Saturday, February 18, 2012

Silicon Wadi in Gaza and the West Bank

From the Christian Science Monitor:

The West Bank and Gaza Strip is home to hundreds of tech companies, creating everything from websites to smart phone apps

"In the hip Ramallah coffee shop ZAMN, Yousef Ghandour laments the slow Wi-Fi as he launches the beta version of one of his many start-ups, a social networking site that allows users to travel through time to find connections.

Mr. Ghandour, who never wastes a moment, shares the e-books he is currently reading on his iPhone (among them, "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't"), shows off his blog, and lingers for a moment on his latest vision for a social networking site for Muslims called AnaBasili, or "I'm praying."

"People are really passionate about entrepreneurship and putting Palestine on the map using technology," says Ghandour, a software engineer who is helping to create – and brand – an emerging community of technology entrepreneurs in the Palestinian territories. They call themselves Palestinian geeks, or peeks."

Hip Coffee shops? Entrepreneurs? Palestinians High tech starts ups? But, but, but... What about the open air prison? What about the humanitarian crisis? What about the starving Palestinians?

For some, the commitment to helping the Palestinian people goes beyond the BDS cult, beyond the literal attacks on Israel. For some, helping the Palestinians means building infrastructure and creating jobs, with the goal of building a nation.

"The Sadara Fund, the first venture capital fund focused on the Palestinian territories, launched last year with an initial $28 million to invest in Palestinian start-ups. At the time, Sadara estimated that more than 300 tech companies were operating in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, employing about 3,200 people."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good Job, San Francisco Voice For Israel. I would be there if it would be in San Francisco because, I don't drive. So, spiritual, I was with you and I'M with you. Long life to you, State Of Israel.