Friday, October 28, 2011

Media and Advertising panel in ArabNetCairo

One of the most interesting panel discussions in ArabNetCairo was about Media & Advertising. The speakers were:

  • Fawzi Rahal: Founder of The Next Web Middle East and Regional Digital Director at Grey in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Waseem El Tanahi: Founder & CEO, MediaRepublic / Cairo360
  • Brendon Ogilvy: VP Digital Insights, EffectiveMeasure
  • Shady Sherif: CEO, Core Publications

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Meet Zaytouneh, arabic short video recipes

One of the amazing startups presented in ArabNetCairo, was Zaytouneh, which provides its end users with easy recipes elaborated in short videos (upto 2 minutes). The founder, @FidaTaher, is a video content producer with a lot of experience.. Her passion for the startup was clear in her demo.

On the personal level, I liked this demo a lot from the video recording prospective because: Fida stood directly next to the slides which made things better and clearer than other videos. and because she was on stage. so she didn't cover the lower part of the screen as in the videos of the other startups :)

I better leave you with the demo

New mothers, You are not alone

SuperMama, The winner of the first positions in StartupDemo of ArabNetCairo, is a community based website that supports mothers through the rough times of motherhood..

Check their wonderful presentation

Marhaba Palestine

One of the most remarkable startups that are valuable to the community. Marhaba Palestine is there to change the way the world looks at palestine. and shows how it is a wonderful country for tourism. enriching the economy and the culture.

follow them at @marhabaPLS

Enrich your travel experience with Touringa

If you happen to travel to other places, you can find more about those new places easily and effectively with Tourunga. It connects travelers with other travelers and with the locals of the country, allowing a rich collaborative community for much better traveling experience.

Find your sports mate with SporBro

SporBro is one of the startups creating during STartupWeekendCairo on April 2011. They've launched the beta version. and participated in Startup Demo of ArabNetCairo.

It is basically about match making. To help you find sports partner if you are interested in a game, and do not have someone to practice with.

Eventtus in ArabNetCairo

"Eventtus will help you Find interesting events you don't want to miss, Share your plans with friends, Socialize during events like never before, Meet new people who share same interests, Organize awesome events in simple steps for free, and Have fun." from the official website of Eventtus

BasharJobs presented in ArabNetCairo

BasharJobs, Job matching site with advanced matching technology targeting the arabic region. pretty challenging field with a lot of already positioned competitors.

Iqraaly presented in ArabNetCairo

Iqraaly, one of the startups presented in ArabNetCairo, that helps people to listen to arabic audio content while they're in their cars through mobile.

I will leave you with the demo

SweetyHeaven in Startup Demo of ArabNetCairo

Sara Galal, founder of SweetyHeaven, a young entrepreneur who also works as an HR specialist at eSpace. Sara knew the passion of her 3 years old daughter, Hadya, about using computers. and as a mother, she wanted to make things valuable and useful to her child. She spotted the opportunity and moved on to build her startup, SweetyHeaven.

After winning the first position in Startup Weekend Alexandria last September, Sara presented SweetyHeaven in ArabNetCairo conference. winning the second position in Startup Demo competition. Honestly, I'm waiting for the web app to be public. to allow my own kids to use it. So excited already.

The best touching speech ArabNetCairo

A week ago, I was in ArabNetCairo conference by An event made for entrepreneurs, investors and business professionals to help entrepreneurship in the MENA region.

In my opinion, the most touching and valuable speech was the one of Dr Khaled Ismail. Dr. Khaled Ismail is the Founder and CEO of SySDSoft, a company focused on the design of wireless communication system modems. In March 2011, SySDSoft was acquired by Intel making Dr. Khaled Managing Director of Intel Mobile Communications.

During his speech, He gave us sincere advice. and told us about his mistakes to learn from them.

Do not miss it

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Thank You Letter from the Egyptian Government

A couple of days ago, I received a thank you letter that is dedicated to my beloved eSpace, and the team of volunteers behind The letter was from MSAD, "Ministry of State for Administrative Development", Although I had not expected such a thing, but it felt nice.

The story goes back to last month, about 10 days before the referendum on the Constitutional Amendments. I was, along with other eSpacians, notified that there is an urgent need for the referendum website. Everyone of us had his own running project, tight schedule and deadline.. So it was key clear that doing this means volunteering our own after-work-hours time.

We were so excited because we've always wished to contribute in building the country, in our own field, Web Development.

We were a little bit concerned about working with the government due to the expected bureaucracy, But the team of MSAD that we dealt with was really cooperative and worked with the same spirit that we did. We were also concerned about deploying to data centers in Egypt (specially those belonging to the government). But Spirula, stepping in for the server management, made us very comfortable that we're properly backed up.

I took the role of the Development TL It was very tricky that members were from different eSpace teams, each having his/her own priorities and time schedule. I had to utilize each of them, and allow tasks to be shuffled smoothly. Thankfully, with little overhead on project management, I was able to contribute in a large portion coding as well.

The outcome was awesome. We really felt we provided value. I Enjoyed working with my fellow eSpace developers & MSAD data team on this. and I really loved such experience from all aspects.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Rails 3 "couldn't parse YAML" error suddenly showing up

I have been developing on the latest Rails 3, Ruby 1.9.2 for a while. and suddenly in 2 projects I started to get this YAML loading error when I try to start my server or run the tests.

bundler./home/mahmoud/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.2-p0/lib/ruby/1.9.1/psych.rb:148:in `parse': couldn't parse YAML at line 55 column 12 (Psych::SyntaxError)
from /home/mahmoud/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.2-p0/lib/ruby/1.9.1/psych.rb:148:in `parse_stream'
from /home/mahmoud/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.2-p0/lib/ruby/1.9.1/psych.rb:119:in `parse'
from /home/mahmoud/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.2-p0/lib/ruby/1.9.1/psych.rb:106:in `load'

It turned out to be related to my recent upgrade of bundler to 1.0.10

After this update, my database.yml was not considered a valid YAML file. until I realized I have to put the special character values (for example: asd@#$asdf@$@) between double quotes.

This fixed the problem for now

I also came across another approach that basically will use a different YAML engine, This is will be the most effective solution because it won't force you to go through all yaml files, specially if you have translation files.
Just include the following lines early in the code (at the beginning of config/boot.rb for example)

require 'yaml'
YAML::ENGINE.yamler= 'syck'

and voila