Three proposed cities were in the running at the end, the other two being Atlanta and Cape Town. Proposals for Karlsruhe, London and Toronto were also submitted, but later withdrew. There was a controversy about the conference, and even a call to boycott Wikimania 2008 because of Egypt's alleged censorship and imprisoning of bloggers during Mubarak's era. Mohamed Ibrahim, a graduate of Alexandria University who worked to bring the conference to Alexandria, told the BBC "I think we have the right to develop and to make freedom of expression on a larger scale." One of his goals was to help grow Arabic Wikipedia which he contributes to since early 2005. An Egyptian cabinet minister spoke at the opening ceremonies on Mubarak's behalf.