If you’re running an e-commerce business or selling any kind of product online, I hope that you already know the main reasons stopping people from buying from you.
As a consumer, and someone who enjoys talking to random people about how they use websites and mobile apps. I tend to always hear the same thing from people when it comes to paying for something online. They say “I don’t trust them”.
Easy Taxi, a new taxi ordering service available in Egypt (mainly Cairo). I think the service started in Egypt in August 2013. Ogra, the Vodafone and Sawari Ventures backed company was supposed to hit market first, but they didn’t yet.
Easy Taxi is available in 20+ countries and expanding rapidly powered by $32 million in funding. I guess Ogra has only raised about $200k so maybe this is part of why their service is not operating yet.
Egyptians went out to streets on Jan 25, 2011 peacefully trying to bring a regime down and get their freedom and dignity back. after 18 days, Mubarak leaved the presidential palace and moved all his authorities to SCAF (Super Counsel of Armed Forces). more people went out to streets celebrating their victory and SCAF started by talking about how the bad era just ended and how they will start to a new era of respect, freedom and real democracy.
Unfortunately, the dream didn’t continue for so long and things didn’t go like what SCAF promised. we started to see news about how the army forced 18 women protesters to undergo virginity tests. Army started to deal aggressively with citizens like what police used to do before Jan 25. Army started to attack protesters in Tahrir square every night and arrested many citizens and they were trialed infront of military courts.
On the first day of Ramadan (Aug 1, 2011), hundreds of Army soldiers with many police soldiers attacked the protesters camping in Tahrir square and arrested 111 of them who were released after 2 days. there were some videos and blog posts by protesters that show how Army treated protesters violently.
These violent acts were repeated again during the fifth day of Ramadan (Aug 5, 2011). citizens organized a group Iftar which let Muslims and Christians have a chance to eat together in Tahrir square after fasting all day. army soldiers were ordered to attack these citizens again after moments of finishing eating their Iftar.
This blog post is part of an initiative to blog about Egyptian Army violations. all what we want our Army to remember is that “your mission is to protect me, not to erase me”.
We respect those soldiers and officers who protect our borders and I was one of them before, but this doesn’t give them the right to treat citizens like that. we are all live in this country and have the same rights and every one deserves to be respected whether if he agrees with the decisions of the SCAF or not.
Remember that you promised to protect this revolution and remember that Army ethics tells you .. never break a promise and never betray your people.
Abdalla is a Film Editor, Writer and Director. He started talking about his latest Film “Microphone” and how someone on twitter sent him saying that he likes his film but he didn’t like the kiss. Abdalla replied with a ” ??! “, then the guy replied back “don’t get me wrong, I like the film, it’s just the kiss that made me feel bad and it would be better if you remove it”. Abdalla replied “actually, there were no kiss in the film”. Abdalla started showing us the part of the film that the guy was talking about. it looked like it’s a fast shot that faked a kiss, but really there were no kiss. he said that we can say that this was a half kiss.
Abdalla continues, TV and Other media used to tell us that the originator is someone supernatural and no one can innovate like him and you can’t disagree with his ideas, as there are those who innovate and those who receive this innovation and accept it without asking or trying to make their own innovations. Technology now broke the rule and allowed every person to write, record songs or make movies and publish his innovations online. my film “Microphone” was made using small photography cameras and I didn’t study cinema before, but this didn’t mean that I can’t make a full film. the environment that we live in affects us in good and bad ways,the idea behind “Microphone” started by one tweet with 140 characters from someone unknown, it could be anyone of you who sent that tweet.
When we talk about film censorship, most of you will think about censoring sexual scenes. before the Egyptian revolution this wasn’t the reality as it was easy to pass scenes like that. what we need now is to make people the real eye that can say if something is good or bad, but before that we have to have clear vision and rules, I’m standing or not standing, we want to build our country or not, this is a kiss or not a kiss as there is nothing called half kiss.
Entertaining with a good idea. Abdalla used part from his film with music in the background while he was talking which gave the attendees better experience.
Volunteerism – Sherif Abdel Azeem
Sherif Abdel Azeem - Volunteerism by @ahmednaguib
Sherif is the founder of Resala NGO. he started by telling a story that happened to him while he was studding in USA … I was studding in USA when I met American woman that asked me where are you from and when she knew that I’m from Egypt, she told me “oh, I know Egypt, I used to send money to help poor people there”. I thought about this and said why do those people who aren’t Egyptians help our poor people while we don’t. today, when you ask someone about if he is a patriot or not? he will respond “yes I’m. I stand for more than 90 minutes in the stadium chanting for our national football team”. this is how most of us think about patriotism. for me, patriotism is to help 100 of those homeless people in your country. the real positive patriotic feeling is to do things that law doesn’t force you to do and it originates from your desire to help your country and your people. from my travels around the world, I found that the most positive act is the continues volunteerism. the American citizen gives an average of 5 hours weekly to volunteerism without being forced to do so.
I co-founded Resalty NGO with my friends in Cairo University’s faculty of Engineering years agoز we started by building an orphanage and a center to teach people how to use computers then started a blood donation project and there are many other projects that came after these. Resala NGO has 55 branches around Egypt till now and this is the biggest voluntary project in the Middle East.
You can’t say that you can’t volunteer. if you know how to read, learn other how to read. even if you can’t do this simple thing, just donate blood, every one of us is an inactive volunteer but someone had to wake that volunteer up.
The first perfect talk after Fadel’s talk. I liked the presentation of the idea and how Sherif played around the fact that we are all volunteers and this is a reality that most of us forgot.
What if machines think? – Haytham Fadeel
Haytham Fadeel-what if machines think? by @ahmednaguib
Haytham started by talking about this childhood and machines .. since I was a little kid, I always couldn’t stop thinking about the perfect machine. I tried throughout the last few years to work on building the smart machine that can think. human brain is very powerful and smart, it doesn’t just store data, it can understand data and connect these data together to make conclusions that can help it to take decisions when needed. my current project Kngine.com is a smart search engine that will understand your questions and try to find the best answer. it’s not like other search engines that only try to find the words you are searching for. the ideas behind Kngine is that we already have billions of pages online with huge amount of information that we can feed to our smart machine, this will enable our machine to be smart enough to help us in the future to solve big problems that we can’t solve.
The next part of the project is to make Kngine smart enough to give us personalized answers. each one of you will have a user account to login to Kngine and when you ask Kngine a question, it will try to find the best answer depending on the information that it knows about you. this is the future of smart machines.
Haytham is another smart Egyptian that we can be proud of. this wasn’t the first time I know about Kngine and I was already using long time ago, but I enjoyed his talk and I found the many of the attendees got exited and said that they will make Kngine their main search engine instead of Google.
The day when the people changed – Fatma Said
Fatma Said by @ahmednaguib
Awesome song about the Egyptian Jan 25 revolution that will make you drop some tears and forget all those weak songs that couldn’t be innovative enough to describe these great historical days. I hope this one will be on TV soon.
Forgetful and forgotten – Yasmin Said
Yasmin Said - forgetful and forgotten by @ahmednaguib
Yasmin Said is a biological scientist that has interest in Alzheimer disease. she started talking about her experience working at an elderly psychiatric disease unit in a Hospital in USA .. this was my first time to work in a unit like that. this unit was the most quiet and isolated place in the hospital. the only mission of the unit is to give intensive care and observing the patients 24/7.
Most of us don’t understand the meaning of Alzheimer and mix it with the normal fact that we forget every day. the reality is that Alzheimer patients forget forever and whatever they forget, they never remember again. Alzheimer patients are always confused and don’t like being with people, they forget and never remember even simple small things like how to eat or that they need to eat. they lose memory daily until they never remember anything at all and start living in their empty world where they don’t know anyone one or anything.
Alzheimer is classified as the disaster of the era as the number of patients is growing around the world and there still no cure for it. imagine if someone in your family or anyone you love is losing her life every day, she will never remember you or her best memories and will live in that darkness forever while you are watching and you know that you can’t do anything to help her.
Alzheimer patient is someone who lost and forgot every thing, but he is still a human and we should never forget him.
I talked with some of the attendees and a number of them didn’t like it that much but didn’t hate it at the same time. they wanted to see something more related to the spirit of Egyptian revolution or at least they would have preferred if Yasmin linked that to a philosophical view about the Egyptians before and after the revolution. I respect their opinions but I still see this as a good TED talk that delivers a simple but great message. Yasmin helped me see how dangerous is the disease and enhanced my views regarding how we should care about these people and the importance of spreading the word about it.
“1/4 gram” message – Essam Youssef
Essam Youseef - 1/4 gram by @ahmednaguib
Essam is the author of Egypt’s best selling realistic novel “1/4 gram”. Essam starts .. The main problem with drugs is that drugs are very entertaining and awesome. if drugs weren’t that good, we wouldn’t have seen people die to get it. The drug addict will face the reality that drugs aren’t just entertaining but it can kill too, after seeing one of his friends die after taking an extra drugs dose. he will later try to convince himself that his dead friend didn’t take enough, and he will take care in the future to not die like him. that drugs addict won’t be able to stop and his end will be either getting arrested or dieing.
23 billion Egyptian pounds were spent in Egypt in 2010 on drugs. The number of drug dealers in Egypt can totally fill Cairo’s football stadium and every dealer has hundreds of drug addicts who buy from him. the latest statistics about drugs addicts in Egypt says that the average age of drug addicts in Egypt is 11 years. we have millions of drug addicts in Egypt while we only have 350 beds in our hospitals for them.
Currently I’m trying to focus my efforts on this cause and I don’t have enough time to follow politics, I have a mission that I believe that accomplishing it can help my country be better. I see humans and money get lost every day because of drugs and we invest more to help those addicts and educating our new generation to stay away from it. finally, I want to say that if I make it someday to heaven, I will ask God for just 2 grams, I’m sure drugs won’t have bad side effects there.
People loved Essam and his talk and this is another prove that being super funny during your talk can make you a winner. I’m used to seeing people talk about the bad things about drugs but this was the most entertaining one and I believe that if you deliver a message while keeping the audience entertained, your message will have a better effect. I think that Essam should do this talk again at schools, students will love how he speaks and he will be able to deliver the message to them more than those other boring lectures.
This was the last talk in the second session at TEDxCairo 2011, will try to put the talks of the third session in part 3, isA.
The annual TEDxCairo event is the most interesting event that you will do every thing possible to attend. I was lucky enough to get invited to participate in the online coverage of that event. daily tweeting can’t be as entertaining as listening to those great speakers and trying to put what they say in 140 characters to inspire someone else. TED is all about spreading the word about the inspiring ideas you will see during the event. the theme of TEDxCairo 2011 was “Resurrection”. this was a perfect choice as this is exactly what describes Egypt and Egyptians after 25 Jan. Egypt is coming back to life.
Start of the day
Reem Maged (by @ahmednaguib)
The day started around 10:00 am. Reem Maged the Egyptian TV host was the host of the day. she started by welcoming the attendees and giving an introduction about what is TED and TEDxCairo and encouraging the attendees to spread the word about all the ideas they will see during the day. it’s worth noting that the event had TV coverage too, but I don’t know if we will see the recordings of the sessions being aired on TV soon.
What Newton didn’t see coming? – Mohamed Abdel-Mottaleb
The first speaker was Mohamed Abdel-Mottaleb. Abdel-Mottaleb is a nano-technology Expert. he started by explaining what is nano-technology and how this science is affecting every one of us and every other science. previously, scientists used to see the material as a big cube and they couldn’t change its features. nano-technology came later to study what can happen if cut that cube to millions of smaller cubes. if we cut the material and make each part of it as small as possible, we will be able to do things that we couldn’t be able to solve before and mixing materials together to make something new with better features.overacting
This was so informative and a bit heavy to start the day with. people expected the first talk to be entertaining and informative at the same time. This session was good and the speaker did good work to explain his idea but he lost the attention of the attendees early. from the tweets and talking with the attendees later I saw that it would have been better to put this session in the mid of the day schedule.
Primeval Ocean – Gehan Zaki
Gehan Zaki is an Egyptian Archaeologist. She started by saying that Egypt had a revolution this year 2011 and it had another revolution too [near] 2011 BC. The Egyptian King Pepi II ruled Egypt for 94 years to be the king with the longest rule of a country in history. his son Merenre Nemtyemsaf II succeeded him but the son reigned only for one year before getting murdered and another king came after him to rule Egypt.
She continued by talking about the dogma of old Egyptians. The old Egyptian built his dogma depending on the things that happen around him. he noticed that the sun rise every morning and die at the end of the day and come to life again at the next morning and he noticed that Nile floods every year at the same time. he noticed that every thing repeats itself again and again. so he believed that after death, people will come to life again. Egyptians are always optimistic about the future and this is something that we inherited from the old Egyptians who believed that there is always another chance and life is a complete circle. We have today to continue being optimistic and work on building our country.
I liked it and the people received it well. Gehan had a good start by mentioning that Egypt had a revolution in 2011 BC, while the number wasn’t that accurate according to Wikipedia but this part helped in getting the attention of the attendees early and this made a good amount of positive tweets about that talk. The idea was good and matched the theme of the event.
Top ten “Belmasry” – Ali Faramawy
Faramawy, Vice president of Microsoft international. He started by making it clear that he isn’t coming today to talk about technology and he isn’t even planning to use any kind of technology or even apples during his talk (he was pointing at the Apple Mac on the stage). He said that he want to talk first about 3 things that can describe how the Egyptians felt during the days of the Egyptian revolution. the first is that Egyptians lost their memory, as we forgot all our other problems and forgot about how we have to respect the president. The second is confusion, we didn’t know what we should do now. the third was fear, as we were afraid of what will happen next and we were afraid of the past too and we did even give it a name “folool”.
Our target now is that we turn again to be Egyptians. there are a lot of Egyptians living outside Egypt and there are millions living inside Egypt. most of the Egyptians want to help this country to be better but Egypt still doesn’t know how to use them. We have to start connecting with each other and exchange knowledge. we have to start working on one big national project that can reunite us. We have to start showing out the achievements of the great Egyptians. we shouldn’t focus only on scientists and businessmen, we can focus too on the good man who refused to accept a bribe. We all have the right to dream about tomorrow and we have to work today for it and it’s not accepted to be afraid of the past.
The guy was somehow known for most of the attendees if not all of them and people expected to see a good talk. His talk was really good and good enough to be one of the talks that would have started the day.
Bread and salt – Fadel Solieman
Fadel is a professional international speaker that’s known for his efforts on explaining what is Islam and resolving the conflicts between it and other religions. He started by talking about how no body ever would have dreamed of the revolution and replacing the president. he said that his wife asked him “did you ever imagine that Mubarak could leave the presidency before dieing? ” and he answered “honey, we met each other during the rule of Mubarak, and we got our daughter during the rule of Mubarak, and she got to college during his rule, sure I imagined that we will die during his rule and even we will get resurrected while he is still ruling the country”.
The days of Tahrir square were the days of the true Egyptians. Muslims and Christians stood together and protected each other. Our problem in the past was that there were a devil who hit the Muslim on his back and disappear quickly, then the Muslim will turn back to see who hit him to find that his Christian brother is standing behind him and a fight starts. the devil was the bad people who always wanted us to hate each other and focus on these fights instead of building our country. If we start looking at the shared things between the two religions, we will find that both of them have a big number of shared prophets. if we start looking at the language and start searching on the web to find information about the old Arab poets, we will find millions of results. this means that Muslims aren’t only owners of the Arabic language.
Then if we start thinking about the roots of both, we will find that Copts are the original people who lived in this country, and the word Copts doesn’t mean Christians, it means Egyptians. We both lived in this country for more than 2000 years. Till now there is no real difference between an Egyptian Muslim and Egyptian Christian, we all wear the same type of clothes, we look the same, we eat similar things and there are no special cities in Egypt for Muslims only and others for Christians only. but what was the difference between those Egyptians inside Tahrir square and those Egyptians who were outside it. those who were inside the square believed that this is their country while those outside the square believed that this is the country of those who rule it. The solution is to get back to the republic of Tharir.
Fadel showed us a real TED talk. He is a professional presenter and he had an idea worth spreading and it was wrapped inside a talk full of entertainment. depending on my choice and most of the tweets and the taste of attendees I met, I can say that this is one of the best talks we had in TEDxCairo 2011.
An Egyptian tale – Mina Shenoda
Mina is a writer and speaker, he co-authored the best selling Arabic book “Astigmatism in the brain”. He started telling a story of a young Christian kid called peter who was always get punished and hit by his mother and father and he was their only child. peter used to go to his room and start crying. one upon a day, he found that another child in his age is knocking the window and asking him to open the window to let him get inside. peter refused to open the window and asked him “who are you?” the other kid replied “I’m Ali El-Adl, open the window, peter”. peter opened the window and let Ali in. peter used to talk to Ali and play with him, and peter’s mother saw peter talking to no one, and she started crying and ran away. peter didn’t know what’s her problem, but he was really concerned about what his Christian teacher tell him about how Muslims are bad. he didn’t believe the teacher as Ali was his best friend and they played together. but after some time, peter started to feel that Ali El-Adl started to treat him badly and peter decided that he won’t ever talk to Ali again. in the next day, peter was in his room and he started hearing Ali knocking the window. peter screamed “go away Ali, I won’t open the window”. the knocking started again, then peter said “if you won’t go away, I will come to hit you and push you away”. here, the story ends. peter wsa found later dead, he opened the window and tried to push Ali who didn’t ever exist, and peter fell from the window and died.
I don’t know if you got touched by the story or not, but you still have to see the video of the talk. this wasn’t only a story as Mina was acting too and this helped in making us live the story. I talked with some people and I have to say that some of them saw that Mina was acting too much. I don’t know what’s the problem with his acting, but I liked it. at first, I thought that it’s a story about a child who had Astigmatism no more, but at the mid of the story I found that there is another message in the story. I didn’t read his book yet, but sure I will put it in my reading list.
Due to the fact that I wrote this in 4 hours, and it’s around 3:30 am now. I will try to publish the other parts later. thanks for reading all the way till this line :)
BTW, If you have pics with good quality (shouldn’t be perfect) of the speakers during the event, I will be happy if you pass them to me as my only source of pics till now is @ahmednaguib‘s awesome photoablum and I didn’t find there pics for the speakers mentioned in this post.