#MENASOCENT: Join DC’s First MENA Tweetup

Greetings Pita-consumers!

For those of you in the Washington, DC area, we would like to announce the first MENA Tweetup in the DC area on Thursday, June 28th. The Arab American Institute (AAI) has graciously offered to co-host this event with PITAPOLICY Consulting Omar Baddar, AAI and Jad Bouchebel are co-organizers for #MENAsocent.  Jad Bouchebel, a DC event planner has helped PITAPOLICY and AAI meet its goal to identify and support locally owned Middle Eastern American businesses.  Therefore, on June 28th, we are excited to patron Cafe Paradiso in the Woodley Park neighborhood of DC.

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!

Convinced? Read For Details & Share!

The hashtag for the event is #MENAsocent.  A ‘hashtag’ means that the pound sign (#) is placed in front of the word or term so that is easily searchable on Twitter.  In this case, # is placed before MENAsocent because we want all related tweets (Statements or Twitter Status Updates) to be searchable for our participants–or those interested in catching up on the discussion.  Here is the Twitter Invite, which is also available on Facebook.

  • What: MENA Tweetup aka #MENAsocent
  • Who: You (DC social enterprises, MENA activists, MENA biz entrepreneurs, student pita-consumers)
  • When: Thursday, June 28th, 2012 at 5:30 pm to 7:30pm
  • Where:  Paradisio Cafe 2649 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC  http://www.cafeparadisodc.com/
  • Why: Your tweets spark ideas and time to act on them face to face while breaking pita bread

*Sponsored by Arab American Institute (@aaiusa) & PITAPOLICY Consulting (@pitaconsumer)
Hosted by Omar Baddar (@omarbaddar), Mehrunisa Qayyum (@pitapolicy) & Jad Bouchebel (@jadbouchebel)

PITAPOLICY attended its first tweetup in Beirut, Lebanon during the ArabNet Summit.  WAMDAME hosted the social tech exchange.  Since then, the idea has percolated in my our minds because it was a great opportunity to meet the Founder of Tech Crunch, Mike Butcher, and a host of MENA startups.

Here are some Tweetup Tips for those curious about attending their first tweetup and how to maximize the connection opportunity.  These are from Fresh Lime Digital Marketing...source.

  1. Be a good listener: Listening goes a long way when it comes to building relationships. Take time to genuinely listen to what others are saying and they will listen to you.
  2. Transparency is key (@davewoodson): People can generally sniff out a fake very quickly. Be true to yourself and be honest about what you do and who you are.
  3. Be a resource (@Hhosterman): Instead of bragging about past accomplishments, talk about what problems you can help solve.
  4. Build others up (@MichianaTweetUp): If you think outside of the box, expect box cutters. Do your best to build up others by showing genuine interest and offering encouragement and insight.
  5. Wear comfortable shoes: I learned this the hard way.
  6. Smile!: A friendly face is the best introduction.
  7. Be a connector (@stephkrol): Introduce people to others who you know would make a good fit both in the business world or who share common interests. You’ll be amazed how this will come back to benefit you and others.

Pita-consumers, we look forward to breaking bread with you–and tweeting about it!




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