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.
TechWomen delegates also met with women and girls to encourage their participation in STEM education and careers. Inspirational talks, roundtable discussions and one to one meetings with mentors and emerging leaders provided an opportunity for girls to ask questions.
In addition to professional activities, the participants were immersed in Jordanian culture. They learned to make cuisine such as Knafeh, Freakeh, Moutabbal, Galayet Bandoora, and Hummus, at Beit Sitti, an authentic Arabic cooking school. The delegation also had the opportunity to visit some of Jordan’s most cherished sites: Jerash, the Dead Sea and Petra.
Twitter, Facebook and Blogs were buzzing with the voices of TechWomen and other participants chronicling their journey and interactions:
“The TechWomen delegation members who are mentors and our IIE staff arrived safely today in Amman Jordan – traveling from San Francisco by way of Paris,” Katy, a 2011 and 2012 Mentor, blogged on Katy’s Blog. “Tomorrow we start orientation, connect up with some of the TechWomen Emerging Leaders from MENA and our U.S. State Department, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs delegation members, and discuss our presentations and workshops for next week.”
“Many of us began Monday morning sleep deprived and jetlagged, however it didn’t take long for the excitement, inspiration, joy and love for the work that we were doing in Jordan to re-energize us,” Ayori, a 2012 Mentor, blogged on Hugging Yuri. “The agenda was packed with a visit to N2V, a technology investment holdings company, followed by visits to different companies, then presentations at Amman Tech Tuesdays (yes, Tech Tuesday happened on a Monday). It turned out to be a day of learning what Entrepreneurship and ICT (Information Communications Technology) mean for the people of Jordan and sharing our knowledge of technology, resources and connections.”
“TechWomen’s discussion of Hawaaworld women’s Arabic network. Big topics are food recipes, social events, family topics. Mostly Saudi usage,” Katy, a 2011 and 2012 Mentor, tweeted.
“Hosting great TechWomen mentors and mentees at Yahoo Maktoob office in Amman,” Katie, a host from Yahoo Maktoob in Amman, tweeted.
“On the way to Petra with wonderful and lovely women, I didn’t want this trip to end,” Dareen, a 2011 Emerging Leader, facebooked.
“To our beloved TechWomen delegation to Jordan… it was so lovely seeing you again, and meeting some of you for the first time! I am so grateful for the precious time we spent together this past week. I wish you all a safe trip home and hope Jordan will always be associated with good memories,” Nour, a 2012 Emerging Leader, facebooked.
Although the activities for the 2012 TechWomen program have officially concluded, the bonds, professional exchange, and cross-cultural dialogue that were initiated, continue to flourish among program participants. Next year, the TechWomen delegation trips will include countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
For more information about becoming a TechWomen Cultural or Professional Mentor, please visit www.techwomen.org.
The TechWomen Professional Mentor application will be open from April 1st– June 1st, 2013.
The TechWomen Cultural Mentor application will be open from June 1st– August 1st, 2013.