NYU Abu Dhabi Hosts 2017 Annual International Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World

Press Release

Three day programming marathon set to take place April 14 – 16

Aspiring hackers from across the globe are set to gather at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) between April 14 – 16 for the 7th Annual International Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World. Participants will be divided into teams and mentored by renowned international computer science professors, founders of successful startups, technology professionals, and venture capitalists, as they lock horns to develop the best innovative applications for social good across a wide range of sectors.

Organized by Founder and Chair for NYUAD Hackathon, Clinical Professor of Computer Science at NYU New York and Affiliated Faculty at NYUAD Sana Odeh, the event invites teams to develop innovative applications relevant to diverse fields such as health, education, journalism, film, music, business, and science. Presenting their applications to a panel of judges on April 16, the teams will compete for top honors during the annual Hackathon.

Winning projects from last year’s edition of the annual Hackathon included language tools such as a “ReCaptcha-inspired” mobile application for crowd-sourcing Arabic text digitization and an inline translator for informal Arabic and English, as well as a personal digital assistant for refugees termed Sadiki.

"The NYUAD International Hackathon is a global event that offers top Computer Science students and leading professionals from around the world the opportunity to work together and design innovative solutions that contribute to social good in the Arab World,” said Odeh “With projects ranging from mobile apps to hardware applications, the Hackathon encourages talented young minds to pursue new avenues of creative thinking through strong collaborations that cross borders in order to build technical solutions that will impact future generations.”

“Participating students go on to win awards, get funding, start their own startups and even find jobs through our network following the event. Each year we welcome an incredibly diverse group of passionate students from around the world who display an astounding degree of intuition for the design, planning and execution of complex projects. We are looking forward to seeing what new projects and innovative ideas will spring from the bright minds attending the annual Hackathon at NYUAD this year."

Jeffrey Avina, the Director of MEA Division of Microsoft International Citizenship and Community Affairs Department reflected on his participating in the Hackathon as a judge for the past 6 years: “The NYUAD Hackathon brings together some of the most talented youth globally to focus on pressing global issues and concerns. The power of cross regional collaboration is on fully display here as talented students combine forces and produce amazing and impactful solutions of global merit. Thank you NYUAD for this amazing initiative”

For further information on the 2017 Annual NYUAD International Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World, visit http://nyuad.nyu.edu/en/news-events/conferences/nyuad-hackathon.html

Students will present their applications to a panel of judges on Sunday, April 16 at 4pm. Judges will include:


Jeffrey Avina, Director of the Middle East and Africa Division of Microsoft International’s Citizenship and Community Affairs Department
Arnaud Sahuget, Product Manager Cornell Tech


Abdelhameed Ahmed Sharara, CEO and Founder RiseUp Egypt
Mohammed Mansour Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator
Mohamed Hamza, AUC Venture Lab Manager


Abdallah Absi, CEO at Zoomaal
Munir David Nabti, General Manager (GM) at Bootcamp LB and CEO – Chief Entrepreneur & Organizer at AltCity.me
Rana Chmaitelly, CEO of Little Engineer


Sonia Weymuller, Partner at Venture Souq
Kamel Al Asmar, Founder & CEO – Nakhweh, Wamda; Forbes 30 Social Entrepreneurs 2014
Nizar Habash, Associate Professor of Computer Science at NYU
Matthieu Suiche, founder of MoonSols, and co-founder of CloudVolumes
Erikki Aaltonen, Executive Director at startAD
Tamara Tannir, C3 Head of Programs
Najla Al Midfa, General Manager at Sheraa – Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center
Rima Al-Sheikh, Serial entrepreneur (nambbesh, GLT.io, and now mokus.io)


About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.