Of the three Jordanian teams at this Pan Arab competition in Bahrain, "WeLink" and "Captiousus" won awards competing with 33 other teams from 11 Arab countries.
- June 21, 2015 - MANAMA, Bahrain -- Three Jordanian teams participated in the 2015 Pan Arab Semi-Finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup held in Bahrain between 31 May and 2 June, 2015. They were Jordan’s national champions in the three categories of Games, Innovation and Global Citizenship; competing with national winners from 11 other Arab countries in a competition that featured 35 teams in total.
The Microsoft Imagine Cup is part of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative, a worldwide technology program and competition for students between the ages of 16 and 24 years-old. Since it started in 2003, a significant number of Arab teams succeeded in getting into the world’s top three winners.
Of the three Jordanian teams at the Pan Arab competition, two came in the top three in their categories and therefore won awards and cash prizes. One of the winning teams was “WeLink” from the University of Jordan, consisting of Industrial Engineering student Suha Tbakhi and dentistry student Noor Daras, both in fifth year, who represented Jordan as the winner of the national finals in the “Innovation” category. Their product “Fingers Hear Sounds" is a glove that enables those with hearing disabilities to ‘hear through their hand’, converting sounds into vibrations. It won the 2nd prize in the ‘Innovation’ category.
Another winning team, "Captiosus" from the Jubilee School, consisted of 11th grade students Nora Mouhaidat and Anas Al-Shaikh under the supervision of Mr. Hazim Hamdan, representing Jordan as the national winning team in the category of "Global Citizenship". Their product is a Windows Phone application that serves as a personal assistant enabling the vision-impaired to use smart phone capabilities. This team won 3rd place in “Global Citizenship” category.
As for the team competing in the “Games Category”- distinctly named “CodeFathers”- their game did not win a Pan Arab prize, but is a unique and well presented concept. ‘Wadro’ is a 2 dimensional multi-level adventure game which aims to raise awareness regarding water conservation. It features a drop of water which goes on a journey through a maze of pipes, changing from liquid to solid to gas state. The team is made up of fourth-year students from the Faculty of Information Technology at Middle East University (MEU) including Mohammed Lawi, Ala’ Mahmoud, Hussam Shahine and Ahmed Hossam Abdel Hafez, under the supervision of Dr. Mamoun Ahmed.
The two days of the Pan Arab competition witnessed lots of energy and enthusiasm, with the teams showcasing their creations developed for various platforms, not just for Windows, and utilizing various non-Microsoft programming tools. Supporting such an initiative is part of the ‘Microsoft Openness’ strategy.
Hana Habayeb, the Open Source Strategy Lead at Microsoft Middle East & Africa said “regardless of the technology that students, startups or enterprises prefer to use, Microsoft wants to be there for them. We have a legacy of being the platform and productivity company, therefore we want to ‘grow the pie’ for everyone in this Mobile First- Cloud First world.”
On the Imagine Cup, she commented on its importance for the future of talented developers saying that “several employers we meet like to hire former Imagine Cup participants. Not only do they have the technical background, but also a proven passion for technology.”
John Scott Tynes, Student Developer Evangelism Program Lead at Microsoft who runs the Imagine Cup worldwide, spoke to the participants in the Pan Arab Semi-Finals saying "All of you here are winners. Your participation in the Imagine Cup will reflect positively on your professional life and your chances in progress in the fields of information technology.
This is the ultimate goal of educational programs and events at Microsoft.”
Imagine Cup 2015 - Pan Arab Semi Finals Winners:
•First Place, Team T2, Tunisia
•Second Place, Team Al Awar, UAE
•Third Place, Team Awan, Egypt
•First Place, Team BCR, Palestine
•Second Place, Team WeLink, Jordan
•Third Place: Team QU Mechatronics, Qatar
World Citizenship Category:
•First Place, Team Freedom Fragrance, UAE
•Second Place, Team Kitabi, Oman
•Third Place, Team Captiosus, Jordan