A GV meetup in Beirut that auto-organized itself and many other happy unexpected encounters

In one of my posts here, I wrote about how worried I was when asked by Eddie to host a GV meetup in Beirut. Panic mode, freak-out … call it what ever you want. Point is I was dreading the whole thing…

I didn't want to take upon myself any responsibility or commitment and end up in failure …

It took me like 7 years to finish my Master thesis and I was reputed for being a Procrastinator

I didn't want to deceive Eddy or anyone in the GV family … so I had decided to spare myself the embarrassment and say NO from the beginning


But Eddie wouldn't take No for an answer and he kept pushing … so I yielded

Claire and Gohary or Afef can tell how much I nagged and whined about not knowing what to do, and not wanting to do it … and so

Even the date, changed like 5 times ..every-time Eddie would ask, i would say ” We're changing dates and this is the final one”

So finally, Thanks to another Lebanese GVer, I got in touch with a really nice fellow who is very “in”, in the Lebanese Social Media sphere.

The gentleman was enthusiastic about the idea and said he can even help us getting a space in Lebanese University and so on ..

And as usual we agreed on a date  … which coincide during the “Global Entrepreneurship Week” around the middle of November, which would guarantee lots of people coming … and so …

And of course, I was to send logos and a detailed program and so …

And so I tried to do so, but the heart wasn't in … and the program in my opinion was quite dull and I wasn't that satisfied

and so the Procrastinator me was back in full force …

and I kept delaying and delaying … until there was only one week left to the scheduled meetup …

no invitations sent, no program sent …. nothing ….

Suddenly “Eureka”…for some reason the Gods conspired to make the meetup happen

Talking with Gohary he says he is coming to Lebanon

a Message from Claire: Thalia … I am coming to Lebanon

and it wasnt only Claire and Gohary, but also Amira, Afef and plenty of other people coming to Beirut to attend the Arab Internet Governance Forum or Arab IGF and some other events.

Unbelievable ! It was even better than Santa's coming to Town :)

So once more, I suggested postponing the meetup to coincide with the everyone in my beloved city !

And then I had this other brilliant idea … I had interviewed March Lebanon people about their Virtual Museum of Censorship 

So why didn't I ever think of asking them to co-host the meetup ??

Their reply came quickly :) YES

The meeting would evolve around Censorship and Freedom of Expression.

The long awaited GV Beirut Meetup

The date for that long awaited “Uncensored Exchange” was final: November 26. A serious documentation can be found here.

But there was also a fun part. After the 2 hours of  fruitful talks, and under an “Uncensored Rain” … and “Uncensored Dinner” was held in your humble servant house.

I will let pictures talk by themselves

The Uncensored ExchangeA glimpse of the meetup in Beirut10420354_10152860905723277_2708468769502798385_n
unnamed (3)

But that's not everything as another beautiful coincidence made me meet in Berlin, only few days after Raphael, Pernille but also Solana and Awadallah


So bottom line, and enough Blabla (God, how much I talk)( thank you Eddie and Thank you GV for trusting me more than I trusted myself ..

Joining GV 4 years ago was among the best things that ever happened to me

Happy 10th anniversary to the best community or family ever :)

Much love,

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