikimania jury chooses Alexandria for 2008 location

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

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External view of the venue, Bibliotheca Alexandriana Convention Center

According to an official mailing list post from Wikimedia Volunteer Coordinator Cary Bass, Wikimania 2008 will be held in Alexandria, Egypt.

The location was chosen because it is "particularly strong in the areas of reflecting the Wikimedia Foundation's roots in geo-diversity and multi-lingualism". According to the final tally, Alexandria placed first in the Funding, Location, Organizing Team, Rotation, Cost, and Venue. Alexandria had 3026 points total.

In second place with 2419 points was Atlanta, Georgia, United States. They placed first in Accommodation, Internet Access, Local Laws, Press, and Social Areas.

Finally, Cape Town, South Africa had 2003 points, placing first in Visas only.

The motto selected for Alexandria's bid is "Let The Knowledge Be Free Everywhere", Atlanta's was "A new day for the New South", and Cape Town's was "Wikimania 2008. The International Wikimania Conference."

According to the post, the Jury used 12 different categories including Accommodation, Funding, Internet Access, Press, Organizing Team, and Visas. Each member of the jury had 60 points to assign to the three proposed venues.

The decision has provoked some debate on the selection process, complaints have been raised about honour killings and gay rights within Egypt, with some asserting that the human rights record of the country should have factored more into the decision process. In reaction to this criticism Jimmy Wales has decided his talk at the conference will be entitled "Free knowledge and human rights".

Karlsruhe, London, and Toronto submitted official bids, but later withdrew at various points throughout the process.


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