Quick Note

Jeddah was great, as always, and I had a good time. We were worried that the event won’t attract enough attention, but in the end we had a full house and a large number of people watched the live stream and followed the event on Twitter. As I said earlier, we are happy with how it turned out, but of course there was some problems and mistakes that should be solved and avoided in the future.

Saudi BlogCamp was only the first step, and now we are looking forward to the next Saudi BarCamp event. No concrete plans have been set up yet for what this future event would be about, but most probably it won’t be on blogging. Topics such as information security and charity work have been suggested, but we are open to all ideas.

If there is a topic that you feel strongly about and you think would make a good event, don’t hesitate to contact the guys. They will help you to organize the event by all possible means wherever you are in the Kingdom. Big thanks to everyone for making Saudi BlogCamp a success, and see you all soon.

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Saudi BlogCamp

I will fly to Jeddah tomorrow to give a talk at the first Saudi BlogCamp. The presenters also include friends and fellow bloggers Khaled al-Nasser, Fouad al-Fahran and Essam al-Zamel. Saudi BlogCamp is the first of a series of events for bloggers to share knowledge and exchange experiences on different topics of interest. All bloggers, male and female, are invited to participate in these events and help organizing them. Saudi BlogCamp is part of Saudi BarCamp.

The first Saudi BlogCamp will be held at Andalusiya Cafe in Jeddah this Thursday, July 2, 2009. The registration fee is SR50, including lunch, and everyone is welcome. If you would like to attend you can find more information here and here. I’m certainly looking forward to this, and also looking forward to see you all there. If you can’t make it, you can still follow the event on this page which will offer a live stream from the room, and also through Twitter.

Comedy Night in Riyadh

It is often said that in Riyadh people either pray or shop, and other than that not much is going on here. Tomorrow, however, will be an exception: Smile Productions are presenting a night of live stand up comedy performance, featuring Steve Gribbin and Kiven Bridges from the Comedy Story in London. The show will also feature 3 local talents for the first time on stage, so this should be interesting too. If you need more information, please contact Peter: phowarthlees@mac.com or call him: 0594370662.

Alexandria… Why?

After I returned from my trip to Egypt last February, I wrote, “Egypt Air seriously needs to consider a rebranding.” One month later, an Egyptian blogger wrote about the same thing. (Is it just me or is the third paragraph of his post is almost identical to the first paragraph of my post?) Anyway, few weeks later, Egypt Air indeed announced a rebranding, updating their logo and colors, and becoming Egyptair.

Why I’m bringing this up now? Because today I will be taking one of their planes to visit the land of the Nile again for a few days. I will be speaking at a conference organized by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). The conference will tackle the Role of Libraries in Freedom of Expression, Tolerance, and Access to Information, and it will take place at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria.

I’m looking forward to be there and meet the people. If you would like to do a bloggers meet up or something like that, please drop me a line.

Beirut, Again

I did not enjoy Beirut as much as I wanted when I went there for the first time last December. The schedule was tight, the weather was cold, and the political situation was tense. But now it’s summer, and I hope it will be different this time. I will be flying to Beirut tomorrow to participate at the Arab Bloggers Meeting, an informal gathering for online activists in the region organized by Heinrich Boell Stiftung Middle East. It should be interesting.

P.S. I want to thank Prof. Abdul-Rahman al-Obaid and Dr. Ashraf Mahmoud for their understanding and support.