Part I: Berlin 0.5 The Fall of the Wall

I was lucky enough to spend the last 18 months in Berlin, Germany, and although it was a tremendously rich experience full of special moments. I will try to summarize on 3 different levels and in 3 sequential blog posts. First: on Berlin as a city and a symbol of strong will for Germany and the world, and that, I think, will keep our hopes high for Syria. Second: I will go more deeply to describe the entrepreneurial scene in Berlin, what we can learn from it, and how it could be brought to Syria. Third: I will go over my own experience to work in Berlin, and what I learned as a fresh grad on business and startups.

25 years ago, on November 9, 1989 the Berlin wall has fallen. The same date last year was the 25 anniversary where celebrations took place all over the city. Large screens showing footage from that era. Fireworks in the Sky and music bands from all over Germany and the world playing in Berlin on that anniversary. One thing that struck me was that if you would have asked Berliners few days before the fall of the wall at the time, nobody would have guessed this will happen.

The wall was a symbol of separation, Germany was divided into east and west. Each had its own regime and government. And from what I understand, the situation in the eastern part was really tough, rules were really strict and sometimes unfair. Some people in Germany gave up, they thought the situation will stay like this forever, and the separation will last. Others didn’t, they kept their hopes high and worked hard to achieve unity to bring back a strong and united Germany. Guess who was right?

Germany today is united. The German economy is the strongest in Europe and one of the strongest in the world. Germany is the leader in several industries globally with high quality products and services from automotive to clean energy, to mention a few.

The Story of the fall of the Berlin wall should teach us hope. The wall lasted 28 years but it fell. Today you walk in Berlin and you can’t really feel that this city was divided for almost 3 decades. Walls will fall and hope should last. Therefore our hopes for Syria should always be high and we should execute on them. We have seen such great initiatives such as the ones from Jusoor, the Illinois Institute of Technology and others that assure us that hope is still there and it is on us to keep it going until the wall falls and the country recovers…

Omar Shaya
Currently pursuing master degree in computer science from Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen. Before that, he worked as a product marketing manager at LiquidM Inc, a SaaS mobile marketing platform based in Berlin and San Francisco. Prior to that, Omar earned his bachelor degree in computer science from Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen. Omar was part of the first group of students chosen for the Jusoor IIT initiative in 2012.

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