From improving health services in Jordan to empowering women in Egypt and detecting mines in Yemen, five students who took up courses from the One Million Arab Coders (Omac) Initiative have shown how tech and innovation can change lives.
Omac, led by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), selected the top five students coders for their project proposals that tackled crucial social issues and made a difference in their communities in the Arab world.
Their solutions were based on three key pillars: boosting economic growth, providing humanitarian value, and enabling creativity and innovation.
Here are the winning projects and the coding geniuses behind them:
By Farah Mahdi Khudhair, 26 years old
Sanad is an Android application created by Farah, an Iraqi living in Jordan, to make health services cheaper and allow people to access them from the comfort of their homes. It enables users to request an appointment and search for a suitable healthcare facility within their community, in addition to providing a range of services to manage health more effectively. The project is fully functional and can be used every hour.
By Iman Wagdy Selim, 35 years old
With an inspiring vision to empower women, Iman’s 3al faraza gives Egyptian women the opportunity to market their home-made food. It also facilitates delivery to families or individuals who may not have access to these food products. To date, the app has transformed the lives of 800 women across Egypt.
‘Help the Poor’
By Mohamed Sobhy Abdelmageed, 35 years old
Mohamed’s idea for his Android app struck him when he observed several people throwing away old clothes and buying new ones while others were in dire need of clothing. He realised that people always have the intention to donate but are not sure how to go about it. The Egyptian national created the Saaed El Gheir app to connect people to NGOs so that they could reach out to the organisations easily and make donations. The app is currently in the development stage and needs to bring two more non-profits on board before its official launch.
By Saeed Awad Abou Si’ah, 27 years old
Leveraging his learnings from a data analysis course with Omac, Saeed, a Yemen-Hadramaut resident of Saudi Arabia, successfully launched Tammeni, an app that ensures the safety of students across schools in Yemen by enabling real-time location tracking using a bracelet or student card.
By Marwan al Hakimi, 35 years old
Marwan, a passionate computer science genius from Yemen, createda free-to-use mine detector app – which works like Google Maps – to show possible mine regions so that people can avoid them. Furthermore, the app gives advice on what to do and whom to contact, should someone find themselves in a dangerous situation. Landmine Alert has been successful in eliminating mines from three regions and thereby saving lives.
‘Building a brighter tomorrow’
Commending the outstanding student projects, Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, encouraged the young Arab winners to use the knowledge they had gained to serve their communities and build a brighter tomorrow.
“The One Million Arab Coders initiative is keen to present to the world innovative projects, such as smart applications that improve human life and contribute to creating new and diverse job opportunities in various parts of the world. Through this effort, we will continue to encourage young talent and provide them with the opportunity to showcase their ideas and work with experts and specialists to bring these ideas to fruition for the greater good of their communities,” Al Olama said.
Omac also recognised four distinguished mentors who provided exemplary guidance to the students, based on a qualitative assessment of their efforts in supporting learners. The top tutors were Abdulwahid AlJamaly from Yemen, Eyad Raschad from Syria, Basila AlMahli from Syria, and Sara Zehraoui from Morocco.
Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Omac seeks to train one million young Arabs in computer programming, in order to empower and equip them with the skills they need to face the challenges of the future.