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Welcome to Chowraha - crossroads!

Chowraha is the crossroads of thoughts, events, opinions and feelings...all that have been shaped by individuals living in an increasingly complex world inter-connected through various means of communications.

This blog is about the crossroads in society - whether it is those of a diaspora community, global media complicating the structure of nations and cultures, or individuals finding parallels in spaces unknown to them.

Note:
The above picture is courtesy a much-admired photographer (Ali Khurshid) whose work is a source of inspiration and reaffirms the belief in the complex beauty of this world.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dubai celebrates Twestival in Ramadan Spirit

The following article is taken from www.zawya.com

The UAE's Twitterati meet next Saturday to help raise awareness & donations for Dubai Autism Center as Dubai takes part in Twestival Local

Dubai, UAE - 07 September 2009 - Dubai will host Dubai Twestival Local, one of the 200 Twestival Local events taking place in leading cities around the world, on Saturday using the power of Twitter to support local causes. Dubai Twestival Local (@dubaitwestival on Twitter) aims to raise money and awareness for Dubai Autism Center, a non-profit organisation Founded in November 2001, set-up to help integrate children with autism into the community and raise social awareness for autism.

Dubai Twitter users, or 'tweeps' as they call themselves, will converge on The Jam Jar gallery in Al Quoz on Saturday 12 September 2009 to meet other members of the Twitter community and support Dubai Autism Center (@dubaiautism) at an informal networking event sponsored by Nokia (@nokconv), ShopandShip.com (powered by Aramex, @shopnship) and Nahel.com (@naheldotcom).

"We're delighted to have been able to organise Dubai Twestival Local during the holy month of Ramadan, since giving is at the core of the Twestival concept and is the reason that the event has been given such fantastic support from volunteers and sponsors," said Prashant K. Gulati (@pkgulati), one of the co-organisers of the Dubai Twestival. "We're proud to support Dubai Autism Centre, since, sadly, recognition for autism and understanding those that suffer from the condition and their families is still very low worldwide. We hope that the Twestival will make a worthwhile contribution to autism awareness in the Emirates."

Based around the social media service Twitter, the Twestival or Twitter-festival brings the UAE into a global community using one of the fastest growing new innovations in today's new media. Twitter is the online service that allows people to share short messages of under 140 characters.

The Emirates' Twitter community has grown rapidly since the service was unblocked by the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) last year and about 6,000 are currently estimated to use the service in the Emirates, up from just 500 Twitter users at the time of the first Dubai Twestival in February of this year! Global usage of Twitter grew by 1,460 percent over the past year and the micro-blogging platform now boasts 44.5 million users (according to Comscore, June 2009).

The Twestival is organized 100% by volunteers and 100% of the money raised by these events goes directly to charities. Twestival events are also being organised around the Middle East, with events taking place in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Amman, Jordan; Doha, Qatar; and Beirut, Lebanon.

"We hope that Twestival Local will build on the great success of February's Twestival Global networking event which helped both raise awareness for Twitter in the UAE and for Charity: Water" said Gulati. "Once again, Twestival has been entirely put together using Twitter, which goes to show how powerful 140 character messages can be."

Twitter users who wish to attend Dubai Twestival Local should follow @dubaitwestival for daily updates on the event.

-Ends-

Dubai Twestival Local
A Twestival is a global series of events organized by volunteers around the world, independently from any not-for-profit; although the organising teams do work closely with charity organisations. Twestival also sets out to identify key skills of volunteers and match these with the needs of the cause; particularly communications strategy, tech integration and social media training. Twestival Local takes place in cities around the world: 10-13 September 2009.

Dubai Twestival Local takes place on Saturday 12 September 2009, 8pm to 11pm at The Jam Jar in Al Quoz, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For more information on Dubai Twestival Local visit http://dubai.twestival.com and follow @DubaiTwestival on Twitter.

About the Dubai Autism Centre (DAC)
The Dubai Autism Centre (DAC) is a non-profit organization providing information, support, advice and training to professionals and parents of children with Autism. Founded in November 2001 with the issuance of a decree from H.H. Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the DAC is focused on providing various services for children with Autism and their families. The Centre also works toward facilitating a better community understanding of autism, including early diagnosis and treatment methodology.

The school is functioning at full capacity providing a holistic approach to 43 students of different nationalities. The Program includes academics and therapies - psychological, speech, occupational, music, Computer literacy and prevocational training - as well as medical care with a full time nurse and a part time doctor.

A team of clinical psychologists and therapists provides full assessment and diagnosis for children within the community. The assessment and diagnostic unit is vital because the right and accurate diagnoses provides the first step towards individualized rehabilitation programs.

DAC has initiated many awareness campaigns and launched many fundraising activities to meet its obligations.

DAC mission is to alleviate the suffering of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families through our educational (therapy's) programs and integrate them into the community through our community awareness projects.

Dubai Autism Center is @dubaiautism on Twitter.

About Autism
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neurological developmental disorder. ASD usually affects the person's verbal and social communication skills. The incidence of Autism is increasing world wide with a 400% rise in the diagnosis of Autism in the last decade.

Autism is the most common of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders, affecting an estimated 1 in 146 births. The incidence of developing autism is higher in males with the ration of 4 boys to one girl.

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