AT-LINK – The Arab Engineers Forum

The Arab Engineers Forum convened for another fascinating meeting in September 2016. Some 40 hi-tech Arab professionals participated in the event, which took place in Herzliya in a venue contributed by WeWork.

The Arab Engineers Forum was established by ITWorks exactly a year before – in September 2015, as part of Maantech’s activities. The goal was to create a robust professional-social network that will help Arab students and engineers to advance and develop a career in the hi-tech world, provide support and assistance in dealing with common challenges, equip them with tools to advance professionally and grow the community of Arab hi-tech workers.

The Herzliya forum hosted Ibrahim Sana, CEO and founder of Sadel Tech company in the Negev. Mr. Sana recounted his personal success story of establishing “the first Bedouin Startup”, and expanded on his vision to employ Arab engineers from the Be’er Sheva and Negev region.

The participants then sat at “round tables” led by managers and team leaders from hi-tech companies. These included: Einat Frish, Recruitment Manager at Cisco; Ala Hino, senior developer at Redhat; Ali Abu Ali, Team Manager at Liveperson; Haled Massarwa, Team Leader at Nuvoton; Merav Mazor, Team Leader at Nuvoton; Shay Dekel, Team Leader at Pitny Bowes; Arin Suateri, Recruitment Coordinator at IBM.

All the parties benefitted from the lively discussions: the participants heard directly from the recruiters and managers about their expectations from employees and about advancement opportunities; they also had a platform to share and be advised about their challenges and dilemmas. The managers on the other hand were exposed – for some, for the very first time – to the great recruitment potential presented by the Arab community and learn about the challenges they face on their road to join the technological work force.

Reactions from participants were highly positive:
“When I met a team manager from a large company, I was very nervous at first. I began work a month before and I had so many dilemmas to talk about, and the manager really listened and gave me a lot of helpful advice about how to approach my team leader the next day and share my dilemma with him. She even gave me her phone number so I could contact her if I needed to.”

“Even though I came after a long day at work, I enjoyed every minute and learned a lot. It was well worth the effort.”

“It was only due to ITWorks and the Forum that I got to know the prestigious hi-tech company where I now work.”

It was wonderful event, full of hope and energy. We can’t wait for the next forum!

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