Meaning ‘our sky’ in Arabic, Samana is much more than a name – it is a promise of a better life, one where even the sky is not a limit. Aiming to create quality employment opportunities for Bedouin women that are adapted to the cultural constraints of their communities, the Samana program identifies talented candidates and provides them with the skills and working environment required to launch a career in the tech world.
The program identifies, screens, and reskills qualified Bedouin women and, through an intensive four-month long ‘bootcamp’ course, provides them with the professional and soft skills required to find their place in the tech world, with careers in QA and QA automation for ERP and CRM systems.
In order to adhere to traditional restrictions, Samana goes beyond training and mentoring to create significant employment opportunities, as well as the local facilities that enable these women to develop their careers. The Samana women-only tech hub provides a safe zone for women in the village of Zarzir, and is a part of Portland Israel’s network of nation-wide employment hubs for underserved communities. These tech hubs cater to the women’s cultural requirements, while acting as a center of excellence in various technological domains.
Samana was founded by a school principal, Bushra Mazareb, who witnessed the lack of opportunities faced by young Bedouin women despite their talent, ambition, and outstanding capabilities. This prompted a decision to create a program that would provide educated women from the Bedouin community in northern Israel, mainly graduates of non-STEM tracks, with the opportunity to join the tech workforce, in accordance with their cultural requirements.
The Samana program initiated a local tech hub and employment opportunities that adhere to cultural restrictions, but nonetheless enable Bedouin women to develop a career in technology. Without driving, working, or studying outside their village boundaries, graduates are integrated into the Israeli high-tech industry, and empowered to provide for themselves and their families
The Portland Trust Israel
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