A collage of experiences in Jordan as told by TechWomen.
Against the backdrop of Petra, a wonder of the ancient world, forty-five women from eight countries said their goodbyes last week. The TechWomen delegation concluded with stronger bonds and increased cultural understanding between mentors and emerging leaders.
“Exciting,” and “inspired,” were some of the words used by participants to describe the events and opportunities for connectivity during the journey. The delegation participated in a networking conference at Princess Sumaya University for Technology, where Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya delivered welcoming remarks. The participants also met with N2V, one of the largest internet holding groups in Arabia focused on value creation through building and investing in Arabic consumer web and mobile ventures; INJAZ, an independent non-profit that was founded under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah with the mission to inspire and prepare young Jordanians to become productive members in their society and succeed globally; Amman Tech Tuesday, a monthly event that brings industry experts, local technologists, entrepreneurs and idea generators together in a casual setting to meet and learn from one another; and Oasis 500, a leading early stage and seed investment company, the first of its kind in Jordan and the MENA region.
When Evelyn Zoubi applied to the 2012 TechWomen program, she did not believe she would be accepted. As a 25-year-old Jordanian entrepreneur, she faced a myriad of obstacles. Some even laughed at her ideas. But she did not give up.
In 2007, Evelyn was a visionary student at a top Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) university in the Middle East. During her time as a student, she often mulled about the impression she made on people. In her opinion, wardrobe plays a big part in creating lasting imprints on people’s minds. “At the time, I often did not know what to wear and I would take a moment to remember if I had worn something twice in a row with the same person,” said Evelyn. “It was at this time that I began experimenting with digitizing my wardrobe. Most investment panelists underestimated the need women had for clothing related technologies. But to her surprise, the most supportive individuals were the ones that comprehended the concept of digitizing wardrobe the least, her professors. “My professor thought it was a great idea and strongly encouraged me to pursue it,” said Evelyn.
An engraved cedar wood business card holder from Lebanon serves as a souvenir from the 2012 TechWomen program for Lexi Curtice, Program Coordinator. The gift is a small reminder of the larger impact the women who departed the United States three weeks prior, left behind, on staff. “Being part of TechWomen is a very rewarding and enriching experience. The program is really intense. You learn a lot from the participants and you give them a piece of yourself,” said Lexi. “Everyone crossed borders and created new networks. My eyes were opened to a lot of possibilities.”