Author Yasser Bahjatt, founder of the trailblazing League of Arabic SciFiers and author of the 2015 novel Yaqteenya: The Old World, explores the social and creative role of science fiction in the Arab World and its potential to transform. Drawing on his background in technology, his experiences developing a creative engine for science fiction in Saudi Arabia and his own writings, this talk explores his theory that no technological advance in the last 200 years was born of an original thought, but that all new technology can be traced to its inception in a science fiction novel. Yasser Bahjaat has forwarded discussions on the scientific concepts found in the Holy Quran, on commercial drones, on alternative histories and on esports in the Middle East.
In addition to being an author and co-founder of Yatakhayaloon: The League of Arabic SciFiers, Yasser Bahjatt is a translator, software developer, and entrepreneur. Bahjatt manages business development at Quad Dimensions Tech, owns and manages E2T: the leading eSports company of Saudi Arabia, and is a data networking provider at Intelligent Networks’ Components - Saudi Arabia’s first local internet gaming service. He promotes innovations in eSports by serving as president of the Electronic Sports International Federation (eSIF). Bahjatt’s dedication to sharing technological and scientific innovation led him to be the first to translate TED talks into Arabic; he is now a translator at TED conferences worldwide. Bahjatt is a best-selling author as co-author of HWJN and author of Yaqteenya: The Old World, which is the first installment of a scifi novel series exploring an alternate historical timeline in which major historical events left Islamic society untouched. He holds a B.A. in Computer Engineering, certificate-holder from Cambridge University’s MOSAIC leadership and management program in the United Kingdom. He was the first Saudi graduate of Singularity University (SU) in Silicon Valley, CA, where he founded Matternet, a project which aims to alleviate poverty and accelerate growth through roadless transportation networks.