GeekFest Sharjah is over and it was fun. Official. There are so many people to thank, I'm just going to get on and do it. To Nick Rego who made GameFest happen, selflessly giving up his evening so that other people could play silly dancing games, to Ali and the brilliant origami workshop team from JUKI, to the speakers and especially those (Nick, Rasha, Qais, Alexandra, Hanan and others) who braved The Impossible Journey from Dubai and in the process discovered the traffic has changed and a twenty minute drive in slow traffic is perfectly bearable when there's a GeekFest at the end of it. Rupert Bumfrey, very much the catalyst behind GeekFest Sharjah happening, gets a nice perspex award and all. To TechnoCase mobile types Nokia, supportive as always, another bright, shiny thank you.
The talks, as usual, were popular, fun and engaging, starting with a live music performance thanks to creative community website TripleW, which was different! Qais Sedki entertained, Alexandra Tohme provoked and I showed a 1937 movie about Sharjah Airport which rarely fails to fascinate watchers. Catalin Marin's post-processing workshop went down a storm - his stuff is always popular at GeekFest and he's got quite a fierce reputation among PhotoGeeks for his technical wizardry but also for his readiness to help others and share his knowledge. The team from Sharjah Museums came by and shared the amazing diversity of exhibitions and cultural programmes they're working on, which was lovely. They also brought chocolate, which is always appreciated! For what it's worth, I have been consistently delighted and impressed by the youth, commitment and enthusiasm of the Sharjah Museums people and if you haven't had a look at what they've got to offer the culturally interested visitor seeking a number of interesting day trips, you're just plain daft.
To Giuseppe and the team from Al Maraya go the biggest vote of thanks, they worked hard to help everything get off the ground with style and put up gracefully with the unstructured mayhem that is UNorganisation. I did try to warn them...
The turnout wasn't stellar, about 70 people pitched according to Mariecar from Gulf Today (being a journalist, she counted them), although that's how many we catered for in a pessimistic food order - an interesting result given the GeekFest announcement post on this very blog notched up over a thousand page views.
They've decided they all want to do it again in late May, but bigger and better. I'm looking forward to that, because GeekFest Sharjah had a strong cultural and artistic vibe to it that was unique and refreshing.
Strangely, tonight I got home to an email confirming GeekFest Jeddah, previously postponed, was going ahead as a two-stream event (geeks and geekas) in mid-April. There's a GeekFest Beirut in the pipeline, too.
And no, I didn't talk about Olives. Well, just the once...