Arab Women Entrepreneurs: A Growing Phenomenon
“Women-managed businesses are witnessing growing acceptance in Arab societies. Religiously, Arab women have a powerful role model in Prophet Mohammad‟s first wife Khadija, who was a successful trader and businesswoman. A study by the Syria Trust for Development in 2010 revealed that forty percent of men and eighty percent of women held positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship as a career option for women. Around 65 percent of female owned firms were actively managed by the female owner in Syria. Female entrepreneurship is also gathering support at the ministerial level in governments.
Sources:SFG-ME April 2011 pgs. 4-6
Bibliotheca Alexandrina: A Knowledge and Cultural Beacon in the Middle East
“During the recent uprising in Egypt, the city of Alexandria witnessed fierce violence including the burning down of the provincial government building and state security headquarters. However a rare point of agreement between anti-regime protestors and the government security apparatus was to protect the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA). The images of a human barricade shielding the BA during the protests highlight the importance of this institution.
Sources:SFG-ME April 2011 pgs. 9-11
Private Sector Partners with Jordanian Government to Improve National Education
In what must be a fairly innovative move the Jordanian government has partnered with the private sector, among others, to improve national education levels. Having seen the importance of a well educated populace for increased profits, which will lead to more development, and in turn even more profits, the private sector has seen investing in education as part a long-term growth strategy.
Sources:SFG-ME July 2011 pgs. 2-3
“Higher Education and the Middle East: Building Institutional Partnerships.” The Middle East Institute. December 2010.
Ghazal, Mohammad. “Education Reform Project Enters Second Stage.” Jordan Times. 29 July, 2010. http://www.jordantimes.com/index.php?news=28725
Nassej-Community Youth Development Initiative.
Madrasati: Queen Rania Initiative.
His Majesty King Abdulla Official Website. http://www.kingabdullah.jo/index.php/en_US/initiatives/view/id/81.html
Return to Roots: Revival of Qanats in Iraq, Iran and Syria
“In recent years, Qanats, ancient hydraulic irrigation and potable water disbursement systems, are being revived to mitigate water shortages. Although Iraq has seen significant technological development in water treatment and disbursement, these projects are difficult to manage in remote or rural areas for various technical and energy related problems.
Sources:SFG-ME July 2011 pgs. 8-10
Promoting Islamic Art and Culture
Islamic countries have been busy with “the promotion of Islamic art and culture, from a historical perspective, in new and innovative methods. While this has been useful in breaking down cultural barriers and showcasing Islamic history in a new light; these efforts also aim to foster a sense of pride in the youth of the region by focusing on positive lessons of Islamic heritage.
Sources:SFG-ME July 2011 pgs. 11-13
The Spread of Nanotechnology in MENA
IBM Research seems to be behind the current movement to develop more nanotechnology centers throughout MENA.
Sources:SFG_ME August 2011 pgs. 8-9
“New Nanotechnology Network established in the Middle East.” Nanowerk Research and General News. Nanowerk. 11 April 2009.
“Proposed IBM centre to provide solutions in water, energy sectors.” Jordan Times. 30 January 2011.
“Nanotechnology and the Environment in the Arab World.” Green Compass Research. 2010.
“Tunisia launches first Nanotech Project‟. Science and Development Network. 11 January 2010.
“Turkish Researchers make nanotechnology Breakthrough.” Hurriyet Daily News. 17 June 2011.
2011-06-17 “Nanotechnology could help Arab Region.” Earthwitness. February 2010.
Iran, Turkey, and Central Asia have designed a nanotechnology network to share resources.
Sources:SFG_ME August 2011 pgs. 7-8
Tefen Industrial Park; Israeli entrepreneurship incubator
Israel has taken a holistic approach to development through innovation and entrepreneurship. Below is a short description of Tefen Industrial Park an innovation incubator.
“Established by Stef Wertheimer in 1982, the Tefen Industrial Park emerged from a holistic concept of economic development, where Wertheimer stresses the importance of economic development as a means for developing a country.
Sources:SFG_ME August 2011 pgs. 2-3
Wrobel, Sharon. “Wertheimer to build Tefen-style industrial park in Nazareth”. The Jerusalem Post. 14 October, 2009.
Kloosterman, Karin. “Wertheimer ushers Israeli Arabs into the Global village.” Huffington Post. 1December, 2009.
Simmons, Debbie, “The Tefen Model: Industrial Development for Economic Independence”
MENA's aging population could lead to difficult choices
Increasing life expectancy is one of the major indicators of growth and development. The Arab world has seen an increase of 16 years since the mid 70's, but unfortunately have not planned accordingly with needed infrastructure and social services to support a larger retired population. Additionally, traditional family networks are being replaced western style nuclear families making government provided social services more important.
Sources:SFG Middle East Monitor, Sept 2010
demographic window of opportunity: http://rfsearchlight.clearsignals.org/node/142
Fisman, Raymond, Edward Miguel. 2008. Economic Gangsters. Princeton University Press.
Man-made islands-a case of keeping up with the Joneses
Dubai has produced a a number of ambitious man-made islands, including "The ‘World’, a 300-island project being developed in the Persian Gulf, a few kilometers off the coast of Dubai. To create these islands, which cover an area of 48 million square meters, 320 million cubic meters of sand is being dredged out from the sea and 32 million tones of rock is being used to protect the islands from extreme weather changes. Similar projects that coming up in Dubai include Palm Jumeirah, Palm Deira and the Waterfront."
Sources:SFG Middle East Monitor, Sept 2010