Ahmed Kortas: The Motivation to Make A Difference

 
One of the main principles that MENA Alliances has always called for is “diversity”, and we applied it in our work and different programs. Our Coding Training Program is not an exception as we opened the door for trainers from around the world to join. 
 
 
Ahmad Kortas is one example!!
 
Kortas is a developer from Tunisia who joined our amazing group of volunteer trainers to help the Palestinian students become professional developers ready to compete in the global labor market and get job opportunities in tech. While helping the students through their long journey, he communicates with other trainers from the UK, Jordan, and Palestine and develops his soft and hard skills. Connected with people from various countries and with different ideas and expertise, our trainers enjoy a unique learning experience through their own journey within our program.
 
We interviewed Ahmad Kortas to know more about his journey from the beginning until joining our Coding Program.
 
 
Kortas’s Beginnings in Programming:
 
“From an early age, I was passionate about computers and their programs and I have always loved programming and wanted to specialize and work in this field. Therefore, I joined an intensive & comprehensive training program – supported by the HackReactor in the US – of computer and soft skills and graduated the (Full-Stack) phase with excellence. Later on, I have moved to pursue my studies in Germany in the same field. Therefore, I am now able to share basic programming skills and teach them to others.”
 
 
Why did you join MENA Alliances’ Coding Training Program?
 
“I got to know Mena Alliances through LinkedIn, and the company’s continuous keenness to help the youth by building good opportunities for their future attracted me the most. Therefore, I contacted them to join and help them in the mission that I now adopt.”
 
 
What motivates you to voluntarily teach and help our students?
 
“The students’ constant hunger to learn is the main factor that encourages me to keep on training them till now in the Coding Training Program.”
 
“They don’t spare any opportunity to gain new knowledge and constantly want to learn and develop. This is honestly what motivates me to train and mentor them. In fact, I have always loved being part of the great changes in others’ lives and helping young people to create new opportunities for their future, and the program makes me practice what I enjoy.”
 
 
Our Coding Training Program is not the only one that teaches coding, what difference do you see in it?
 
“The main goal of the Coding Training Program is to create great opportunities for Palestinian youth in particular, and the youth of the MENA region in general with the help of people who care for each other in a supportive community. This is what makes it different!”
   
 
What does the program add to you?
 
“Working with MENA Alliances in this program makes me so happy. It definitely adds to my expertise and introduces me to a new culture, which helps me to develop my skills in both, the professional and personal levels.”
 
 
To conclude this interesting interview, Kortas said:
“Based on my deep belief that people exist for the benefit of others and to get benefit from them, this program has made me help others in a very wonderful way.”
 

 

Join Us:

You have an opportunity to join Ahmad Kortas and the other trainers as we are specifically looking for experienced technical mentors to teach our students and review their work for the next phase of our program in the following topics:
NodeJS
ReactJS
Databases
HTML, CSS
UX Design
To apply, fill in this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfJgWIT6QzxJUpBqP4da0zIPB4rGlEqyzsQhhY0T41kxHXiTg/viewform 
 
 
You can read Ahmad Kortas’s interview in Arabic here:
 

 
 

كيف بدأت رحلة أحمد قرطاس في البرمجة؟

لطالما أحببت البرمجة ورغبت التخصّص والعمل في هذا المجال، فمنذ مراحل مبكرة من عمري كنت شغوفاً بالحاسوب وبرامجه، لتبدأ مسيرتي العملية في عالم البرمجة بعد ذلك بانضمامي لبرنامج تدريبي مكثف في تونس، والذي كان بدعم من المخيم التدريبي (HackReactor) في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، كان برنامجاً شاملاً للمهارات الحاسوبية والحياتية كالتواصل الفعال، والإلقاء المؤثر، والعمل الجماعي، لأنهي بذلك مرحلة (Full Stack) بامتياز بعد ستة أشهر من العمل اليومي المكثف وأصبح قادراً على مشاركة المهارات الأساسية في البرمجة وتعلميها لغيري، لا سيما بعد التدريب على الإلقاء الذي أعانني عليه البرنامج، وانطلاقاً من سعيي الدؤوب لدوام التعلم، وخلق فرص جديدة لنفسي ولغيري، انتقلت لأكمل دراستي في ألمانيا بالمجال نفسه.

 

ما الذي جذبك للانضمام لمينا ألاينسز والبرنامج؟

تعرفت على شركة مينا ألاينسز من خلال منصة التوظيف (LinkedIn)، وقد جذب انتباهي للشركة حرصهم الشديد على التطوير الدائم لفئة الشباب، ومساعدتهم ببناء فرص جيدة لهم ولمستقبلهم، فكان هذا أحد أهم الأمور التي شجعتني لمراسلة الشركة والانضمام إليهم، إذ إنه الدافع ذاته الذي تكون لدي بعد تخرجي من المخيم التدريبي في تونس.

 

ما الذي يدفعك للاستمرار بتعليم طلابنا والاشراف عليهم بشكل تطوعي ؟

انضممت لمدرسة مينا للبرمجة لأقابل ثُلّة من الطلاب المميزين الراغبين بالاستسقاء الدائم من العلم، ولن أغفل الحديث عن أن رغبة الطلاب الدائمة في التعلم ساعدت كثيراً على تشجيعي للاستمرار معهم، فأحببتهم، وأحببت حرصهم، وأحببت سرعة تقدمهم وتطورهم وتطبيقهم لما يتعلّموه خلال اللقاءات التي نعقدها ضمن البرنامج، فلطالما أحببت أن أكون جزءًا من التغييرات العميقة في مسار حياة غيري ومساعدة الشباب الناشئة على خلق فرص جديدة لمستقبلهم.

 

برأيك، ما المختلف في هذا البرنامج عن بقية البرامج؟

أرى في برنامج مدرسة مينا للبرمجة فارقاً كبيراً عن غيره من البرامج لا سيما من الناحية المادية، إذ إنه برنامج غير ربحي، هدفه الأساسي خلق فرص من أقل الإمكانيات، لتنهض بالشاب الفلسطيني على وجه الخصوص، والشاب العربي على وجه العموم بمساعدة أشخاص يهتمون لبعضهم البعض ضمن مجتمع متعاون وداعم، دون البحث عن مقابل مادي لهذا العطاء، إنما هدفه الأول والأخير هو مساعدة الشباب في إثبات أحقيتهم بالحصول على فرص خصوصاً ممن لا تتوافر لديهم الإمكانات الكبيرة.

 

ماذا يضيف لك البرنامج؟

سعيد جداً في العمل مع شركة مينا ألاينسز فقد أضافت لي خبرة جديدة، وعرّفتني على ثقافة جديدة، مما أعانني على تنمية مهاراتي وقدراتي على الصعيد العملي –في البرمجة- وكذلك على الصعيد الشخصي، انطلاقاً من إيماني العميق بأن الإنسان وُجِد ليُفيد ويستفيد، وأعانني هذا البرنامج كي أفيد غيري بشكل استثنائي جميل.

 
 
 
 

 

About Us:

MENA Alliances is a nearshoring company – for-profit with a social mission- that aims to provide a high-quality remote workforce on-demand. It desires to solve the problem of a local talent shortage for automation while creating economic opportunities for women and young people in the MENA region. Our teams can scale in a short time and handle small to large projects.
We are on a mission to alleviate poverty and injustice in the MENA region by creating jobs for women and young people in this region. So far, we have trained more than 3000 women and young people and created 700+ job opportunities for disadvantaged people by connecting them with jobs from Europe, the USA (such as Silicon Valley), and the Gulf region. 
 
 
Code Your Future (CYF) is a non-profit institution in the United Kingdom that trains refugees and other disadvantaged groups to become web developers to help them find jobs in the field of technology.

To communicate with us: 

Abeer Abu Gaith ( The founder and the CEO ):

[email protected]  

Noor Abu Gaith ( Project coordinator ):

[email protected]  

Nidaa Awawdeh: A Big Dream & Tireless Perseverance

“I want to found a startup that can help people with disabilities to learn and work in programming in the future.”
– Nidaa 
 
Our training program did not finish yet, and the stories of our students are still being created. However, an inspiring story like Nidaa Awawdeh can not go unnoticed until the end of the program. From the first day, she showed a great passion and commitment to learning programming, so we were curious about her motive and interviewed her.
 
Awawdeh is a Computer Engineering graduate from Hebron. Her higher education did not fully fulfill her learning needs. Therefore, right after her graduation, she focused on improving her hard and soft skills, so she took more than 20 courses in many fields; especially Business and Personal Development (PD).
 
“Studying more than one profession while working might slow down my progress, but at the end of the day, I will get more opportunities in the job market as an all-rounded candidate.”
 
This was her comment when we asked her about organizing her occupied time as she is currently pursuing a Diploma degree in Business Management and Web Development (throughout our training program) and works as a freelance content writer.
 
Why programming? 
 
 

“Programming is the future language of the world.

Honestly speaking, I was born with a physical disability, and I have always dreamed to become a doctor and help people with similar disabilities. However, as I’ve grown up, I realized that technology and programming are becoming the major keys to solving the world’s daily problems; especially the problems of people with special needs. Driven by my lifetime goal, I approached programming with a lot of passion, and day by day, I found myself getting more attached to it and persistent to surpass its difficulty & tackle its challenges.”

 
Regarding her participation in our Coding Training Program, Nidaa told us that she has known about MENA Alliances when she met Abeer Abu Ghaith – MENA Alliances’ Founder & CEO – in one of the consultation sessions in which Abeer joined to consult young entrepreneurs who wanted to start their own business. 
 
“At that time, I have been planning to found my own tech startup, but I needed a lot of help and did not know how to start. Speaking with Abeer inspired me to work harder for a more solid start of my business, and this is why I enrolled in this training program.” 
 
Speaking about her goal of joining our coding program made us curious about the type of startups she wants to start and her future plans.
 
“I am planning to establish a tech startup that can teach, train and help 1 million disabled people on programming in a ten-year period; this is my big dream. I do not spare any day of my life without achieving something – big or small- to pull me closer to my dream.”
 
When we asked her for a bit of advice to people who want to learn to program but feel unmotivated to start, she answered with a lot of passion:
 
“Simply, start loving it! Once you show yourself how much you like programming, you will keep going on regardless of any obstacles and even feel thrilled in overcoming the challenges you face on the road. I believe that patience can also help you a lot in your journey, so don’t rush to get the great results; they are coming as long as you work hard.”
 
Nidaa’s noble dream and perseverance set a new example proving to us that disability is not the inability to move, but rather the absence of passion and hard work!
 
Do you wish to support the big dreams of our inspiring students? You can mentor the students or sponsor our Coding Training Program bu contacting us at:
 

Abeer Abu Gaith ( The founder and the CEO ):

[email protected] 

Noor Abu Gaith ( Project Coordinator ):

[email protected] 

 

About Us:

 
MENA Alliances is a nearshoring company – for-profit with a social mission- that aims to provide a high-quality remote workforce on-demand. It desires to solve the problem of a local talent shortage for automation while creating economic opportunities for women and young people in the MENA region. Our teams can scale in a short time and handle small to large projects.
We are on a mission to alleviate poverty and injustice in the MENA region by creating jobs for women and young people in this region. So far, we have trained more than 3000 women and young people and created 700+ job opportunities for disadvantaged people by connecting them with jobs from Europe, the USA (such as Silicon Valley), and the Gulf region. 
 
Code Your Future (CYF) is a non-profit institution in the United Kingdom that trains refugees and other disadvantaged groups to become web developers to help them find jobs in the field of technology.

Coding Training Program: Preparation for The Third Phase

We concluded the second phase of our Coding Training Program with 22 successful students who were ready to bravely uncover the new adventures of the next phase “Full-Stack Web Development”.

  • Overview:

In this preparatory stage, we hold technical and personal development sessions to keep our students connected with each other and with the learning process till we start the Full-Stack Development stage. Moreover, the third phase is planned to be intensive and packed with various new materials and tasks, so with these weekly meetings, our trainers equip the students with the adequate skills to relieve any possible stress they might have.

This month, our students have made progress on several levels illustrated in the following points:

  • Technical Skill

The students have been trained on an introduction to JavaScript in a practical type of session. They are given some problems to solve and discuss together during the meeting and homework to do alone. In this way, we make sure the students are more engaged in programming and learn new techniques to code.

  • Soft Skills

At the hands of an experienced personal development coach, our students learn new skills, such as building a professional CV. They also learn how to control stress and turn it into a motive to work harder. Besides this, the trainer keeps giving them regular pieces of advice and encourages them to keep up the good work. 

In addition to this, the students have participated in a Career Fair attended by startups from the USA and experienced job interviews with international companies. Through such events, we aim to put our students in different learning opportunities that can help them grow vocationally and improve their soft skills that are crucial for their career lives.

  • English Skills

To prepare our students to enter the international labor market in the future, we are keen to enhance their English language skills. Using different teaching methods like quizzes, games, presentations, and reading articles. These sessions enrich the students’ vocabulary and motivate them to practice English more.

Join Us:

We need experienced developers and personal development coaches to mentor our students in this life-changing journey. To join our community and support the program – wherever you are based – contact us:

Abeer Abu Gaith ( The founder and the CEO ):

[email protected] 

Noor Abu Gaith ( Project Coordinator ):

[email protected] 

 

About Us:

 
MENA Alliances is a nearshoring company – for-profit with a social mission- that aims to provide a high-quality remote workforce on-demand. It desires to solve the problem of a local talent shortage for automation while creating economic opportunities for women and young people in the MENA region. Our teams can scale in a short time and handle small to large projects.
We are on a mission to alleviate poverty and injustice in the MENA region by creating jobs for women and young people in this region. So far, we have trained more than 3000 women and young people and created 700+ job opportunities for disadvantaged people by connecting them with jobs from Europe, the USA (such as Silicon Valley), and the Gulf region. 
 
Code Your Future (CYF) is a non-profit institution in the United Kingdom that trains refugees and other disadvantaged groups to become web developers to help them find jobs in the field of technology.

MENA Alliances’ Recruitment Process

 
“Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth. Hiring was – and still is – the most important thing we do.”
– Marc Bennioff, Founder of Salesforce
Throughout our journey in the field of connecting global companies with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) professionals, we realized how finding the right talent and linking it to the appropriate job opportunity is much more than just a business. This job has been bringing employment opportunities for talented women & young people in the Middle East & North Africa’s untapped market.
 
Therefore, our hiring process has gone through many improvements until it reached the current version which meets our clients’ different needs and gets the best out of the MENA’s professionals.
 
Our work is not limited to hiring developers – they are the most demanded category nowadays, though – but we also source designers, translators, voice-over performers, content writers, admin assistants, and transcribers, just to name a few. We also provide a variety of flexible service delivery models that fit our clients’ business requirements, such as staff augmentation, dedicated team, and project-based sourcing models.
 
 
So how do we guarantee to acquire the TOP talents while managing the diverse requirements?
 
This is all managed through an adaptable recruitment process implemented by the collaborative efforts of the MENA Alliances’ team and is summarized in the following 10 steps:
 
 

  • Identifying the Hiring Need.

 
The whole hiring process and its success depend mainly on identifying the recruitment needs accurately. And to do so, we listen carefully to the client and ask the right questions that enable us to lay our hands on their priorities, business goals, development gaps, talent shortage, budget, and other particular needs. 
 
“MENA Alliances team’s ability to listen to our needs and work with us in growing the team as needed have made them true and valued partners!”
– Naama, COO of Colabo 
This is how one of our clients in the USA describes our partnership.
 
 

  • Devise the Recruitment Plan.

 
After we discuss the client’s requirements, we make the necessary adjustments to our recruitment plan to fulfill their specific needs. Modifying the plan includes strategizing how to publicize the hiring position, criteria for candidate screening, what the assessment approach will consist of, and how the interview process will look like; all based on the client’s terms.
 
“MENA Alliances’s flexibility has allowed us to recruit both temporary enforcement for immediate short tasks and to grow our team on a more permanent basis with senior and experienced developers working remotely alongside our in-house developers.”
 
 

  • Writing a Job Description.

 
To get the right person to apply to the job, it all starts with the job description!
 
In the job description, we write the necessary information that we need the applicants to be aware of before applying to save our time and efforts in the reviewing step. This comprises a clearly defined job title, a straight-to-the-point job overview, a list of specific anticipated responsibilities, and required skills. And we conclude it with a strong call-to-action to encourage high-quality candidates to submit their applications.
 
 

  • Advertising the Position

 
At this phase, we start implementing the recruitment plan that we set earlier. 
 
Finding highly-qualified potential candidates begins internally as we look through our talent database to pick up from the available candidates that we assessed in previous hiring processes but did not get chosen. Then, we check the availability of the needed talents in our network.
 
In addition to that, we advertise the job vacancy externally on our social media platforms and job posting sites, like LinkedIn, and spread it out to our online community and other remote workforces. Besides that, our recruitment team uses “headhunting” to find the right professionals for the job. 
 
By using different approaches in this stage, we get the best of the best professionals. 
 
 

  • Reviewing, Screening, and Shortlisting Applications

 
Once we receive job applications, our recruitment team reviews them regularly on the basis of minimum qualification. 
 
Later on, they filter and sort the CVs that have the preferred credentials by looking at the expertise and the specific skills that are required for the role.
 
Finally, the most qualified candidates are shortlisted to the next phase, and we send them emails to inform them about their acceptance and arrange for an interview.
 
 

  • Initial Interview & Assessment 

 
Our recruitment team prepares for the first video interview to get to know the shortlisted applicants face-to-face before nominating them for our client.
 
The shortlisted applicants get filtered after the interview based on the requirements of our client, English skills,  and their level of professionalism, and the final candidates are sent to the client to prepare for the next level of assessment.
 
Paying a lot of efforts in this stage drove our clients to consistently praise our speed and accuracy in shortlisting the best candidates to the interview, as one of our regular clients says:
 
 “We have reached out several times with very specific talent requirements and were matched with relevant interviewees within a day or two. We are constantly impressed by the developers we meet and have yet to have an irrelevant interview!”
 
We also add the final shortlisted candidate in our database for future job nominations in case they did not get the current client’s job opportunity. (As mentioned in step 4)
 
 

  • Technical Test/Interview. 

 
The second level of assessment is more accurate in testing the candidates’ basic technical skills that are crucial for the job.
 
If it is a translator role, we prepare a project-specific type of test to examine the candidate’s translation skills and make sure that it matches our client’s particular needs.
If it is a developer role, we hold a technical interview in which specific web-development tools are used to evaluate the candidate’s programming skills and performance.
 
And so on and so forth!
 
 

  • Soft Skills Interviews

 
For technical skills are not the only necessary requirements for a perfect job candidate, we hold another interview to take a deeper look at the interviewees’ characters, adaptability to work in a different culture, language skills, communication skills, etc. We also check their backgrounds and references for a better view of their suitability for the position.
 
These interviews are usually held in the presence of the client who has the last word on who to stay and who to leave.
 
 

  • Onboarding

 
After choosing the successful candidate/s who pass the multi-level assessment process, we send them the job offer and the contract with all the clear details. 
And by this stage, we succeed in linking the right talent to the appropriate job opportunity.
 
Nevertheless, our job is not done yet!
 

  • Talent Management

 
The talents that we hire for our clients are still considered our responsibility. Whether they are a team or individuals, we manage their workflow with the client, check their performance and progress, solve their problems, and pay their salaries.
 
“Working with MENA Alliances has been super effective to our company. The team is very helpful and supportive and they go the extra mile to support your mission.”
 
To recap, what makes us a trustworthy hiring partner for many of our clients is our constant efforts and passion to bring them the most fitting talent from the best of the best of the MENA’s untapped talent pool and ensure they are satisfied even after the hiring.
 

About Us:

 
MENA Alliances is a nearshoring company – for-profit with a social mission- that aims to provide a high-quality remote workforce on-demand. It desires to solve the problem of a local talent shortage for automation while creating economic opportunities for women and young people in the MENA region. Our teams have the ability to scale in a short time and handle small to large projects.
We are on a mission to alleviate poverty and injustice in the MENA region by creating jobs for women and young people in this region. So far, we have trained more than 3000 women and young people and created 700+ job opportunities for disadvantaged people by connecting them with jobs from Europe, the USA (such as Silicon Valley), and the Gulf region. 
 
Are you looking for new talents to work on your diverse projects on your own terms?
 

Contact us:  

Email: [email protected] 

Phone: +970 59-938-8102

Whatsapp: +44 7380 980791

Coding Training Program: The Fundamentals Phase

 

  • Overview:

 
MENA Alliances has recently concluded the second phase “Fundamentals” of its Coding Training Program in collaboration with Code Your Future from the UK over four consecutive weeks
 
During this stage, our students get a gentle introduction to what programming is, why they want to learn and how to start learning. 
 
In light of this, we held various types of training meetings that can bring our students the benefits that they need to compete and stay strong in the labor market. This includes different parts, like technical sessions, mentorship, personal development (PD) sessions, English classes, study groups, and “Ya3ni Talk” conversations.
 
 

  • Technical Training:

 
Our students are taught the basics of JavaScript and other programming languages by experienced developers in tech along with extra online study resources. They are also provided with various software and online easily accessible tools such as “Khan Academy” and “Code. Org” to help them practice, apply their studies and equip them with self-learning skills. 
 
Moreover, in an attempt to lighten up the mood during the meeting, we conclude with a test that measures the students’ understanding of the studied materials using the “Kahoot” gaming site. And to communicate professionally, the students and trainers use “Slack” to stay connected & informed of the latest updates.
 
At the end of this stage, only the committed, collaborative and hard-working students graduate this phase and move to the next level, which is a “Full-Stack Web Development” course.
Outcome: 33 students successfully passed the second phase.
 

 
 
 
 

  • Personal Development Training:

 
Our Coding Training Program was not originally planned to only teach our students programming and improve their technical skills. It rather aims to fully prepare our students to become a professional group of developers who are ready to enter the tech industry confidently and adapt to the local and global markets’ requirements.
 
Therefore, we held Personal Development meetings with experts of developments in the HR field to improve the students’ soft skills in terms of communication, time management, teamwork, problem-solving, etc to make them match the market’s needs better. We also hosted experts from international tech leader companies like Capgemini, French multinational corporation that provides consulting, technology, professional, and outsourcing services, that joins part of our training to deliver training session about “effective communication in the tech market” to our students. Through these sessions, we want to help the students build solid understanding about the skills needed in the tech market and build up their self-esteem and confidence.
 
“Besides learning some basic soft skills, this kind of meeting is a space for me to express my concerns and to share the details of how my study week went,” student Randa says.

 
 
 

  • Mentorship:

 
More than 8 mentoring sessions were held under the supervision of specialists and leaders of worldwide known companies in the field of technology.
 
These meetings aim to provide the students with regular feedback on their improvement and pieces of advice to enhance their progress, and to encourage them to move forward to their future dream jobs. They were held weekly using English in a way to boost the students’ language skills. Emphasis was also placed on the importance of creating their own career identity such as a professional LinkedIn profile.

Our student Ibraheem says, “I learned how to overcome the struggles I might face at work in the future.”
 
 

  • Study Groups:

 
Creating a collaborative community in which all members get to support and learn from each other is one of the primary goals in our Coding Training Program. Consequently, we were keen to run regular online study groups for the students to strengthen their relationships and foster collaboration and teamwork among them. 
 
One of our diligent students, Rama, describes how she liked these meetings “I made new friends and we talked about our goals and interests and supported one another to keep going forward. Everything was very exciting!”
 

While they were gathering to study and do their homework together, they consciously or unconsciously helped and depended on each other to solve problems. This way, we aim to build a generation of developers who are not only technically qualified, but also collaborative team players.
 
 
 

  • Ya3ni Talk:

 
Youth in Palestine are isolated from the rest of the world, because of a lot of restrictions that deprive them of getting the experience and expanding their horizons. Therefore, we established “Ya3ni Talk” as a safe space for young generations to communicate with the world and to learn how to improve themselves both professionally and personally. 
 
Through Ya3ni Talk sessions, we connect our students with local and international experts and business leaders to let them experience open discussions about various topics with great-minded speakers. To help our students in improving their discussion skills, we include the students in breakout sessions in which they directly speak with senior developers, tech experts, and business owners. From this, we intend to build professional developers who are confident to have profitable conversations with their future clients, managers, and colleagues.
 
 

About Us:

 
MENA Alliances is a nearshoring company – for-profit with a social mission- that aims to provide a high-quality remote workforce on-demand. It desires to solve the problem of a local talent shortage for automation while creating economic opportunities for women and young people in the MENA region. Our teams can scale in a short time and handle small to large projects.
We are on a mission to alleviate poverty and injustice in the MENA region by creating jobs for women and young people in this region. So far, we have trained more than 3000 women and young people and created 700+ job opportunities for disadvantaged people by connecting them with jobs from Europe, the USA (such as Silicon Valley), and the Gulf region. 
 
Code Your Future (CYF) is a non-profit institution in the United Kingdom that trains refugees and other disadvantaged groups to become web developers to help them find jobs in the field of technology.
 

To communicate with us: 

Abeer Abu Gaith ( The founder and the CEO ):

[email protected] 

Noor Abu Gaith ( Project coordinator ):

[email protected] 

 

 
 

Palestine: An Untapped Opportunity to Access Rich Tech Talent Pool & Make An Impact

Startups in the US and Western Europe are continually seeking to acquire new clients and accelerate the time to market, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Achieving these goals depends primarily on having highly-competitive products/ services and reducing software development costs, which requires having professional senior developers. However, having limited financial resources and the shortage of local experienced developers, who usually ask for sky-high rates, created a serious challenge for these startups.

Therefore, many companies now started considering establishing their own remote teams in the MENA region, attracted by the large numbers of highly-educated professional developers who are ready to adapt to different work cultures, the reasonable costs for high-quality services, the ability to scale their services faster, and the use of flexible collaboration models.

Among the MENA countries, Palestine is considered a perfect nearshoring destination because of many reasons. And here are some:

 

High-Quality IT Services at Reasonable Rates

 

Palestine has a rich pool of professional software developers who are ready to work according to your budget and deliver your project requirements with very convenient hourly rates in comparison to those of the same services in the US, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and other regions. This is directly related to the living costs in Palestine which are relatively lower than the living costs in other parts of the world. Therefore, IT services rates in Palestine would be more convenient for companies in countries like the US, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, etc as this would typically save these companies between 30% and 75% of their overall costs (development) without sacrificing the quality of code.

 
 

Wide Variety of Professionals and IT Services

 

Palestine owns a rich IT pool of software developers and engineers with a wide variety of highly-demanded IT services who can help create recruitment pipelines for companies in the US and Western Europe. Developers in Palestine are specialized in Full Stack Development, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, PHP, SQL, and many other languages. Since a large number of IT students graduate from IT universities, it is quite simple to find both junior and senior developers to work with.

 
 

Tech Vendors’ Active Recruitment Process

 

Tech vendors in Palestine are continuously on the verge of navigating the region’s IT pool to find talented people and professionals to match them with the clients’ needs. It takes 2-4 weeks to hire a software developer in Palestine and a month to let them go if further cooperation isn’t necessary. The majority of nearshoring tech vendors share risks with their clients and undertake taxes, payroll, and other essential services. In addition, to ensure meeting the clients’ requirements, the vendors usually involve the client in the interviews with the selected candidates.

 
 

Culture Adaptability, Unyielding Motivation, and Continuous Education

 

The increasing numbers of graduates every year created a competitive atmosphere between developers made them follow a path of self-learning to enhance their skills on a regular basis in order to be able to get good work opportunities and engage in the global market. The West Bank and Gaza together have 14 universities, an open university for distance learning, 18 university colleges, and 20 community colleges. Over 4000 IT students graduate from these universities every year. These graduates are constantly on the verge of learning, as the majority is usually engaged in training programs, practice-based courses, and hackathons. In that respect, there are plenty of donors, NGOs supporting the educational and vocational training courses in Palestine to bridge the gap between the education and market and decrease the high unemployment rate in the region.

The fact that the local demand for software development and engineering in Palestine is quite stable motivated the majority of the software developers to look for work opportunities in other regions, such as the US and Western Europe, which helped them become familiar with the Western culture, values, and the work environment of many companies in those regions.

Another factor is having an easy-to-go culture, frequent contact with foreigners who visit the region, and the willingness to learn. Therefore, software engineers and developers are eager to interact with different cultures and build bridges with people in the US and Europe. Through nearshoring, they can explore and enhance their technical skills and capacities and find support and mentorship from people with experience in the tech sector.

 
 

Effective Communication

 

The majority of these developers have intermediate to high English language skills since most higher education institutions in Palestine, especially IT colleges, teach their Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in the English language. Therefore, the software developers who graduate from these institutions have sufficient English language skills that enable them to communicate with their clients effectively. The professionals or senior software developers would usually ask questions and apply critical thinking when taking your requirement in order to let you know that they do actually understand what they should do to give you the result you asked for.
Your team means your methods. Developers in Palestine are ready to adapt to the communication methods or communication channels of your choice, such as Slack, Discord, Skype, Zoom, and many other communication methods based on your company’s preference.

 
 

Convenient Time Zone

 

The MENA region’s time zone is convenient for the “follow-the-sun” working model. For example, the time difference between Palestine and Chicago is 8 hours. This means that the software engineers in Palestine work while the working day is over in the US, which saves time and boosts performance’s pace. Palestine is also one hour ahead of Western European countries, which allows seamless communication and allows a fully-matching working schedule.

 
 

A Great Destination For Business

 

Many international companies, like AXSOS, Freightos, ITG, Harri, and NVIDIA, now have branches in Palestine to keep up with their multinational teams and to benefit from the MENA market which is currently on the verge of becoming among the leading IT markets in the world.

Since there are many MNCs (Multinational companies), such as IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft, and small to medium companies that have offices in Israeli and the GCC, hiring Palestinian professionals as extended teams to support their R&D centers in Israel and the GCC areas would add value and competitive advantage to them in scaling their projects and ensuring effective communication. The extended teams would be working nearby with the possibility to arrange face-to-face meetings between the team members and the R&D centers.

In addition, the business ecosystem in Palestine is founded on international levels to help compete with other business markets around the globe. According to the World Bank analysis of the Palestinian ecosystem, the existence of talented people and founders and the connection with international knowledge resources such as international universities and accelerator programs are the key strength of the ecosystem in Palestine.

 
 

Diversity of Cooperation Models to Suit Your Company

 

Nearshoring companies in Palestine are ready to offer whichever model you choose after checking that this model goes in line with your project outcome, duration, management, communication, etc. They offer flexible models for different kinds of projects to boost performance pace, quality, and scalability. Some of them offer a pilot period prior to long-term commitment to help you ensure high-quality, test your team, and scale faster.

 
 

An Opportunity to Make a Difference

 

By hiring professionals from Palestine, your company would be impacting the lives of many talented, hardworking, young people and women who suffer from the limitation of opportunity in this region. For example, hiring teams of Palestinian developers would contribute to the growth of Palestine’s economy. Youth unemployment in Palestine is one of the highest global rates of youth unemployment: over 58% of college students are unemployed. In Gaza, for example, about two-thirds of those in the labor force are unemployed. About 1,000,000 new jobs are needed to reduce unemployment to 10% by 2030.
Moreover, Palestinian women, who suffer from movement restrictions and social boundaries, are among the most educated in the Middle East. The ecosystem in the West Bank and Gaza has one of the highest participation rates of female entrepreneurs of the ecosystems analyzed by the World Bank. Even though 52% of computer science students are women, 83% are unemployed due to local challenges. These women would love to work for global tech companies to prove their worth and discover their true potential.


 

About MENA Alliances

MENA Alliances is a nearshoring company – for-profit with a social mission- that aims to provide a high-quality remote workforce on-demand. It desires to solve the problem of a local talent shortage for automation while creating economic opportunities for women and young people in the MENA region. Our teams have the ability to scale in a short time and handle small to large projects.

We are on a mission to alleviate poverty and injustice in the MENA region by creating jobs for women and young people in this region. So far, we have trained more than 3000 women and young people and created 700+ job opportunities for disadvantaged people by connecting them with jobs from Europe, the USA (such as Silicon Valley), and the Gulf region.

 
 

Hire vetted developers from Palestine Now!!
Contact us:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: +97 059-938-8102
Whatsapp: +44 7380 980791

MENA Coding School

 

About MENA Coding School

 

Throughout our long years of experience in the nearshoring and freelancing field and our direct interaction with both global tech companies and Palestinian talents, we realized the chronic shortage of technical learning opportunities in Palestine and the growing demand for tech talents worldwide. Thus we launched a coding program in cooperation between MENA Alliances and CodeYourFuture. It’s an intensive & inclusive programming course for graduates, women, and unemployed youth in Palestine who want to become professional software developers in the tech industry.  It aims at reducing the unemployment rate in Palestine by equipping many students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become professional developers, creating global learning communities, connecting them with international and local tech companies to increase their chances of finding job opportunities in the tech industry.

 

Our Approach

 

The program includes a vocational blended (online & face to face) training that requires 30 hours a week of self-learning, group studies, practical training, and remote working. The students are going to learn two courses; a self-paced Intro to Coding course and an 8-month Full-Stack Development course. The program is flexible and inclusive, and it does not require the previous technical experience. It also offers support to cover any expenses needed to lower barriers for students to join the program. The program also involves events and workshops with local and international industry experts and business owners to promote Palestinian tech talents to the international market. 

 

The code training program stands on three pillars: 


Led by women

 

Provide a space for talented professional women to lead and thrive in tech. Based on our strong belief that women only need equal opportunities to shine and reveal their capabilities especially in the tech industry, we placed our training program in the hands of female leaders who showed potential for success and they never let us down!

 

Making Connections

 

In Palestine, youths and women are isolated and disconnected from the whole world due to political and social restrictions, which deprives them of having good opportunities to gain more experience and widen their horizons. Therefore, we launched “Ya3ni Talk”,  to provide a safe space for women and young generations to connect with the world while learning how to improve themselves both personally and professionally!
The program offers mentoring, soft-skills coaching, and a global and diverse learning community for our students. Throughout the previous months, we have delivered many Ya3ni Talk sessions on various topics, such as time management, learning new languages, building a professional online brand, setting Goals, etc. Through these sessions, we connect our students with local, regional, and international like-minded experts (writers, entrepreneurs, and tech recruiters, etc.) to help them build their diverse network and improve their hard and soft skills.


Learn & Earn

 

The program goes the extra mile by offering the students a unique opportunity to learn to code and earn money at the same time. As they work on micro-job projects, they will learn how to work on a team, respect deadlines, communicate professionally, manage their time, and improve their remote skills. As a result, they will have the opportunity to promote their self-sufficiency and sense of responsibility.

 

MENA Coding School Updates:



 

Technical and Personal Coaches  

 

Throughout this program, we aim not only at training our students on programming, but we are rather working on creating a diverse tech community in which students, mentors, technical and personal development coaches, and ambassadors all collaborate and support each other to reach their ultimate career goals. So far our program is led & supported by 11 ambassadors, 19 technical mentors, and 17 personal development coaches from the UK, USA, Tunisia, Jordan, UAE, and Palestine who are willing to support our mission in helping Palestinian women and youth pursue their dreams and land jobs in the tech industry. 

Awareness Workshops 

 

We conducted more than 10 awareness workshops (remote) to introduce the program to the women and young people in Gaza and the West bank and we collaborated with universities in the West Bank and Gaza. The workshops resulted in receiving more than 730 applicants. 

 








Students 

 

Over the past three months, more than 300 students from both Gaza and Hebron have joined the program; 241 from Gaza and 98 from Hebron. At the end of December 2020, 70 of them have finished the first phase (Intro To Coding), and they became eligible for the interview that separates them from the next phase. Finally, we ended up with 34 passionate students, who have the desire to master both technical and soft skills and complete this journey to become web developers.

 

Next Steps

 

We have started the program with the “Intro To Coding” phase that was available for anyone who has the desire to enter the tech field. It’s a self-paced stage where the students have a free online course supported by a community of tech professionals to help them get started. Students had to learn the basics of coding, build web projects and get an introduction to the five key employability skills needed for any professional job.





In the next phase (Fundamentals Course), 34 students will learn the fundamentals of coding and the key skills that will prepare them to enter the Full Stack course which will be the last and the most specialized and intensive vocational phase. They will build a core understanding of programming and computational thinking, learn advanced tools that are used by global tech companies, and practice interpersonal skills that all employers want; such as problem-solving, critical thinking adaptability, and teamwork which will get them an interview at tech companies. 


 
We’ll keep you up to date with our news, so keep tuned!! 

 

MENA Coding School | 2020-2021

2016 Recap and Going Forward in 2017

abeer
Happy New Year!  As 2017 begins to dawn, and we close out 2016, it seems like a great time to reflect on the happenings and accomplishments of MENA Alliances; the journey we have taken to get to where we are; and the plans we have for an exciting and  bright future.  

 

I would like to start by telling you how much I appreciate each staff member, contractor, client, partner and friend that supports MENA Alliances. I recognize we would not be where we are without the contributions made by each and every one of you.  Thank you.

 

It is with great pride that I can say we have made progress over the last twelve months. That said, there is always room for improvement, and we will be working hard to build on last year’s achievements. The team and our contractors pool at MENA Alliances is extremely passionate about our clients and how our services can help and support your project and business. By enabling others to succeed, we ourselves succeed.

 

2016 Highlights

  1. 62 jobs completed in the following fields this year:
  2. Projects with clients around the world, including: United States, Switzerland, India, the Gulf Region, Jordan and Palestine
  3. Over 70 contractors from the West Bank, Gaza  and Egypt engaged to implement these projects/jobs
  4. Over 45% of our contractors were women
  5. No cost contractor webinars produced specifically with the objectives of enabling MENA Alliances Group contractors to become more profitable, productive and successful with their work

 

Upcoming in 2017

 

  1. Series of solution-oriented webinars for our customers beginning in 1st quarter 20172017
  2. Experts from around the world will continue to deliver online webinars and training for our freelancers/contractors to bridge the skills gap between the West and Middle East markets and workforces. Webinar topics will include the latest trends in the global market for freelancer/contractors’ specific fields, and insights/tips on negotiation skills, pricing, ways of winning work and how to advance performance
  3. Success stories of our freelancers/contractors from different countries will be shared, providing an insights into the key factors that contributed to their success
  4. Widening our contractor pool to include Jordanian and Syrian refugee contractors
  5. Strategic alliances with Universities, NGOs, Businesses and Donors will continue to be built and enhanced

 

I, along with the entire MENA Alliances team, want to thank you for the huge support you have shown to us as a valued clients, contractors and friends. Through your trust and confidence in us, we are able to harness innovative technology and business solutions and bring them to your business while simultaneously empowering  the talent of women and youth in MENA.

 

If there is anything that we can do to improve our services to you, I will listen.  please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Sincerely

Abeer Abu Ghaith

Founder & CEO

MENA Alliances

[email protected]
 

"Tech Entrepreneurs Willing to Change the World" Malaga, Spain

During September 2016, the CEO of MENA Alliances  participated as a speaker in a session entitled, “Tech Entrepreneurs Willing to Change the World” at EmodeaLIVE 2016 in Malaga, Spain.  EmoderaLIVE 2016 focused on civic technology as an engine for social change and the role of brave, entrepreneurial women, promoters of this change worldwide.

سحشهى

During the conference, Abeer Abu Ghaith talked about MENA Alliances and how it focused on promoting opportunities for women and youth in Palestine and the Middle East  by connecting them with the global market through offering online jobs and training. Abu Ghaith talked about facing challenges such as Israeli occupation, social and cultural challenges. She also explained how she used technology to overcome these challenges and help others through her company business model.

 

2She described how successful the project has been in Palestine and says “after improving the model in Palestine, I want to help more women and youth in the MENA region to be connected with job opportunities around the world.”

Abu Ghaith added, “Many women in the Arab World live in cultures with: conservative attitudes; restriction on women’s geographic mobility; and limitations in career and job choices. This leads many to take the option of marrying and staying home to raise children. In addition, within the culture of the Arab World, many types of jobs are considered inappropriate for females, such as work in construction, technical and engineering professions. Working online is an option that allows women to not be forced to choose between work and marriage. Working online gives them a chance to experience both.”
 
Click on the following link to watch MENA Alliances CEO speech

EmpoderaLIVE is an international symposium about social innovation that has received the participation of personalities like Jack Dorsay (co-founder of Twitter) and David Kobia (cofounder of Ushahidi).

 

Proven Rules for Success from an Inspiring Woman Freelancer

I am Sara. I am a 29-year-old Egyptian professional who makes my living as a translator. My degree is from the English Department of the Faculty of Languages, Ain Shams University. My favorite pastimes/hobbies are reading, walking, and travelling. I am single and my greatest ambition is to work for the United Nations one day.

When you work in a field that provides a service that thousands of others also offer, success becomes quite challenging. It took me almost six years in the translation field to learn two important rules that I always follow:

RULE ONE : I Will be NEVER too good

to learn

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There is always space for improvement and doing better, and there will be always an extra mile to go. Don’t get disheartened by the poor quality and dozens of mistakes you make in the beginning. Instead, make those mistakes the driving force that leads you to new achievements.

 
 
 

RULE TWO : Maintain a GOOD cooperative relationship with others

 

GettyImages-558948367-574e42d15f9b585165983c88This rule played an important role in my small journey as a translator so far. You can market yourself as much as you can, you can shout from the rooftops: “I am the best, hire me!” but unless you have others’ support and the positive word-of-mouth working for you and your services, you will not go very far.Try also to master a third or a fourth language.
 
Mastering two languages only is no longer sufficient in our field, but do not forget that the keyword here is ‘master’. Don’t even think about learning a third language if you are not EXCELLENT enough in your second language.
 

 
 

 

Don’t start working in translation if you have not mastered your own native language.

 

“Don’t make promises you can’t keep”

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Similarly, don’t commit to projects you know you can’t finish with the best quality and on time no matter how tempting the money may be. After all, it is your reputation that is at stake, and you don’t want to risk it — no matter what. Treat clients with respect and utmost commitment, and treat your tasks with love.

One of my great mentors once told me “treat any task you work on as if it was your son. Love it. Nurture it. And it will support you later like a son does when he gets older with his parents.”
He was right in every single word. Good work speaks for the worker, and that’s how good translation tasks support the translator. They make a mark. They make an echo. And they make you proud and successful.

 

“Don’t sell your skills cheap”

After gaining enough proven experience, it is normal to adjust the prices of the services you provide according to the market around you and the level of quality you offer. Don’t settle for low payment because the work flow is continuous and regular. After all, a job that does not fulfill your ambitions and does not raise your expectations is not worth having. Always look ahead.

 

My primary tool for finding work would be LinkedIn. I use it to look for companies that work in the same field, then I apply to cooperate with them. Some of the tools I use In my work include: CAT tools, such as Trados 2007, Trados Studio, Loc Studio, Wordfast, Passolo, Workspace Xliff Editor, SDLX, MemoQ, Across, etc.

To sum up, I guess the most important things to do to be a successful translator are to work hard and improve yourself constantly; maintain fruitful collaborative relationships; read the future’s challenges and prepare for them; and finally, have confidence in your abilities and skills.