#MENAsocent: First DC-MENA Tweetup=#Success

Press Release

PITAPOLICY Launched First DC-MENA Tweetup

Washington, DC~Happy Birthday USA!  Speaking of pride and independence: on Thursday, June 28th, PITAPOLICY Consulting & the Arab American Institute co-hosted the first Middle East & North Africa region tweetup in Washington, DC.    PITAPOLICY Consulting & Blog is both a business and social entrepreneur enterprise.  The Arab American Institute is an advocacy organization that has been instrumental in facilitating dialogue on Arab American and Muslim issues.  Organizers, Mehrunisa Qayyum (@pitapolicy) and Omar Baddar (@omarbaddar), decided to patron a locally owned Middle Eastern American business and hosted the tweetup at Cafe Paradiso, 2649 Connecticut Avenue.

PITAPOLICY is grateful to participate in joint efforts that leverage 21st century communication.  The first purpose of a Tweetup is to connect with those Twitter users that you have not met with but are engaged on the same issues.  Over 1,047 people viewed the Tweetup invitation.  So it was exciting to meet friends of friends of friends, e.g. 3rd degree connections!  Case in point: PITAPOLICY finally met commentator, Max Blumenthal, who is a Twitter Influencer.

Highlights & Prizes via Tweets

Check out the tweet by @HelloSaraJo and others

As an effort to share the non-profit spirit of AAI and the services on PITAPOLICY consulting, five prizes were raffled off to those attending.  AAI donated 3 best-selling books, like Anthony Shadid’s “House of Stone”.  PITAPOLICY donated the grand prize of a free one-hour service consult on any of PITAPOLICY’s practice areas and an i-Tunes gift card.

Twitter Users in Attendances

Hazami Barmada, CEO of Al Mubadarah  – @arabempowerment; Arab American Institute – @AAIUSA; Emily Manna – @emilymanna; Ramah Kudaimi – @ramahkudaimi; Steve Hajjar – @stevehajjar; Said Durrah – @saidsworld; Lena Badr – @misslenabadr; Austin Brannion -@austiniyaat;  @ejectionking; Diana @dianavalerie; Alexandra Lock-  @locke; Salim Achurbji – @asalim3d; @Hellosarajo; @AbouCharlie; Sana Saeed – @BBADWoman; @n3khalil; Max Blumenthal – @MaxBlumenthal; @cldaymon; @sungfkl; Natasha Tynes –  @natasshatynes; @blossomjjyf @thinker4truth@lean_wash_dc; @negarmortazavi

PITAPOLICY encourages you to follow them on Twitter!

Knowledge Sharing on Middle East & North African Social Enterprises

The second purpose of the #MENAsocent tweetup is to share knowledge on the selected theme, MENA social enterprises and entrepreneurs.  PITAPOLICY tracked conversations with the hashtag #MENAsocent.  The following tweets added much to the conversation online and offline:

  1. @dandoun4: RT @pitapolicy: #MENAsocent: Gates Foundation funds #development projects in #Egypt #Afghanistan #Pakistan
  2. Google+ Hangout for Nonprofit Organizations on July 12: http://bit.ly/MiKvwq via @nonprofitorgs#MENAsocenthttp://ow.ly/bSp88
  3. #MENAsocent: How do you optimize your business objectives during a #Tweetup Do you listen/talk 50-50 or 70-30? http://bit.ly/MY0UXA

Till next time, keep tweeting and thinking-will keep you all posted on the 2nd #MENAsocent tweetup!


Why Join a Tweetup: Social Capital

The purpose of a tweetup is to connect those who have interacted on Twitter to FINALLY meet face to face!  So for all those times you’ve messaged someone “Let’s talk offline b/c 140 character limit isn’t enough” the offline time will be June 28th at 5:30pm at Cafe Paradiso.  For those of you who interacted with PITAPOLICY, you’ll know that the primary goal of ‘breaking pita-bread’ is to build social capital and re-invest social capital towards ideas.  Social capital means existing professional and community networks have value.  See interview by Mehrunisa Qayyum of Ambassador Hassouna.

The theme of the tweetup is Middle East & North Africa Social Enterprises where Twitter users will chat above who are social entrepreneurs and who are activists for social enterprise’s causes. Twitter users wear badges that include the name of their Twitter handle.  Here are some advantages in attending a Tweetup:

  1. Putting a face with the name personalizes the connection
  2. Networking is so vague and time-consuming, but meeting to chat about a professional or activist passion eliminates the need for elaborate introductions–it already happened online!
  3. MENA region is full of Twitter users, but many come to DC to engage with the non-profit sector
  4. Free attendance, the only cost is participation, which benefits you in the end

If you are not on Twitter yet, you are still welcome to attend and to participate in the #MENAsocent conversation…maybe you’ll start a Twitter account afterwards to keep the conversation going!

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