This weekend PITAPOLICY attends the 2nd Annual Envision Arabia Summit in New York and will be instructing a Economic Development in the Arab World Workshop. Envision is organized by the Arab Development Initiative: a group of thirty students and recent graduates, all with a passion for development work in the Middle East. They are primarily based in Montreal, Canada – however, their international team of ambassadors facilitate our long-distance work.
The Economic Development Workshop will be building on the business practices from PITAPOLICY Consulting; essays on the PITAPOLICY, Huffington Post, and World Bank blogs; and the lessons learned from co-sponsoring the #ArabDev chats organized by Al Mubadarah. We look forward to sharing how the positive experience got even better with students’ project proposals.
In the meantime, it is with great pleasure to reshare PITAPAL, Chris Schroeder’s, latest piece on tech entrepreneurship in the Arab world. This was originally posted on PandoDaily and continues highlighting Schroeder’s venture capitalist/entrepreneurial observations. His profile of Ms. Yasmin Elayat echoes the poignant discussion that Altmuslimah Founder & Editor, Asma T. Uddin, had with Yasmin Elayat in 2011.
The New Middle East: Women at the Center of a Startup Ecosystem, Part 4
By: Chris M. Schroeder
It’s pretty hard to think of a great consumer facing platform that isn’t, by its nature, social. Should it be surprising, then, that coming off of the Arab Spring uprisings, so often coordinated and communicated through Facebook and Twitter, women entrepreneurs in the Middle East look at consumer-facing platforms and social networking from a unique perspective?
Yasmin Elayat certainly does. Born and raised in Silicon Valley and the daughter of a successful tech entrepreneur, she visited Egypt throughout her childhood each year for three months at a time. In 1997, when her grandfather in Cairo passed away, she and her family decided to move to Egypt. In 2001, studying computer engineering at Santa Clara University at the time, she transferred to the American University of Cairo. Her passions of marrying computer technology with storytelling and interactive design took her later to NYU for a Master’s degree. But the protests in Tahrir squared convinced her to return to Egypt for good.
“In February 2011, I took a huge leap of faith,” says Elayat. ”[I] quit a great job in New York, and moved to Cairo to live off my savings and work full-time on what was essentially an art project that I really believed in.” [Click here to continue]