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  • Writer's pictureMajid Alhusseini

These Two Fearless Egyptian Ladies Are Teaching Millions Of Arab Women How To Code

Founded by Bahia El Sharkawy and Eman El Koshairy in 2015, Al Makinah aims to immerse young students to the art of Computing and computer programming language and fight against gender biases. El Sharkawy, a Computer Science graduate and Koshairy a Digital Media graduate ,met while studying at the German University in Cairo, and later joined forces to launch the first coding bootcamp in Egypt. After launching the startup, they were incubated by AUC V-labs, the startup had its first pitch at the RiseUp Summit 2016 - the largest startup event in the region - and won a trip to Silicon Valley.

They continued to break new ground ever since, as they partnered with Udacity to bring their Web Development Udacity Connect Nanodegree to Egypt. “I attended one of those coding bootcamps in the US and decided to come back and creating something like that,” says Bahia el Sharkawy, who ran into her former classmate el Koshairy at a UX training course. “I remember it was Ramadan and I saw the post on Facebook. ‘This is something I want to add to Al Makinah. I just contacted her at 2 in the morning, and she immediately said, ‘I am interested,’” she recalls.

While a coding bootcamp in countries like USA can cost up to $50,000, one of Al Makinah’s Gear Up programmes for women to become a front-end developer costs EGP 5,000 (a little more than $280), and the three-month full-stack web development programme, EGP 25,000.

“We are trying to bring people the opportunity to know more about this field,” Koshairy says. “Usually when people graduate from school in this region, their grades determine whether they get into college, and if someone wants to study something else or work in another field, they have to do that on their own.”

“The coding bootcamp fits really nicely in our culture because if someone wants to shift his career, they can kind of bootstrap into it so they don't have to do that on their own,” adds Sharkawy. “The bootcamp does exactly that; it is really intense, so if they want to make this change in their life, they can just go in, they give it their all and actually do this huge shift in their knowledge and their skills to actually be able to work in that field not just know something about that and that's it.”

AlMakinah partners with Udacity as well to bring Udacity's web development Nanodegree to Egypt. AlMakinah offers Egypts first technical bootcamp and offers credible technical training on coding and web development. Its last class of graduates all found jobs after completing the course.

If you are in Egypt, or you are interested in more information, make sure to visit AlMakinah's website at:

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