Special Message from CyArk Founder, Ben Kacyra

A personal note from Ben

by Ben Kacyra
December 14, 2011
Season's Greetings,

As 2011 comes to a close, I want to reach out and thank you for your support and contributions over this past year, and to ask you for your continued help as we formally launch The CyArk 500 Challenge.

2011 has been an exciting year for CyArk, and for me personally, as we saw the global community honor and validate our mission. CyArk was featured at TEDGlobal and on CNN.com’s homepage, our website surpassed a million views for the year by September, we digitally preserved sites on 5 continents, and we now have over 70 heritage sites safely preserved in our archive. Not only have we preserved these ancient sites, we are helping to tell their stories to millions more children and adults.

In 2012 we will look forward to another exciting year – CyArk will be formally launching The 500 Challenge. For those of you who have been with us along the way, this means that we are officially starting the count! Now more than ever, your support is critical to accomplishing this goal. CyArk will be honored by your donation and I encourage you to join us in making The 500 a success.

As you may know, I grew up in Iraq playing in the ruins of ancient Nineveh. With the increasing unrest in our world, I shudder to think of the perils that threaten the Assyrian Winged Bulls of my childhood, as well as the many other incredible heritage sites around the world. Just last year we were again reminded of the fragility of these sites when the Kasubi Tombs in Uganda were lost to fire. Although deeply saddened by this event, I was incredibly encouraged that the data within CyArk’s archive could be used to help restore the tombs.

With your donation please include the site that you would like to see digitally preserved for future generations. Why is this site significant to you? Does it represent your family's heritage? Is it at risk from conflict, erosion or climate change? Or does it simply represent a unique and wonderful part of the story of humanity? I hope you share your stories and join us in The 500.

Thank you kindly, have a wonderful end of the year, and have a very happy new year.

Ben Kacyra

The Royal Tombs at Kasubi, Uganda. Photograph and scan data collected in 2009 by a volunteer partner. Photo of fire in 2010 taken by Swaleh ‘Swalz’ Swaleh.