Changing the world through technology
The whir of helicopters. The crack of gunfire. The percussive explosions of mortars. Heba is all too familiar with the sounds and scenarios that have forced more than 65 million people worldwide to flee their homes. Heba left her childhood home in 2012 after her neighborhood outside Aleppo, Syria had been reduced to rubble.
"Why change a limited number of lives when you can be a part of changing humanity?" But according to the computer science graduate and project manager who relocated to the United Arab Emirates, those sounds and circumstances can be overcome. She is creating one small part of the solution by the soft tap-tap-tap of her fingers on a computer keyboard. Heba, after taking a computer science course in college, realized she could combine her desire to help people, her talent and technology to create change at a scale she never would have imagined.
“Why change a limited number of lives when you can be a part of changing humanity?” she asks. Although she is quick to point to others who have prevailed against even worse odds than she, Heba is an example of what can be achieved through hard work and a lofty vision.
Heba, a self-described “techtivist,” has embarked on tackling big issues. She is working on bringing violence against women into the light through an app called VioLens, which empowers bystanders to report abuse and domestic violence anonymously. She is also part of a team at a creative agency developing a website called kwn.education, which provides affordable digital courses in entrepreneurship. The site is partly designed to empower refugees to work their way out of harrowing circumstances—a cause close to Heba’s heart.