For Us By Us: Global Diaries – Ramallah Edition

For Us By Us: Global Diaries is an initiative brought in partnership with the Hult Prize Foundation that is bringing to light the incredible behind-the-scenes stories that are occurring across the globe with young entrepreneurs trying to change the world through impact.

2017 was my last year as a business student, prompting a big question: What is my next step? I was looking for something special throughout that year, life-changing, outside the box, a challenge which could open my eyes to new horizons. I found Hult Prize.

I first joined the Hult Prize community as a competitor in the Tunis Summit, where I experienced a whole spectrum of emotions: stress, joy, hope, and excitement. I gained new knowledge, made endless memorable experiences and lifelong friendships, all of which I deeply cherish.

I carried all that I’ve learned and who I’ve become back home where I was appointed the event lead at the First National program in Palestine. From there, I joined the Accelerator program in London, a once in a lifetime experience! Finally, I had the chance to be the Regional Director of the 2019 Ramallah Regional Summit.

This journey with Hult Prize as a Palestinian wasn’t easy, with all the restrictions and visa rejections. However, it gave me new hope for change, a change for the better. My passion to give all youth, especially Palestinians, the opportunities that I so luckily had and bring people closer to their dreams, transcended the feeling of loss or hopelessness I’ve endured as a Palestinian.

It is for this purpose that my team and I vouched to work hard, to put the extra into ordinary and make the Ramallah Regional Summit a success.

The day of the Summit finally arrived and it sure felt like a walk down memory lane. I got to relive every moment, every emotion, and every experience. At 8:30 AM registration started and all the teams came flooding in, their faces showing simultaneously excitement and worry; they were ready for the challenge. An hour later we kicked off our event with a warm welcome and training sessions where the teams got to learn more about Hult Prize Academy, this year’s challenge of creating 10,000 meaningful jobs, and the wildcard round.

32 startups from 8 universities all over Palestine got to present their groundbreaking ideas in a 6 minute format, during the morning and afternoon pitching sessions in front of 15 highly prestigious judges with different backgrounds. Some of these teams got the chance to further elaborate and clarify their ideas during the callback session. During lunch, the competitors gathered around great food and got to know each other better. They made new friends, shared laughs, gave feedback, and took loads of photos. Their smiles were contagious!

At 5 PM, Global Director, Ayman Arandi Kicked off the Final Ceremony where 6 teams showcased their marvelous ideas once again. “This is merely the beginning, we’ve got a long road ahead, and you can always apply for the wildcard! You are a source of energy and our continuity and prosperity wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the efforts of young entrepreneurs such as yourselves,” Ayman said,

The final pitching was now over and the judges had to make one last difficult decision: who books a spot in the London Accelerator program?! After over 30 minutes of deliberation, the judges came back out to announce the winner! The atmosphere was incredibly electrifying, filled with enthusiasm and anxiety, as team CleanEcare was named the Ramallah Regional Winner!  

My Hult Prize journey changed my life, I got to meet incredible people, recruit amazing volunteers, work with an outstanding team, and connect with highly prominent judges! The Ramallah Regional Summit wouldn’t have been a success without all of their efforts.   

It was a great honor to get the chance to lead a generation to change the world! Remember your journey of IMPACT starts today!

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