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10 days of Mozillians: meet Rami!

Firefox is turning 10! In order to celebrate, meet 10 Mozillians from all over the world.
They share with us how they feel about Mozilla and the Web : their memories, their daily life as a Mozillian, their expectations for the next 10 years and more.

Rami Khader

“When I started contributing I felt like I lived in a different world, where contributors volunteer to shape a better Web”

Rami Khader
Hi Rami! First would you please shortly introduce yourself?

My name is Rami, I am from Jordan but currently living in the Netherlands. I am working with the Organization of Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as Application Programming Officer. I am a passionate, smiley and optimistic guy who is an IT addict, enjoys cooking and playing yoga!

What about you and the Web, when did you discover it?

My first encounter with the Internet was in 1996. I was visiting my uncle and he showed me what the Internet can do. I spent quite some time surfing the Web and reading about it in magazines, then I decided to bring it home and spent more time online and discovered its possibilities. I couldn’t sleep for a few nights!
I still remember how my phone line was always busy, everybody was complaining about that because it was a dial-up line and I was always connected!

If you had one thing to say to the world about the Internet and its potential, what would it be?

I would say Internet = Knowledge = Power.

Tell us about you & Mozilla. If you had one word or sentence to describe Mozilla, what would it be?

A Safe House in the virtual world.

How and why did you start contributing to Mozilla?

I started contributing to Mozilla in 2003, I was in love with the Netscape browser and I wanted an alternative to Internet Explorer.

One day, I read in a magazine about a new browser called Phoenix which was still in version 0.1. I went home, downloaded it and tried it. It was love at first sight and it became my default browser from that moment on.

With version 0.4, I decided to start working on an Arabic-localized version of the browser. In version 0.6.1 of Firebird, the Arabic localization was almost ready, as listed in the release notes.

The 9th of November that year was a big day for me; I walked around asking people to try Firefox and to download it. I still have the Firefox t-shirt and the Firefox stuffed toy that I got with that release. When I was in Jordan I was even looking for the New York Times to see the big ads for Firefox.

Meeting Mitchell Baker in Amman back in 2009 was the moment that changed everything. I received an invitation to the Mozilla Summit in 2010, and after that I established the Arabic community, which is an umbrella for all Mozilla communities in the region.

A first Arabic meetup happened in Amman in 2011 and then a second one in Tunisia the following year. Then I was chosen to be in the first Mozilla Reps Council, and now I focus more on organizing the community, I help localize Firefox OS and I’m mentoring new contributors.

Do you have a Mozilla-related anecdote you’d like to share with us?

“Mozilla changed my life” is the title of my story with Mozilla.

Before I started contributing to Mozilla, I was working as a developer then as a team leader in the private sector and I didn’t know anything about open-source and community work. Company satisfaction was my major goal, secrets and closed-door policy was my favorite policy.

When I started contributing I felt like I lived in a different world, where contributors share their work in an open environment and volunteer to shape a better web, where users have the choice.

I decided to move from the private to the public sector, as I want to impact people both online and in real life. I worked with the United Nations in Amman, and now I’m currently working with another public organization in the Netherlands.

Mozilla changed my career direction, impacted my life and opened my eyes to a different world, so in return I’m trying to change others’ life as much as I can.

Wow, that’s inspiring! Now tell us a bit more about you and your community. Is there something you find particularly interesting that you would like to share with us?

I don’t belong to a single community, I find myself as a member of the Mozilla Jordan community, of the Mozilla Algerian community, of the Mozilla Tunisian community or of the Mozilla Egyptian one.

We share the same language, same culture and we volunteer for the same cause. We are spreading in different country but when we are together, we are as one! Our passion for Mozilla makes us one and makes us best friends.

In short, I am a Mozillian.

Let’s talk about the future! What exciting things do you envision for Mozilla?

I would like Mozilla’s working model to become the dominant one, not just in the IT world but also in other industries.

And what do you wish for the Web?

I wish the Web more freedom and more choice for users.

Thank you Rami!