Palestine's Silicon Valley
Hendelsblatt - Pierre Heumann - Water slides, a riding school and a safari park.
A new Palestinian city in the West Bank is establishing itself as an innovation center and smashing clichés.
But at first the population was skeptical.
"We want to be a secular, liberal cosmopolitan city," says Bashar Masri.
Rawabi / West Bank Bashar Masri believes in Palestine. And he works on it: as a manager and investor, as a visionary and doer. "We're in state-building mode," says the 56-year-old, "this is the catalyst for our start-up nation." By "here" he means the city of Rawabi, which originated under his aegis on the gentle hills of the West Bank. Here, the Palestinian middle class is to find a new home, a center in which modern apartments, high-tech jobs, entertainment and a shopping center are bundled.
Many speak and dream of the state of Palestine: some by promoting their concerns out in the world, the others by terrorizing Israel. Masri, who comes from one of the richest Palestinian families, has decided on a different strategy: he creates facts, wants to realize with his technology cluster, a Palestinian Silicon Valley, where, according to the slogan, "live, work and grow." , The era of "Abus" is over, says Masri, thinking of Abu Abbas (nickname for the president of Palestine), Abu Amar (nom de guerre of Arafat) or terrorists like Abu Jihad or Abu Nidal.
Masri wants to give his compatriots a better future and prove that Palestinians can build cities, and high quality ones. The water is processed locally, schools are created, soon the clinic is ready. In the one-time six districts are to live up to 40,000 Palestinians. Rawabi not only offers the highest home decor and quality of life. There are also jobs.
The innovation center is to attract company names such as Google , Microsoft , Cisco , Intel , Microsoft or Mellanox. He hopes that Palestine will no longer be known worldwide as a hotspot for resistance, terror, poverty and refugee misery, but above all as an innovation center. In a first step, the city wants to profile itself as a software outsource center for international companies; He sees himself in the same league as Eastern European countries, says Masri.
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