On Season 7, Yaman Abou Jieb gained in a big way. The Syrian tech tinkerer went on to win Stars of Science with his solar washing machine innovation Glean. The idea was born out of necessity to help his community. Yaman had witnessed first-hand constant power cuts and water shortages. Understanding that washing machines require an abundance of both electricity and water, he sought to devise a way to mitigate the disruption caused by their absence.
Glean provides a solution by running completely on solar energy. In addition, the machine uses recycled water to conserve both electricity and water. Yaman’s idea is more than an environmentally-friendly alternative to the standard washing machine. Glean’s independence from electricity makes it possible to wash clothes even when electrical outages hinder the usage of traditional washing machines.
While still jubilant about winning the Season 7 title, Yaman refuses to linger on his victory. “Winning Stars of Science was a dream for me and a major milestone in my life, but I cannot dwell on it too much. I don’t want to lose my drive. I still have a long way to go.”
Modesty aside, Yaman has achieved significant feats considering his young age. Currently a postgraduate student in the United States, Yaman was chosen as one of the top five Arab innovators by the MIT Technology Review, a well-known publication at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has also been invited to speak at TEDx Arab International University and the Arab Innovation Network. His project, Glean, has progressed to the final stage of selection in the Sirius program, a UK-based program that provides networking, funding, and support for young entrepreneurs from all around the world.
Yaman has learned a great deal from his SOS experience, and has applied those lessons in his daily life. Mostly, he credits his success to those around him, especially his family. “Being around successful and supportive people inspires me to strive for the best, and never settle for anything less.”
Yaman sees great potential in Syrian youth, and longs for the day when more opportunities are available to all residing in the war-torn nation. “I truly believe that we can excel wherever we are, as long as we have the chance. Not many people know that Steve Jobs was half-Syrian, and look at all he’s accomplished. This shows that Arab youth can have an innovative spirit. We just need to be offered the right opportunities to prove ourselves.”
“The Arab World needs to change its collective mindset toward entrepreneurship. We need to develop an innovate-first culture in the Middle East so we can unlock our potential.”
Facebook: Yaman Aboujaib