I didn’t do them for a while, but there is a few coming up. Let’s start with Ahmed. I met him through a random search around the Middle Eastern social media and must admit I love it! TechNRolla is about life and technology, life in technology, technology in life and many more. But hey, let Ahmed speak for himself!:)
Syl: You quote Dante Alighieri in the header of your blog: ‘Consider your origins: you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.’
Why this motto?
Ahmed: It’s because I’m a Dante Alighieri fan, I loved most of his books and he is one of the greatest writers ever, I picked this quote because I read an article by the conservative contessa that explains the quote and the weird thing was that it totally felt like my own rules in life, she wrote that the quote is about ” doing the right thing and believing that what you do will come back to you in life. It means being a good parent. It means sticking to your beliefs. It means you taking control of your own life. It means loving your country and being a patriot in the entire sense of the word.”
Syl: You posted about change in Egyptian social media. ‘We need to think, think of what we should do and when we do it’ is one of my favourite quotes from your blog. Tell me, is your opinion representative of your generation?
Ahmed: I do believe that it is a representation of most but not all of my generation, the knowledge that each one of us possess is different, so some people may have the same opinion, some others won’t, and maybe some will be like “Well, I’m not sure, maybe”.
Syl: We all have to compromise. I currently work for a WOM agency, which means I sometimes need to be careful how and what I write. So far it has not been an issue to me because I find a perfect balance between my work and private life and private ideas. However, the fact I need to self-censor my content is there. Do you need to be careful about yours? Do you feel you can be as open as you want about any issues
Ahmed: No, not yet anyway, I’m an Egyptian teenager, I am not going to get into a business mood until I am in college “after a year or so”, and I do think that I’ve the freedom to say whatever I want to say, but I don’t ever talk about crucial stuff unless my point of view won’t hurt anyone, like politics for example, and I can be very open about anything, it’s a matter of what you see is important, what you think is good or really interesting to be shared with others.
Syl: Going back to where it all began: how did you start – blogging, using Twitter, Facebook?
Ahmed: I started using Facebook when I was an exchange student in the US at the age of 15, I saw my friends use it, and I haven’t heard about it before, so I decided to create an account so I can get in touch with them when I go back home.
Using Twitter was from about 4 maybe 5 months ago, I didn’t really understand why was it that popular but after using it for a couple of weeks I managed to understand what it’s about and since then, I am addicted to it.
About blogging, I had a couple of failures, I started my first blog back in 2004 but couldn’t keep going because I wasn’t that good at writing in English, I tried to blog in Arabic but that was more difficult than writing in English, stopped blogging for a period of time, and then decided to give it another shot after one of my friends, Roger Byrne “Whom I met on Twitter” gave me the opportunity to guest post on his website www.on.eti.me, and since then, I’ve been blogging.
Syl: How did you feel about social media after coming back from your scholarship in the US?
Ahmed: The year I spent in the US had a great effect, I didn’t hear about Facebook or other social media websites till I went to the US, It also helped me in improving my language and communication skills.
Syl: Do you have other online presences?
Ahmed: You can always find me on :
Syl: What does blogging mean to you?
Ahmed: Blogging is an awesome thing, it’s a way to share what I’ve learned and what I’m learning, it’s a way to express feelings and get opinions about everything, blogging is not and will not be about making money, I do think it’s the other way around, it also helps you in making new friends and fight everything that’s bad out there.
Syl: And how about microblogging? Is it more important than the blog? Which platform is your starting point?
Ahmed: Microblogging is as incredible as blogging, it’s slightly more important than a blog because people like it, sometimes I prefer reading someone’s opinion about something in 140characters than reading a 1000words blog post, it’s also much better when it comes to live blogging, my starting point was blogging of course because from doing that I got introduced to Microblogging 🙂 .
Syl: I very often post a part of the interview on my Polish-English blog Bar Mleczny, which is an initiative to promote Polish culture in the UK and vice versa. Hence my next question:
If I say ‘Poland’ what are the first three words that come to your mind?
Ahmed: Europe, Warsaw, snow.
Syl: Starting point for the bar is food – do you like regional or rather foreign cuisine?:)
Ahmed: I like everything, I’m an adventurous type of a guy, so I would eat anything that’s new “except if it’s just too disgusting”, but mainly I prefer our regional cuisine because it’s not too heavy like European food and not too spicy like Indian food.
Syl: Do you prepare your meals yourself?
Ahmed: Not that much, my cooking skills are limited even though I took a Culinary Foods course while I was in the US, but I do by best to learn.
Going back to your presence: you have a very strong message and very positive, pacifist approach to life.
Syl: In your everyday life what is the most positive result of your blogging?
Ahmed: I think clearing my mind would be the answer, I am an over thinker, I think of a lot of things so when I blog about them, it makes me feel much better.