Hackasuly, the largest international hackathon in Iraq, brings the coding community together over a weekend to work in teams and turn their ideas into technological solutions on September 5th – 7th.

This year, the organisers are accepting projects in three different and exciting tracks:

  • AI & Data Science
  • E-Society
  • Fintech

The goal is to help promote technology, generate more interest in the field, and encourage new innovations.

Venue: 
American University of Iraq, Sulaimani

Agenda:

  • Opening Ceremony, Thursday, 5 September 2019 at 06:00 pm to 08:00pm.
    • Welcoming Speeches
    • The Development of Iraqi Tech Industry Panelmoderated by Alice Bosley, Executive Director at Five One Labs.
      • Speakers:
        • Qubad Talabani, The Deputy Prime Minister
        • Yad Rasheed, CEO at Avesta Group
        • Tarry Singh, CEO at Deepkapha.ai
        • TBA
      • Closing Ceremony, Saturday, 7 September 2019 at 7:00 pm to 9:00pm:
        • Projects Demo and Winners Announcement.

For more information, please visit: https://hackasuly.com

(Source: Hackasuly)

By John Lee.

The Iraqi government is denying thousands of children whose parents have a perceived Islamic State (also known as ISIS) affiliation of their right to access an education, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said.

The children, who were born or lived in areas under the control of ISIS between 2014 and 2017, lack the civil documentation the Iraqi government requires for school enrollment and the government is making it difficult for them to acquire it.

More here.

(Source: HRW)

University College London (UCL)‘s Research Grants Scheme has re-opened to applications.

This final round of funding will offer funding of up to £30,000 for successful projects. Deadline 23:59 15 November 2019

The awards

These awards support interdisciplinary research on themes relating to one or more of the Nahrein Network’s five aims. The final call, with deadline 15 November 2019, has now opened.

During the final round we will offer only one type of funding:

Small grants of up to £30,000 (FEC) for projects led by Iraqi, Lebanese or Turkish researchers, or collaborations between them and UK researchers.

Please note that all funded projects must end by December 2020.

Who can apply?

We invite applications from postdoctoral researchers (or equivalent) who are employed by, or have an official connection with:

  • EITHER a Iraqi, Lebanese, Turkish or UK Higher Education Institution (i.e., a university or similar organisation)
  • OR a non-academic organisation (e.g. cultural heritage organisation, NGO, community group) in the UK or Iraq, Lebanon or Turkey with a demonstrated capacity to conduct research.

Applications must be led by an Iraqi, Lebanese or Turkish researcher and do not need UK collaborators.

The applications deadline is 23:59 on 15 November 2019.

 More here.

(Source: UCL)

You are invited to apply for 2019-2020 DAFI scholarship programme under the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative funded by the German Government and administered by the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

DAFI scholarship programme aims to support #refugee students in accessing higher education. The scholarship covers all tuition fees as well as living costs and educational materials during the Bachelor degree full-time studies, no longer than 4 years of studies

Do you match the following criteria?

  • You are a refugee or asylum seeker in Iraq with valid refugee or asylum seeker certificate;
  • You have completed your high school study with GPA (Grade Point Average) of 75% and higher, or
  • You are already enrolled in one of the universities, having excellent academic results, and would like to benefit from the DAFI scholarship;
  • You have your original documents and academic certificates (if studied outside KRI);
  • You are aged between 17–25 years old;
  • Have not been selected for resettlement or family reunification process.

Then apply online through https://enketo.unhcr.org/x/#Dqg6ULC6 before 10.09.2019

For more information, contact DAFI hotlines at:
(+964) 07734270537 (Kurdistan region of Iraq)
(+964) 07734270535 (Kurdistan region of Iraq)
(+964) 07809207282 (Iraq center and South)
Or send us an Email at  IRQDAFI@UNHCR.ORG

(Source: UNHCR)

Chevening is the UK Government’s global scholarship programme that offers future leaders the unique opportunity to study in the UK. These scholarships are awarded to outstanding professionals from all over the world to pursue a one-year master’s degree in any subject at any UK university.

Chevening provides fully-funded scholarships, leaving you free to focus on achieving your academic goals and enjoying the experience of a lifetime.

You will live and study in the UK for a year, during which time you will develop professionally and academically, grow your network, experience UK culture, and build lasting positive relationships with the UK.

If you have ambition, leadership potential, and a strong academic background, we encourage you to apply before 5 November 2019.

Click here for details.

(Source: chevening.org)

Re:Coded is launching its first boot camp in Baghdad.

If you want to learn how to design and code websites or web apps, don’t miss it!

The bootcamp duration is four and a half months and the application deadline is July 20th, 2019

You will get to learn how to use HTML, CSS and JavaScript to write professional pages.

Limited scholarships are available. Apply now!

Apply Here!

 

وأخيرا في #بغداد!

Re:Coded ستطلق اول برنامج تدريبي في بغداد

اذا تريد تتعلم شون تصمم وتبرمج مواقع الويب او تطبيقات الويب.. لتفوت الفرصة

البرنامج مدته اربع شهور ونص واخر موعد للتقديم هو 20 تموز / يوليو 2019

بالبرنامج راح تتعلم استخدام لغات الـ HTML, CSS & JavaScript لتصميم صفحات احترافية

المقاعد محدودة، سجل الان على الرابط:

Apply Here

By John Lee.

Iraq’s ancient city of Babylon has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Situated 85 km south of Baghdad, the property includes the ruins of the city which, between 626 and 539 BCE, was the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

It includes villages and agricultural areas surrounding the ancient city. Its remains, outer and inner-city walls, gates, palaces and temples, are a unique testimony to one of the most influential empires of the ancient world.

Seat of successive empires, under rulers such as Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon represents the expression of the creativity of the Neo-Babylonian Empire at its height.

The city’s association with one of the seven wonders of the ancient world—the Hanging Gardens—has also inspired artistic, popular and religious culture on a global scale.

(Source: UNESCO)

EU adopts new €100 million assistance package to benefit refugees and local communities in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq

The European Union (EU) – via the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis – adopted a €100 million new assistance package to support the resilience of refugees, internally displaced person (IDP) host communities in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

This will be done through the strengthening of public service delivery systems, improved access to higher education, and improved child protection services.

With this new package €1.6 billion out of a total of €1.8 billion mobilised by the EU Trust Fund have now been turned into financing concrete actions helping refugees and host countries alike.

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn commented:

“The EU delivers on its commitments. With these additional €100 million of assistance, the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis continues to support refugees to become increasingly economically self-reliant. Through access to income generating opportunities, they are able to take their livelihoods in their own hands, provide for themselves, and preserve their dignity.

“At the same time we are supporting host communities and Syria’s neighbours in their effort to expand their economies while coping with challenges related to the conflict which is still ongoing”.

The newly adopted €100 million aid package consists of the following actions:

  • €55 million to support the resilience of refugees, IDPs, returnees and host communities in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq;
  • €28.4 million for access to higher education for refugees and vulnerable host youth in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq;
  • €12.5 million to provide protection services to children and women victim of gender based violence in Lebanon;
  • €3.6 million to continue and strengthen the Trust Fund’s horizontal monitoring and evaluation framework.

This assistance package has been adopted by the EU Trust Fund’s Operational Board, which brings together the European Commission, fifteen EU Member States, and Turkey. Observers of the Operational Board include members of the European Parliament, representatives from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the World Bank, and the Syria Recovery Trust Fund.

The EU Trust Fund is now in its fifth year of implementation, but the Syria crisis is far from being over. Over time, the needs have changed and the Trust Fund has evolved from providing early recovery assistance focusing on addressing basic needs of those affected by the Syria crisis to equipping refugees and local communities with tools and skills for greater self-reliance.

The Trust Fund also focuses on reinforcing the national systems for public service delivery to meet refugee and local community needs in the longer term. Currently 67 projects have been contracted to implementing partners on the ground.

(Source: EU)

By John Lee.

A major hackathon weekend is planned to take place in Slemani (Sulaymaniyah) on the weekend of 8th to 10th August.

HackaSuly describes itself as “the largest international hackathon in Iraq that brings the coding community together over a weekend to work in teams and turn their ideas into technological solutions“.

More here.

Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon have committed to digitally transform their countries, discussing their roadmaps to support the Mashreq region’s integration into the rapidly evolving global digital economy.

The commitments came on the first day of the landmark, high-level forum on Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship Development in Mashreq, which was  hosted by the Government of Jordan and organized jointly with the World Bank Group.

The three governments had identified the challenges and solutions that would allow Mashreq countries to realize more gains to their economies and societies. Digitalization is shaping the present and future of economic activities as it brings about higher productivity, efficiencies and quicker inclusion of lagging economic and social groups, such as women and youth.

Mobile and digital solutions are contributing to facilitating greater financial inclusion. E-commerce and other digital applications are being leveraged to promote entrepreneurship, including the empowerment of women as entrepreneurs, and digital solutions are being sought to improve access to learning resources in an easier and less expensive way.

The Mobile Gender Report for 2018 lists a gender gap in mobile ownership among women in the region which can reach up to 20%. while this gap is only 2% in countries like Egypt or Turkey. Bringing this gap to less than 4% everywhere in the Mashreq would bring income opportunities for women in the region. Broadband access is estimated to increase employment among married women by as much as 4% in high income economies.

Broadly speaking, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon face similar obstacles to their quest to transform Mashreq into a regional hub for IT and Business Process Outsourcing.  Policymakers, international and regional businesses, startups and investors all convened at the King Hussein Business Park to enrich the discussion with their expertise and experience on how to push this agenda forward.

The digital roadmaps were presented by the three ministers holding the Information Technology portfolio in their respective countries. World Bank Group  committed to supporting these countries achieve their goals with specific focus on increasing broadband access, establishing cashless payment systems and bridging the gender gap in mobile usage.

Iraq

The Government of Iraq (GOI) is committed to further advancing the digital economy and aims to ensure affordable access to high speed internet, by doubling access to broadband to 54% in 2021 and 90% by 2030, achieving 100% broadband network coverage, establishing a conducive regulatory and policy framework for digital payments, developing interoperable digital payments infrastructure, and striving towards 100% financial access. The GOI is also committed to delivering digital government services and ensuring highest standards of cybersecurity and data privacy to boost consumer trust. The GOI is also keen to ensure that education and training programs meet current and future job market skills needs.

Jordan

The Government of Jordan (GOJ) is committed to advancing the digital economy as strategic growth sector for the Kingdom. On digital infrastructure, the GOJ commits to further developing access to internet broadband to reach 100% penetration rate by 2021. As part of that, the GOJ is opening the National Broadband Network (7,000 kilometers of fiber) for Public Private Partnership, allowing affordable fiber broadband to 1.3 million households around Jordan. On digital payments, the GOJ commits to increasing country-level cashless payments from 33 to 50% by 2020 and to digitizing 80% of government to citizens payments by 2021.  On developing digital skills, the GOJ will launch a national skills development initiative to train 35,000 people on the 21st century skills and mainstreaming digital skills in public schools to train 300 thousands by 2022. To enable a friendly business environment for entrepreneurs, the GOJ is committed to launching a regulatory reform process in 2019, following a participatory approach with ecosystem representatives. To complete automation of Government services, the GOJ commits to automate key services by 2021. Building on the recent transformations of the Ministry of ICT to Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, the GOJ will launch its digital transformation action plan in partnership with the ecosystem by end of 2019.

Lebanon

The Government of Lebanon (GOL) is committed to building a Digital Nation and to transform Lebanon into a regional technology and innovation hub. The GOL  is in the process of finalizing its digital transformation plan and aims to double the knowledge economy’s contribution to GDP and double the employment in this sector by 2025. To achieve this, the GOL plans to: (i) reach 100% broadband penetration rate by end of 2021; (ii) develop and execute the digital transformation of the public sector and offer citizens a fully digitized journey across all government services, with 500,000 users signed up to the government digital platform by end of 2021; (iii) provide a supportive regulatory framework to help grow the Fintech industry and facilitate digital payments, launch a new national digital currency by the end of 2020, and launch an Electronic Trading Platform (ETP) to improve financing for private sector activities in 2020; (iv) leverage its pool of skilled and entrepreneurial talent in Lebanon and abroad to build a digital economy focused on innovation and private initiative, increase the number of start-ups fivefold and double yearly venture capital funding by 2025; and (v) address the existing skills gap by preparing the youth for the global, digital jobs of the future through launching a national training academy by 2021.

The World Bank commits to support Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan in achieving their visions and plans for digital transformation by providing the necessary resources and instruments. The World Bank will work closely with the Governments, private sector, academia and civil society to maximize the impact of digitization and reap the digital dividends for their societies. This support will include: (i) pursuing plans to ensure affordable access to high-speed internet and facilitate investment in broadband; (ii) delivering digital government services and improving access to data, while ensuring the highest standards of cybersecurity and data privacy; (iii) developing a modern digital payment infrastructure; (iv) scaling up digital entrepreneurship; and (v) ensuring education and training programs meet current and future skills needs.

More details, including a video of the procedings, can be found here.

The second high-level Digital Mashreq Forum will convene in Beirut in June 2020.

(Source: World Bank)