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7 Arab Americans on Forbes 30 Under 30

posted on: Jan 4, 2017

BY: Nisreen Eadeh/Staff Writer

Forbes released its annual 30 Under 30 list on Tuesday, kicking off the New Year with stories of success and optimism. The list includes 20 categories ranging from media to medicine to sports and entrepreneurship. Each category lists 30 rising stars in their respective fields, and Arab Americans were present among those honored.

Arab America pulled the names and biographies of those whose Arab identities we were. Each person gives hope to the region and community for a bright future filled with innovation, creativity, and development.

1. Hany Rashwan, 26, Enterprise Technology

Image Credit: Ars Technica

Hany Rashwan, a Cairo native currently living in San Francisco, joins the list of dropouts who made it big without a college degree. While attending Columbia University, Rashwan built the “buy buttons” on Facebook and Twitter through his first startup, Ribbon. He then left Columbia University to found his second startup,, a tool used by major online moneylenders to receive loan payments and other funds.

2. Khaled Abdel Rahman, 25, Games

Image Credit: Forbes

Khaled Abdel Rahman moved to California after earning his Bachelors at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He earned a Masters at the University of Southern California, where he currently teaches game development. Abdel Rahman tops the Forbes list this year for his concept and design of the massively successful mobile game Pokémon GO, which took the world by storm last summer. The young gamer has also served as project manager on Google Cast Game’s remote display project.

3. Alaa Murabit, 27, Healthcare

Image Credit: CBC

Alaa Murabit is a Libyan “whiz kid” and current high-level commissioner at the United Nations in New York. She is the only UN high-level commissioner under the age of 45. After starting medical school at the young age of 15, Murabit returned to her roots towards the end of her studies to start a nonprofit aimed at empowering Libyan women. Murabit also holds a masters degree from the London School of Economics.

4. Sara Minkara, 27, Social Entrepreneurs

Image Credit: Inalienable

Sara Minkara, a legally blind Lebanese American woman from Boston, was inspired to help blind children in developing countries after a visit to Lebanon. During her visit, she realized that many children are not afforded the same support for disabilities, like Americans are fortunate to have. As a result, Minkara founded Empowerment Through Integration, an organization that assists blind children in Lebanon with learning life skills, such as using a computer and walking with a white cane. Minkara holds a masters degree from Harvard University and also runs a summer camp for blind and sighted children.

5. Justin Zayat, 24, Sports

Image Credit: Horses in the Morning

Justin Zayat is an Egyptian American and Vice President of Zayat Stables, a thoroughbred horse racing business founded by his father, Ahmed. Zayat is taking control of his family business, which breeds and owns horse racing winners, including the 2015 Triple Crown winner, American Pharaoh, and the 2012 Kentucky Derby winner, Bodemeister.

6. Michelle Atallah, 26, Science

Image Credit: Mallick Lab

Michelle Atallah, an Arab American of Palo Alto, California, is making waves in the Cancer Biology PhD program at Stanford University. She is currently “designing algorithms to identify mechanisms in tumor-driven immunosuppression.” Atallah collects data on immune cells within tumors using a new technology, Multiplexed Ion Beam Imaging, in order to offer better therapy for cancer patients.

7. Rami Ismail, 30, Entrepreneur

Image Credit: Gamekings

Rami Ismail, an Egyptian, and his fiancé Adriel Wallick are paired together on the 30 Under 30 list for their indie game designs. He is currently a game developer with the Dutch company Vlambeer, which is known for its many independent games, such as Nuclear Throne, Ridiculous Fishing, and Super Crate Box. Ismail travels the world to find fellow developers and share information on advances in the indie game community.