Last week was the annual ‘Made in Palestine 2012’ fair showcasing local Palestinian innovations. Now in its seventh year, the fair was co-sponsored by the Swedish NGO Diakonia and by Al Nayzak, a Palestinian organization. There were two exhibitions, one in the West Bank, at the Ramallah Cultural Palace exhibition hall, and one in the Gaza Strip. Together they showcased over 20 scientific innovations, including green technology, agricultural tools and mobile applications related to food and health.
One participant, Afnan Hamad, a 23-year-old chemical engineering graduate from An-Najah National University in Nablus, told IPS that he hopes to someday be the first supplier of alternative fuel in Palestine. “We designed a device to convert plastic waste into gasoline, kerosene and diesel fuel,” he said.
Environmental education and organic farming are growing increasingly popular in the West Bank. Much of the fair celebrated work from young scientists, including inventions by many young Palestinian women. At another booth in Ramallah, 20-year-old computer engineering student Rasha Saffarini, and her colleagues Isra’ Al-Qatow and Abdullah Al-Qatow, showcased their cell phone application called ‘Healthy Gate,’ which helps users calculate healthy food choices and set corresponding alert-reminders.
“Our families are very proud and so are we,” said to Hamad. “We invented something new for Palestine.”
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