10 Outstanding People Under 30 from the Arab World
By: Emily Devereaux/ Arab America Contributing Writer The age of thirty is a huge milestone. At this point in life, thirty-year-olds are said to be more focused on life satisfaction, more likely to change careers, and more likely ready to settle down. However, some people seem to find their stride even before hitting this milestone age. Here is a compiled list of ten rising Arabs under 30; they are listed here in no particular order. Their selection was based on their innovative spirit and outstanding work in their respective fields.
Fares is a Lebanese medical doctor, researcher, and scientist. He has dedicated his career to helping solve healthcare problems in the developing world. He has also been selected as one of the Top 10 Young Scientists in the World by Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News. He thanks his family, who are also academically-driven, for his interest in the medical field. Before his career began, Fares earned a B.S. in Biology from the American University of Beirut, where he also attended medical school and achieved his M.D. He also earned an M.S. in Neuropsychology from the Lebanese University Neuroscience Research Center. Upon moving to the United States, he pursued postdoctoral research at Northwestern University, where he studied Neuro-oncology. Finally, he completed a postgraduate medical program in Cancer Biology and Therapeutics at Harvard Medical School.
Mansouri is recognized as the co-founder and CEO of Dabchy, which is a localized fashion marketplace where women can buy and sell their clothing online. This online marketplace currently serves nearly three-hundred-thousand people throughout Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria. Aside from Dabchy, Mansouri also works with TechWomen, which empowers women leaders in STEM from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East. Many admire Mansouri, not only because of her role in TechWomen and empowering other women, but also by helping other people pursue their own startups through advice columns. In her native country, Tunisia, she created an outlet for women to decrease the waste in their closets and ensure the outfits they never wear are able to be used by the buyer on the other end.
As the founder and CEO of Fallound, Fallaha is working on fortifying a startup that aims to nurture people’s minds. This application and software for cars optimize audio content to cater to the commute time and personal leadership. His idea stemmed from the amount of time people spend commuting a week, wasting their free time. Therefore, this app will fill the free time spent sitting in traffic with educational and entertaining content. This ties in with Fallaha’s mission to use technology to influence people into becoming their best selves and maximizing their potential. We can’t wait to see what is next from his startup in his home country of Lebanon!
Sadeem Al Marri
Sadeem Al Marri has been breaking gender roles and norms and advancing technology. Al Marri was born in Saudi Arabia twenty-three years ago. That’s right, twenty-three. Barely over the age of twenty, Al Marri has been breaking the glass ceiling in technology like a boss. Through her job at Tamkeen Technologies, she reached new levels with her 3D printed robotic hand, which translates Arabic texts entered in an app to the equivalent of Arabic sign language. This opens all new possibilities of communication between people who are hearing impaired or hearing and visually impaired. While this was part of her graduation project, it has set her on a path for success. Furthermore, she has been honored at EmTech MENA, a tech conference in Dubai, and MIT Technology Review Arabia.
Similar to Al Marri, Mohammed also strives to create technology that will serve people with hearing impairments. Through his patent-pending technology called Vound, individuals with hearing loss will be able to visualize sound. Mohammed used a combination of augmented reality and artificial intelligence to interpret soundwaves and convert them onto a display screen in a split second. This technology is also more affordable and is priced at only a fraction of cochlear implants or hearing aids. This technology, thanks to Egyptian native Mohammed, is projected to serve 1.3 billion people. Awards won from MIT, Harvard, Intel, and Microsoft have truly been deserved.
Hamidi was born into a family of educators in Morocco. Upon meeting his wife, Naida, who is passionate about her love for reading and education, Hamidi decided he wanted to dedicate his life to teaching. However, in Morrocco, less than fifteen percent of all first-grade students are likely to graduate high school. Specifically, among women and girls, literacy rates are low. Whether these children cannot attend school because they don’t understand, or they have to work in the fields, per his wife’s suggestion, Hamidi began tutoring children through educational technology. Following extensive research, he developed Ed4.0 Mobile, which is a traveling school that goes through remote and rural areas in Morocco to help bridge the gaps in education and foster a love of education and learning among children. Additionally, Hamidi created the Moroccan Library Project, which engages Moroccan children in organizing independent book drives across the country and partnering with schools and communities to start small libraries.
Omar bin Sultan Al Olama
Born in Dubai, Al Olama attended the American University in Dubai and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management. At the age of 27, Al Olama assumed office in the United Arab Emirates as the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. He was appointed this role before the age of thirty in the UAE because of his various experiences in a wide variety of fields, as well as his work in developing the UAE’s Fourth Industrial Revolution. His responsibilities today include overseeing international efforts in the responsible use and ethical use of artificial intelligence. Next, he hopes to tackle more projects related to the energy sector with artificial intelligence.
At the young age of 21, Khatib has found himself celebrated for his work as cinematographer and press officer for the Syrian White Helmets, which is also known as the Syrian Civil Defense that worked to rescue civilians who were affected by the devastating civil war. In the forty-minute Netflix documentary, “The White Helmets,” the group’s rescue missions were recorded. Three rescue workers were followed from their training in Turkey, capturing the moments they put their lives at risk for others. Khatib earned his spot on this list by capturing a great deal of the footage, which included men searching through rubble for survivors to the fear of when the next barrel bomb might be. In order to bring attention and awareness to his home country of Syria, Khatib was instrumental in the filmmaking process. He declined attending the Oscar’s because he believed his labor and presence in helping people was more important than attending an award show.
In 2015, Assem earned the title of the youngest Master Inventor in IBM history. Through his research of smart cities and artificial intelligence, Assem published several papers recognized highly in his field and has put out more than thirty-five patents in different domains. Today, Assem is a technical manager and chief scientist at IBM Dublin. Hailing from Egypt, he has been part of the dynamic functionality of Dublin culture where he moved to pursue a career at IBM. He hopes to develop solutions in artificial intelligence that will make cities more efficient and smart.
Through her time at the American University of Paris, she studied global communications and partnered with the co-founder of Women, Chantelle Dumonceaux. The primary goal of Women is to empower women and accelerate equality through creative content and entrepreneurial experiences. The company was founded in hopes that the content and experiences would foster more women in business and a more inclusive and diverse environment. Their network has the largest number of female entrepreneurs and investors in the Middle East and has assisted in facilitating funding for ten companies.
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