15-member Palestinian Delegation Return from Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Jerusalem – The American Consulate General in Jerusalem sponsored 15 Palestinians’ participation in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Marrakech, Morocco last week, demonstrating the U.S. government’s continued support for economic development in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza. The Palestinian delegation was one of the largest at the summit, which attracted as many as 4,000 entrepreneurs and business, government, and thought leaders from across the world.

“Everywhere in the world, it is the private sector – not the government – that is the engine for economic growth,” Consul General Michael Ratney said. “A major goal of our work at the American Consulate General in Jerusalem is to help support the growth of the Palestinian private sector, to encourage Palestinian economic growth and the creation of new jobs.”

On Monday, Consul General Ratney welcomed the returning Gaza delegates at his Jerusalem home to hear about their experiences in Morocco. Ahmad Al Buraei talked about reaching a deal with a Georgian firm to develop 3-D printer software. Mariam Abuetawi said she had a chance to speak directly with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden about her optimism as an entrepreneur despite the challenges of living in Gaza. A complete list of delegation participants is below.

Delegation Facts:

  • 15 delegates
  • 5 female delegates
  • 7 Gaza delegates
  • 2 delegates under the age of 18
  • 7 West Bank delegates
  • 1 Jerusalem delegate

For more information please contact the U.S. Consulate General’s Press Office at 02-622-6908 or 02-622-6909 or Hassna Dajani at 054-6620257.

About GES

The United States has played a prominent role in organizing five Global Entrepreneurship Summits that have elevated entrepreneurship on the global agenda. These summits have opened up new markets for products and encouraged policymakers to break down barriers to business. This year’s GES in Marrakech was led by Vice President Biden and included many senior U.S. government officials. With a focus on technology, this year’s summit gave participants the opportunity to discover some of the latest trends and tools driving the next wave of innovators.

The American Consulate General would like to congratulate all of the members of the delegation on their participation in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and wish them great success in developing businesses that will employ Palestinians and allow the Palestinian economy to develop and thrive.

Palestinian Participants – Global Entrepreneurship Summit – Marrakech, Morocco

1. Saleh Abdul Rahman Alzeriai
Residence: Gaza

Alzeriai is co-founder of Simulative Home Culture Learning. The company is a mobile application that teaches children how to grow plants in their garden or rooftop. The application enables users to compare and measure a plant’s growth rate, giving children information about gardening as well as providing them with healthy produce.

2. Manal Z. A. Salim
Residence: Gaza

Salim is co-founder of Color Vision. She has a BA degree in communication engineering from the Islamic University in Gaza. She worked as application developer at “1st Magic Key
company” from May 2013 to Jan. 2014, where she managed the mobile development team. She has also worked as project director in BSCR – Gaza. Established in 2013, Color Vision is a startup company that produces mobile applications that focus on vision. Salim started the company after winning third place in an economic recovery competition held by Picti and Oxfam.

3. Mohammaed Yousef
Residence: Gaza

Yousef is the co-founder and developer of Iplay and Learn, which involves developing educational games for children in the Arab world. Yousef also develops IT systems and programs for organizations and companies throughout Gaza. Yousef and his team won the 2012 Celebration of Innovation, a nation-wide competition of entrepreneurs hosted by Palestine for a New Beginning (PNB).

4. Mariam Mohammad Abed Abuetawi
Residence: Al Nusairat ,Gaza

Abuetawi is the CEO and Founder of Wasselni Company. She is 25 years old and has a bachelor’s degree in formation technology from the Islamic University of Gaza. She has four years of experience in the startup field. Wasselni is a social network for sharing and ordering taxis. Users can follow each other to share their transportation experiences. During GES, Abuetawi met U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden and participated in a roundtable discussion with him.

5. Ahmad Abdel Sattar Ahmad Al Buraei
Residence: Deir Al Balah, Gaza

Al Buraei is the CEO of Fabraca Company. He holds a BA in Industrial Engineering from the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG). Al Buraei is currently working on his MBA from IUG while working as well as the project coordinator in the Palestinian Wood Industry. At GES, Al Buraei struck a deal with a Georgian firm to develop 3-D printer software. Al Buraei also gave a video presentation about his startup company, Fabraca, during the Celebration of Innovation event in Ramallah on Nov. 23.

6. Mohammad Mohammad Ibrahim Awwad
Residence: Gaza

Dr. Awwad is the CEO of DWBI Company. He has a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, and a master’s degree in information technology, as well as a Ph.D. in software engineering and data warehousing. In addition to his research experience, he has nine years industrial experience. Currently he is the IT Unit Director at University of Palestine. As the CEO and marketing manager of DWBI, Dr. Awad also performs tasks involving analysis, design, testing and evaluation of the software activities.

7. Reham Arrar Kamel Alwaheidi
Residence: Gaza

Alwaheidi is a Palestinian businesswoman and an expert in development. She is currently the owner and chairperson of Al Athar Global Consulting, Inc. Alwaheidi leads the company’s business development efforts and extends business services to a diversified pool of clients in the MENA region. With more than 14 years of professional experience, Alwaheidi has a client portfolio that includes multiple local, regional and international development agencies and organizations. She is an active volunteer in a number of Palestinian and international nongovernmental organizations and private sector institutions. Alwaheidi is a certified Association Management Executive from the International School of Association Management (ISAM), California and holds an undergraduate degree in pharmacy.

8. Omar Farook Nabeel Beshtawi
Residence: Nablus

Beshtwawi was one of 10 winners in the Consulate General-funded Science Technology and Entrepreneurship Program (STEP), a nationwide competition organized by Al-Nayzak that attracted hundreds of participants. Beshtawi’s entrepreneurial idea – a web site and Smartphone application – allows travelers in the West Bank and some areas in the U.S. and elsewhere to easily plan their vacations and other trips. Omer is a student at Holy Qur’an Academy in Nablus.

9. Mohamed S.M. Hasarma
Residence: Ramallah

Hasarma is a student at Mohammad Ben Rashed Al Maktoum public school in Ramallah. He won first place in the Consulate General-funded Science Technology and Entrepreneurship Program (STEP), organized by Al-Nayzak. He and a fellow student co-developer created a seatbelt that contains an electric magnet that releases once a vehicle has stabilized after an accident, allowing the passenger to be removed from the vehicle by emergency responders. Additionally, the seatbelt contains an electronic mechanism to report GPS coordinates of the accident to emergency responders. Mohamed has applied for a patent for his entrepreneurial idea with the Palestinian Authority’s Patent Office and is awaiting final approval on the patent.

10. Fadi Saeed Jadallah Kattan
Residence: Bethlehem

Dr. Kattan is the dean of the Shukri Ibrahim Dabdoub Faculty of Business Administration and chairman of the accounting department at Bethlehem University. Dr. Kattan has extensive experience in helping business students and startup companies in the Bethlehem area. He is currently working on a project with the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in the United States to provide consulting services for Palestinian businesses with a strong potential to grow. The program is supported by the American Consulate General in Jerusalem.

11. Ali Rashad Ali Ramadan
Residence: Hebron

Ramadan received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Al Quds University in 2003, and a higher diploma and master’s degrees in computer studies from Amman Arab University, Jordan, in 2004 and 2005, respectively. In 2011, he became the coordinator for the business incubator unit in the Center of Excellence, at Palestine Polytechnic University, where he coordinates entrepreneurship projects. He recently returned from a six-week training course in India called “Promoting Innovations & Entrepreneurship through Incubation.”

12. Hani Alami
Residence: Jerusalem

Hani Alami is CEO of Cool Net and co-founder of JEST (Jerusalem Entrepreneurs Society and Technology). JEST aims to attract top ICT graduates and existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, filling gaps between their knowledge and experience and the needs of the market. Alami is a Palestinian telecommunications expert who established a number of telecommunications companies. Coolnet is an Internet service provider (ISP) that operates high-speed Internet services using ADSL technology, among other technologies. Coolnet also carries out projects for Israeli companies like Bynet and Radwin and serves as a project contractor in the Arab sector for the Israeli telecommunications company Cellcom and for Israel’s largest telecommunications group, Bezeq.

13. Rawan Subhi Mahmoud Abushaeera
Residence: Ramallah

Abushaeera is the COO and co-founder of Khzante Company. She is a psychology and sociology graduate from Birzeit University. She is currently working as the marketing manager at PinchPoint, a local gaming startup. She has been in training with Leaders organization to obtain better marketing and business development knowledge.

14. Ameer Althayabeh
Residence: Hebron

Ameer Althayabeh joined Palestine Polytechnic University in 2010, where he studied business administration. Althayabeh participated in the Global Business Institute (GBI) program in 2012. GBI is a month-long intensive and immersive entrepreneurship preparatory program for 100 Middle East and North African (MENA) college students at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, in partnership with the Coca-Cola Company and the U.S. Department of State.

15. Maysoun Odeh Gangat
Residence: Ramallah

Maysoun Odeh Gangat has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the American University in Washington, DC. In 2005, she established and managed the first English radio station in the region, RAM FM. In 2008, Maysoun joined the USAID project Netham (the Rule of Law) as a public relations and media manager. In April 2009, she helped establish the first commercial radio station for women in the region. Since then she has been the director of Nisaa FM radio station in Ramallah.