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I volunteered there as well (with jbermudez5), and have never been so deeply impressed by a group of people as I was by Gaza Sky Geeks. I've spent my professional career conducting tech research in developing countries in SE Asia and the Middle East, and have never seen such challenging circumstances for developing a company as I did in Gaza - and yet everyone there continues to aspire to greatness.

The opportunities for economic growth in the region are incredibly limited (40%+ unemployment; 40% below the poverty line; 80% dependent on some kind of foreign aid; ~50% dependent on UN food aid alone; extreme barriers to importing or exporting physical goods), and yet they enjoy relatively high levels of infrastructure and education (97% literacy; 20% population with a college degree - higher than in the West Bank; female/male near-equality w/r/t education levels; decent internet). All of this combines to make tech investments especially appealing.

I got the feeling in Gaza - relative to many other countries lacking these resources that have garnered a great deal of attention from the tech community in recent years, such as India, Brazil, and more - that the development of tech companies (especially tech, due to minimal infrastructure needs) there can make a significant contribution to the regional economy. The group's additional devotion to including women in the accelerator is especially laudable, and has contributed to an incredibly rich workspace.

There's a lot more info on the crowdfunding website too: http://www.powerupgazageeks.com/




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