Omar’s invention, Sanda, is a specialized prayer chair that supports worshippers who need physical assistance while praying in a mosque. Five times a day, Muslims perform the act of worship, which involves standing, prostrating, and sitting. Those who are physically unable or otherwise impaired may use chairs. Sanda is designed to decrease pressure on joints with assistive sitting and standing features in its compact frame. Omar’s reimagining of the chair could positively benefit the quality of life of millions of potential users around the world, in the mosque and beyond.
After the Stars of Science season ended and the lights in the studio went dark, Omar’s drive and sense of purpose remained as bright as ever. Now, a year after he started his SOS journey, his efforts have brought him closer to bringing Sanda to market. After being accepted into the Qatar Science & Technology Park Accelerator, Omar received expert help to refine his prototype, and exhibit his idea to investors.
Omar continues to be recognized for his accomplishments. A popular site aimed at telling the stories of the next generation of Muslims, UmmahWide.com, featured Sanda as one of the Islamic community’s 50 most innovative startups. To update future customers, Omar established an online community, MySanda.com, so they can keep track of his latest accomplishments.
Omar wants to continue making progress on Sanda – he currently has patent applications pending in several countries. He also is determined to grow LaunchGood.com, a crowdsourcing platform for Muslims, and Alfenn, his branding and design agency. Above all, he measures success on the impact his organizations have on people. “Seeing others benefit from my work keeps me going during challenging situations,” said Omar. “
“I was so proud to participate in Stars of Science because from the beginning, I instantly felt it was an unique opportunity to represent youth in the Arab world,” said Omar. “Our generation faces a challenge – taking advantage of our incredible potential in order to become leaders in engineering, science, and design again. I hope that through my work, I can be one of many people who help inspire others to become innovators.”