Community builders and original content creators from around the Arab world came together to share stories of their success and showcase how they've leveraged Facebook, at the region's first ever 'A Place to Connect' event.
From first-hand product demonstrations to discussions with developers, content creators and community leaders – the interactive experience hosted by Facebook brought to life how the platform has transformed how people connect across the region.
Placing technology at the heart of community building in the region are Facebook Groups, uniting those with a common cause in powerful, personal and practical ways. ‘A Place to Connect’ recognized a number of group admins from the region, and the role these unexpected leaders have played to tirelessly shape and mobilize communities to ultimately contribute to the world around them.
Amongst group admins present at the event was the team that created Ramadan Sharing Fridges, who took guests through their journey of turning a grassroots community movement to a full-fledged campaign that now has supporters across Dubai. Nick Watson from #TeamAngelWolf also shared the story of his son, who was the driving force to create his inspirational group. Also present and discussing the impetus for creating their own groups were the admins of community guide Jeddah Infodesk, street culture collective Dubai Sneakerheads and the non-profit recycling haven Freecycle Abu Dhabi, amongst others.
Complementing group admins, were content creators who through video content have given people a reason to laugh and share with each other. The sheer wealth and quality of original Arab content created in the region was also highlighted as Emirati influencers Khaled and Salama Al Ameri joined the comedy duo behind the Punny Pun Times and international Facebook star Goubran Bahou of the UK based Goubtube. They shared details about their Facebook journeys and how creativity has helped them reach a global community of followers.
Speaking at 'A Place to Connect', Rasha Kashkoush, Head of Communications at Facebook Middle East, North Africa & Turkey said: “Building community is central to what we do at Facebook, and it is amazing to see how these individuals have leveraged technology to engage with like-minded people and create real impact for people across geographies. The stories of our group admins and content creators are inspiring and showcase the power of technology to bring about transformational changes in our communities. From helping people maintain connections with friends and loved ones to conducting business around the world, and even driving tangible social impact, we're seeing people in the region use Facebook in exciting ways.”
At 'A Place to Connect', guests also experienced the latest technology by Facebook, including Oculus Virtual Reality and 360 videos, in addition to a dedicated Facebook Live booth to facilitate real-time video interaction. The event also highlighted different tools for users and content creators as well as brands and business, along with the opportunities Facebook and its family of applications present for its 164 million users in the MENA region.