2016 Recap and Going Forward in 2017

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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.

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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.

 

MENA Alliances participated in ExpoTech Technology Conference 2016

On Nov 28th, the CEO of MENA Alliances Group, Abeer Abu Ghaith, participated in a session entitled, “ Innovation and Startups in Palestine” at ExpoTech Technology Conference 2016 held in Ramallah. During the session, the speakers talked about the Palestinian innovation experience; the key enablers for startups; and what makes for a successful entrepreneur.

 

4EXPOTECH is a major week-long event that is held annually in the West Bank and Gaza Strip under the patronage of His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas to expose the ICT sector in Palestine.  The event serves as a vehicle for discussing state-of-the-art technological trends locally and globally through an IT Exhibition and a series of “IT Conference Days” which include a Business and Technology Forum.

 
 

In its 13th year, EXPOTECH 2016 was organized by Palestinian Information Technology Association (PITA) for five consecutive days to showcase the success stories of ICT Palestinian businesses. Entrepreneurs and other businesses were welcomed to a national week highlighting the global technological trends, business and investment opportunities and addressing the continuing importance of building IT awareness and potential growth for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Client Story: B100Ragl

Asmaa Guedira, Program Manager at Womanity Foundation, comments
 

asmaa” MENA Alliances has provided quality work to help design and develop our website, and they are very reactive when needed. We are happy and proud to work with a company created by Palestinian women. “

 

Website: http://b100ragl.com/

 
 
 

The Client

Womanity is a private philanthropic Foundation established in 2005 in Switzerland. It is also registered in the United Kingdom and the USA. Womanity works around the world to empower girls and women to shape their future and accelerate progress in their communities.

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Womanity and  its programme partners produced an exclusive Arabic radio fiction, Worth 100 Men (Be 100 Ragl in Arabic). The series follows the story of Noha, an intrepid young radio journalist, who confronts gender discrimination in the workforce, in family, and the social sphere. Noha challenges prejudice and oppression, and becomes a role model for the whole community. The series covers divorce, domestic violence, sexual harassment, women’s access to education and professional careers, the status of single women in traditional society, and healthy romantic relationships.

In addition to online conversations, the Womanity Foundation is partnering with a range of grassroots organizations to host a “B 100 Ragl Tour”. The tour will center on a series of events across the Middle East and North Africa. Through a mix of online and community-based debate, Womanity is looking to challenge audiences to develop creative solutions to the issues that plague their societies.

 

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The Challenge

  1. Rapid growth due to popularity of the captivating fiction series across different countries resulted in the need for translation to help reach wider audiences
  2. The topics that Noha and her friends deal with on the series struck a chord with viewers, so there was an increased need for more information about relevant topics
  3. Creating an online Tour calendar of the “B100 Ragel” program to keep the audience updated about upcoming events
  4. Highlighting success stories for women of the MENA region

 

The Solution

 

  1. MENA Alliances  developed and designed a new responsive dual-language (Arabic and English) website for Womanity to showcase the Be 100 Ragl” series
  2. MENA Alliances  provided translation and localization services to Womanity for expanding the audience
  3. MENA Alliances developed subtitling for the “Be 100 Ragl” video episodes series, so that a larger audience would have the opportunity to view the program
  4. MENA Alliances created calendar for B100 Ragel Tour to keep audience updated about upcoming events.

Results

  1. “B100 Ragel” Program at Womanity foundation has an online platform to promote “B100 Ragel” episodes and to increase awareness about the challenges that face Arab women
  2. Inspiration for other women by sharing women’s success stories online
  3. Increase conversation rate on social media networks through add social media plugins within the “B100 Ragel” website
  4. Through MENA Alliances localization and translation services, “B100 Ragel” program reached a larger audience around the world  

 

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Next Steps

Womanity Foundation assigned MENA Alliances as the sole provider of maintenance services for the B100 Ragelwebsite.
 
 
 

Enjoy watching “B100 Ragl” episodes by visiting B100 Ragl website: www.b100ragl.com

Client Story: Lamsat Ummi

Dr. Fayeq  Oweis, Founder of Lamsat Ummi, explains his experience with MENA Alliances   


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I worked with MENA Alliances team to have a website developed for my initiative, Lamsat Ummi (My Mother’s Touch), and I am very pleased with their professional work, dedication, and excellent services.  I am very happy with  how the website turned out, and the team was very helpful from day one and throughout the whole development process. Thank you very much and I hope we will use your services for future projects.
Website: lamsatummi.com

 

The Client

 

lamsat-ummi-vector1-logo“Lamsat Ummi”, a non-profit and cooperative project that empowers women, especially mothers, in marginalized societies and refugee camps while striving to preserve the Palestinian art of embroidery.  This endeavor is the brainchild and passion of Dr. Fayeq Oweis.

 

He created it in honor of his beloved mother, who inspired his art and love for embroidery. Each “Lamsat Ummi” hand-made product combines Arabic poetry with Kufic Arabic calligraphy designed by Dr. Fayeq Oweis and is embroidered by hand. The name “Lamsat Ummi” means “My Mother’s Touch” and it was inspired by the words of Palestinian poet  Mahmoud Darwish : “I yearn for the bread of my mother, her coffee and her touch.

 

The Challenge

 

Lamsat Ummi wanted t0:

  1. Enable the works of these women/mothers to be a source of income to them through selling their products through lamsat Ummi online platform  for customers around the world
  2. Build an effective online platform that would enable the embroidered products to be promoted and sold around the world
  3. Create more jobs for marginalized/refugee women
  4. Outspread the word about the importance of supporting this project and buying these goods

 

The Solution 

 

  1. MENA Alliances Group addressed the issues through knowledge and experience with their own10922875_875747335796824_7011778559512452045_n (1)staff of women who are empathetic to the challenges of refugee women/marginalized peoples
  2. MENA Alliances Group advised on best methods of getting the product to market
  3. MENA Alliances Group designed and developed an online platform to market and sell Lamsat Ummi products
  4. Online payment methods were integrated through the Lamsat Ummi Website
  5. Women’s stories were shared over the website to inspire actions by others around the world
  6. Highlighting the activities of the Lamsat Ummi – reinvestment of profits back into the empowerment of women empowerment through: training and scholarships, creating a  blog, Meet the Artisans, and Donate pages within Lamsat Ummi Platform.

 

Take a tour of Lamsat Ummi Platform  lamsatummi.com. Don’t forget to give us your feedback!

 

Results

Lamsat Ummi Project launched a responsive online platform by testing the responsive design across all devices to ensure a great customer experience.
To increase sales of Lamsat Ummi products, MENA Alliances …..

 

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  1. Developed an online store to sell women’s embroidery products
  2. Connected the platform with social media plugins such as Instagram, Facebook, etc.
  3. Integrated the online payment methods into the platform to enable customers around the world to buy the women’s products

 
 
 
 

2To promote the social impact of lamsat Ummi project, MENA Alliances Group  enabled….

 

  1. Sharing the stories behind the women producers of the unique embroidery products by creating “Meet the Artisans” page

 
 

Client Story: Masmoo3

Ala’a Suliman, CTO at Masmoo3 in Jordan, explains:

 

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“We no longer need to divide jobs to be carried out by so many people. We just deliver the work to MENA Alliances and they do it professionally. We like the flexibility and full cooperation, working hard to meet our demands, prioritizing and delivering work on time.”  

 
 

Website: www.masmoo3.com

 
 

The Client

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Masmoo3 is the first specialized digital audio book production and publishing house in the Arab world. They aim to offer Arabic speakers easy access to a digital audio library for arabic books.

The Challenge

  1. Hiring qualified team members to accomplish large amount of work in a timely manner
  2. Reduce their operational expenses and save more money
  3. Prioritizing the large amount of work to be done

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The Solution

  1. MENA Alliances vetted, tested and hired a  team of  12 contractors in the West Bank and Gaza to
    assist with completing Masmoo3 translation and
    localization work based on their projects.
  2. MENA Alliances oversaw and provided quality control for the work compl
    eted by the team of contractors
  3. MENA Alliances managed Masmoo3’s projects and the team of contractors at the formation“Tashkeel” part in Masmoo3 work process.

 
 
 

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  1. Masmoo3 reduced their operational expenses through outsourcing their secondary business functions to MENA Alliances
  2. Masmoo3 is able to accomplish a larger number of projects and increased workload
  3. Masmoo3 and  MENA Alliances continue their cooperation working on a variety of projects.

 

Improve your reading and listening comprehension in Arabic through Masmoo3 audio books”   http://www.masmoo3.com/

 

MENA Alliances story presented in the information event of ENI CBC Med Programme, Ramallah, Palestine

On October 26th, the CEO of MENA Alliances was invited to share her success story with an audience of Palestinian actors at the launching of the new ENI CBC Med Programme 2014-2020 in Ramallah.

 
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The event was organised by the Programme’s Branch Office for the Eastern Mediterranean in close collaboration with the Managing Authority and the Office of the Prime Minister of Palestine. The aim of the event were to inform local actors such universities, NGOs, private and government institutions  about the opportunities the new Programme offers, as well as to raise awareness among the potential applicants and partners on the main features of cross-border cooperation in the Mediterranean and challenges to tackle in the preparation and implementation of joint projects.

Client Story: ServiceAlliances

Christine Hobbi, President & CEO of ServiceAlliances says:  


photoMENA Alliances is a tremendous asset for ServiceAlliances. We worked with MENA Alliances on several projects between the US, Qatar and Palestine. The team was fully engaged and passionate on each and every project we did and are continuing to do. I am very happy with end results and our partnership and the opportunity to make a difference in the world! “  

 
 
 

Website: www.servicealliances.com

 

The Client

ServiceAlliances is a RSR (Remote Services Resourcing) organization based in the United States. It offers 1d018e61-68a0-4a8e-9648-db5288badab5business innovations to small, medium and large organizations with a positive social impact. Its goal through the provided services of training, social media, web design, translation and localization, as well as IT development is to enrich the lives of people and improve the efficiency of organizations by building service alliances and filling service needs around the world.

 

 

The Challenge

  1. “Getting the word out” about services offered
  2. Finding ways (through social media) to bridge the gap between the West and Middle East markets and workforces
  3. Targeting organizations/leaders that are expanding to new markets both in the U.S./Western Countries and the MENA Region

 

The Solution

  1. MENA Alliances designed and developed the ServiceAlliances’ website
  2. MENA Alliances partnered with ServiceAlliances in bringing work from organizations in United States.
  3. MENA Alliances provided translation services to ServiceAlliances
  4. MENA Alliances and ServiceAlliances partnered to offer training and webinars for MENA contractors to bridge skills gap between the West and Middle East markets and workforces

Results

  1. MENA Alliances and ServiceAlliances maintain an ongoing partnership in reaching a variety of markets for solutions-oriented services
  2. MENA Alliances and ServiceAlliances partnered to offer training and webinars for MENA contractors to bridge skills gap between the West and Middle East markets and workforces

 
 

Client Story: Palestenian Start-Up

 

The Client

A startup, on-demand delivery service for eCommerce, local businesses and individuals at the touch of an app that summons a fleet of freelance couriers in the MENA region that also would hold packages at local collection points for convenient delivery times.
 

The Challenge

  1. Creating jobs while providing hassle-free logistics network to move packages quickly and efficiently to their ultimate destination
  2. Building a network of freelancers to make deliveries
  3. Partnering with clients that will order services

 

The Solution

  • MENA Alliances provided the client their expertise and experience with startups
  • MENA Alliances developed and designed a target profile and presentation to for use with potential partners
  • MENA Alliances gathered the information needed by the startup to build a strong market entry strategy in their target market including setting parameters of research and gathering the needed information

 

Results

MENA Alliances continues acting as a resource on the ground in the target market to help this startup begin closing deals/agreements. At the client’s directive, MENA Alliances represents it in phone calls and meetings and act as a local point of contact for communication between the startup and its targets.