Camping in Dubai
November was huge for the Open Source community in Middle Earth, Those who attended Drupal Camp Karachi on 2nd November and Dubai on the 30th of November 2013 made history.
I shall get to Karachi later, this post is about Dubai Camp, challenges of organising it and the outcome of the journey that started in June 2013.
As organisers our focus was both quality and quantity of course; share best practises, tools and knowledge with as many as possible! though we did not get the quantity, 80+ were invited 55 were expected and the campers peaked at lunch with a turn out of 45… and for the last session and closing we had 20. Organising Dubai camp was a challenge for the organising committee… though committee sounds grand! there was me, Ahmed Koshok and Massoud Al-Shareef, with two regionals on board you might expect things to be easier but with no boots on the ground mobilisation of the community, securing the venue, putting the logistics in place was always going to be a challenge! but planning for it made it that tad bit easier.
At first there was just me (and making very slow progress), then Ahmed came on board and both of us dragged the vision of Dubai camp a fair distance but nowhere close to the starting line… then in Massoud we found a regional champion and a reliable network on the ground to go through the red tape… that was Hani Hejazi; and securing the venue was Hani’s feat. From start to finish organising Dubai camp took 6 months!
DC Dubai had a strong contingent of local/regional Drupal rockstars in attendance and that was the magic sauce in Dubai camp, from a total of 16 speakers/trainers we had 9 local/regional speakers/trainers and that was a coup for any first camp I have attended or been a part of in Middle Earth.At Dubai camp there were many firsts! the faculty was not just curious but participatory and super supportive, Professor Jassim Jirjees the program director for MLIS was in attendance and his staff ensured everything ran like clockwork!
To top it all Professor Muthanna G. Abdul Razzaq the president of AUE announced a full scholarship for anyone applying from within the Drupal community… we shall get the details for application, prerequisites etc and post them on our Facebook page.
A super supportive and involved institution, local rockstars in attendance, informed and engaging speakers, an awesome regional community to network with and a tasty lunch… made it epic.From Ahmed Koshok, Massoud Al-Shareef and me a huge thank you shoutout to:
Khurram Fraz for volunteering his time to run training sessions - thank you
Hani Hijazi for the boots on the ground!
Ali Shirazee for saving lunch when the caterers got lost and for providing Ahmed and me logistical support for the camp (and even better to learn you will be exploring Drupal with the tech team at LocalMedia)
and Madhvi Vadgama for the only member of the opposite sex who stuck out for the entire camp!
And I would not have been able to co-organise Dubai Camp had it not been for Ahmed Koshok, Massoud Al-Shareef, Jihan Al-Shareef, Hani Hijazi and Marwa Ezzat - we made an awesome team folks! thank you and lets get going for the next one!
For session slides please follow the DrupalCamp Dubai twitter account and we shall be releasing the slides as and when we receive them from the speakers, a few are already up on Twitter.
Looking forward to hearing about meet-ups in KSA, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and beyond!