My take on #ATWomen
Introduction about the event :
Arab Techies and SMEX organized a meetup of about 34 women from ten Arab countries to talk about technology, empowerment, entrepreneurship, development, and whatever else they want to put on the table. Participants are programmers, web developers, artists, teachers, professors, PhD students, bloggers, social media experts, activists, NGO coordinators and come from Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, and Oman.
My personal take on the event
The event was a 4 days and nights event that brought many arab tech women together. Sadly, I was able to attend only 2 days. It was PERFECTLY organized ! really ! perfectly. The location in zouk mekayel was great — the atmosphere warm , friendly and sharing ( no bullshitting, no bullying, no stupid marketing but a nice conversation and polite debate ) . The moderator of the session was great at managing the whole bunch of us , everything we needed in terms of logistics was there including yummi deserts and coffee breaks.
What I liked the most about this event is the big diversity of nationalities, accents, colors, experiences and mentalities blending in together — for example : during lunch breaks, you would see people from different countries sharing, not just the same group of people from the same country who already knew each others… same for even small stuff i noticed like seating positions and workshops.
I also liked that it wasn’t pure lecturing and talking and blablablaying… Instead we got to define our own sessions, workshops, work on interesting topics together; that made us bond somehow and helped building friendships. At the end of the day we didn’t walk out as strangers like what usually happens in conferences … Instead we are still communicating to finish the projects we started.
After seeing the initiatives and projects started by the different women , I was like arab women really rock and can beat up the best initiatives taken by men specially if it is related to social change ! That also made me feel like a big lazy ass and now i seriously want to work on a seriously challenging project… seriously !
The bad things
1 — Sucky Lebanese internet connection that organizers can’t do anything about ! That thing is happening in every tech convention hosted in lebanon
2 — Some fellow lebanese geekettes couldn’t join during the days, to mention a few coder chicks : @abzzyy , @nights , @funkyozzi … and i am sure many many many other women should have been here… but funding, logistics and planning would have been hard to provide and it would have made the event less “cozy”.
Before I bore you more, just a few things I wanna share :
1 — I am eagerly looking for #ATWomen2 event
2 — a big shout out goes to SMEX and Arab techies ( specially manal ) for the huge effort they pulled
3 — Follow and join the arab techies women on this twitter list , stay tuned for more ! there will be definitely lot of interestingness
4 — All women in tech show yourselves, i know you are out there lurking !
5 — arrgggg sorry for not posting this in arabic
Here are some videos by our kick-ass feminist Nadine
Mr tux giving a special interview to nadine about open source and the use of linux in #ATWomen
( did you guess who is the dorky one doing this ? … not yet ? think again )
How things were going around
and some of the pictures ( what i managed to upload or the pics that didn’t end up sucky )