High tech and information technology have been hailed as the way out of Palestinian dependence on foreign aid. Given scarce natural resources and the restrictions placed on the movement of people and goods by the occupation, the Internet may provide us with the opportunity to engage with the “outside world” and participate in development and progress. This issue explores where we stand at this time and what possibilities the future may hold. Although we have access to many IT services that are enjoyed in other places around the globe, some are still missing or in the making; software development and outsourcing of Internet-based services into Palestine may prove to become major pillars of the economy of a future Palestinian state.
Read about developments since the signing of the Oslo Accords and the accomplishments, challenges, and restrictions that the sector faces today. Read about mobile phone services, Internet service providers, the development of geographic information systems, the long road towards being able to enjoy 3G services – and the impact that restrictions placed by the occupation have had on economic development. Some authors stress the importance of education and investment in our human capital and caution against the possible adverse effects of employing too much high technology. Be impressed by success stories in high-tech development, especially in medical technology, and benefit from cautionary advice for the improvement of software development.
Contributing authors to this issue include a former minister of telecommunications; an Internet-security expert who holds nine patents; an entrepreneur developing a new cancer treatment that uses nanotechnology (if it proves successful, it might well lead to a Nobel Prize in medicine); a veteran electronics engineer who coordinates Palestine’s e-Government program; a lead ICT specialist and an IT consultant at the World Bank; the director of GIS and IT at the Ramallah Municipality; a number of specialists involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem supporting Palestinian startup firms, software development, and IT specialists; social media and online marketing specialists; founders of IT and high-tech companies, and more. Our personality of the month is an entrepreneur and president of a high-tech company that deals with technology used in brain research and surgery, as well as in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, depression, and other illnesses. Our book of the month invites you to engage in heartwarming explorations of Palestine’s traditional cuisine. Thanks go to these authors for their contributions to this issue and to Palestinian society!
Wishing you a good month ahead from the entire team at TWiP,