Iraq’s creative and motivated youth just started a physical community space to inspire and create within. Fiqra space was born!
Full article on how it all happened on the kickstarter page
Through GEMSI’s previous efforts to establish hackerspaces and collaborative communities in Baghdad and other places around MENA, we noticed a similar trend in that not much effort was needed to get folks excited about these projects. Bilal once said, “it’s like we just needed to raise a flag and then people took leadership as soon as they saw the opportunity.”
The story of Fikra Space follows a path that’s similar to the success of Startup Weekend. Planting the seed for the first hackerspace in Iraq happened during a week-long trip Bilal had made to Baghdad. In that week, so many were inspired that they continued to hold meetings and eventually started Fikra Space. A similar thing happened with Startup Weekend as we promoted the idea only over social media, and then people brought their own energy and creativity and made something awesome happen.
I hadn’t realized how much the success of Fikra Space had set the stage for our event to succeed. This became very clear to me during the closing remarks of the weekend when David Harden from USAID spoke about how within the very first minute of meeting the three boys from Fikra Space back in March, he felt confident that investing in their projects would be rewarded with great success. When the opportunity came, he didn’t hesitate to approve more than $25,000 worth of funds to be allocated for hosting Startup Weekend in Baghdad.Murtadha Al-Tameemi on http://www.gemsi.org/2013/07/startup-weekend-baghdad/