Brave Conversations Palestine 2020

Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th October, 2020

From 10 am to 1 pm Palestine time (7 am to 10 am GMT)

Our first dual-language Brave Conversations held online enabled us to explore ways to reach people from across the globe whose first language isn’t English. We have now followed this up by tailoring our next event to a specific community and ecosystem, the Palestinian Start Up Community drawing emerging entrepreneurs, students, donors, NGOs and business people together from around the Palestinian Territories and Gaza to discuss how they can leverage their unique talents and abilities and create both new business opportunities but also encourage and support young developers and coders as they enter the workforce.

Supported By

Lead Facilitator

Co-Founder & CEO, Code Your Future - Guest Speaker

Consultant, Strategy & Change Management, World Bank - Goest Speaker

Comments from our Participants

Thank you very much for inviting me to this event. It was an amazing group of people and lots of good vibes and the whole event was well organized and moderated. I loved it and wished we had a 3rd day!
(Gabor Toth, Consultant, The World Bank)

Thanks Brave conversation for this amazing gathering with the awesome Palestinian community shapers and future leaders of tomorrow
I’m sure this brave & open talk will lead and enable the creation of open opportunities and open innovation ecosystem for the favour of the Palestinian youth and the Palestinian economy.
(Israa Mousa, SheTech, BTI)

As an outsider to the tech sector, the discussions we had made me realize how much work needs to be done to take the Palestinian ecosystem to higher places. I also learned that it is everyone's responsibility; students, universities, the government, the private sector, etc. One more important thing that I learned today is that the first step towards creating a better ecosystem is starting from the strength points the ecosystem has, and our strength point is human resources. On the personal level, I considered what we said and discussed in the meeting while choosing my MA courses’ options, which means that this meeting has proved to be beneficial for me and my future decisions. The participants answered a lot of questions that I have been thinking about for a long time. For example, as a person struggling to identify my interests and strength points, I found what Gabor said about superpowers. This topic is an effective journaling prompt for self-discovery, and maybe I will write a journal about it tonight.
(Liza Sharabati, Translator Graduate)

Brave Conversations made me feel thankful that I was BRAVE enough to be able to discuss a topic outside of my direct experience to date. I have learned so much more as a result. It just took me a degree of bravery and reminding myself that I wanted to be proud of how I handled the conversation and spoke up.
I really loved the idea of meeting people from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds to address the tech ecosystem in Palestine through some brave, respectful and open conversations, especially in the breakout rooms where we spent some time discussing our points of view on the challenges and hopes to build a tech ecosystem in Palestine and how we could help ourselves to do so. I had a lot of fun getting to know how other people think, what they do in their lives and what they are frustrated from or passionate about. That is definitely one important reason why I see Brave Conversation as a significant opportunity for connection and expanding my horizons.
(Nadin AbuZaid, Fresh Graduate, Gaza)

It was a great honor and pleasure for me to participate in the “Brave Conversations” in Palestine that gave me the courage to share my thoughts with great-minded people and benefit from their experiences as well. Indeed, I enjoyed the experience in how all the participants shared their perspectives together, and all of them had the chance to speak. What inspired me during the event was how well-organized the participants were in making this discussion go smoothly. I actually believe that this event created a bonding time for all of us, and it was a delightful experience to have this personal contact with others.

As a participant in this event, I have learned new things on a personal level plus learning more about the term "Ecosystem" and how it works as I have never heard about it before. Moreover, I have had the courage to speak with many people in high-ranked positions who were so inspiring for me.

Unfortunately, we miss such events here in Palestine, and I can summarise all the event in one sentence, “We don't need to build the community because this community already existed, but what we all need is to connect the members of this community together by supporting them to have their opportunity to be active members in his/her community. THIS EXPERIENCE MATTERS!”
(Huda Matrabie, MENA Alliances’ MENA-CYF Project Coordinator)

My Experience with Brave Conversations - Deema Hamad, Intern, MENA Alliances

The main concept of Brave Conversations is to facilitate a space where entrepreneurs, small business managers, and people who want to learn more about entrepreneurial work in Palestine can express their honest opinions, shed light on difficulties they face, propose possible solutions and steps of action to deal with them, and communicate with other like-minded individuals in order to learn and grow from each other by sharing their thoughts. This year, Brave Conversations was hosted remotely by MENA Alliances, in Palestine. In addition to startup owners and entrepreneurs, there were recent graduates, people who work in the Palestinian tech industry facilitators and graduates present.

When I first heard about Brave Conversations, I was excited to have the chance to be a part of it, and I wasn’t disappointed. Brave Conversations was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had thus far. Having the opportunity to be a part of a group of people who were so creative and open-minded was very interesting and refreshing. The innovation and the progressive way of thinking which everyone portrayed was extremely motivating, and it was an absolute pleasure to learn about other people’s journeys and experiences, and how these things shaped them into people who want to improve themselves and others around them, who want to help deal with the issues in the Palestinian technological ecosystem.

Something that especially stood out to me, mainly because I had never thought about it before as a foreigner to the tech world and industry in Palestine, was the idea of how much power we truly have to create the change we want, regardless of political, social, and financial obstacles. I came to the conclusion that each person truly has an individual responsibility to do all that they can, and challenge whatever obstacles they face. I also realized that there is a certain importance in facilitating communication between individuals and systems. The discussion was so interesting and important, and facilitated new topics to ponder upon, for myself and - I believe - everyone who was present.

In conclusion, I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of this event, as I learned so much from it. I feel fortunate to have been able to share a space with so many intelligent people, and what I learned from them will stay with me. Hopefully we will be able to implement the ideas, solutions, and projects that were discussed, and I’m looking forward to what’s to come, in terms of the technological ecosystem, and our community as a whole.