Teaching Business, Technology and Maybe a Little Mideast Peace in the Process (Video)
Teenagers Amin Manna and Yuval Yogev live just a few kilometers from one another and yet were a world apart.
Or at least they were until they signed up for Meet (Middle East Education Through Technology), a program that teaches technology and business skills to Israeli and Palestinian youth.
After three years, they have not only learned technology skills and built a mobile app, but also gained an understanding for each other’s culture. The two are friends, but still don’t always agree on politics. At least, though, they now have a face to go with the “other side.”
Meet is a project that brings together an equal number of high school students of Jewish and Palestinian background (and an equal number of boys and girls) for a three-year program, pairing them with volunteer mentors from MIT.
Participants spend each day together over the summer learning business and technology skills and continue to meet once a week during the school year. Finally, the youth work together on a technology project.
Yogev and Manna, both now 17 and high school seniors, joined forces on Count Me In, an Android-based meet-up application that helps create impromptu events ranging from a casual dinner to a large-scale peace protest.
The pair traveled from Israel to New York to be part of the Global Voices segment of D: Dive Into Mobile. Hurricane Sandy may have washed out the conference for now, but the youths are eager to tell their story.
In a video interview with AllThingsD’s Ina Fried, you can hear from both teens as well as the CEO and founder of the project.