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  • 23 Jun 2023 11:34 AM | Anonymous member

    On June 21st, the LebNet Pacific Northwest committee hosted a picnic gathering at Juanita Beach Park. Community members and friends gathered outdoors, got to know each other and enjoyed interesting conversations about the community’s future plans and activities, such as monthly social hour, an upcoming mentorship program and impactful community service activities.

    Beyond the enjoyment of snacks and the beautiful outdoors, the gathering left participants with much more than a fun outing. The connections forged and the enthusiastic support offered to the steering committee undeniably demonstrated the Pacific Northwest community’s bright prospects and promising beginnings. 

    More events will follow! If you are a Lebanese tech individual residing in the Pacific Northwest region, you are invited to join our community by visiting this link.  

  • 22 Jun 2023 9:06 AM | Anonymous member

    On June 8th, LebNet Bay Area hosted its first event on the East Bay at Prizefighter Bar. The event’s relaxed format gave participants the chance to network, get to know each other and enjoy the company! 

    Around 10 people gathered at the venue, and thanks to the group’s chemistry, many of them stayed late and started discussing tentative dates and potential locations for future meetups. Stay tuned as this is the first out of many more events to come on the East Bay. Future activities might include outdoor walks and coffee breaks. 

    Special thanks to Sarah Naameh, LebNet Bay Area’s newest steering committee member, who organized the event. Check out all the members of the Bay Area steering committee by visiting this page

    “The first event went very well! Everyone from new graduates to experts in their fields came out and had a good time. We were able to connect on many different levels: shared interest in technology and its future applications, shared concerns about Lebanon, similarities in upbringing and values, and the little things like a shared love of gardening and nature,” said Naameh. “The happy hour really proved that there is a real desire for a LebNet community in the East Bay. There is a strong foundation to grow from and we hope to build on that energy with more frequent events and possibly a group chat.”

  • 12 Jun 2023 10:51 AM | Anonymous member

    On June 8th, a vibrant gathering took place on the scenic rooftop of the Google building in Reston. Over 45 individuals participated in a firechat session centered around artificial intelligence (AI). Guiding the discussion was Wissam Yafi, an esteemed member of the LebNet Mid-Atlantic leadership team and the founder of TIDWIT. Yafi skillfully moderated the conversation with Bassel Haidar, the AI and ML Practice Lead at Guidehouse, leading to an insightful exchange of ideas. Attendees were not only treated to engaging conversations and delicious food but also had the opportunity to connect with a diverse group of individuals spanning various age groups and professional backgrounds. 

    Bassel delivered thought-provoking insights shedding light on the evolution of AI that has brought us to the present age of advanced technology and the expected explosion of AI. He emphasized the collaborative nature of human-machine interaction and how it contributes to the continuous improvements of AI. Attendees had the opportunity to explore how AI has the capacity to revolutionize various industries and enhance human capabilities. The conversation highlighted the transformative impact of AI in areas such as healthcare, finance, transportation and beyond. As the evening progressed and the sun set, participants engaged in networking  activities while enjoying the scenic rooftop views and friendly conversations. You can watch the whole event here.

    The event further featured a special book signing by Wissam Yafi, who showcased his latest science-fiction novel titled Fina 20X3, the sole AI book set in a futuristic Lebanon. 

    With its second event, the LebNet Mid-Atlantic community showcased its remarkable potential for enthusiastic engagement and participation. The lively atmosphere and the impressive turnout is indicative of the community's growing momentum and the promising success that lies ahead. If you reside in any of the surrounding states (Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland,  Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia), we invite you to join us so that you won't miss out on any future events. To learn more and subscribe, please visit this page

    Scroll down to check out the event’s photos.

  • 06 Jun 2023 6:20 AM | Anonymous member

    On June 3rd, the new LebNet LA/OC leadership team successfully organized their first networking event.

    Held at a restaurant in Long Beach, the event saw an impressive turnout of about 40 individuals with nearly half of them being students and early in career professionals. This remarkable response and the event's overall success marks a great relaunch of this community!

    According to Samer Hijazi, LA/OC community leader, the event was highly successful and the feedback received from the attendees has been nothing short of positive.

    This is the first out of many events the community is planning to organize so make sure you join it to stay updated. 

  • 01 Jun 2023 10:00 AM | Anonymous member

    LebNet marked a momentous occasion on Friday May 26th, as we celebrated the successful completion of the inaugural LebNet fellowship program at the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at AUB.  The ceremony for the presentation of certificates brought together a gathering of 31 individuals, which included 25 fellows hailing from various universities - 7 from the American University of Beirut (AUB), 7 from the Lebanese University, and 11 from the Lebanese American University (LAU). We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Nadine Nakad from AUB and Nicole Bou Farhat from LAU for their invaluable assistance in organizing and hosting the event.

    The inaugural LebNet fellowship program, initiated by the Women in Tech community and led by Aya Mouallem, a Stanford University Electrical Engineering PhD student and co-founder of All Girls Code, has achieved a flawless completion rate in its first year.  Despite the multitude of obstacles faced in Lebanon, the dedicated women fellows persevered to successfully complete the program.  An impressive majority of over 90% of these remarkable women have shared their increased confidence in pursuing careers in the tech industry, while also refining their existing skills and gaining new ones. 

    “It has been an absolute pleasure hosting and getting to know each and every one of you. I sincerely wish you all a wonderful future ahead. Remember that LebNet and I, personally, are here to support you with any mentoring or coaching needs you may have in the future. You give me great hope for the future of women in technology and for the future of Lebanon!,” said Jeanine Akiki, LebNet Executive Director during her thank you speech. 

    Aya concluded by saying, “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the fellows for fostering a supportive and empowering environment, creating a remarkable culture that will continue to flourish in this newfound community for the long haul.  We kindly request that you continue sharing knowledge and ensure that you give back to your communities, sustaining a ripple effect of positive change.  We eagerly await your future endeavors and want you to know that we are always here to support you!” 

    Keep an eye out for LebNet’s forthcoming plans to expand and extend the reach of this program, bringing its benefits to an even larger number of deserving fellows!

  • 23 May 2023 11:42 PM | Anonymous member

    On May 19th, LebNet San Diego organized a dinner at Amardeen restaurant gathering 21 members of the community. The evening was cozy and offered a great chance for members to meet and get to know each other. 

    “Always overwhelmed with emotions to see you all,” said Shadi Dayeh, steering committee member and Professor at University of California San Diego.

    “ I was so happy to see everybody enjoying their time and conversations! There were multiple requests to make more such events and to include the whole family.  We will work on that” commented Gholmieh, SD steering committee member and principal engineer at Qualcomm. 

    The San Diego community is preparing many more events for this year so make sure you join our community here to stay updated. 

  • 16 May 2023 11:44 AM | Anonymous member

    On May 11th, the LebNet Bay Area community partnered with TechWadi to host a panel discussion on the role of AI in healthcare. The panel featured Mona Flores, Global Head of Medical AI at NVIDIA Corporation, Abdul Hamid Halabi, founder and CEO at Clinlab.AI, and Abood Quraini, Technical Marketing Manager - Clara/Healthcare & Life Sciences AI at NVIDIA. The discussion was moderated by Jibran Jahshan, Vice President of Software at NVIDIA and LebNet Bay Area steering committee member. The panelists discussed various topics related to AI in healthcare, including its potential for aiding doctors and nurses in the operation rooms, the gaps, limitations, challenges, and more.

    The panel discussion drew a diverse audience of over 60 individuals with varying backgrounds and experiences, including college students, postdoctoral researchers, professionals with 10-20 years of experience, and a mix of healthcare and engineering backgrounds encompassing physicians, clinicians, biologists, and engineers. Notably there was a significant representation of women in Tech among the attendees

    The panel touched on the important topics of data sharing, patient privacy,  interdisciplinary collaboration and addressing bias in data for AI powered solutions to become trustworthy. Mona Flores highlighted the role of AI in prescribing the right treatment for cancer patients, avoiding assumptions, and taking into consideration race and ethnicity. Abdul Hamid Halabi discussed the important role physicists play in the early detection phase and the opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop cost-effective solutions for doctors to access more data about a person's health and predisposition to diseases. Abood Quraini talked about the role of AI-enabled robots in minimally invasive surgeries, which could potentially reduce the number of incisions required during surgery. You can catch the entire discussion here but please be advised that the audio quality is not great and you may want to turn on the closed captions at the bottom of the video on the right (cc). The panel concluded with a Q&A session and more informal conversations and networking.

    The LebNet Bay Area community expresses its gratitude to the panelists for their contributions to the panel and to the participants for their engagement. We would also like to extend our special thanks to the White and Case LLC team for their generous support in hosting our event at their exquisite venue.  If you are interested in joining this vibrant community, please subscribe to stay updated about upcoming events and initiatives.

  • 23 Apr 2023 11:50 PM | Anonymous member

    On April 15th, LebNet Canada held an event to honor the life and accomplishments of Nabil Bukhalid, a Lebanese Internet evangelist and Internet Hall of Fame inductee. 

    Nabil Bukhalid was an accomplished Lebanese tech leader. He graduated from the American University of Beirut with an Electrical Engineering Degree in 1981 and an Executive Master in Business Administration in 2005. After graduating, he led the Computing and Networking team at the university and introduced the Internet to Lebanon. In 1993, he established the Lebanese Domain Registry (LBDR) and served as administrator and registrar for the .LB ccTLD since its creation. Bukhalid was also the founder of the Lebanese Academic and Research Network (LARN), co-founder of the Lebanese Broadband Manifesto Support Group (LBSG) and BeirutIX, Lebanon’s first Internet Exchange Point.  Nabil was also a co-founder and ex-president of the Internet Society Lebanon chapter; co-founder and CEO of the Lebanese Internet Center; and advisory board member of the Lebanese Canadian Tech Hub, which merged with LebNet to become LebNet Canada in 2018. 

    The main focus of the event was the inauguration of the Nabil Bukhalid Computer Lab at l’École Notre-Dame de Nareg and was preceded by a mass celebrated by Father Paul Kazandijan. Nabil Bukhalid's wife, Joumana, and son Sami were present at the inauguration, which was attended by about 45 people in person and 12 via WebEx. The lab received a donation of 23 laptops, made possible by the generous contributions of various individuals and organizations.

    During the event, Father Paul Kazandijan, Fadi Joseph, who is the President of LebNet Canada, Roger Karam from LIFE Canada and Monsef Derraji, a Canadian politician and Member of the National Assembly of Quebec, delivered inspiring speeches, highlighting Nabil's significant contributions to Lebanon's tech industry. Towards the end of the event, Deputy Monsef awarded a certificate of recognition to Nabil's wife and son.

    Nabil Bukhalid’s inspiring life and achievements will forever be remembered and celebrated by all Lebanese. May his soul rest in peace.

    (Group photo including Nabil Bukhalid's wife Joumana and son Sami accepting the certificate of recognition)

    (The new computer lab)

    (The donated laptops)

  • 25 Jan 2023 12:00 PM | Anonymous member

    On Jan 23rd, LebNet recognized Hasan Dandashly President and CEO at Dematic, President Supply Chain Solutions and Executive Board Member at KION as Executive of the Year.

    This award recognizes a High Tech professional of Lebanese Descent in North America with remarkable executive and leadership skills, who has delivered benefits to shareholders and has had a positive impact on company culture and society.

    Hasan Dandashly is a seasoned CEO who joined Dematic in 2018.  Before that he was president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas in 2017 and President and CEO of Downstream since 2014. His responsibilities included research and development, engineering centers, manufacturing facilities, and service centers located in more than 35 countries. Hasan holds a BS in Computer Science from the Lebanese American University and a Master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

    Habib Haddad, Chairman of LebNet, opened the event saying: “We are here tonight to honor the outstanding achievements of a very special individual, and to recognize their contribution to the Lebanese community and the world at large. A leader who puts people first but demands perfection, a leader who is driving Dematic to the top of its game yet has prioritized sustainability and diversity and inclusion,  a leader who has lived all around the world yet is proud of his Lebanese roots. A leader you all call a friend!” Jeanine Akiki, Executive Director of LebNet, followed up with a brief summary on LebNet and its mission.

    In his acceptance speech, Hasan started by explaining about Lebanon: a small but old country with famous people known all around the world like Gebran Khalil Gebran, Carlos Slim, Shakira, etc. Lebanon was always unique with its diversity and the best educational institutions in the Middle East. Lebanese People are emotionally intelligent, diverse, driven and quick on their feet. Hasan was grateful to his family and all the people who opened doors for him along his university and career paths.  Hasan highlighted the great journey he has had with Dematic over the last five years and that the key to success and longevity is not heritage but continuing to excel with our offering, caring for our clients, hiring and retaining the best talent, and transforming with technology. He ended with “Thank you LebNet, I am honored and humbled by the recognition”.

    Congratulations to Hasan for his great accomplishments and for being an inspiration, a role model, and a great source of pride for LebNet!  

  • 23 Dec 2022 10:00 AM | Anonymous member

    Founders are constantly endeavoring to keep their businesses and team members thriving, persevering through economic turmoil, global pandemics and any other factor that might be slowing down the business and hindering its growth. 

    In an effort to shed light on Lebanese women-owned businesses in Lebanon and North America and the challenges of navigating uncertain times, LebNet WiT organized an online holiday networking session titled ‘Lebanese Women Owned Businesses: Roadmap for Growth’. The December 15th event featured a short introduction by Christiane El Kareh on the Kfarshima Community, followed by a 30-minute panel and breakout sessions. 

    “The platform was created two years ago after I moved to Canada. I wanted to help women promote their small businesses in Lebanese village Kfarshima. We encourage people to buy locally, and in return we help the sellers with marketing and branding and connect them with event organizers and influencers,” said Christiane who encouraged attendees to gift their loved ones in Lebanon products made in Lebanon by Lebanese women. Participants who donated to the event will also receive a set of 5 made in Kfarshima coasters as a thank you for their donation.

    Starting Up and Surviving  

    The 30-minute panel was an inspiring discussion between three women leaders - Nisreen Deeb, Executive Director at Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB); Audrey Nakad, Co-Founder at Ostaz, a private online tutoring platform; and Marianne Zakhour, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Orderbot, an order management platform for online ordering. - who built amazing businesses and shared their daily struggles. It was moderated by Karine Sarkissian, WiT Community Co-lead and Networking and Startup Program Lead and Founding Partner at Tamar Capital. 

    While the common goal between all three businesses was to empower individuals one way or another, either through learning or teaching (Ostaz), selling online (Orderbot) or becoming tech leaders (LLWB), each one of these founders had a different challenge. 

    For Audrey, her biggest obstacle was funding. “We are going through a difficult time right now and need funding,” she stated. Her online tutoring platform, which was acquired in May 2021 by Inspired Education Group, a global group of premium schools, features 60,000 learners and 1,000 background checked teachers and has conducted around 90,000 tutoring sessions on the platform, according to Audrey. Despite the success, talent retention remains another challenge the co-founder is facing. “We as a management team act as therapists to make sure our team is motivated. We try to keep them shielded from reality and we’re trying our best to retain them and attract new talent.” 

    Marianne, who co-founded Orderbot to help others promote and sell their products online, talked about the constant need to look for the next new idea in order to stay relevant. “There’s never been a time where metrics and delivery times were more important,” she said. “My dream is to expand to allow people in less fortunate countries to deliver products and grow their customer base.” 

    Nisreen touched upon the reality of women in tech fields in Lebanon, how they need others to help them believe in their abilities. She was elected in 2013 as one of the tech leaders in Lebanon through the Women Tech Founders program by the US Department of State. Additionally, she launched several projects and initiatives to empower women to pursue careers in tech and initiated Girls Got IT with four other founders. With LLWB, she is not only helping tech students, but also women founded projects and college dropouts. 

    “LLWB is a non-profit. We don’t do business, we do impact. Our biggest challenge is to keep our mission alive by convincing the private sectors, NGOs, local donors and entities to join efforts despite the situation in Lebanon. Another challenge is to keep the organization sustainable by working through issues like employees’ mental health and motivation,” she added. 

    The event ended with breakout sessions where the panelists went into direct conversations with participants to discuss their issues and help them resolve it. 

    Those interested in watching the entire panel can visit this link

    “Thank you so much for all these amazing discussions. LebNet has a lot of resources such as our internship programs and the Women in Tech initiatives that we are running so be in touch with us so we can support you,” concluded Karine. 

LebNet, a non-profit organization, serves as a multi-faceted platform for Lebanese professionals residing in the US and Canada, entrepreneurs, investors, business partners in a broad technology eco-system, and acts as a bridge to their counterparts in Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East


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