10 days of Mozillians: meet Ibrahima!

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.

Ibrahima Sarr

“Mozilla is a community of people from everywhere.”

 

Hello Ibrahima! To get started would you please introduce yourself in a few words?

My name is Ibrahima Sarr. I live in Le Havre, in Normandy (Northern France) where I teach English as a foreign language. I like the Web, computers and aviation!

Tell us a bit more about you and the Web: how and when did you discover it?

I was among the first in France to have an internet connection back in 1994. A the time we had 14400 Us Robotics modems using our landline, just like when you make voice calls.

Of course there wasn’t much content, not like today. So the first thing I thought about was to build my own website in my language, Fulah (Editor’s note: Fulah is the first or second language spoken by various peoples across West and Central Africa). I had a huge web space of 2MB made available by my new provider CompuServe!

At the time there was no tool to build websites, not even a proper Html editor. CompuServe provided Homepage Wizard in a floppy disk and that’s how I started building web pages.

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

The Internet opened the doors to many languages and cultures, and enabled otherwise isolated people to get together and to collaborate to make the world a better place. This is particularly true for my language and the Fulah people who live in 19 countries across West and Central Africa.

If you had one word or sentence to describe Mozilla, what would it be?

There is simply no place like Mozilla, as I’m used to say or tweet. You are never alone and you’re always empowered to do what you feel like doing, and feel at home.

How and why did you start contributing to Mozilla?

Because I’ve always volunteered for my language. So it was natural to me to give it back to Mozilla for enabling us to have Firefox in our language.

And what would be the contribution you’re the most proud of?

Localizing Firefox OS in Fulah.

Now let’s talk about you & your community: tell us about something that you find particularly interesting or special about you or your local community!

Since I live in France I am a member of Mozilla’s French-speaking community, but I also help build communities in West Africa. Mozilla is a community of people from everywhere.

What’s your best memory with your fellow community members?

I went to Senegal in March 2014 and trained community members in the use of localization tools. On the first day, by the time I finished explaining the basics, they were almost all translating and no longer listening to me! 15 minutes into the first day of training and they did not need me anymore! Cool and funny at the same time.

What makes your local Mozilla community unique?

I don’t think we are unique, but when it comes to the Fulah community, we are in 19 countries not counting the diaspora. So getting together and doing good for the language is just so great. We are preserving the language while accompanying it into the century.

Now let’s talk about the future, what do you want from Mozilla in the forthcoming years?

We are waiting for Mozilla to officially deploy Firefox OS in Africa, since we have localized it in Fulah.

Then what would be even more exciting would be to see all of those devices using our great OS in homes and everywhere, and in our language! I am thinking of tablets, smart TV, GPS etc.

What do you envision for Mozilla in the future?

I am really excited about educating the youngest of us to master the Web, as it’s bound to become the only platform. Mozilla has not missed the opportunity to look far ahead by initiating the Webmaker project.

My vision about Africa being a key actor of the next Web is to make sure initiatives likes Webmaker, Web Literacy and Open Badges are introduced into the educational system in many countries. I have already talked to many deciders who are enthusiastic about the idea.

Thank you Ibrahima!