Geekfest 5.0 this Thursday

By on June 21, 2010
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GeekFest 5.0 heads to The Shelter on Thursday, 24th June.

Event date(s): , 24 June 2010 , Timings: 7:30pm onwards
Entry fees: Free, Venue: The Shelter, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Official website:

The fifth edition of Dubai’s largest geek gathering will be held at The Shelter on Thursday, 24th June. This non-profit event has become a favourite among Twitter users and tech-savvy UAE residents in general. Entrance is free as usual and the event starts at 7.30pm. Click here for a venue location map.

Here’s what you can expect (courtesy of Fake Plastic Souks):


Talking Pandas Fadi Abu Ghali who runs Dubai based advertising and communications agency Aya Middle East along with Laila Abdullatif, the Emirates Wildlife Society in Association with World Wide Fund for Nature (EWS-WWF)’s Sustainability Coordinator are the some of the people behind the recent neat little animation for EWS-WWF that used some tricksy animation to remind us that we’re making an awful mess. They’re going to be telling us a bit about the problems the ad is intended to address, how they came up with the idea, the technical wizardry they used to create the animation and how they’re using social media and all that kind of stuff to spread the message.

Why Marriage is the Theme of My Life
Areeba Hanif needs no introduction. A lecturer in digital film making at SAE Institute and a director, writer and editor, Areeba founded her company to produce webmercials and documentary style wedding movies. she is also GeekFest’s official videoguru, making sure the GeekTalks are there on Vimeo for all to see. she’s going to be talking about her struggle with arranged marriages, one broken engagement, her feature script “Match Made in Parental Heaven”, My Big Day Films and finally the real reason for putting on the scarf.

Moving Ahead With Ramallah
TEDxRamallah is an independently organized conference (licensed by TED) happening in Ramallah where the theme is to showcase inspirational stories of Palestine. The event is taking place at Ramallah Cultural Palace on the 9th October 2010. TEDxRamallah is actively casting about for speakers with inspiring stories, from any field (education, business, art, science, technology, etc). The community are encouraged to nominate speakers as well. Ramzi Jaber is the dynamo behind putting this event together. He’s working closely with a group of volunteers to make it a successful gig – this talk’s a chance to throw in your ideas and stuff.

One girl’s quest to change the world using education
Masarat Daud is 26 years old. Belonging to India’s largest and most illiterate state of Rajasthan, she has lived in Dubai all her life. Last year, she realised that the world is not someone else’s responsibility and embarked on a journey to make the change that she wishes to see. This led to the creation of 8-Day Academy, a smart program that focuses on educating rural communities…in just eight days. Masarat will be talking about the Academy, about TEDxShekhavati – a TEDx event in rural India, and about her belief that village people can change the world.

Caution. This talk has a bitter/sweet ending.

Bean Bag Workshops!

A new feature at GeekFest, the Bean Bag workshops are a chance for small groups to share expertise in doing stuff. The idea’s to have a semi-circle of 10-12 beanbags and a presenter looking at ‘how to’ type topics. This is very much an experiment, so if it works we’ll do more of ‘em next time around.

8.00ish Blue Sky Thinking
Photographer and photoblogger Catalin Marin will be sharing ways of getting beyond the Dubai summer haze and taking that awful washed out, white sky effect out of your summer photography using some simple and smart Photoshop techniques. He’s here, by the way.

8.30ish Pump up your personal SEO
When was the last time you Googled yourself? Do you own you? Do you want to build your blog traffic by being higher up in search? Time for some SEO weight training, then! SEODubai’s Jon Santillan will be sharing some simple ideas and approaches that will help you to build your personal Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO.


Born in Nanjing, China, and raised between Bahrain, Dubai, and New Orleans, Lantian Xie is a visual theorist who utilizes interdisciplinary methodologies to investigate our contemporary relationships with time and space. His work is either hard-to-understand genius or just plain strange. But it’ll be projected at GeekFest, where Lantian will also be taking the opportunity to create another of his groundbreaking pieces of surreal video.

There’ll also be a slideshow of photography from blogger and well known social media gadfly Kinan Jarjous.


As usual, the slavering, snarling pack of gamers will be huddled around the FragZone at the back of The Shelter, hooked up together and killing each other and/or various alien life forms. Some Big Iron is apparently coming in this time around, so we’re arranging backup generators and asking people to turn off their televisions in the surrounding area.


Those nice chaps from Canon Middle East will be there with some cool cameras and printers and other stuff that goes ‘bang’ in a colourful sort of way. This’ll be interesting as GeekFest official videographer Areeba uses a Canon and Lantian’s going to be doing his stuff with one, too. It’s Canontastic, folks!

If you decide you want to do a TechnoCase, you’ve still got a week to get it together.


Hitesh is a tech/games journalist and Business Development Manager for the Tbreak Network.

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