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Cross-Border Hi-Tech Apprenticeship Scheme Overcomes Challenging Start

26th December 2012

 

One month into the Impact Through Technology project and all involved agree that despite a challenging start they are more than happy with the new productive partnerships that have been formed. Supported by Mercy Corps and USAID, the project has enabled 9 Palestinian hi-tech professionals to undertake apprenticeship schemes in 7 Israeli hi-tech companies, learning the business while contributing their own knowledge to the daily working practices.


Of course the project has not been without its challenges. The Palestinian participants at first struggled with a drastic change to their lives – having had to go through checkpoints to get to Israel they have found it difficult to adjust to new and ‘foreign’ surroundings, where they are without the support of family and friends and with the constant worry of what people back home would think of their participation in the project. It was also the first time that the Israeli companies had hosted Palestinians in their business, and they approached the project with some trepidation as they did not know what the mentality or professional abilities of their new Palestinian apprentices would be.


A third of the way through the three month project, however, and both sides are more than satisfied with the progress. On the personal level, all agree that they have changed their conceptions - and often misconceptions – about the ‘other side’ and have had a chance to reconsider their own outlooks and the way they view others. The Israeli companies are more than happy with the abilities and willingness to learn of the Palestinian apprentices, while the Palestinians have been pleasantly surprised by the warm reception they have received in Israel. Both sides have come to focus on their similarities rather than their differences.


We wish all parties the best of luck for the two remaining months they have to go on the project, and we are sure we will hear more stories of positive exchanges and partnerships. These shared experiences enable concrete exchanges which help to strengthen Palestinian business capacities and establish prosperous business partnerships that are beneficial to both Israelis and Palestinians. We sincerely hope that with the new momentum formed we will see more collaboration between the Israeli and Palestinian hi-tech sectors.

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Photo Credits:

Efrat Sa'ar
Nir Keidar
Amit Geron
Guido Frebel
Ronnie Gross
Michal Shaffer

Ohad Zwigenberg

Rafi Daloya

Elad Malka

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