Sophia Loren, an Italian film actress, has once said: “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.”
Anyone who visits Palestine and communicates with its youth will notice the “talents,” “creativity” and motivation that Loren has talked about. Palestinian youth, who constitute approximately 30% of the Palestinian population, play a major role in shaping the future of Palestine, with their determination, persistence and ambition.
Despite the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the lack of opportunities, young Palestinians have never surrendered to this situation. They have always been determined to pursue their dreams despite the occupation, the apartheid wall, the absence of a solid state and the presence of distorted markets in Palestine.
Some of the most academic fields that attract young Palestinians are Business related fields including: Business administration, accounting, marketing and finance. Although it is challenging to make it into the economy and the Business World, I heard two weeks ago, the story of two motivated students from Birzeit University, who started their own Business venture!
In 2009, a Palestinian student (Baha’) decided to make a magazine for advertising. He named it “Triangle” and it is said to be the first magazine in the world that has the shape of a triangle. Baha’ is 22 years old. He graduated in 2011 from Birzeit University, with a major in accounting. Along with Triangle magazine, Baha’ has an advertising agency!
Baha’ is the designer of the magazine and Jamal, who also graduated from Birzeit University this year, is the marketing director. I am currently working with Jamal on a project focusing on the Palestinian labor market, its needs and the difficulty of graduates to find jobs. I was very interested when he told me about the magazine, so I decided to write this blog on it.
The goal of Jamal and Baha’ is to improve their skills in the field of marketing and become professionals in order to compete in the world market. In 2009, they published 3000 “Triangle” magazines in what they call “Ramallah’s hot spots.” These include big supermarkets, famous cafes, restaurants, malls, etc.
They put in the magazine ads for a coffee shop, a supermarket, a restaurant, etc. They also have a Facebook page and a website for the magazine.
What really impressed me about these students is that they had a further goal to pursue. In 2012, they wanted to celebrate the fourth anniversary of their magazine in a special way. They decided to become famous worldwide and make the smallest magazine in the world. This is where the idea of making it into Guinness World Records came from. According to them, no one has ever competed to make the smallest magazine, so they opened a new category in Guinness World Records. In order to do that, Guinness asked them to make a magazine that is 10 times smaller than the one they used to publish.
Jamal and Baha’ organized a big conference to make an advertisement for their magazine and its possible entry into Guinness. They invited many stakeholders and the media to their event and they are still working on rising their reputation. They should get an answer from Guinness at the end of this month. Whether they will be accepted or not, I think they should be proud of themselves and their big accomplishment.
I believe that such projects should be encouraged to help these young motivated Palestinians develop their entrepreneurial skills and create new employment opportunities for both themselves and other Palestinians. It is worth noting that the unemployment rate in Palestine is approximately 24%.
Posted By Nur Arafeh
Posted Jul 22nd, 2012