This week Maker Faire Cairo—the biggest gathering in Egypt for makers, inventors, creatives, and technologists—is back for its 7th year. Typically, DIY enthusiasts of all ages and from all backgrounds gather on the grounds of the American University and put on an amazing show & tell complete with musical performance, battle bots, wild cosplay, and a wide variety of projects. Check out the MFC scene in 2018, 2017, and 2016.
This year, the Maker Faire Cairo experience will be virtual and attendees will be able to attend online from home. Given ongoing safety and health concerns, the MFC production team lead by Omar El-Saafty and Abdullatif Al Baroudi have made a great effort to design the event in a way that will keep the experience as close to walking through the event on the ground. To do so, they are using Gather.Town to give participants a sense of serendipity and exploration, as well as showcasing the many makers who have contributed to the event over the years on Make Projects (starting 7/17), which enables makers to share and interact with each other around the world through their projects, and the Maker Faire Cairo website. On Gather, each participant creates their own avatar, takes a screenshot photo next to the “I love MFC” sign, then attends the activities in each of the map’s zones. Attendees can pass by the virtual food court area where they can learn how to make simple and tasty snacks at their homes to eat while attending the activities, or they can chat with other participants and build new friendships in the chatting area scattered around.
The event has five online events that happen daily in parallel with registered attendees are on Zoom. For those that didn’t register, select content will be streaming live on Facebook. The last several days have held more than 40 activities between workshops and talks on both Gather and Zoom. The program includes many different topics such as: VR techniques, crafts, stop motion animation, creating videos for social media, making hydraulic machines at home, woodworking and engraving, making bioplastic from food waste, comics, and more. And, thanks to being online, there are more international makers than ever! Instructors from India, Germany, United States, and others, like John Collins (paper airplanes!), Eben Burgoon, Ashok Rupner, and Dr. Hannelore Vogt. Meet more makers!
In this edition, MFC made our goal to reach the largest number of makers and those interested in science all over Egypt. All makers who developed their projects or make new ones will have the opportunity to present their projects to people in Egypt and the world. That’s why we encouraged the makers with the help of a 10K EGP competition, to create their own projects profiles.
Under the theme of “Do It Together”, the producers are inspiring a new wave of making by creating a fruitful workshop program for crafting. We provided a kit for every workshop that includes every tool the participant will need to learn, enjoy, and create a new project. Thanks to our sponsors, the American Center in Cairo, Orange, and Goethe Institut in Cairo, we managed to send the kits to all the participants who ordered them for free. Check the nine DIY kits from here: DIY KITS.
The producers also came up with some unique ways to ensure that participants are getting the best experience they can: “To guarantee that the participants will benefit the most from the online experience, we gave training for a group of our volunteers to become hosts for the attendees under the name of “Experience managers”. After dividing the attendees into groups of 15 to 25 individuals, the experience managers work to facilitate the process of attending the events for the participants by updating them about the workshops and talks, reminding them about the times of each one, and creating a discussion related to the content of the event. They work also on solving and technical problems the attendees face related to joining the online activities.
Congratulations on seven amazing years of supporting the maker community in Egypt and all around the Mid East!