Google invites 160 orphans to doodle
Dubai, March 24, 2009
Google has launched a design competition for 160 orphans in Cairo, wherein they will create a doodle for Google Egypt’s home page explaining what it means to be an Egyptian.
The winning doodle of the competition called 'Doodle4Google - My Egypt' will be displayed on Google Egypt homepage (google.com.eg) for a day, and will be seen by millions of Egyptian Internet users.
The 160 youngsters, selected by Resala, the Egyptian based charitable organization, participated in a day of drawing and fun activities. Along with participating in the Doodle4Google competition, the kids had the opportunity to have their faces painted, and enjoyed outdoor fun activities.
Google partnered with several organisations to make this even possible. Lead Marketing and the German University in Cairo hosted the event, with both providing all the logistics support.
Professors and students from faculty of applied arts mentored orphans during the drawing session, and worked closely with Google team into making the day pleasant and more organised.
"At Google, we like to reflect the ever changing world of our users through the logo designs on our homepage,” said Wael Ghonim, Google marketing manager in Mena.
“These ‘doodles’ celebrate different people, events or special dates. Whenever we change these doodles we receive a lot of public interest and so we felt it was a great way to extend this competition for the first time in the Middle East to orphans in Egypt in commemoration of Orphan's Day on April 3," he added.
A highlight of the event was attendance by Khaled Abu Naga, the Unicef goodwill ambassador and celebrity. Abu Naga motivated the children to think of what inspires them about Egypt and being Egyptian and infused a mood of fun and excitement to the day.
Kicking off the Doodle competition, Abu Naga stayed on to watch all the doodles completed and took pictures with the orphans.
At the event over 200 doodles were submitted and an expert panel from the faculty of applied arts at the German University in Cairo has narrowed them to 25 doodles based on artistic merit, creativity and theme.
Ghonim said: “In our view, all the children who participated in the event were winners, they all had fun on the day and received gifts from our generous partners: Cairo Capital Lions Club, Samir & Ali, DIWAN Bookstore, and NetSignature.”
A framed individual photograph for each orphan, was taken on the day of the event as a souvenir along with a certificate from Google.
Dennis Hwang, a 29-year-old graphic designer and webmaster, exclusively designs the 'doodles' that regularly appear on the homepage, will put up the winning doodle to show on Google’s homepage on April 3.
Hwang said: "Doodle for Google is a fun competition that is a great example of the intersection of art, design and technology. In light of the orphans' day we felt that this was something special we can share with some of the orphans of Egypt.”
“Now we are giving them the chance to use our homepage to talk to the rest of the world about their country and its values. I'm hoping we'll see some extremely imaginative and expressive designs," he added.
Visitors can vote for their favourite Google doodle at google.com.eg/myegypt. The vote is open from March 22 to March 27. – TradeArabia News Service