Thanks to the perseverance of SQL MVP Shehap El-Nagar’s invite last year, this brave
man from the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education, managed to organise a great inaugural
event. After the longest visa request
process in my life, and twice, since originally his goal was to host this event
in December 2013, it finally happened: - the 1st SQLGulf event held in
Riyadh, K.S.A. this past Saturday at the beautiful new campus of AlFaisal
As one of six speakers, I gave two Presentations:
|AlFaisal University's courtyard (built 2008)|
the challenge of attracting people to give up their Sunday. It is all a little
confusing for outsiders to the Kingdom, since this change is only recent. U.K.-based SQL
MVP Satya Shaym Jayanty explained to me how a previous SQLSa
turday event where he was speaker actually was on Thursday (!) since that was the beginning of the weekend for them, and this time around, we were able to hold it on an actual Saturday (but is still to Saudis, the last day of rest before the new week begins). This cultural difference proved helpful for us Internationally-based speakers since it only involved leave from work for a day or two, including travel time.
|What AlFaisal University look like once finished. 60% done now|
More photos of the short, but wonderful trip. Especially a whole afternoon tour with Ahmed, a great taxi driver originally from Peshawar, Pakistan, who made sure to let me see all these beautiful parts of the capital.
|The Prince`s SkyBridge, for great views.|
|AlFaisal's ultra-modern Mosque|
|Saudi Ministry of Higher Education|
In Riyadh, for SQL Gufl 1, all sessions were recorded in high definition (as have many already Shehap has organised before for SQLSaturday Riyadh), thus I leave it up to readers to decide whether I can honestly say that the presentation made the grade (link to come). Shehap, who works in this building to the right, was certainly not alone in his efforts (see group shot below) to start this series of events which we hope will jump from city to city across the Persian Gulf.
|The Entire SQL Gulf #1 Team at the end of the day, AlFaisal University Saturday, 30th, 2014|
After first presentation with Mostafa Elmasry, blogger at SQLServer-Performance-Tuning.net
|Selfie, in front of the late King AlFaisal's Palace, which is surrounded by the new University of the same name|