ArabWIC 5th Annual International Conference On Arab Women In Computing

We would like to thank you all for attending, volunteering and speaking at the ArabWIC 5th Annual International Conference on Arab Women in Computing which aimed to inspire, support and celebrate women in computing/technology in the Arab World. The conference took place on 10-12 Aug 2017 at the beautiful American University of Beirut (AUB) campus and was a big success inspiring and energizing all of the 450 attendees from more than 20 countries, making it the largest gathering of women in tech in the Arab World. The conference was opened by Professor Sana Odeh, ArabWIC, Founder and Chair of Arab Women in Computing (ArabWIC) and this conference, and Clinical Professor of Computer Science at New York University; Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, AUB President; Her Excellency, Dr. Inaya Ezzeddine, Minister of State for Administrative Reform in the Lebanon, and Dr. Wassim El-Hajj, Associate Professor and Chair of the Computer Science department at AUB. The 3 day conference, which featured over 100 speakers presenting exciting Computer Science research as well as Applied technical talks, workshops, posters, hackathons for refugees focusing on teaching 50 girls from refugee apps development, speed mentoring, career fair and career coaching, and a gala. This conference brought people together, built bonds through shared interest in technology, and energized the participants from places as far apart as Canada, USA, Switzerland, to Algeria, Palestine, Yemen China, and Sudan. We were also delighted that our conference was trending during the week of the conference in Lebanon.   We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to our amazing partner (AUB) especially  Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, Dr Wassim El-Hajj, Rima Maalouf and the whole AUB team whose outstanding support at every level made the conference a huge success. I hope that you will all join me in thanking AUB by tweeting to Dr. Fadlo Khuri (@DrFadloKhuri) expressing our gratitude and appreciation to AUB for all of their tremendous effort to support this conference.  We would also like to thank the ArabWIC conference leadership team (Especially Professor Sana Odeh, Dr. Kaoutar El maghraoui, Susan Malaika, and Dr. Dalila Chiadmi), along with all the ArabWIC leaders and members from 17 chapters (especially the ArabWIC Lebanon Chapter, our host chapter), and all of the of Lebanese volunteers from students, professionals and entrepreneurs whose tireless enthusiasm and attention to every detail brought presenters and participants from countries far and wide to be energized at a series of technical talks, career sessions, posters, and workshops at a gorgeous venue. These participants have become catalysts for innovation through connections, mentors, and ideas encountered at AUB in the summer of 2017.

Our Utmost Thanks and Respect To Our Sponsors and Partners:

We would like to thank the conference sponsors and we were very moved by your generosity. Without you the event could not have happened. Your presence, support and contributions were exceptional. The sponsors are:   Thank you also to our partners Arabnet, Zoomal, LLWB, Wambda, IEEE WIE, UK Lebanon Techhub, Moubarmij, Mozilla and Eventtus. Their contributions and impressive support in the conference, and through the Eventtus app for the conference was invaluable.
And, now, we turn to you for support us and make our organization and annual conference sustainable.  We are counting on you to give $10 or more per month to fund our ArabWIC programs and annual conference supporting women in the Arab World. If 500 people donated $10 per month, then this make our organization sustainable. We are counting on your support as this is key to the survival of our organization. Please donate (see fundraising slides for more details) today and be part of the future that we want to build supporting women in tech. We also hope that you join us and be part of our next conference leadership in Morocco on March 7- 9, 2019.

Event Synopsis

The conference was made up of a 3 day program:
  • Day 1 consisted of plenary keynotes and panels, career and technology workshops – and ended with posters accompanied by a career and technology fair. Highlights of the first day included much appreciated motivational and technology sessions from:
    1. Professor Sana Odeh, ArabWIC Founder and Professor of Computer Science at New York University
    2. Dr. Inaya Ezzeddine, Minister of State for Administrative Reform in the Lebanon;
    3. Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, AUB President;
    4. Dr. Wassim El-Hajj, Associate Professor and Chair of the Computer Science department at AUB, who all provided an inspiring conference opening.
    5. Dr. Kaoutar El Maghraoui, Research Scientist, who shared cutting edge technology research in IBM. (Kaoutar is now the new chair of the ArabWIC organization.)
    6. Rula Abu Daher the Chief Corporate Management Officer (CCMO) of Touch Lebanon, who discussed careers
    7. Mai Medhat, CEO of Eventtus, who gave tips for career success.
    8. Dr. Nizar Habash, from NYU Abu Dhabi, who introduced Arabic Natural Language Processing and its challenges.
    9. Acile Sleiman, Head of Retail, eCommerce and On-Line Services at Google, who talked about the pace of technology change.
  • Day 2 was made up of keynotes, research papers, technology lightning talks, panels, and many varied career and technology workshops running in parallel tracks. The conference sessions ended with an invigorating speed mentoring activity followed by stimulating presentations from the ArabWIC local chapters.
The day ended with a joyous gala at the Commodore Hotel we celebrated our success and gave awards to:
  • Top companies that supported our conference
    • Top award went to Touch for supporting conference at Diamond level- thanks so much for your generous support and sponsorship
    • 2nd top awards went to Google and Google’s Women Techmakers for supporting conference as Platinum level
  • Top Impact ArabWIC Chapter Award went to:
    • Palestine ArabWIC and Saudi ArabWIC Chapters
  • Top Program supporting women in STEM
    • Went to GirlsGotIT in Lebanon
  • Top Supporter of women initiative went to Professor Sana Odeh for founding and chairing  ArabWIC and the ArabWIC conference.
  • Top posters awards (will be lasted later on website
  • Hackathon awards(will be listed later on website)
  • Day 3 had two outstanding hackathons: one for refugees, and one for professionals and students. Some of the projects were both moving and surprising, e.g., to educate parents about the needs of their daughters. There were also enormously popular hands-on robotics workshops, effective design thinking workshops and more excellent technology sessions. The career and technology fair concluded on day 3.


Press Coverage Prior to Conference:

Snippets from Feedback Received

  • I really enjoyed my time and met amazing people.
  • It was a really great experience as I got to know so many good people.
  • Thank you all for making this happen.
  • Our chapter was so lucky to be here learning and networking and we hope to make larger contributions in the future.
  • For me, it was one of the most inspiring conferences I have ever been to. It really opened my eyes to see so many positive, friendly, and intelligent people attending this conference.
  • Thank you all for the amazing moments we had together in Beirut.
  • Giving back to the community, networking and making meaningful connections was personally very rewarding!
  • We were honored to be part of this event. I feel so lucky to meet all of you finally.
  • It was an awesome experience and we learned a lot.
  • This conference changed my life. Can’t wait to participate in the next one as an organizer. Please let me know what I can do to help.
Top Tweets Dr. Fadlo Khuri @DrFadloKhuri Privilege for @AUBMC_Official to host @ArabWIC with more than 450 registrants! Great opening by @sanaodehny …

Thanks again and we hope that you join us and be part of our next conference in Morocco on March 7- 9, 2019. Thanks very much for your support!


2017 ArabWIC Conference  Leadership Committee