Call for Applications: Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund

Honoring the legacy of Bassel Khartabil: Advancing collaboration, community, and the open web
bassel
Photo by Mohamed Nanabhay CC BY 2.0

Applications will be accepted through March 24, 2018.

فتح باب تقديم الطلبات: مِنح لتخليد ذكرى باسل خرطبيل

Creative Commons is inviting applications for interested individuals, groups, and organizations to apply for grants that build on the extraordinary work and legacy of free-culture activist Bassel Khartabil.

The Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund was created by Creative Commons at the request of Bassel Khartabil’s family in 2017. Bassel was a relentless advocate for free speech, free
culture, and democracy. He was the cofounder of Syria’s first hackerspace, Aiki Lab, Creative Commons’ Syrian project lead, and a prolific open source contributor, from Firefox to Wikipedia. Bassel’s final project, relaunched as #NEWPALMYRA, entailed building free and open 3D models of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. In his work as a computer engineer, educator, artist, musician, cultural heritage researcher, and thought leader, Bassel modeled a more open world, impacting lives globally.

Creative Commons would like to thank Private Internet Access, the family of Bassel Khartabil, and individual donors.

About Bassel Khartabil

Bassel Khartabil was a relentless advocate for free speech, free culture, and democracy. He was the cofounder of Syria’s first hackerspace, Aiki Lab, Creative Commons’ Syrian project lead, and a prolific open source contributor, from Firefox to Wikipedia. Bassel’s final project, relaunched as #NEWPALMYRA, entailed building free and open 3D models of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. In his work as a computer engineer, educator, artist, musician, cultural heritage researcher, and thought leader, Bassel modeled a more open world, impacting lives globally.

Bassel was taken from the streets in March of 2012 in a military arrest and interrogated and tortured in secret in a facility controlled by Syria’s General Intelligence Directorate. After a worldwide campaign by international human rights groups, together with Bassel’s many colleagues in the open internet and free culture communities, he was moved to Adra’s civilian prison, where he was able to communicate with his family and friends. His detention was ruled unlawful by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and condemned by international organizations such as Creative Commons, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Jimmy Wales Foundation.

Despite the international outrage at his treatment and calls for his release, in October of 2015 he was moved to an undisclosed location and executed shortly thereafter — a fact that was kept secret by the Syrian regime for nearly two years.

Related information:

Announcing the Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund
Free Bassel
Bassel Khartabil

(Please note: Creative Commons announced the Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund in tandem with the Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship.)

Program and grantee eligibility criteria (Who should apply)

    • We welcome applications from a wide range of disciplines, including but not limited to research and academia, arts, media and culture, technology, advocacy and activism.
    • The fund will support individual grantees, groups or organizations working in advancing collaboration, community building, and leadership development in the open communities of the Arab world.
    • We are particularly interested in:
      • Projects that incorporate collaboration into their models and that build assets and knowledge that will live on beyond the project.
      • Initiatives related to the digital preservation, sharing, and remix of creative works and historical artifacts.
    • Grants will be awarded to individuals or groups whose work embodies the legacy and impact of Bassel Khartabil, and whose projects are deeply intertwined with Creative Commons’ core mission and values.
    • Applicants from Creative Commons’ Global Network, as well as those from the broader open community are strongly encouraged.
    • Grants for up to $10,000 USD will be awarded.
    • Grants can last up to 12 months.
Projects and activities not eligible for grants
    • Grant requests for under $1,000 USD.
    • Funding for general operating support of pre-existing non-profits, NGOs or other organizations.
    • Supporting merchandise giveaways or retail sales.
Requirements for successful grantees
  • Successful grantees will be required to submit a report detailing the impact and outcomes of their projects within 30 days of receipt of the grant.
  • Grantees must be willing to sign a grant agreement and to provide Creative Commons with any requested information relating to processing funds.
  • Grantees must agree to promotional and outreach activities undertaken by Creative Commons.
  • Grantees must agree to publish all related works and output related to the funded project or initiative under a CC-BY or CC0 license.
  • Grantees will be solely responsible for related tax collection or reporting for any received funds.
  • Grantees must be able to receive funds from Creative Commons. Creative Commons will not provide funds if OFAC or other laws or regulations restrict it from doing so.
What to submit

Interested applicants should submit the following materials to be considered for a grant:

  1. A letter of intent (not exceeding two pages or 750 words) detailing:
    • You or your organization’s alignment with the eligibility requirements
    • The intended outcomes or impact of the prospective project
    • You or your organization’s record of community contribution and collaboration.
  2. A brief (one page or less) breakdown of your budgetary request, including planned expenses and how the money will be used.
  3. You may also submit additional background materials to document you or your organization’s previous work and successes, including blog posts, media coverage, letters or expressions of support.
  4. We also welcome applicants to include a brief video introducing themselves and/or their organizations. Production quality is not important! Letting us know who you are and what you really care about helps us better understand your project.

All materials should be submitted digitally to MemorialFund@creativecommons.org with “Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund application” in the subject line. PGP Key: 0xB7246757CAD068FD06F5B4431ACC9B351A0F2C1E

Creative Commons welcomes encrypted applications. All information will be handled in accordance with the Creative Commons Privacy Policy.

The latest date for applications to be considered is March 24, 2018. A second round of grants may be available. Please keep an eye on this page for updated details.

A committee consisting of Creative Commons volunteers, staff, and Board members will be reviewing grant application. We anticipate notifying applicants in April 2018.

Questions or comments? Please contact MemorialFund@creativecommons.org