Diary of a Google Finalist: Do Arab Entrepreneur Tournaments Help Startups?

Jul 12, 2012 – CAIRO Sarah Wali left the U.S. media scene and returned to Egypt to pursue an idea for a citizen journalism platform for the Middle East. With her business partner Mahamad El Tanahy, that idea became CitJo.com. Within months of its inception, it joined the running in a Google competition for Arab entrepreneurs seeking funding and mentorship for their startup companies.

Recounting the experience for Arabic Knowledge@Wharton, Wali writes about the effort to get the fledgling media outlet off the ground, from making connections and courting investors, to the learning curve she went through getting the business skills she needed.

She also examines the phenomenon of entrepreneurship competitions, which have filled the gap in angel investors and mentorship in the Middle East. Though they bring much needed exposure and knowledge transfer to embryonic companies and entrepreneurs, she writes that the results of these competitions could be discouraging to some startups.


Tens of thousands return to Tahrir Square


April 20, 2012 – Protesters from across the political spectrum gather for the Friday of Re-Uniting the People to protest continued military rule.

Defected Syrian MP faced a wall of denial

Imad Ghalioun    Jan 27, 2012 CAIRO- Former member of Syrian parliament Imad Ghalioun speaks with RNW in the first major interview he has given to Western media since defecting earlier this month to join the opposition against President Bashar al-Assad. From Cairo, the former representative of the rebel stronghold of Homs describes how the tension mounted until he reached his breaking point.

Whose Arab Spring?

Mar 16, 2012 CAIRO- Sarah Wali left Egypt largely because of the sexual harassment she experienced. But when the Mubarak regime was toppled, she decided to return. Only to find that the harassment was as bad as ever: on the street, in the car, even on horseback.

   Jan 28, 2011  CAIRO-  Protestors were shocked to find that tear gas canisters used to disperse protestors during the 18 day uprising that led to the ousting of 30 year president Hosni Mubarak were made in the U.S.A.

You get used to it: Torture and the police in Egypt (first published on the Huffington Post)

Aug 9, 2009 CAIRO- Egypt has been under martial law since 1981, and in those 28 years, human rights abuses have run unchecked in the nation’s police department. The documentation of the police brutality has been overwhelming, and extends far beyond the videos online.



Thoughts? Ideas? Rants? Raves? Say what you like here