Why am I proud of my father today?

Why am I proud of my father today?

Today, my father came to update me with the result of a legal case that seemed to have a story.

While attending a business networking dinner in London last September, I was sitting on the table with with a freelance writer who writes for the guardian, a lawyer who used to work in Egypt and a handful of finance/investment people, I was selling them on the potential of Egyptian entrepreneurs with a handful of examples we have chosen to feature with Egypreneur’s TLondonB campaign.

When we came to discuss what’s happening in Egypt, being ruled by the military and how it is perceived in the eyes of youth like myself, the story shared by my father seemed to grab everyone’s attention and initiate an interesting conversation.

After the discussion the journalist wanted to follow-up for a feature, but the story didn’t reach an end by this time.

Today, it did!

About ten years ago, yes that’s 10 years ago. My father was working as the executive director of the gardening department at the district of Maadi. Basically he was in charge of all the greenery in Maadi, my father’s bosses were former Army generals, whom in a meeting with the department, the former Army general ordered everyone to plant 1000 trees within a specific time frame within a specific area, seems like just for the sake of PR saying government planted X trees .etc

While everyone among my dad’s colleges was writing this down as a direct order from a superior officer, my father seemed to boldly disagree, stating that technically speaking, it’s impossible to plant 1000 trees in the gardens under his management, stating that will transform it into a forest not gardens. My father’s sense of direct disagreement was not something a former Army general is used to, so he seemed to GROWL on his comments while my father’s colleges are pointing for him to skip it, ignore it, don’t do it, even throw the 1000 trees in the Nile but never say NO to the general.

Technically it was impossible to plant more trees in the gardens, not even a fraction of this number, so while his colleges, used mislabeled plants as trees, order the number and then disposed them, built walls with them, my father did stick with his professional opinion to consider ordering 1000 trees a waste of government resources that’s needed somewhere else and that the maximum number of trees that can be planted is 320, which they already planted.

My father seemed to pay the price of this refusal as he got a management cut in his salary, working for the government doesn’t pay off any good anyway and it didn’t seem to make a difference, yet, my father has decided to take the case to the court.

But why?

In the battles we go through in life, it’s not about winning something, it’s not about defeating someone, but it’s about sticking with what’s right and what’s fair. Misusing government resources should be a crime, it is wrong and you shouldn’t be charged for refusing to do what is wrong.

If you accept something that goes against your values, goes against what you really stand for, you start losing your essence!

That’s when going to battle is not a matter of losses or gains, but it’s a matter of principles and values.

It’s not right to order a misuse of government resources and if you are ever ordered of that, you have the right to refuse!

IMG-20140120-00372

IMG-20140120-00373

I read the court order with pride, starting back in 2003/2004, my father led a 10 years long legal battle against a government body, for no reason except to prove what’s right and to give a reason for everyone who is given choices between what’s right and what’s easy.

Today, I feel like I have got my first ever slap on the face from my father

I got this man’s DNA!

Appointed President of Cairo ToastMasters Club

Appointed President of Cairo ToastMasters Club

During August, I was appointed President of Cairo ToastMasters Club, being involved with the community of entrepreneurs in Egypt, running Egypreneur, a very entrepreneurial future is in the making now for Cairo ToastMasters Club.

I’ll be doing a lot of promotions to ToastMasters and want to expand the membership of its members beyond the club to starting new clubs all around Cairo.

Microsoft Geeks Day, Entrepreneurship Session

Microsoft Geeks Day, Entrepreneurship Session

So, I was invited by some awesome Microsoft Student Partners to speak about entrepreneurship during an event they organized called Microsoft Geeks Day. Being a Microsoft Geeks Day, I thought Bill Gates would be the best figure to discuss. The whole session was just a punch of videos with comments and discussions around them, that I believed conveyed the image better than a thousand words can.

Some of the videos I presented during my session are below, I guess you can figure out the whole content from the videos, Enjoy!

Bill Gates from Pirates of Silicon Valley
Bill Gates Negotiation Skills, makes a big difference from Pirates of Silicon Valley
It’s not about how big you start, but how big you THINK
You want Xerox to consider something called the Mouse
People skills from Pirates of Silicon Valley
Sherif Ahmed of 7elme; Push your dreams forward

Sherif Ahmed of 7elme; Push your dreams forward

Yes, being an entrepreneur in Egypt is very challenging, the most challenging bit is finding energy and positivity to persist and keep pushing until you reach your destination and get what you want to get done, done!

I had been exploring ways to spread positivity for myself internally and in public and came to a few practices that includes waking up early, going for morning jogging, join fellows in tweeting positive expectations of the day using #Club7 Twitter HashTag. Personally, I enjoy living in the future more, when something undesirable happens, I speak in a future tone about what we’re going to do about it, how we’re going to fix things and make it right.

Egyrpeneur logo

Last April, while recruiting for Egypreneur Crew, the special forces that will be spreading positivity and entrepreneurial thinking in Egypt through Egypreneur a network of entrepreneurs that I started. I had the pleasure of meeting Sherif Ahmed and after a few minutes of casual chat, he was in.

Throughout my work with Sherif as a part of Egyrpeneur, his energy, dynamism and persistence in getting stuff done had been truly impressive that I expressed to him once that I wish to have a cloning mechanism to have 10 like him that would make a huge difference in the projects and organizations they join.

While having discussions with Sherif developing strategies and planning for projects one of the most frequent words he used is the word “Push” and there is an interesting story behind that.

Sherif Co-Found 7el.me a network of dreamers where you can submit your dreams and receive support through a “Push” button from fellow network members, as you navigate through the network now, you’ll see plenty of dreamers and dreams who would probably appreciate a push, a remark of support towards achieving their dreams.

7elme push your dreams forward

Let’s imagine what the future would be like when everyone of us is pushing the dreams of his/her surrounding? How Egypt and the world might be when we find a sign of positivity, hope and potential we all go … Push, Push, Push!

Giving birth to new companies, social ventures, ideas, talks, successes and dreams coming true.

Here is a video interview with Sherif about his vie about the kind of people to getting stuff done while working on his startup 7elme.

You can follow 7elme on Twitter, join their Facebook Page and post your dreams on their network 7el.me

Amr Deabes, Entrepreneurs Driven NewEgypt

Amr Deabes, Entrepreneurs Driven NewEgypt

Being involved in the entrepreneurship scene in Egypt, running Egypreneur; I’m certain that entrepreneurship is the vehicle for the bright future of Egypt.

Having the opportunity to speak at TEDxTanta, I used it as an opportunity to reflect this meaning by reflecting entrepreneurs as the “Modern Knights” who are already and will be leading Egypt towards the desired change in the social and economic fronts, you can watch my talk from here.

Hopefully, there are plenty of bright examples that’s making a difference economically and socially right now. One of my favorite is Amr Deabes and Egyptian entrepreneurs who found Ability Contact Center; a contact center that’s fully operated by Egyptians with special needs. We usually consider Egyptians with special needs a load on their families and on their society accordingly.

While everyone is working on mobilizing different forms of “support” for those with special needs; Amr Deabes stepped up to giving them a chance to shine and turn their abilities, passion and patience into a productive tools in the society. I met Amr first time during Startup Weekend Cairo and had this interview with him for Egypreneur:

Reda one of the bright employees of AbilityCC, gave an inspiring speech during the weekend:

Seeing examples like Amr and Ability CC ignites my energy to work further on developing Egypreneur and mobilize as much support as we can to participate in creating the environment to more entrepreneurs to step up to solving social problems, while making an economic impact; Imaging how our new Egypt will be with thousands like Amr.

Walid of @Bey2ollak, Helping tens of thousdands get by!

Walid of @Bey2ollak, Helping tens of thousdands get by!

We’re all suffering from traffic in Egypt, six Egyptian entrepreneurs gathered to create one of Egypt’s most popular and useful mobile applications, Bey2ollak!

Bey2ollak

As it’s described: “Bey2ollak, howa mobile we internet community te2dar menoh te3raf aw te2ool 3ala el shaware3 wel ma7awer wel kabary eza kanet za7ma aw fadya. www.bey2ollak.com

In case you haven’t used Bey2ollak before, through the app used by more than 100,000 users, you can take better decisions and save plenty of time while navigating through our chaotic traffic.

For the application to be useful; a constant supply of updates, or tweets with #Bey2ollak HashTags should be be posted regularly, users who believe in the idea and use the app are constantly updating the traffic status wherever they go, Walid Mostafa Bey2ollak’s Operations Manager dedicated his time day and night to make sure that process is going smoothly and accurately.

I had the pleasure of meeting Walid multiple times and had some very insightful discussions about finding solutions to the traffic dilemma we’re experiencing everywhere in Egypt, as we’re strapping to launch Za7ma Campaign.

With someone as insightful, dedicated and effective like Walid and with bringing talents, expertise and resources together, I’m sure a difference can be made in our traffic experience in Egypt, in the short and long terms.

This is an applause to Walid for his impressive dedication and insights and for every Egyptian who steps up to make our lives easier.

Follow Walid on Twitter from here: @Rezo007, check Bey2ollak website http://bey2ollak.com and download the mobile application from here: http://app.bey2ollak.com.

Hanan Abdel Meguid, Inspirational Leadership

Hanan Abdel Meguid, Inspirational Leadership

While everyone talks about inspirational leadership, I can see few examples who really resemble what it takes to be an inspirational leader at work and in the society. For me, one of the most visible examples for inspirational leadership in my surrounding is Mrs. Hanan Abdel Meguid, CEO of OTVentues.

When CEO is heard, what usually gets into people’s minds is the positional power of being in charge, the characteristics of being sharp, decisive and busy (unavailable) person. On my Twitter stream, Mrs. Hana clearly breaks these perceptions and represent a model of simplicity, openness and inspiration.

With positivity tweeted daily in the morning with #Club7, to #InnerThoughts of deep reflections on what’s happening in the surrounding  to a very responsive and supporting tone when approached with a question or a request for help.

I believe that presents a model to follow for us entrepreneurs stepping up to leadership positions in our starting enterprises, seeing that connecting with people with a simple and helpful attitude is not only a desirable quality in people we like surrounding ourselves with but it helps getting stuff done in business and to be effective in your society.

As we’re all seeking a new Egypt, we should realize that it can only by driven by leaders who show an example to follow and that everyone of us do have a duty towards his/her small society at work in, with family and friends and even online to be a role model to what we need to see in our New Egypt.

You can start learning more and following the example of Mrs. Hanan Abdel Meguid on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/HMeguid

You can learn more about her by Googling her name.

Sally Fetouh, Realizing our Dreams!

Sally Fetouh, Realizing our Dreams!

While everyone is wondering, debating and claiming about the perfect model of an Egyptian lady, a few ladies can clearly demonstrate that through their passion, actions and commitment. I had the pleasure to meet one of them, Sally Fetouh.

I first met Sally when I was recruiting volunteers for Egypreneur Crew back in April last year. I was lucky enough to run by Sally with experience and track record that was impressive enough to join our crew as a main player of how and what we’d communicate to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs rebuilding the country after a glorious revolution that gave us the chance to put our passion into action while building the New Egypt.

Beside our work on Egypreneur, I get to know a role model demonstrating a rare combination of passion, resilience and endurance. From a stable career path, Sally discovered a need and passion for combining her strong IT background with law, as technology is progressing very fast and with the startup industry starting to show-up in the MENA region. There is an ever increasing gap between law and technology. Sally discovered her passion for this rare, needed speciality and wanted to fulfill her passion by studying law.

In a beautiful pieces written on Egypreneur blog, Sally expressed how she sees pursuing career goals and conceives risks of leaving a stable path into an entrepreneurial direction you discovered a passion for. In Be Who you Want to be Sally wrote:

The cynics out there might frown and wag their fingers. Impulse can be risky business but so can an unfulfilled life; living to be only half the person that you are.

While we’re talking about a bright New Egypt we should not only praise the example of Sally, but we should closely study and educate it to give the chance to millions of Egyptians finding what they’re truly passionate about and what they can give their best to.

I remember that every time I learn that Sally is flying the oceans for an exam, gearing up for a new semester or tweeting thoughts of passion, patience and persistence. The same quality without which we’re standing no chance to reach our full potential as a nation, when every Egyptian reaches his/her full potential.

It’s a new entrepreneurial story I’ve learned, a new person who continued to inspire me and I’m sure will continue to inspire all of us on how we should be when we discover our passion and decide on our goals. We’re all dreaming of New Egypt but – as Sally states it – we won’t realize that until it becomes matter of survival for everyone of us.

That is what realising dreams is all about. It becomes a matter of survival to be the person whom you were always meant to be.

Read Sally’s article on Egypreneur blog here: http://egypreneur.com.eg/be-who-you-want-to-be/

Dalia Said, Professional Volunteerism

Dalia Said, Professional Volunteerism

In such stage we’re living in Egypt when we’re talking about building the New Egypt and thinking of models, ideas and ways of getting stuff done to incorporate in the Egypt we’re building, a few individuals make some principles very clear and enlighten the path for us.

As a firm believer in entrepreneurship being the way forward for my country and dedicating most of my time in the last year working on Egypreneur, I’ve expressed in that blog how I see few individuals as icons that can enlighten our way.

I’ve mentioned Amr Deabes and how his Ability Contact Center is shifting the paradigm of our society to look at abilities other than disabilities, the model of passion and dedication in Walid of Bey2ollak with a daily job of getting everyone home as early as it can be, Sherif Ahmed and how with his positive energy; he’s evolving his surrounding and how Hanan Abdel Meguid is inspiring my generation and showing a role model for Egyptian ladies getting down to business.

Today I write about the unkown solider of some of the recent projects we’re rolling out at Egypreneur internally. I was lucky enough to get to meet Dalia Said during an event she called Super Heroes Mixer where people working in community development came together to discuss how to align efforts and develop synergy among organizations tackling the same issue. After an impressive activity I kept in touch with Dalia eager for an opportunity to work together.

October last year as Dalia was back to Egypt after completing a Masters degree in Education from Harvard, we had the chance to discuss what’s happening in Egypreneur and we had the pleasure of Dalia joining our Crew to work on building synergy among ecosystem entities and passing opportunities from them to entrepreneurs.

During this time, Dalia showed an impressive amount of dedication, commitment and professionalism and regardless the instability of switching our model, Dalia was a source of stability and progress to Egypreneur work during this period. Experiencing the work of volunteers in different organizations, I’ve never met someone who comes any close to Dalia’s added value to a starting organization.

When I get to think about the New Egypt we’re building I can clearly see that individuals with the dedication, commitment and professionalism who’re actively putting their passion to work and make a difference every day is what’s really needed for the country we’re building together.

It reminds a pleasure for me having the chance to work with Dalia and I wish we get done with a cloning mechanism soon to have more Egypreneur(s) like her evolving our country into the New Egypt we all dream of.

How do people react upon resentment?

How do people react upon resentment?

Multiple times I’m being advised on taking care of my “personal brand” and tackle only generic generally accepted topic, I see everyone around me do it, but as I get to explore myself, I see I don’t need to lie about my personal brand on the internet(s), I’m searching for what’s true, for what’s real and I believe that doing great things in the world can only come when we are being real and true, not worried about our brand or plastic public image.

Who of you never felt the bitterness of being deserted by the people you fought and sacrificed for the most?

Who of you never experienced the salty sweat of a sword while being repetitively stabbed in your back, in the darkness, where no one can see?

Chances are you never did, unless you are in the habit of challenging your surrounding with new ideas and taking the lead in bringing change and disrupting the status quo, you’ll never experience that, and these words and clips below will remain to you as experiences of the less fortunateز

It is only when it’s just you out there challenging the word, planting more beautiful gardens, fighting for fairness, alone, that’s when you are vulnerable to all sort of betrayals and wounds that would naturally result in resentment, the ugly feeling of being let down by the people you trusted the most, you cared for the most, you sacrificed for the most, quietly and silentlyز

As I’m interested in sociology I tried to track down a few cases of how people reacted to that, I’m in love with stories and moving pictures so I’ll bring you a few known examples from movies most of us have watched.

1. Brave heart – Vengeance

William Wallace, the warrior with a broken heart storms the club of politica with his countrymen gathering asking them for only one thing, unity, he doesn’t care about governing or owning rather about freedom and all the beautiful principles worth fighting for and he gets it and they shake hands on it, though, when it’s time to interfere in the battlefield, the countrymen sell their souls to the English kind and leave him and the men followed naked in the battle field.

Minute 1:00 as countrymen get the sign to attack and desert their warriors

With the heart of a warrior William Wallace tracks down the English king to be stopped by a knight, that he discovers is the same countryman who has shaken hands with before the battle, now look at his eyes, it’s a window to a broken heart, sinking in a stream of pain and resentment

But what is a socially acceptable reaction to that? We all watched Braveheart and maybe it was our favorite part when he appears in the nightmares of his countrymen to take away their filthy traitor souls, by then, all of what considered vengeance  was very acceptable to us.

2. The Rock – Twisting Arms

We can't hold out much longer, sir!

General Hummel, you've gotta
get us outta here now!

I won't let you down.
I won't let you down, son.

Goddamn it, sir! How long do we have
to wait? I've lost *many* men already!

Sir, they're lightin' us up
like a firestorm!

This is General Hummel.
You gotta get my men outta there!

We don't have clearance
to go behind enemy lines, sir.

They're not coming for us,
are they, sir?

We all watched the crazy general, General Hummel, stealing destructive weapons to attack the same land he swore to defend and made heroic sacrifices fighting for, now, he is not being listened to, after his men was deserted  in battle, he is being neglected by the congressmen, pentagon and everyone. He visits his wife’s grave for some last words asking her: “whatever happens, please, don’t think less of me”.

Now the angry general has chosen to Twist arms, he requests a $100 Million fund or he will launch the gas against his own people, well, he never actually considered launching the gas or anything but it was a worthy game to twist their arm.

3. The Recruit – Betrayal

In another mode, Walter chooses to betray for being neglected after 27 years, neck deep in shit as he describes it. He allows this sense of resentment to turn him into a traitor against the same institution he helped develop

4. Warrior: confrontation and forgiveness

Thought, there is a completely different mode, in the combination of this fabulous scene from Warrior and The National’s about today, it doesn’t need lots of explanation as it’s quite self explanatory:

Today you were far away
and I didn’t ask you why
What could I say
I was far away
You just walked away
and I just watched you
What could I say
How close am I to losing you
Tonight you just close your eyes
and I just watch you
slip away
How close am I to losing you
Hey, are you awake
Yeah I’m right here
Well can I ask you about today
How close am I to losing you
How close am I to losing you

Your soul is in your keeping alone…

Your soul is in your keeping alone…

Come. Sit. Do you play? The whole world is in chess. Any move can be the death of you. Do anything except remain where you started and you can’t be sure of your end.

When I was sixteen I won a great victory. I felt in that moment that I should live to be one hundred, now I know I shall not see thirty.

None of us know our end really, or what hand will guide us there.

A King may move a man, a father may claim a son.

That man can also move himself. And only then does that man truly begin his own game.

Remember that howsoever you are played, or by whom, your soul is in your keeping alone.

Even though those who presume to play you be kings or men of power. When you stand before God, you cannot say “but I was told by others to do thus” or that “virtue was not convenient at the time.”

This will not suffice.

Remember that.

Surviving Workplace Mobbing

Surviving Workplace Mobbing

“You should be grateful that I didn’t bring you the police to arrest you, right here, right now”

This was the CEO’s opening statement to my semi-requested termination meeting during an innovation program in Berlin. Less than 48 hours before, the most senior executive, who also won Europe’s top CMO of the year award a year before, has approached me with a warm personal congratulation for what he described as an “outstanding performance”.

As entrepreneurial leaders, CEOs and business executives we often operate in highly competitive environments and face highly intense and complicated conflicts that could cause severe consequences to someone’s career or wellbeing.

Not all leaders play fair and deciding on a course of action while being in the middle of such situations could be overwhelming. Often those who naturally have certain characteristics and experiences in facing conflicts are able to maintain a balanced outlook

Harassment, dominance and leverage control, workplace mobbing and incitement of mobbing is a phenomenon that faces emerging leaders more frequently than others.

Emotional and Psychological abuse is said to be more damaging than Physical Abuse. Physical abuse always leaves visible marks and can be situational traced back to incidents, though emotional and psychological abuse in most cases is extremely hard to trace, which makes it a popular practice for weak leaders and entities.

Also, those who experience emotional and psychological abuse over a period of time experience changes in their behavior and attitude that makes them vulnerable to have their behavior used against them.

As 31 years old entrepreneur, I have survived several incidents of incitement of mobbing and I have provided support and still providing support to entrepreneurs and executives while going through mobbing experiences.

People and organizations are often very afraid of change and this makes a certain type of leaders exercise incitement of mobbing as a tool for dominance and leverage control. I’m not surprised anymore to hear the names of individuals who were involved in mobbing experience.

You are an emerging leader who intimidates those above you

You are spending your time getting things done and not building relationships

You are not aware of group dynamics and positional power and leverage control

You are not protected by strong leaders / institutions above you

Your behavior allows others to take advantage of you

  1. Understand group dynamics
  2. Avoid coming off as intimidating or threatening
  3. Directly refute any intentional negative framing
  4. Build alliances with powerful people
  5. Gradual Escalation
  6. Avoid the Emails loop
  7. The 24 hour / 48 hours rule
  8. Be mindful of use of language
  9. Submit a police report: Emotional and psychological abuse is classified as a criminal act, even the most experienced abusers leave marks that could be traced back by authorities, if you are put in between committing actions that can be used against you. Immediately submit a police report detailing the specific incidents that caused you emotional distress.
  10. Legal support
  11. The 2 months rule
  12. The best revenge

 

Nature, Ego, Co-Creation and Egypt

Probably the substance, attitude and approach of people to build is meant to be different than those who destruct, by the end of the day a healthy society needs both! Unfortunately, the scene in Egypt currently is witnessing a mystery, some people still don’t seem to be able to stop their negative approach towards everything and most of us seem to be incapable of stopping negative comments, moaning for any piece of news that pops-up on Twitter or a video shared on YouTube.

I like the approach of Ali RA while debating or even fighting, it was always about what’s best for the cause not his ego/interest. When you get some much into something and it consumes you, it’s very easy to associate your own existence with it and get your ego involved with all conversations, debates and accordingly deciding the future of that cause, as you want/see it.

Starting with the end in mind, means building the perfect image in your head and then positively manipulate conditions to reach it! If we believe in this and apply it to the current situation in Egypt, why are there so much stress, negative energy and hatred among those who fought side-by-side months ago.

Problems, challenges and complexities facing Egypt currently can be solved with a positive attitude, smile in our faces and vision for the future that the martyers fought for. We’re meant to learn from nature, everything happens in perfect synergy, you just should ‘facilitate’ its creation by persistence + positivity.

When I’m negative, I’m already few step away from facilitating the creation of any good and affecting my atmosphere accordingly. Nature then is not just the beautiful flowers growing by the Nile, nature is the set of occurrences that make up our fate and destiny and that also makes up the essence of our religion, is to submit to god’s will which we just called nature. So whatever I’m creating or fixing, I’d consider myself a facilitator to nature and by then I’m powered by God and my faith educates me that, when I’m powered by God, no one or nothing can stop me.

That’s how we can all co-create businesses, initiatives and families that’s the reflection of nature and god’s will. Then when I’m creating something, I’m not competing or stopping anyone but executing a task, I think, god assigned to me.

#Jan25 Personal Reflections from Tahrir Tuesday Feb 1st

These are unedited, unorganized and kinda emotional notes written on my mobile phone during my stay at the night of Tuesday Feb 1st @ Tahrir Square in Cairo among more than 2 million Egyptians demanding freedom and dignity by the removal of Mubarak and his regime. Followed by some videos I recorded using my phone as well.

——————–
6:06 PM I’m at tahrir square finished the prayers and moved to the stage where this section is being led after they called for volunteers, couldn’t reach them so just sat down here thinking and reflecting

Had a few dates and some water, not used to loud chanting; I got a headache. decided to take some rest. Om Kolthom’s voice is louder than any other here. Singing “I love it from all my soul and blood” makes me remember from a few hours when a man listened to it, he got into a hysterical crying and bowing of excitment, people hugged him and calmed him down.

Tahrir square is booming not with expired gas bombs this time and not with loud voices only, but with patriotic emotions, a few public figures spoke a long the same line Mubarak leaving before any further step to be taken

As I always do, calling myself a “strategist” I try to find out if there is any better way I can serve. Tahrir square is safter than it ever had been in the last 30 years, it’s quite hard to describe how understanding, forgiving and open-minded these people are. They used to be the extreme opposite from a few days

Anyone spoke about sexual harrasement in Egypt should come today amonst more than two million individuals, girls here are safe enough to move wherever they want among their brothers

For the first time waiting in front of Koshary El-Tahrir the guy to my back is probably a secret police, had been going all the way ..

7:58 PM I’m back after ordering couple of Koshary and had to wait about 40 minutes in a long line. But got ’em and ate one already, I also took a piss, it was a deep human experience, I can write a separate note about it

Well, it’s the first time for me to eat Koshary outside home, which is kinda weird. I was brought up to think that eating outside home is a sin exposing myself to diseases .etc when it was a necessity to eat outside I was choosing take away that’s easier to eat on the fly

I think my people are kinda cute, all girls I came across today were very beautiful and the guys surrounding me are handsome in someway or the other, maybe it’s common purpose that unite us and make us blend.

I’m in love with about 3 million people I’m surrounded with now, more than 8 millions who got out from their homes for a shared purpose with shared chants. Also, I’m in love with 83 million people that makes up the population of my country after substituting the police and controlling regime

I love this country so much that I’ll probably be biased. Now, I gotta move .. it’s my turn to chant 8:15 PM.
——————–
Morning of Tuesday. Chants in a part of Tahrir “we demand a revolutionary government .. to build social justice” I was trying to zoom in to a bearded man – who are usually labelled as Islamists – participating in the chants after being noticeably demanding a “civil government” not an Islamic state as the current regime is trying to reflect to westerners to scare them and accordingly get their support and stay in power.

Mixed chants with active presence of Egyptian women; chants are “down down with Mubarak .. tell me who voted for you” and “keep strong o my country .. a new Egypt is being born”

A funny Egyptian man giving Mubarak the red card, football is the most popular sport in Egypt

Creativity and sense of humor are very noticeable there, it was even noticeable by non Arabic speakers. Ben from CNN wrote on Twitter

These guys are extremely hilarious and creative, was the funniest thing in the whole night, they’re altering popular Egyptian songs to anti-Mubarak songs in a wicked way

Ramy a young singer collected all our chants in a single song that was amazing! he’s singing “We’re all .. one hand .. we asked .. for one thing .. go away .. go away”, “down .. down with Mubarak” and “the people .. demand .. removal of the regime” – not my footage here

Early morning of Wednesday Feb 2nd. That was the early morning practice of the guys @ Tahrir while chanting anti-Mubarak and for Egypt. Chants include: “leave .. leave”, “We’ll not go away untill he goes away” and the revolution demand “The people .. demand .. the removal of the regime”.

I left Tahrir square 7:30 in the morning of Wednesday Feb 2nd. A few hours, the regime-hired thugs attacked peaceful protesters at Tahrir killing 5 and injuring about 1000.

Governmental and western media called them “Pro-Mubarak Protesters” which is so far from the truth! We’re used to the government and its police hiring thugs or pushing them to achieve their purposes and some of those detained explicitly stated who hired them and what they had been told to do.

And the struggle of the Egyptian people for their freedom continues …

Terrorism in Babel the American Movie

Hi All,

Just watched Babel the American movie for the second time, and a lot of thoughts and comments aroused in my head.

How simple things could had been and how huge could others perceived it, from a teenage randomly shooting to a terrorist organization and may be a terrorist country and a terrorist religion.

Wars are being waged because of lack on understanding. People with agendas and powerful PR tools, could wage a war for absolutely no reason and deceive their own people, betray their own country by exaggerating an event like random shooting from a teenage.

There is a lot of meanings in the film, that makes you just want to say. Huh! that’s life.

Regards,
Abdo

The Development Way

Dear All,

I delivered a speech at ToastMasters Cairo club last Thursday entitled “The Development Way“, this is a follow up Email I sent to the club members, thought to blog about it too, might add more details later.

As I didn’t find enough time to emphasize on the idea of the project, so thought to share some information about it for whom might be interested. By the way, I picked up the title as of presenting the project as a solution to the pre-discussed problems but may be I didn’t get that clear.

1) A very descriptive article from Al-Ahram weekly: May, 2006! [English]

Desert Development Corridor: Into The Sahara
Farouk El-Baz proposes a superhighway to solve Egypt’s pressing problems

This article advances the case for a proposed superhighway west of the Nile from the Mediterranean Sea coastline to Lake Nasser. The proposal would provide numerous opportunities for the development of new communities, agriculture, industry, trade and tourism around a 2,000 km strip of the Western Desert. The Government of Egypt was unable or unwilling to pursue the project, when I first proposed it 20 years ago, for whatever reasons. Because the country is presently facing insurmountable problems, the proposal is resubmitted for consideration by the private sector — local, Arab and international investors.

Link: http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2006/794/sc789.htm

2) Project layout from the General Authority for Industrial Development

Link: http://www.ida.gov.eg/atlas/el_baz_industrialzones.html [Won’t work with FireFox!, preview using Internet Explorer]

3) Aljazeera, “Without Barriers” interview with El-Baz: December, 2007 [Arabic]

A general talk about why his generation wasn’t able to introduce much development to Egypt and the way to developing Egypt from his own experience. Discussing the issues of education and leadership in Egypt too.

Text: http://www.aljazeera.net/channel/archive/archive?ArchiveId=301757 [Arabic]
Video (Discussions about the project starts at 30:00): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3V4gABc598 [Arabic]

Hope that will give a much more clear idea about the project.

All the best

– Abdelrahman

Reaching Out – Online Networking

Hi Everyone,

This is a speech I delivered at Cairo ToastMasters club June, 23. The speech title had been “reaching out” and it was my 3rd speech at the competent communicator track, where the speech’s objective is “get to the point”.

So getting to the point here, the general purpose of the speech had been to make the audience aware of the fundamentals of networking and internet marketing. The specific purpose was to encourage the audience to effectively utilize social networks in their daily life, whether for expressing their political opinions, marketing their businesses or positioning themselves as competent professionals in their fields.

Notice that writing for a speech is different that writing an article and the style – in my case – is going according to the requirements in the project’s manual.

Introduction

Since the beginning of mankind and formation of communities, people were seeking to reach out to others. The criteria that made some people more powerful than the rest was their ability to reach out to the public and spread their ideas, winning people’s trust and taking the lead in forming the identity of their communities.

No one can deny that the internet is the largest community ever known to mankind, and these principles does apply to the internet. Let’s take a look to some practical incidents that recently proved that. The Iranian elections, wasn’t the protests first reported on Twitter before even the mainstream media know about it.

War on Gaza, when the Israeli Army denied the western media from entering Gaza during the massacres, wasn’t these massacres reported Live! on YouTube, Facebook and other social networks? Not getting so far away from Egypt, the 6th of April movement in Egypt, wasn’t it started on Facebook and created one of the most politically striking movements by the Egyptian youth?

Let me tell you something very recent and I attended it myself, the white house was managing a chat room using Acrobat Connect with average 400 participant during Obama’s speech in Cairo, and that chat room was marketed via Facebook Ads. Plus, during the speech if you were on YouTube, you’d notice that upper banner with a link to the Live! speech.

Let’s see how sxephil a 23 years old guy, was able to have more than 400,000 subscribers on YouTube, and how his content usually reach more than 1 Million viewer per week. Also, through the internet people build their full time freelancing career, and ecommerce businesses is being started everyday.

All these incidents and more prove the importance of the internet as an effective marketing tool, and does prove to us that the investment that we’ll make to explore how to effectively utilize social media for spreading our ideas is really worthy.

We’ll go through 4 main steps we should all do in order to effectively use social media to achieve our goals:

Be There

Being on social networks is free, quick and easy.  Creating an account in the networks that’s relevant to the one’s interests is the first step for anyone planning to effectively utilize the power of the internet to pursue his/her goals.

Participate

Joining doesn’t mean a lot, if you’re not planning to participate with quality content that’s relevant to your network’s interests. Since you’re there it’s an investment of time and effort you put to produce quality content, from your own ideas and inspirations.

As content is king; the quality of your content will determine how far you’ll reach within the community.

Engage

Producing your own content, will usually result in being anxious for people to read and interact with your content. That might result in spamming people with content they’re not interested in. So the solution to that is to engage with the community, read their content and interact, your content will be most likely to be noticed.

Example of that, is replying to a popular YouTube video with a relevant reply, commenting on Facebook status messages .etc

Personalize

People will always be touched by genuine individuals and content, so going all the way to marketing might result in being impersonal in communication, while in actuality, you’re supposed to maintain a personal touch in all your content and interactions as people either buy or get convinced by people who they have some kind of emotioal connection with.

Conclusion

The internet provides a valuable framework, if smartly utilized, it can enormously help you achieve your personal, professional or business goals.

Thanks everyone and happy networking.

– Abdo

Sharing Link: https://www.abdomagdy.com/pphpg8

Life: Mistakes, Lessons or Fate?

Hi All,

That had been a comment on  a blog I’ve wrote recently on Dina‘s blog Chosen Odyssey.

Take your time to believe that which you are conventionally expected to believe. We are not expected to make any mistakes, but are there any absolute mistakes in Life’s lessons?

Well Dina, to respond to the question we had to define 2 words “perception” and “mistake”.

Going back to the concept of paradigm shifting, and the fact that the image formed in our minds about a certain issue is nothing more than a formation from our past experiences and what we grew up believing from the our community and that image will, accordingly, differ between people, as they have different experiences and may be, cultural or religious background.

So, the perception of a “mistake” will differ widely between people.

In Engineering when someone ask for “the best” solution, he shouldn’t be given an answer till he defines all the variables associated with his problem. For example: What’s the best programming language to learn. the response had to be it depends! What applications are you going to develop, what’s your background in the topic, how much time you can dedicate for that .etc

When you go for a competition, you might be the most experienced or most knowledgeable among the competitors but you might not win! Why, they’re mostly judging based on a set of variables that might not be set the right way, they might be judging your technical writing skills and you’re the most qualified craftswoman .etc

So, when I say, I made a mistake or someone made a mistake, I defined some variables that I saw fit in that situation, and judged that based on my previous experience or background. And surely there is something I didn’t take into consideration when doing so, especially if we’re talking about life events.

But there is still things that’s considered to be mistakes by everyone, for example cheating on partners, is that a mistake or not? everyone knows that it’s a mistake.

So, everyone will pick a set of variables to judge actions, these variables might be coming from his own experience, the perception of his community, or religious teachings.

As believers, we’re supposed to believe in Al-Qadr or the Fate. As it’s among the 6 articles of faith for Muslims. That what happened, god wanted it to happen, and it’s the absolute good for us.

That concept might be hard to understand and believe, but much harder to practice while we’re in the acme of troubles.

That article will communicate what I want to say better, when it comes to perceiving actions as god’s will and as a result, it might be “wrong” or “mistakes” according to a certain standard, but for us it’s god’s will.

Attributes of Allah “The all Wise” check that article:
http://www.nabulsi.com/english-nab/ideology/names/names-24.php

We as humans aren’t knowledgeable enough to find out all the variables associated with our life problems or situations, and as a result, while we do our best to approach the solution based on the variables we’re able to define, we should trust the ultimate knowledgeable entity which is aware of all the variables, and whether what we wanted worked or not, that was our fate, and god’s will.

We haven’t done a mistake, if we do that, even if we didn’t reach what we wanted.

You know, that’s the core belief of being a Muslim. Islam means submission to God. Which means accepting god as the all knowledgeable and submitting our will to him as he only knows the best for us.

– Abdo

Sharing Link: https://www.abdomagdy.com/cp685n

Lessons In Unity #1 – Concepts

DRAFT QUALITY FOR VIDEO MAKING – This isn’t the final article

Asalamo Alikum Brothers and sisters,

Today, we’re going to start the first episode in lessons in unity: our title today is about the definitions and concepts about unity, and other concepts that goes against unity of Muslims.

First of all, what’s unity?

Finding a specific definition isn’t my ideal way of presenting things, but let’s try to go around some definitions to understand what we’re talking about.

Logical definition:

Unity is grouping some units together to form a more solid structure. Let’s see an example from the wise man who while dying, wanted to teach his kids the meaning of unity, so asked everyone of them to take a stick and break it, it’s easily broken, but when when we collect those sticks together, it’s much more harder to break.

And told them: That’s why my sons you’re supposed to be always together; not to be easily broken individually by your enemies.

So, according to this definition; unity is being safe by being with those who share the same fate, you unite with them to be safe, so if you can handle it yourself, why to unite ..

Strategic definition:

Let’s go across some strategic definition, that definition is much more clear in business and military, achieving an economic benefit or a strategic advantage.

If I as a single unit will be able to achieve a little, and If I united with some other people who share my vision, we’ll together have much more resources, we’ll be able to achieve more profit individually, or defend ourselves against common enemies, with much more “resources”.

So unity is sharing of resources to achieve things that couldn’t be achieved individually. So, there is still something for the “self” that motivate people for unity and when I think about establishing such strategic unity, I should be wondering; what’s in it for me ..

Islamic definition:

So which definition of those would be more close to the idea of Muslim unity, in Islam we have a more solid concept about unity:

“The Believers are but a single Brotherhood.” [Al-Hujurat 49:10]

So it’s nothing like the solid structure or the strategic allegiance, it’s sharing of not only destiny but the way that leads to it too, not upon fear from challenges or profit and strategic advantage, but upon brotherhood!

This is the strongest human relationship as we’ll see, if we look to the issue individually the meaning of being a Muslim is being as close as my brother and sister.

So, why aren’t Muslims united now a days! Where there is always problems among Muslim countries, and Islamic groups and even different schools of thought, why there is always attacks even hatred sometimes inside the mosque.

In this series we’ll be going through the major incidents in our Islamic history that sharply demonstrate the meaning of unity, starting with unity between individuals up to unity in Ware and strategic unity. These lessons are expected to inspire us towards achieving unity as individuals and communities as well.

Concepts the goes against Muslim unity

So, fundamentally what’s the major points that hinder Muslim unity, these are the easiest to dive through, that’s why we’ll start with these defninitions.

Racism:

Judging people based upon their race and background, prophet moahmed told “let it it’s rotten” when he talk to his brother about his background. In today’s world everybody think racism is for close-minded uneducated people, so the practice of racism is usually not hugely clear, instead it’s covered by gestures, and unclear practices, so that person practicing racism won’t but attacked or identified as a racist.

Islam totally goes against racism and breaking the bound of bounds of brotherhood based upon, race or background. Prophet Mohamed PBUH said: “”

Nationalism:

Nationalism is grouping certain people based upon geographical location, and calling themselves a nation, with a separate destiny, with separate identity and with separate methodologies.

Let’s face it nationalism isn’t a new concept,  human nature love belonging to a specific group of people, feeling secured and protected, even prophet Mohamed identified that as one of the most basic human needs.

Some people attack anyone saying where is he coming from, that’s extremism, Khalid ibn El-Waleed, used flags to make people jealous and get better results for the group, is he a nationalist, understanding and common sense is what our religion Is about.

Sectarianism:

I understand that sectarianism is a sensitive issue in the Muslim community, while we’re seeking to unite, we’re not supposed to tolerate altering and changing our religion.

Why Abu Bakr didn’t go easy with whom denied zakat because it’s a part of Islam and denying a part of Islam or changing it shouldn’t be tolerated in a Muslim community.

So the point to eliminate the effect of Sectarianism on the Muslim community is by scholars from different  “sects” to reject any practices that goes against the authentic teachings of Islam.

Next Lesson:

In the next episode, we’ll see how unity had been between companions of the prophet, how they blended together to form a solid community, that enlightened the whole world, and got the lowest level of crimes ever, no crimes for 3 whole years, solidarity to an unbelievable level.

Looking forward to meet with you tomorrow, with how Sahaba (RA) lived in unity within the Muslim community.

Asalamo Alikum

Reaching Out (2) – Starting an Online Business

Hi All,

This speech had been delivered by myself July, 21, at Cairo ToastMasters club.It was my 4th speech at the competent communicator track where my objective was “How To Say It” so while preparing this speech my main emphasis was picking the right words and forming the right phases and getting away from using jargon or difficult words. This speech is supposed to be from five to seven minutes.

By the way, I’ll rewrite the content in more details and publish it and make Vlogs about it in the future, really delivering these speeches inspired me with some business ideas that I’ll be executing in the coming few months. here, on DeveloperMan and Al-Adham Web Solutions.

Introduction

Last time we stated general points in reaching out to people on the internet and gave basic steps you had to follow in order to be successful in your online communication using different social networks. Let’s remember, it was “Be there, participate, engage and then personalize” Last Speech

This time, we’ll explore a new model of what’s called online businesses, where there is no physical office and business is totally being ran online by a freelancer or a team of freelancers. The same ideas apply to a company trying to expand its client-base through the internet.

This business model is found to be convenient by designers, programmers, IT professionals, writers and consultants.

There is 4 major steps that you should follow to run a successful online business.

Present

The first obvious step in running a successful online business is to have a strong online presence, that’s a website; the idea about your business is being reflected through your website, putting a small investment on getting your website done professionally will save a lot of troubles on the long run.

Having your own domain name is essential; it’s strange seeing some people still seeking to run online businesses using a freely hosted blogs or websites, investing $10 and getting your own domain name and email, is an essential step to run a successful online business. So, present yourself professionally, chose the right domains and create the right email addresses.

I remember when I was having a “computer networks” course with participants who were elder than me, I was eighteen at this time and most of them were at their mid or late twenties. We exchanged our contact information, and I gave them my fancy email at this time which was abdo37_sk3, the next session I accidentally heard a discussion where someone was asking have you added them, not all, look at that email, what an idiot! Why should I add him!

After that, I got my emails sorted out professionally, so having your own domain and emails will not only give your audience the smell of professionalism, but will save you from being labeled as an idiot too.

Seek

It’s not hard to get a professional online presence, it’s usually very quick and affordable, the difference is made by the marketing plan this online business will utilize to reach out to people.

Having a few pages about your business, won’t be more than getting some other pages stuck on the already dense internet, if it’s not backed by a strong marketing plan. The ultimate goal from marketing an online business should be putting your website in front of interested prospects’ eyes. The most famous techniques are:

The regular PR work: building relations with other already popular sites, adding the site to business directories

Paid advertising: where you can seek to show your website to a specific group of people filtered by age, gender or location interested in something specific.

SEO or search engines optimization: is helping your website being found by prospects searching for a certain keyword that you chose to optimize the website for.

Involve

The next step would be getting the visitors involved with the site the moment they see it to ensure it won’t be just a onetime visit. The repetition of the marketing message is what will convince those visitors to become interested and finally use your services. Some tools that are being used to involve visitors with the site are:

Newsletter: Is collecting visitors’ emails and sending them regular Email updates about your business, which is being considerably replaced by the next point.

Business blogs: Where articles and updates are being posted regularly on a part of the website and the audiences get involved with that content, by commenting and interacting.

Widgets: Involving people would be by finding where they frequently are, for example if they’re using Facebook regularly why not to make a Facebook page to your business and interact with them on it, you’ll find these widget things that will help you connect your site or blog with other famous networks where it’ll be much more easier for people to involve with you.

Manage

Congratulations, you’re now winning projects, and people are asking you to get their projects done. There is a lot of online communication and project management tools that will help you manage your projects effectively, starting from an IM and VoIP service like Skype, through which you can chat and talk with your clients to full project management tools and client management applications, where the client can check all the information about his project on a certain part of your website.

Conclusion

Through these four steps professional presentation, seeking the right audience, involving and engaging visitors and getting them interested in your service and finally managing the projects and the client communication the right way.

We could now, congratulate you on joining the league of successful online entrepreneurs.

Thanks

– Abdo

Sharing Link: https://www.abdomagdy.com/dzv9gb

Politics Illustrated: Free Chocolate for Everyone!!

Hi All,

Thankfully, two posts a week as minimum hadn’t been broken so far, and I’m hoping to find more time to blog more frequently. General updates will be added as I get other projects I’m currently working on stabilized.

So, this time I’m inspired by a Facebook conversation with Sami with a little bit unusual political views!!

Political Views: Free chocolate for everyone party

Actually, related to that, we had the following conversation:

Abdo: Hey, how is your political career going? “Free chocolate for everyone party”! I haven’t got mine yet.

Sami: Hey you, I am just packing the free chocolate for everyone and I will pack an extra ounce one for you :)))) *

Abdo: So, I’ll get two, I’d join your party, though 🙂

Sami: Hmmm, so you’d like to serve me or my party?! Or both?!! ;)))))

Abdo: Oh, so you see yourself excluded from your party? Who’s packing the free chocolate?

I got it, so the 2 chocolates I’m getting one from your party, and the other from you.

So, from a strict political mentality I’d say, “I’d support you inside your political party till reaching the presidency. This way I’ll always guarantee my free chocolates will be increasing”.

Sami: Materialist!!! :))))

Abdo: LOL no, just a politician 🙂

Sami: You look too young to be a politician! ;)))

Abdo: It’s the experience in our years that makes us great politicians. the ability to twist, deceive and manipulate people. joking!

There is no one too young to work in politics, but there is people who’s too kind to work in politics, just like yourself, Sami 🙂

———

And yes, this is politics illustrated!! wherever you are, within your family, at work, or even in a charity organization, that’s the principle of everyday politics:

What’s in it for me – how can I get what I want and keep it coming.

That’s why Free Chocolate for everyone party, will find hard time surviving in a political environment. Except they have an intelligent man like myself leading them, I’ll be doing a great job for humanity too, with loads of free chocolate to manage.

What a devoted, sincere, public-centered leader am I?!!

– Abdo

** Published with Sami’s approval.

Sharing Link: https://www.abdomagdy.com/wzkn4a