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Bloggers’ 25th gathering

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Guys, this Thursday is our 25th monthly gathering. As I won’t be able to join you unfortunately, would someone please take the initiative and organise it? Let me know who would like to front it and I’ll make an announcement and link it directly to their blog.

Many thanks and enjoy the last meeting of the year!

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24th Gathering

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That was a good gathering last night at my house! Thanks to all who came, it was very enjoyable indeed, but next time, please don’t bring kids with you unless they are on tranquilizers, drugged, or asleep! =P

I await our good friend binShehab (who is also once again highly encouraged to flex his fingers and start posting again!) to upload the millions of pictures he took so that we all can see the silly expression on our faces and the various heated hand-gestures 🙂 It was good.

Stephen the BarristaMade even better by the good folks at iMachines donating three full trays of healthy and wholesome, organic, zero-processed-anything-content which much more importantly than all of that went down a treat with the ballerinaesque delicacy of the Elle coffee ably served by the coffee maestro Stephen bedecked with a bow tie and a lovely smile!

The delicious cookies and cupcakes were from Vida Sandwich Bar, just next to iMachines behind the Passport Directorate in Hoora. I have no hesitation whatsoever recommending both whole-heartedly: Vida for your healthy body, and iMachines for your healthy mind!

Arif and Amna on the Segways at homeAdd to that the fun factor which Arif and I have had this morning; we just came back in the house after about an hour going crazy all over the neighbourhood in those Segways!

The kids left marking tunnels all over my lovely lawn when they were trying them out last night (I’m sending you the repair bill Sofyan!) This morning however, I used them to chase Arif around in the neighbourhood AND take the dogs for a run (rather than walk!) cut short by a bloody twit on a crapped out bike who was so terrified of Gnasher that he chose, yes CHOSE, to run into me with me on the bloody Segway going at 15kph or more! If the bastard didn’t have an ax with him on his bike I would have run the bugger over again and again and again until he turns to pulp. Bastard. I think he definitely is a kind of God’s joke on humanity.

Anyway, both semi-intelligent objects are okay, the Segway and the guy, that is.

Back to the actual gathering, I was honoured to have Ali Abdulimam come over, the first time ever he joined us, and let me tell you guys, he’s no ogre, he surprised me completely as I had built that stereotype on him as well, especially after you read his articles on this blog which always show his disolutionment and frustration with the establishment, but he is no religious extremist. He even came in with a Ché cap on! More important than that he disagreed with Tawfiq Al-Rayyash, a good friend who showed his keenness of coming to the gathering by coming directly from the airport to the gathering! Good on you mate, and thanks also go to Mahmood Al-Adraj (fix your RSS feeds man!) who picked him up.

I was glad that Mohammed Al-Maskati came too, he’s the guy – with Esra’a – who are behind http://iwantmymtv.org site and the petitions and other activities during the blocking of my site time.

That and Hisham Khalifa as well as a new guy Mohammed Al-Qassab as well as Suad (1st timers) and Salman Rahmah (and his two hyper kids), we had a really mixed bag of ideologies so the discussions were very spirited, but good natured. Our discussions of course ranged from the blocking of websites, what are we to do about them, as well as the current elections and how might we best benefit from them in providing coverage in our blogs etc. So you might see some results of these points raised in our blogs soon.

The next gathering is on the first Thursday in December, on the 7th at 8pm as usual. Where do you want to meet next time then? Back to the Seef district again?

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24th Bloggers’ Gathering

Okay guys, sorry for the short notice as I have been a bit detained, as you might have suspected, but tradition and custom of course are extremely important, so we shan’t forget about them.

Therefore, I would be honoured if you would attend the 24th bloggers’ meeting at my house, from 8pm – 10pm tomorrow night.

I hope to see you there, and once again, thank you very much for your support and friendship.

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23rd Bloggers’ Gathering

I wanted to create a “Ramadhan Theme” for this gathering, but unfortunately so does the rest of Bahrain and all hotels and tents are booked. So I’ve reserved a table for 10 – 15, OUTSIDE (joy for smokers!) at Le Chocolat again.

Let me know who will come, the gathering will start at 8.30PM this time owing to Ramadhan.

Please do write your name in a comment or send me an email, we need to know final numbers as soon as possible.

When: Thursday 5th Oct 2006 at 8.30PM
Where: Le Chocolat, Seef District
Who: Bahrain Bloggers and guests

Hope to see you there!

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Vlog: 22nd Gathering’s

Here’s the video of last night’s gathering. Enjoy!

For the technically minded, this thing was shot on my Sony Ericsson K750i mobile phone, and edited on Avid’s Xpress Pro on 24P (just for the hell of it!) The sound quality is crap, but I’ve applied a DeEsser filter on the track which corrected it a bit.

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22nd Gathering

This must have been the best gathering we have had so far! I think everyone enjoyed themselves and we all had a chance to speak with one-another as this time, people themselves started mingling and moving from one “pod” to the next, getting up and walking over to the other end of the very long table that La Chocolat were excellent to arrange for us.

The numbers far exceeded any other we have had I think. There were 19 or 20 people around and most stayed till around 11.15 and carried on talking outside!

Stars of the gathering are undoubtedly our Kuwait guests: Bader from SaviorMachine, Ali from The Stallion and Abdullatif of ForzaQ8.

Quite a number of Bahraini bloggers and some of our contributors/commenters also came, let me list who did, but if I miss someone please forgive me (leave a comment and I’ll update the main list):

Bahrain & Kuwaiti bloggers gather in Bahrain for a chinwag.Tooners of Hypnotic Verses, Hashim of Al-Fanan Radio, Tariq Khonji whom we have to thank for suggesting this excellent location, Haitham Sabbah who promised that now that he will try harder to come to every gathering! Mahmood Al-Adraj who we tried to land the bill on as he works for American Express :), Yasser of The Joker who has started blogging again after a long absence (altogether now: YAY!) joined by Eyad of Bahraini Rants who likewise restarted blogging (YAY again!) after a nice and restful holiday, Tawfiq Al-Rayyash of the Rayyash’s Chimney, Ali Al-Saeed of QuixotiQ Writings, Hisham Khalifa of Looking for Delmon and Sadeq Al-Shehabi of binShehab… did I miss anyone?

Coupled with these bloggers, other friends came over as well and joined the fun: Yasser introduced us to his friend Mohammed, Marco Montemurro, the Italian guy who did his BSc dissertation on Gulf bloggers! Together with Toberios whom I know from Orbit TV, Fawwaz came with Hisham, and John the Johnster.

Topics of conversation I think covered EVERYTHING! As one side of the table was talking politics, another was talking about filmmaking, while another part were talking about education reforms, life in Kuwait compared to Bahrain, corruption, cars, food, and how Ali just couldn’t refuse hummus whenever he has the chance to inhale it!

The afternoon started quite nicely too, I got a chance to pick up both Ali and Bader from their hotel and drove around a bit to show them the island. We stopped off at Motersports ME so that Bader can drool over the Caterham G7s, sit in them and pretend to drive quite fast! Fortunately for us, I called Ian Best (the owner) who was good enough to stop over at the showroom and give then guys a complete breakdown talk of the car and its capabilities, ending in a promise that if they gave him enough lead time he might be able to organise a good run around the BIC’s F1 track too! Now that’s an incentive for Bader to come to Bahrain again.

Staying with the fast cars theme, I took them on a quick tour to the BIC and took some pictures inside (thanks guys!) and that place was a buzz then as they were preparing for one of their “Test and Tune” night for the first drag race of the season. Tonight’s the night if you like cars and noise, get yourself over there!

It was an excellent night, and I do hope that we will be able to repeat it once again next month too!

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Guests at the 22nd Bloggers Gathering

I am very happy to announce that our guests at the next meeting will be Nibaq, the Kuwaiti pioneer blogger of Savior Machine and the force behind KuwaitBlogs and a friend of his.

They will be staying with us for just one night unfortunately, but we value their presence very much. This could well be the start of something bigger as well, the participation of Gulf bloggers’ meetings? I sure hope so.

The gathering this time is going to take place at Le Chocolat, in the Seef district, at 8pm

So please do make the time to come to the gathering on the 7th.

click for map

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22nd Bahrain Bloggers’ Gathering

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The next meeting is almost upon us, note the 7th of September in your diaries please and don’t forget to take out two hours of your time for this get-together. More than ever, it’s going to be worth it for you all as we will have some special visitors joining us, pioneers of blogging from another Gulf state is all I can tell you at the moment as final plans have not been finalised yet, but should be early next week.

I know that a lot of you have spoken to me about your unhappiness with the current venue we use, in the Diplomatic area, and some suggested that we revert back to the Country Club. Some even suggested a day change from Thursday.

Could you please take some time to jot down your thoughts on not only the timing and location of our meet-ups, but most importantly on how to make the event more successful and how you would organise it.

Let us know your suggestions on all of these issues, please.

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BMUG :: Formation Announcement

I think that having a Bahrain Macintosh User Group is a very good idea. I know that speaking to a few Mac users they support the idea. Speaking also to Sofyan at iMachines, one of only 2 Apple dealers in Bahrain, that he supports it and is willing to commit resources to help with the success of the group. As we do not have a constitution, nor do we know how we might want to go forward, may I suggest that if you are interested to register your name, please do so as a comment to this post, or even better email me with your full details so that I can have a list of people to include as founders of the group.

I would rather the group be independent of business interests at the moment, and that we be neutral to both Apple dealers, as that will enable us to keep good relations with both, and utilise their resources whenever it is necessary. This will also ensure that both compete honourably for our custom without treading on toes.

That said, I have been informed by Sofyan Al-Moayed this morning (you thought you could get out of it this easy? Think again boyo!! ;)) that he is trying to organise a “Ghabga” (literally meaning “gluttony fest”) during one of the Ramadhan nights! The difference is that he will invite Apple representatives in the area as well as other interested parties (Adobe, FileMaker, etc.) to kickstart the first Bahrain MacWorld!

What is required right now? Get your names and details across to me as soon as possible, and let us meet informally to discuss what the next step is.

As most of you know, the Bahrain Bloggers meet at 8pm on the first Thursday of the month at Cinnabon’s in the Diplomatic Area. As a first meeting of BMUG, may I suggest that once the names and contact details are collected, we might consider that we meet there to start talking about what we want the BMUG to be and decide on when and how often we meet?

Spread the word guys and gals, I’m sure there are hundreds of loyal Mac users on the island, so print this post and hand it or email it to them.

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