As the weather begins to change, we’re now gearing into our programming for the fall. We kicked off the month with two well-attended workshops in Baghdad, once again showing the growing passion for digital skills in the region. Re:Coded House continues to expand in creative ways, and our bootcamps are well on their way. Here’s our September Round-Up.

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An Exciting Future Ahead For Baghdad

Over 200 attended our two workshops, Building Your Portfolio, and Intro to Digital Marketing held at The Station in Baghdad. The workshops were hosted by Zain Awan, our Growth and Operations Manager, read his recap below:

“I’ve delivered many workshops and masterclasses in my career but the audience in Baghdad was really special. The two workshops aimed to up-skill youth. The first workshop was on pitch, self-branding and interview techniques looked at analyzing the hiring process, standard mistakes being made with applicants in the region and reflections on developing individual brands. …


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The Vitals

Name: Emma Gamble

Age: 24

City: New York, NY

Job Title: Leadership Curriculum Advisor

Educational Background: Master’s of Social Work student at Columbia University; Denison University (Undergraduate)

Tell Us A Little Bit About Yourself And What You Do

As Leadership Curriculum Advisor, I assisted the Re:Coded team in designing a formal soft skills curriculum. Although there had been soft skills workshops in the past, there was no standardized course curriculum. During the summer, Marcello and I reviewed the desired units and subsections for the soft skills workshops and I worked on the lesson plans and presentations, as well as collection of additional resources, for the formal soft skills curriculum. I primarily worked on the curriculum in Istanbul and piloted the workshops in Erbil and Gaziantep. …


We’re launching a new monthly series at Re:Coded House: StartUp Spotlight. The series is designed to highlight the entrepreneurs behind local startups in the region, hear about their ideas, and build a community around their stories and struggles. Read more about our first event with the vibrant Mexicana Garden Food Truck, started by the sister duo: Dina and Zainab Al-Safi.

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The smell of freshly made tacos wafted through Re:Coded House as a packed audience gathered last Tuesday to hear about the rollercoaster startup journey of the fabulous food truck duo: Zaineb and Dina al Safi.

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Zaineb & Dina all Safi

Zaineb and Dina are of Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen origin and grew up between Baghdad, Erbil and the United States. In 2014, they settled permanently in Erbil and in 2019, they took the leap to entrepreneurship by founding Mexicana Garden — Erbil’s first Mexican Food Truck. The business was partly inspired by their upbringing and exposure to diverse food cultures as well as a desire to do something different. …


One bootcamp comes to an end and two others are just beginning, here’s our August recap.

Re:Coded arrives in Sana’a, Yemen

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Last year, we were able to raise over $10,000 USD during our #Code4Yemen campaign. That enabled us to launch our first-ever bootcamp in the country; a 4-month Front-End Web Development course.

We had an outpouring of response, with over 800 applications. This reaffirmed our commitment to launching a coding bootcamp in Yemen; to provide access to those who may not otherwise be able to work in the digital space. After a 3-phase selection process, the team interviewed 70 candidates, in order to select our first cohort of 15 students. …


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As we draw close to the final few weeks of one of the most eventful summers for Re:Coded, our Growth and Operations Manager, Zain Haider Awan, reflects on why our team set themselves such an ambitious project of three months of jam-packed events and workshops.

Where did the idea Of the Ebil Summer Tech Fest come from?

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After making Erbil my home, I had countless conversations with our students, alumni and members of the community. It became clear that there was a lack of things to do over summer, especially as many people departed the city during the hottest part of the year. This got our team thinking; how can we develop something where we can ensure that our community and co-working space is filling a gap for people looking to upskill themselves, learn or socialise. …


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In December 2018, there was an idea to bring together the leaders in technology and entrepreneurship across Iraq. This was the start of the Iraq Technology and Entrepreneurship Alliance. Ourselves, alongside Science Camp in Basra, The Station in Baghdad, Five One Labs in Suli, and the Mosul Space in Mosul, would work together to coordinate efforts to help grow Iraq’s tech and entrepreneurship ecosystem. We’ve always known that if we wanted to making meaningful and lasting change in the region, we couldn’t do it alone.

Fast forward to April 26 & 27th 2019, and the Alliance hosted the Iraq Innovation Hackathon, the first nationwide hackathon in the country.


It’s a new year, new us, sort of vibe.

In 2017, we began with a mission: to teach conflict-affected youth how to code. And what a ride it’s been. While we won’t recap in detail our past two years (though if you haven’t, you should read our Year in Review that we published last year), we will share some figures:

450 children and youth trained.

88.7% job placement record.

44% female placement.

And 8 programs.

All over a period of nearly two years (or 671 days to be exact).

During that time, you’ve gotten to know us, just as we’ve gotten to know you. And you’ve become familiar with — what is now — our old logo. …


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Azhar and Zahi Al Madani were born and raised in Hama, Syria. Azhar left Syria after graduating from Civil Engineering at Damascus University and has lived in Erbil, Kurdistan since 2013. Zahi took a different approach, studying Banking and Finance from Al-Bath University with an MBA from Cyprus International University and now resides in Istanbul. The two brothers, alongside their co-founders Rasheed and Bilal, began Shiffer, a peer-to-peer online logistics platform for express shipping by making a connection between a reliable passenger and the sender. …


Re:Coded and UK:MENA Hub partnered to launch the first tech startup academy for conflict affected youth in Iraq

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On October 2, seven tech startups pitched their ideas to business leaders, politicians and investors at Re:Coded’s Demo Day in Erbil. The event was an opportunity for tech entrepreneurs across Iraq and Syria to secure seed funding and support to take their startup to the next level after an intensive four weeks of coaching and acceleration by UK:MENA Hub on customer, product training and market development. …


UKMENAHUB partners with Re:Coded in Erbil to launch Iraq’s first Tech-Entrepreneurship Academy.

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Highly structured new programme will help aspiring young entrepreneurs in the Erbil region of Northern Iraq to build successful tech businesses and enter the digital economy.

Running throughout September 2018, the Academy will focus on core startup skills, leveraging the internet for success and helping participants build the foundations to secure funding and develop viable businesses.

UKMENAHUB is leading content delivery throughout the four week programme to support the growing tech ecosystem in Northern Iraq and the MENA region as a whole.

Applications for the Academy are open now for startups, with a preference for established teams. Zahra Shah, Re:Coded Iraq’s Program Manager, explains “we’re encouraging applications from teams because we want to highlight the power of collaboration and foster teamwork. We also know that in the startup world, strong teams are often more successful.” …

About

Re:Coded Team

We train conflict-affected youth to become the tech leaders of tomorrow.

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