Monday, April 25, 2005

1st Tunisian Meetup Was A Success!

So we finally had the first Tunisian meetup, how was it? It was GREAT!
I must admit I was a bit afraid it’d turn out to be a disappointment, since we don’t all know each other, and I was worried not to understand anything in case they spoke nothing but French, and was afraid there would be no positive reaction and only few would show up. But I was so wrong. The meetup was awesome. We were 16 all in all, few preferred speaking French all the time but I understood most of it and was able to keep on track ;) I usually speak my own dialect when I know the people around me would understand it, but when I get to a point where faces around me look really confused I’d immediately use the Tunisian synonyms to explain :D So there was no understanding problems.
Everyone was easy going, we talked about many topics, from pure technical stuff (something I have no idea about) to personal backgrounds, work, blogging motivations, favorite blogs, difficulties we face while blogging, funny experiences… etc.
We also talked about the popularity of blogging in Tunisia, and that -like many other Arab countries- the word blog is still a big question mark!
We discussed how non-bloggers think of blogging as a waste of time, and shared the ways blogging changed us in the way we think, we write, we pick topics, and many things.
We talked about the role of blogging in spreading awareness, clearing the picture of certain issues and how it helps shed a light on one’s country.

First when Subzero Blue and I got to the meetup place, we found many people, we kept staring at everyone hoping we’ll find a way to recognize the bloggers, we spotted a table with some bloggers (we knew them coz they were friends of Subzero Blue) and head straight there. We were 6 at first, 4 bloggers, my husband and I. Then the meetup started getting bigger and bigger till we reached 16!! We kept adding chairs and joining tables till we finally settled :) It was great! We kept talking and talking, asking, replying, laughing, and the best part was: introducing our blogs all over again every time a new blogger joined ;) that was amazing :P

  • Bloggers I already know very well were: of course my one and only Subzero Blue, the meetup organizer, and Waleg.
  • Bloggers I somehow knew (friends of Subzero Blue): Evil Drako, Pensées Perdus, Phoenix Dev, Jaz In The City.
  • Bloggers I didn’t know at all: Adibs1, Zizou from Djerba, Infinity, Mouse Hunter, Chikipi, Whispers.

  • The only thing I wished would be different is the female participation! Other than me, there was my friend (a Jordanian) who’s married to a Tunisian too :) They represented Waleg. But they couldn’t stay for long so I was the only female blogger almost all the time, until Infinity joined in :) I was hoping others would show up specially Jihène, I don’t know her, but she seemed really interested and wanted to come. But well, maybe next time!

    The meetup continued for 3 hours, and we enjoyed every second of it. Plus the strawberry juice I ordered was out of this world :)

    I really wish to meet the rest of the Tunisian bloggers, and can’t wait to meet the Jordanian bloggers as well.
    I also hope one day I’ll get to meet all the ones on my bloglist :)