Just a quick note to let you all know that GeekFest is once again occuring at The Shelter in Al Quoz tonight. It'll be kicking off around 7.30pm and will feature five talks, a workshop on how to put together podcasts and a display from the EWS/WWF asking us to be nicer to turtles. The talks are:
To Nablus by Cam
Blogger Sara has won numerous hearts with her delightful accounts of life as a volunteer teaching in Nablus. Her blog, UssaNabulsiyeh, instantly gained a wide readership that has grown steadily day by day. We’re going to talk to Sara over videochat and listen to what she’s made of the Nablus experience so far. If this works we’ll try and do other cam link-ups in future.
The Giga-Pixel Man
Gerald Donovan’s videos of the Dubai fountains have gained him over two million views on YouTube, while his speeded up Dubai Metro video was hosted by Gizmodo and CNN. His GigaPixel images of Dubai have been similar smash hits. How does a man who seems to have the knack of ‘going viral’ view the phenomenon and what’s he going to get up to next? One answer is a stunning Gigapixel image of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed mosque, unveiled especially for GeekFest!
New Music Nation
DJ RoneJaxx is one of a burgeoning band of Middle East based hip-hop artists who are finding a growing audience around the region as young people take to the musical form to find expression. With catchy tunes and smart videos, he’s a leading member of a regional scene that’s finding its feet – but does the Arab World need to ape US rap and hip-hop or does it need a musical identity of its own? And how is technology affecting artists with something to say and no deal with ‘the man’ to help them say it? (A name-check here to Hass, whose Re-Volt Radio hip hop blog led to us discovering Monsieur Jaxx!)
Where are we going to go now?
Needing no introduction, Yousef Tuqan Tuqan comes from a long line of computer nerds and is one of the most respected figures in the world of Web Development in the Middle East. Online agency Flip Media have carved a niche as the go-to guys for web stuff, from sites to apps – even if they command a premium in return for a ferocious reputation for quality work. So who better to ask where the Internet is actually going next? Yousef’s promised to tell us...
The New Entrepeneurialism
There’s more talk of innovation, funding and the like these days than ever before. There’s more concrete reality taking place as well, with funds like Jordan’s Oasis500 and angel investors popping up to support new online businesses. One of the team behind the amazingly successful, and arguably first, entrepreneurial event in the region, ArabNet, Samer Karam Founder and CEO of Seeqnce, the first startup catalyst in the Arab World, will be outlining some of the initiatives in the region that are driving a new wave of online entrepreneurship – taking from similarly risk averse cultures: their challenges, opportunities, threats, solutions.
On a slightly more sober note than usual, we're also looking at ways we can raise funds to help Ola, a little girl from Nablus who needs to find $18,000 urgently to fund the operation that will save her life - without it her immediate future is exceedingly uncertain as she has a brain tumour that could snuff it out within days. Ola came to our attention because of Sara's blog (featured above).
GeekFest Dubai (The NOTGITEX Edition) Here's a link to The Shelter in Al Quoz. You can do the Facebook thing or follow @GeekFestDubai on Twitter (or tap me up at @alexandermcnabb) for more information.
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