[2020 Recap] Actually, it was a great year 🀩

Well, I was betting on this year to achieve quite a lot of things, and in fact the first half of it was for me a big slap on the face, 2020 was a hard year for everyone, I know that very well, Corona hits hard and I might have lost my job as I work in an OTA (Online Traveling Agency) and this is one of the most affected sectors by the Corona virus crisis or as some fellow Youtuber call it β€œVirona cirus”

However, In the next half of it turns out to be quite a big success for me in some stuff that are a big deal for me 😊, and that is what I’m going to write in this quick blog, not only for me as a reminder, but also for you to get inspired a little bit (hopefully).

I’ll try to be concise and to the point with the most important things that happened to me during this year, not in order or for the importance, just random

Got my second child (Adam) πŸ‘Ά

That was 10th Jan 2020 and it was a very stressful time for me and my wife but was the best thing that happened to us in 2020

Started Semicolon channel (May 2020) πŸš€

I was thinking about this step for long time and finally I took this decision to make a separate Youtube channel for the arabic technical videos that I used to make since 2017 and called it Semicolon Academy πŸ”—, and finally for launched in Ramadan 2020

Closed Facebook and focus on Twitter

I’ve permanently deleted my Facebook account Jan 2020, and went active on Twitter, and what I hoped has happened, people started to move to Twitter more and more and now I enjoy the community there way more

Semicolon channel hits 5000 subs (Dec 2020) πŸ“ˆ

Yes I made a separate bullet for this one, before the end of 2020 the new channel πŸ”— reached 5000 subscribers despite I’m not uploading that much and all those subscribers are organic which means that they subscribe directly to the channel without any promotion or even contributions with other more famous Youtubers

That’s why I’m super happy with them, thanks everyone πŸŽ‰

Almost 13k subs on old channel πŸ“ˆ

My old channel πŸ”— almost hits 13k subscribers πŸ₯³ to be honest I didn’t expect that, this channel should be since I opened the new channel only for vlogs or any video that is not arabic tech video, thanks again for all the subscribers and hopefully I’ll keep uploading more often in 2021

Worked from home with family πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦

I don’t have to emphasize that much but I enjoyed a lot to be there with my family at home during the day, have to admit it was challenging, since March 2020 I was working from home, lucky me that I already have a good setup for working from home as my Youtube studio but still, maybe some noise, or lake of focus because you are in a different mode of working at home than from the office, and I appreciated the commute time that I used to spend from the office to home it was a mode switch for me, BUT overall I loved the time I spent at home and seeing the activities of my kids day to day 😎

Spoke in 1 podcast and 4 remote events πŸ“’

During 2020 I spoke in a podcast called Tech and Coffee about my journey from Egypt to the Netherlands and my career (Arabic), also I spoke in an event in Amsterdam remotely about How to excel as a Frontend developer (English), and finally I spoke in DevFest Egypt 2020 about Using monorepo is not that bad and it was about explaining our case at work of choosing monorepos other talks about To Redux or not to Redux at Tunissia JS community and Frontend Developer Recipe at CAT-19, all these talks and more could be found in talks page.

Started writing articles on dev.to ✍️

Unlike this post, usually when I write a technical post here I copy it to dev.to πŸ”— as it could have more viewers there, and the goal in the end is sharing more knowledge to more people

The very good thing about that is getting featured for 3 posts in 1 month, a lot of views and followers there, and I guess I should keep writing in a consistent way better than now in 2021

Less usage of my smart phone πŸ“±

I started to lose any interest in the Scrolling action that usually we are doing any time we have the smart phone in our hands, I literally don’t know where is my phone except when I’m going out or I need to make a phone call, and that is awesome πŸ₯³

Went healthy again (lost 20KG) πŸ“‰

Sometimes being a loser is a good thing especially is you are a β€œFat looser” πŸ˜‰, I made a great effort in collaboration with my wife ❀️ who helped me a lot not to stop the healthy diet, in fact I owe her the results I have now or being healthy and fit

I followed Ketogenic diet in the beginning until it became ineffective for me so I moved myself to low-carb diet which helped a lot, loosing 20KG is not an easy thing as have to say, but it was a big goal for me in 2020 and thanks god I could made it πŸ’ͺ

Taught myself how to bake at home healthy cakes 🍰 and desserts

In the first half of the year there was Ramadan πŸŒ™ and I decided to teach myself how to make eastern desserts at home, and I guess I was able to make it happen, I learned to make a very delicious Basbousa, baklava, and sawabe zainab and much more, of course that affected me quite a lot β€œweight wise” as I gained in the first half about 11KG more πŸ˜” but I was able to handle it again as mentioned above in the last half of the year πŸ‹οΈβ€β™‚οΈ

During the diet I was able to make a keto cake or a low-carb cake using substitutes for the flour and the sugar, and I taught myself to design and decorate cakes as well (still working on enhancing it), you can check my instagram πŸ”— for inspirations

Learned Dutch until level A2 πŸ‡³πŸ‡±

Living in the Netherlands is veery enjoyable, actually it is a very foreigners-welcoming country, literally everyone speaks English very well, what makes it easy for expats like me to live without learning Dutch, BUT that also makes you feel always that you are an expat no matter how long you stay you cannot read government letters or takes letters 😫 or follow local news without understanding Dutch or working with Google translate in your hand

I decided to push my self after spending more that 3 years in Amsterdam me and my wife decided to book language exams for level A2 which is enough for having integration certificate for now, and again in the last half of the year we studied very hard and had reading exam (Succeed) and writing exam (waiting for results), and that’s a big success for us πŸ₯³

Also worth mentioning that I’m using Duolingo πŸ”— which helped me a lot in getting more familiars with the language and also the gamification of the streak works for me and I still keep the streak for about 9 month in a row and still going πŸ’ͺ

Read 2 books (out of my career) πŸ“š

During the last half of the year I decided to make any benefit from the time I have to spend at home by going back to reading, I started by focusing on my field readings from blogs and RSS feeds, and then decided to learn more out of the box in some stuff that will help me in the long term along side with my career as well

So I picked Rich Dad Poor Dad πŸ”— by Robert Kiyosaki which was a great book for me to manage my financial early what might enable me to retire a bit early as well

The other book was The Culture Map πŸ”— by Erin Meyer and this one was really an eye-opening for a lot of things I used to face as an expat who is working with people from all over the world with different cultures, this book helped me a lot in analyzing the behavior of a lot of people I worked with and would be helpful for anyone working in an international environment.


I can’t remember if I forgot something else great that happened to me this year or not, but over all I’m very grateful for all the achievements I could made despite of all the odds and not being able to travel at all and canceling my visit to Egypt to see family but I’m still optimistic by 2021 and have quite a lot of goals that I hope I could make them happened soon but they are secrets 😎 I could share them hopefully as achievements next year in a similar post like this one

If you understand Arabic here is an Arabic video talking in more details about the 2020 recap:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDg5M3CMP9o&ab_channel=MedhatDawoud πŸ”—

Tot ziens πŸ‘‹