One day Karaj received an invitation to attend Campus Party Milenio in Granada. It was decided that I go to represent Karaj in this event. I had no idea what to expect… I’ve never heard of campus party before.
Who am I?
My name is Bassam Jalgha, I have been a Karaj resident since the summer of 2011. During my stay in Karaj I have been involved in the development of many electronic projects (Butterfleye, Tork, STF, Emily the beer serving robot, Ijit Ijit sign etc.). For more info about me checkout my blog.
What is Campus Party?
Campus Party event is the largest technology event in the world in the areas of Innovation, Creativity, Science and Digital Entertainment. For one week, thousands of people get to participate and discover new technologies being invented in different parts of the world. click here for more info.
What about Campus Party Milenio?
In order to mark the millennium of the Kingdom of Granada, a special Campus Party Millennium edition was held between October 12-16th in the beautiful Andalusian city of Granada with keynote speakers, experts, and 600 invited participants from 22 countries in the Mediterranean Basin.
So… What happened at Campus Party ?
Explaining the concept of Campus Party in my own terms: it consists of bringing around 600 influential people in the fields of Science, Innovation (ranging from geeks and modders to developers and researchers) and Social Media, and putting them in the same place to interact for 3 full days. For a person who has been researching robotics for almost 2 years and who has been involved in technology for ages, i hope you can imagine how I felt…
The event venue consists of a huge campus divided into 3 big pavillions:
- Pavillion 1: Our sleeping location.
-Pavillion 2: A huge exhibit place where all the high-tech research and development from all around the Mediterranean were exhibited:
- Pavillion 3: Where all the talks where being held.
The talks were being hosted simultaneously on three stages. The first stage is the social media stage covering the topics of social entrepreneurship, social media, and even extending to arts and music.
I was ecstatic to see that participants from all over the arab world were present (Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon). And knowing that those participants come from a social media and social entrepreneurship backgrounds, it made me proud to see how much emphasis was given to their talks and their presence especially after the Arab spring. For example, Ismail Chaib talked about social entrepreneurship in Algeria while Rasha Hussein and Ayman Qarout talked about Bazinga project in Palestine.
On the second stage, talks where being held covering the topic of science and robotics
Stage 3 where talks were being held on the subjects of innovation and technology:
The peak of Campus Party for me was meeting David Cuartielles one of the creators of the famous Arduino boards. This guy along with his Arduino friends created a revolution that brought Media Arts and Hardware development to a new level.
In fact, we took a 6 hours (2 days) workshop with David Cuartielles in which we learned the basics of Arduino, Processing programming, how to control an arduino board from a website, how to send SMS from an arduino board, and how to interface an Adruino board with an Android phone.
At the end of the workshop, a drawing was made to decide the 10 in between the 20 participants that will receive a free TinkerKit Starter Kit (with an Arduino Mega ADK for Android) as a gift. The website random.org was used to mix randomly our names (the first 10 will be the winners)
Annnnnnnndddddd … tadaaaaaa
After the workshop we grabbed David and brought him to Samer Koussa‘s Interactive floor for a demo. The interactive floor is made with an Arduino board, so we thought that it might catch David’s interest. And it sure did!
One of the most interesting people I met during my trip was Samer Nakfour. Have you heard of lebgeeks.com? one of earliest network/forum of Lebanese Tech enthousiasts. Well Samer created lebgeeks when he was 14 years old! I don’t know about you but at that age I personally used to think that dial-up was the high-tech of the communication world (not really, but I prove my point). Here’s a small photoshoot of me and Samer with the flickr colors
Now going back to Pavillion 3 there was lots of modders exhibiting their weird PC designs
And after the geekification, it’s time to partyyy