08.03.2017 - UNESCO Office in Doha

Girls learn mobile apps coding during YouthMobile Qatar worskhop at QITCOM

UNESCO Doha in collaboration with Arab Women in Computing (ArabWIC) Qatar, Qatar Computing and Research Institute (QCRI) and Qatar National Commission to UNESCO organized a mobile apps development workshop for female middle school students as part of TumuhaTEC Digital Youth Festival, the first event organized by Qatar's Ministry of Transportation and Communications aimed at introducing students aged 8 and above to innovative digital technologies and providing an interactive space for exploration during QITCOM, the country's biggest ICT event on 7 March 2017 in Doha, Qatar.

As part of UNESCO's YouthMobile project and the Organization's mandate to promote youth empowerment, gender equality and knowledge societies, a series of mobile apps development workshops was organized and attended by more than 80 female students aged 12 to 15 years old, including students with special needs, from 7 different schools in the country during QITCOM.

School students were trained on developing mobile applications for sustainable development using AppInventor, a software developed by MIT Media Lab. Throughout the training, students were mentored and guided by tech experts from Arab Women in Computing (ArabWIC) Qatar who were present to help demonstrate and teach mobile app development with App Inventor. Instruction took place in both English and Arabic. 

Opportunities were also provided for about 20 additional youth, men and women, who came with their parents or who receive homeschooling to be trained on mobile apps development using AppInventor.

YouthMobile Qatar workshop was part of the "coding" and “girls in tech” zones to welcome and encourage girls to participate in various digital opportunities.

Innovative apps were developed by the students in a short lapse of time after having received mentorship from trainers and provided an opportunity for young women to develop their creativity, ideas and strengthen their skills, a day before the celebration of International Women's Day.

Participating schools included Al Bayan Independent School for Girls, Al Maha Academy for Girls, Lycée Franco-Qatarien Voltaire (Salwa), Al Tamakoon School, Al Ghuwairiya Independent School for Girls, Gulf English School, International School of London.

Participating students will continue to receive mentoring and training over the coming three months to continue developing their mobile apps, through the support of ArabWIC Qatar, QCRI and UNESCO. A competition will be organized at the end of the mentoring period to reward the three best mobile apps.

The TumuhaTEC Digital Youth Festival was held under the patronage of Qatar National Commission to UNESCO.

The event was organized as part of UNESCO’s YouthMobile project and in celebration of International Women’s Day, in cooperation with ArabWIC Qatar, QCRIQatar National Commission to UNESCO and with the support of Vodafone Qatar and Qatar University Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

UNESCO Doha was among the key institutions, along with Microsoft, Texas A&M, College of the North Atlantic Qatar, Qatar National Library, to participate in the TumuhaTEC ("Your Aspiration" in Arabic) Digital Youth Festival.

To celebrate girls in tech, UNESCO Doha has also invited two keynote speakers, Fatima Al Kaabi, the UAE's youngest inventor, and Felicia Kamriani, co-author of AppInventor 2: Essentials, to take part in the Digital Youth Festival through inspirational speeches and workshops for students and educators. 

Photos of the event can be accessed on our Flickr account.  

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Youth in Qatar, including girls and boys, aged 11 to 16 years old, interested in learning mobile apps development and taking part in YouthMobile workshops, can contact arabwicqatar(AT)gmail.com to receive information and register for future workshops.

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