MENA Codes

  • Status:
  • Countries:
  • Funding:
  • Focus Area:
  • Start date:
  • End date:

About the project:

MENACodes, previously Palestine Codes, is an off-shoot program launched directly by MENACatalyst Foundation in an effort to curb digital illiteracy by promoting digital literacy in youth across the MENA region. Palestine Codes kicked off in 2018 and was introduced locally as they partnered with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Code for Change in a joint effort to design and implement Coding for Children’s Rights, a unique coding program that targeted adolescents throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 

Our first coding club ever to be implemented in attracted 150 students from marginalized areas and was delivered on-site in CBOs in Ramallah, Nablus, and Hebron, and ran from July-August of 2019. In an effort to build confidence and strengthen leadership qualities in youth, 6 students were hired to carry out the Python training alongside more qualified trainers. These 6 students were widely familiar with the program and possessed an advanced level of coding skills than that of their peers. 

In August 2019 Palestine Codes implemented a virtual 12 hour Introduction to Python course lead by instructor Omar Samri a computer science engineer whom we had previously hired during the CCR program. The course attracted 20 students from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As a follow-up we launched our third Introduction to Python course lead by instructor and software engineer, Samed Hajajla and which ran for a period of 10 hours. Through social media campaigns we were able to attract 20 students, 6 from Iraq, 2 from UAE, 1 from Saudi Arabia, and 1 from Syria, including 6 students from Palestine.  

On July 16th 2021, MENACodes implemented an 18 hour online Python course. This time we were fortunate to host an instructor from Syria who joined our team of qualified programming instructors. Lubna Bakeer, the 22 year old software engineer from Syria has trained over 300+ students in coding, AI and robotics. 36 youth ages 10-16 applied for the course, out of which we selected 27: 17 from Palestine, 7 from Syria, 2 from Saudi Arabia and 1 student from Egypt.

  • Quality Education
  • Decent Work And Economic Growth
  • Reduced Inequalities
Project Timeline
  • Application process
  • Finalize curriculum with experts
  • Trainer recruitment
  • Trainer orientation
  • Summer Code Camps
  • Bootcamp - Ideation
  • Mentorship
  • Access to networks of support
  • Hackathons
  • Competitions
Project Components
  • Code Clubs
    Students participate in summer code camps to learn the latest in code from our global network of trainers.
  • Hackathons
    Our hackathons provide young coders with the opportunity to put their skills to the test and develop innovative solutions to humanitarian, social, and economic issues affecting the region.
  • Code Competitions
    Young coders are able develop innovative projects which they then pitch to a panel of expert judges.
  • Programming
    Students learn how to code using Python, Java, JavaScript, C++, and more.