INSPIRATION IS EVERWHERE

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FIRST brings trust between communities

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Mohamed Abu Fawdah

Mentor of FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1946, FG in Tamra, Israel 

Mohamed Abu Fawdah started the first-ever Arab/Israeli FIRST team in 2005, no simple task in an Israeli state. Mohamed has done more than break the Arab/Israeli mold. He has started a multi-cultural team including boys and girls, where girls are treated as equals, which is rarely seen there. “We were fearful of bringing the wider conflict into the FIRST community,” said Alisha MacIntyre, founder and former co-regional director of FIRST Israel, “but it wasn’t even on the students’ radar. They became friends. Our conclusion: Technology, robots, and kids can bring trust between communities and better opportunities for all.”

Associated quotes from student members:

Yaara Abu Fawdah, Alumna, FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Robotics Competition; Neuroscience student, Tel Aviv University:

“It’s empowering that an Arab’s perception of Jews and a Jew’s perception of Arabs is a little bit changed and different. We can live together and make beautiful robots together.”

Nadine Khanan, Alumna, FIRST Robotics Competition; Medical student, Tel Aviv University:

“Our team has a majority of girls. It made us feel special and different in a good way.”

Nuur Awhad, 10th Grader:

“I never thought I could ever be a part of something like this. It’s so much bigger than building robots. It changes the way you think.”


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