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Anam Raheem is a talent matching manager at Gaza SkyGeeks.

Imagine a business opportunity to accelerate startup innovation and profits while directly contributing to Palestinian progress. Palestine has inner powers on both the West Bank and Gaza, and is steadily gaining momentum despite a lasting political impasse, a prolonged economic crisis and a chronic outburst of violence. This power is the Palestinian technology ecosystem. The community of engineers, start-ups and network builders is growing and the base of private, public, regional and international funders is expanding.

Founded in 2011, Gaza Sky Geeks is a Google-backed technology hub headquartered in Gaza, where entrepreneurs, software developers and online freelancers can compete in the global technology industry with training, infrastructure and technology. We provide mentorship and financing. Many Gaza Sky Geeks initiatives are working towards one comprehensive goal of mapping Palestine as an internationally competitive technology ecosystem. Over the last decade, Gaza Sky Geeks and several other local and international organizations, businesses and funders have laid a sustainable foundation to support Palestinian engineers. Today, the action-promoting phrase refers to the region’s technical community supporting the only industry in Palestine, whose potential has not been hampered by politics and lasting military occupation.

One of the few positives about the Covid-19 pandemic is that it is globally accepted and accepts remote work. Previously, being born in the wrong place or not being able to travel was most often considered an obstacle to employment. no longer.

By providing quality remote employment opportunities, especially for Palestinians, the local technology community is active in reducing brain exhaustion and developing a workforce skilled in critical thinking, problem-solving, sympathy and innovation. Can play a key role-important qualities by fueling locally-led solutions that enable Palestinian progress. Recruiting Palestinian talent also provides the local technical community with lucrative business opportunities to increase the workforce with skilled, diverse and cost-effective individuals.

Improved performance of diverse teams

It is well documented that the performance of diverse teams will improve and profits will accelerate. Palestinian talent and the unique life experience they bring are an underutilized source of diverse human capital. The living experience of everyday Palestinians demands a consistent, daily level of determination and stubbornness in the face of rampant discrimination.

Take, for example, a young woman in Gaza. A devastating blockade, an ongoing war, a chronic power shortage, and a very tough politics, while learning English well, earning a college degree in computer science, and honing skills in a full-time coding bootcamp. Constraints. Individuals like her certainly have tenacity, determination, and aptitude for everyday problem-solving-a highly transferable and demanding skill in a startup environment. Individuals like her are not unusual in Palestine. Female representatives between computer science graduates and coding bootcamps also make up about 50%, but 69% of female developers remain unemployed. Palestinian talent is ambitious and ambitious, and above all, ready to contribute to the world of technology.

Why now?

The Palestinian ecosystem has matured significantly over the last decade due to the rise of internationally supported incubators and accelerators, world-class coding bootcamps, and the influx of funds from domestic and international investors and donors. Did. With this foundation in place, it is important that its stakeholders grow and diversify. Connecting outside Palestine with foreigners or diaspora founders who provide knowledge, networks and investments is critical to the long-term maturity of a thriving technology ecosystem. One of the biggest obstacles to a successful startup in Palestine is the lack of talent of mid-to-advanced developers, as well as the lack of professional and administrative experience among the founders. This is by paving the way for the local technology community to benefit from the knowledge, skills and traction of a more mature ecosystem that early Palestinian entrepreneurs and developers can ultimately apply locally. It is an obstacle that Palestine can help overcome.

On-site support systems for Palestinian technicians have become stronger than ever, providing a great opportunity for local communities to take advantage of lower barriers to entry in Palestine. Organizations like Gaza SkyGeeks’ Code Academy do the hard work of identifying, training, and graduating developer talent benchmarked to global standards, allowing foreign employers to provide infrastructure solutions such as recruitment services and cross-border payments. Make this talent accessible through.

Foster future Palestinian builder

The chain reaction of hiring, guiding and growing Palestinian technicians not only enables the local startup ecosystem to thrive, but also sows the future of Palestine. Currently, the largest employer in Palestine is the bureaucracy. Palestine, which suffers from the highest youth unemployment rate in the world, especially Gaza, is at risk of serious brain drain, and the most talented youth have all the incentives to move abroad to reach their potential. I am. Given the current harsh reality, who can blame them?

There is no doubt that an ambitious, talented and passionate diaspora (whose voice and agency is not well suppressed by the occupation) is important to enable progress in Palestine. But we also need an ambitious, talented and passionate counterpart to stay in our homeland and harness the power of global solidarity to build, lead and drive changes-accelerating institutions and movements. Expanding technology-driven employment opportunities in Palestine can set the roots for talented young people to grow into a vibrant and influential part of Palestinian social structure. Palestinian developers gain experience in technology and entrepreneurship to develop network, perspective, and leadership skills to literally build solutions to everyday challenges specific to Palestinian situations. While these innovations alone cannot solve the problems of the Palestinian state, the very curious, highly skilled and highly empathetic workforce of problem solvers certainly goes beyond the status quo. It only helps to move forward. It is they who help build Palestine and set its future political and economic course.

what can I do?

Proponents of the Palestinian cause often ask what can be done to enable progress in parts of the world that are in political trouble, one step forward and ten steps back. Palestine’s mature technology ecosystem has laid the foundation for the international community to support Palestine in a way that is not involved in the complex political stories surrounding advocacy and humanitarian band-aid solutions. The primary and most influential means for the local technology community to support Palestine is to hire Palestinian junior talent, ultimately with the goal of teaching and developing locally reinvestable skills. is. This step promotes corporate diversity and profits while giving talented young people a reason to stay in Palestine, fill their potential and contribute to a brighter future.

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