The first time I attended the MENAICT Forum was the year it was officially launched was back in 2010, I had just started my journey to blogging Sleepless in Amman was only two months old at the time, and I honestly wasn’t sure why I was invited, but trust me when I say a friendship had been initiated among many special people since then, and six years later, I enjoy seeing them all whenever an occasion comes up.

So, in 2010, the highlight was Reality & The Cloud, Cloud Computing, and who could forget Werner Vogels of Amazon?

Werner Vogels with Ruba Abu Judeh - Too much brains in one picture!

Werner Vogels with Ruba Abu Judeh – Too much brains in one picture!

In 2013, I attended the MENAICT from the lowest point on earth, hosted at the Dead Sea which focused on the state of Arab ICT and its transformation and Peter Ryan whom six years later, I still keep in touch with. Not to forget two exclusive interviews with Stuart E. Jones United States Ambassador to Jordan and with Lorraine Hariton, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

Left to Right: Lara Abdulhadi (Sleepless in Amman), Ms. Lorraine Hariton Special Representative for Commercial & Business Affairs, and Mr. Khaled El Ahmad

Left to Right: Lara Abdulhadi (Sleepless in Amman), Ms. Lorraine Hariton Special Representative for Commercial & Business Affairs, and Mr. Khaled El Ahmad

Finally, 2014 – Which I still refer to as last year’s ICT (Inside joke that only a few will understand) was no disappointment either.   The theme was Disruptive Technology, and two cool interviews with Ahmad Hanandeh CEO of Zain Jordan, and Jean Francois Thomas CEO of Orange Jordan.


What all previous years had in common? The types of people you get to meet at the MENAICT Forum! For the sake of humor and supporting this year’s theme DIGITIZING THE ECONOMY, I’d like to add the human factor of who you are most likely to meet at the MENAICT this November.

Generally speaking the MENAICT is an ideal platform for C-suit Business Executives, Governments, Policy Makers, Non-Profit Executives, Investors and Financers, Entrepreneurs, ICT Professionals, Enthusiasts, and Hobbyists… But if we were to break them down by persona, I would say:

Meet the Networker

This person will be chatting up multiple people during breaks, exchanging business cards, adding people on LinkedIn, and simply being a social butterfly. You can’t go wrong meeting people, so if you’re one of them, stack up on those business cards and keep your professional profiles polished and up to date.

Meet the Learner

This person is like a sponge, they try to soak up lots and lots of information, they write notes, type into a laptop, and they try to diligently keep track of everything, including a possibility of live tweeting that they could get back to later as a reference of what has been discussed.


Meet the Leader

Thought Leaders and possibly experts in their field, and are most likely speaking at the forum. Follow them, get to know them, and see who you would like to meet after works if you get the chance for Q&A. You can check out the list of speakers here.


(C) Fadi Ghandour - Photo by Ala'a Tarawneh

(C) Fadi Ghandour – Photo by Ala’a Tarawneh

The Hoarder

I’m not talking about the person who is always hoarding a front row seat, but also those on a mission on collecting the best free swag! I mean how many pens and stickers and book notes do you possibly need?



…and finally…

Meet the Blogger

Just like me, don’t be surprised if you see a person totting a tablet, a phone, multiple power banks, and trying their best to remain composed. The trickiest part for bloggers is making a decision on which sessions to attend if any are running in parallel, because there is nothing like FOMO on great content. Nevertheless, they could be blogging, or micro blogging on Twitter, make sure to follow them for top industry insights and trends, their feeds will keep you on your toes.




Will you be attending the upcoming MENA ICT Forum? What are you looking forward to the most? Tell us in the comments below.

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