First UAE Linux Meet-up: Linux is not Scary System

I had a live interview with Imthiaz Rafiq co-founder of the first United Arab Emirates Linux Meetup Group that had it’s first meet-up on May 18th. The interview was conducted instantly after the event to get to know about everything; and my first question went out about:

Why Linux Meet-up in UAE?

Imthiaz: There is no such gathering that tries to help Linux existing users, educate new people about this great system, and provide training at different levels.

What are your objectives then?

Imthiaz: Our objective is to increase Linux users in the UAE where we are keen to move existing users from existing level to higher level, we like to share experts’ advice and practices, and we want to help corporate save money and time. Therefore, we would like change people perception towards Linux that it’s not a scaring system.

How many people you were at the event and what surprised you since it’s a first time event?

Imthiaz: There were two things that surprised me 1) the number of people – 25 attendants in the first time is fantastic & 2) people who don’t know anything about this system but craving to learn on how to run it.

What was your agenda?

Imthiaz: In a un-conference style, we introduced ourselves and group objectives; each attendant introduced himself as well and talked shortly about his experience with Linux or other OS. And then, opened a brainstorming session on how we can take this group further by a smooth strategy to achieve its objectives.

So, what were your strategy and next steps?

Imthiaz: Our strategy was set to start organizing seminars and expand group attendees’ count to everyone interested in Linux in the whole UAE. Therefore, our first next step is to organize two seminars as training session, each of different learning level, very soon.

Since you are happy-man now, what would you like to say?

Imthiaz: I would like to thank all the attendees that joined us today and my assistant organizer Shuja Shabandri on his efforts. Also, we would like to thank our main sponsor Flip Media that offered us its office space in Dubai Media City as a venue.

If you think you’d be interested now to join this fresh group- United Arab Emirates Linux Meetup Group, click here.

Let us know your comments


Tarek is the founder and chief researcher at Youngberry, a youth research and marketing firm dedicated to the region. Tarek founded and previously worked as Manager at Flip Media (Interactive Agency), (Job Site) and Consulting House Qatar (Consulting firm). He is researcher and writer on internet & disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, and youth culture.