So, it has been a while since I joined Global Voices, first as a translator, then author, then Editor for the Arabic Lingua project. I always found the time I spent contributing to Global Voices rewarding, in every way possible.
It has been almost 2 years since I was first introduced by Eman AbdelRahman who joined the community previously. She told me about it several times but back then I was satisfied by being only a reader. It was until I found a post of mine referred to by Amira Al Hussaini in one of her updates, I can’t deny I was impressed by being noticed at that time, never expected that.
In the same time I was impressed by the Lingua project, how can a website constantly updated be translated into 20+ languages only on volunteer based efforts. I never even saw a commercial project with this size and this diversity in languages, people from all around the world contributing and meeting every now and then for organizing all the work, and at the same time, everything is just transparent, no “hidden agenda”, and almost with no bias.
After that, I applied to join the volunteer translators team in the Arabic Lingua project. With every post I read, everyone I translated, I always learned something new. I discovered how can this world be the same in many parts of it and still stay very diverse.
Then I became an author, though not very active, but seeing my posts translated into languages like Russian, Italian and Bengali and that things I write can be read by people who don’t speak my language, who speak languages I don’t even know, and live in countries I never visited…it is just amazing.
I enjoyed meeting people from every corner of the Earth. It is awesome when something happens anywhere and you know a person from the same place who call tell you more about it.
One of the best things I really appreciate is attending the Global Voices summit which happened last May in Chile. Enjoying my first 27 hours flight (my last flight was in 1998 and it only lasted 100 minutes), meeting people I knew online for a long time before meeting them in person. Enjoying a beautiful country far away from home. Realizing that knowing English doesn’t guarantee that the language bar is not there. It gave me a passion for knowing about the Spanish speaking culture and Latin America in general.
So…Happy birthday Global Voices, it’s six years old now. Good luck for many years to come in making more voices more reachable, and in facilitating more conversations between different corners of the world with all the diverse languages. Don’t forget to donate to Global Voices if you want to support how it removes barriers to make more conversations between different parts of the world.