I’m in Cairo. The main reason for this trip was to set up a 3-day hackerspace at Maker Faire Africa, which is in Cairo this year. Exciting time to be here! Lots of high hopes since the “Freedom Revolution”. Plus lots of attempts by the still-ruling-military at divide-and-rule.
Our trip was funded by generous donations from 186 people, who collectively gave us $8,169 so that we could spread the joy and hope provided by the international hackerspace movement. <http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bilal/3-day-egyptian-maker-space-expanding-the-maker-mov/>
The 3-day hackerspace at Maker Faire Africa was incredible! The main idea of setting this up was to show people how incredibly cool it is to be part of a supportive community where people explore and do what they love. And the energy was high. I taught about 300 people to solder (on my own) at an ongoing, 3-day-long workshop, with kits and soldering irons bought with money donated through our Kickstarter campaign. The brand new Cairo Hackerspace put together the MakerBot, donated by MakerBot Industries, and also put together the Egg-Bot, donated by Evil Mad Scientist — and they gave 3-D printing workshops. Minal gave fabric painting workshops. Bilal gave several Arduino workshops with Arduinos donated by a new local electronics store named Future-Electronics. Lots of fun for all! I gave away lots of Noisebridge keys to people who will be visiting us someday in San Francisco. And Cairo Hackerspace now has a large number of enthusiastic people who will help contribute to Egypt’s first hackerspace.
Before Maker Faire Africa we organized two Hackerspace Meetups, to get people psyched about starting and joining hackerspaces. The first was hosted by a co-working space in Cairo named Rasheed22. The second was hosted by a startup incubator in Alexandria named Tahrir2 [the 2 is actually a superscript, and pronounced “squared” — a reference to the “Freedom Revolution” much of which took place in Tahrir Square in Cairo].
We will have two more Hackerspace meetups before we leave on the 14th.
Photos of all of the above are at my Flickr: <http://www.flickr.com/photos/maltman23/sets/>