Nine months after inaugurating a program to encourage the recruitment and training of high tech professionals from the Arab sector, President Shimon Peres on Sunday received a progress report from some of the companies and their Arab employees.
Peres recognized an unfulfilled potential in the Israeli-Arab community, and in February, established Maantech in a joint initiative with John Chambers, president and CEO of Cisco Systems, Kav Mashve, Tsofen, Manpower and MIT. The voluntary coalition of high tech companies that were interested in recruiting and training high tech professionals from the Arab sector and integrating them into Israel’s high tech industry also included Intel, HP, SAP, Oracle, Amdocs, RSA, Galil Software, Google, Matrix, ECI, IBM, NICE, Checkpoint and CA Technologies, among others.
On Sunday, they gathered at the president’s residence to celebrate the fact that although the project is going slowly, it is working.
Zika Abzuk who heads Cisco’s corporate responsibility division for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in which she adapts and implements programs in diverse communities with the emphasis on collaboration, building leadership and increasing economic opportunities, reported that since February, 125 Arabs have been added to the high tech work force. The aim, she said, is to have as many Arabs in high tech as their demographic ratio in the population.
It’s not as if there were no Arabs prior to the advent of Maantech, but they were few. For Arab graduates in computer sciences, engineering and other relevant fields, it was extremely frustrating to go job hunting and to be constantly rejected, even when they were qualified.
One of the drawbacks, it emerged from comments of representatives of other companies, is that most of the Arab applicants were not sufficiently proficient in English, which is an essential language in the industry.
Awareness of this problem caused Peres to remark that English is now a universal language and that everyone should start learning it from age 2.
Aiman Saif, who represents Arab interests in the Prime Minister’s Office, said although 125 may appear to be a small number in relation to the number of job vacancies in Israel’s high tech industry, it is a tremendous forward step for the Arab community.
Riff Cohen’s sweet and infectious new French pop song, “A Paris,” has been gaining popularity and radio exposure, mostly thanks to the video clip Cohen directed herself in Paris in collaboration with Ravid Kahalani, founder of the “Yemen Blues” project.
Cohen, 27, is a francophone Tel Avivian. She is the daughter of a Jewish-Algerian mother who has been writing poems, unpublished, for years. Most of Cohen’s premier album – in its final stages of production – will consist of her mother’s French poems set to the artist’s music. (Haaretz)
Video Clip Directed by Riff Cohen & Nicola Benac
The script was Written by Riff Cohen
The chef operator by Cloude Granier
Management Directions while shootings by Jean Pierre Tieb
Vocal and Bass: Riff Cohen
Vocal and percussions: Ravid Kahalani
Drums: Itay Matos
Guitar: Uzi Ramirez
Oud: Alon Amano Kampino
The Text was written by Patricia Cohen
Musical Arrangement by: Riff Cohen & Lenny Ben Basat
Produced by: Riff Cohen & Itai Matos
Search engine giant to endorse 20 initiatives at a time by providing office space and information, Internet, consultation, financial and legal services
Google is falling in line with other global companies and plans to establish a startup incubator for Israeli startup companies, scheduled to become operational next August.
Google will rent an entire floor at the Electra office tower in the heart of Tel Aviv. The initiative is scheduled to begin operating at the same time Google Israel headquarters and its R&D center move into the Electra tower as well.
The incubator will endorse 20 startups at a time which will rotate every few months. Google stresses that the technological incubator will be separate from the R&D center and operate as a community in its own right