Day 2 – Friday
Sarah leads us in a great workshop in how to make a prototype. Seeing a room full of people acting out how to apply for an Egyptian driving license says more about Egyptian culture than words can ever describe. We follow this up with each of the groups story-boarding their ideas – and I start to understand what some of the projects are really going to be about.
After the break, work on projects begins in earnest (and in a fun way too!) One of the mysteries about Cairo is that the word “bus” seems somehow obscene – ask about busses and people give you a strange look and start on a long and complicated explanation about Cairo taxis. From a group whose project is to help people understand cultural differences I finally find that busses are overcrowded and “inhuman” – but I still have to see this for myself…
Dinner is server, and although people eat, no-one actually stops working (a good indication of the high levels of enthusiasm around).
A group from the Cairo Hackerspace (who I’ll visit before I go home) are working on a project on book scanning to try to preserve some of the old Arabic books in collaboration with a group who are interested in promoting reading collectives.
The energy is still high – and now the problems the groups have to overcome are starting to become clearer. Nearly all have a different set of problems – how to work on projects that aren’t closely connected; how to concentrate on content instead of technology; how to focus on a key aspect of a project to help their thinking and final presentations; how do community projects get funding that isn’t business oriented – are just some.
Expecting tomorrow to be full on and exciting.