For the first time in the city of Zahle, five projects were set up by students, who distinguished themselves from others in their ambition to strengthen society and find solutions to the problems and challenges facing the Beqaa area, specifically the city of Zahle. In a unique hackathon in Lebanon, more than 40 enthusiastic young university students have met to develop innovative solutions to meet Lebanese challenges with the help of IT.
The Information Hackathon, entitled “Digital Freedom”, was launched on Friday, October 26, 2018 at Makhzoumi Foundation’s center in Zahle, where mentors and experts provided support and assist to the youth and trained them on how to manage and follow up small projects. The hackathon showed the real potentials of these young people on the path of the competition they have been through for 48 hours, through which each one of them was able to show his competence.
During the continuous working hours, the participants were split into 5 teams, each team choosing a challenge that was considered to be setback of the community development in the Beqaa. The challenges varied and addressed educational, health, environmental, political and social issues. Each team gave a brief presentation of the digital solutions they worked on during the hackathon, in the presence of prominent figures in the field of informatics, heads of municipalities and principals of schools, universities and parents of students, as well as the two teams of Makhzoumi Foundation and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.
Jury members were impressed by the participants’ abilities to develop their ideas and turn them into sustainable businesses. The jury was composed of experts in programming and informatics, including Dr. Wael Keshli, CEO of Afif Kashli and Sons, Engineer Rana Shmeitli, President of the Little Engineer Foundation, and Mrs. Layal Jubran Founder of “Programmer” platform, and Mr. Rayan Zaatari, Program Development Manager at Makhzoumi Foundation. The jury evaluated the results of the Hackathon, on the afternoon of Sunday 28/10/2018 at 5 pm at AUST University in Zahle, and added their wonderful comments on the projects that were presented, encouraging youth to find ways to finance these five small projects and follow up on their implementation and development. The participants received incentives awards.
The Hackathon is an event where people meet to solve problems in order to strengthen the community, providing opportunities for participants to learn new things, and provide them with the space and time they need to find solutions to problems they care about. Future young entrepreneurs, specialized in engineering, information technology, digital gaming, business management, marketing, have joined this inspiring event organized by Makhzoumi Foundation and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.