About the Project
A devout Muslim, Abdulrahman set out to bring together his faith in religion with his love for scientific innovation on Stars of Science Season 11.
The Qatari innovator presented the Smart Educational Prayer Rug, a unique device aimed at helping young and newly converted Muslims learn how to make Islamic prayers - with a twist. The rug features pressure sensors, a built-in screen, and an accompanying mobile app; a combination that would help users learn prayers in an immersive step-by-step manner. Furthermore, it can improve the user’s prayer experience during Taraweeh and Qyam prayers allowing them to read and track passages from the Holy Quran that they are yet to memorize.
Beyond Stars of Science
After his time on Stars of Science, Abdulrahman committed himself toward fulfilling the potential of his project, now named Sajdah - translating to ‘prostration,’ a standard pose in Islamic prayers. The tech-savvy entrepreneur started his own company, Thakaa Technologies, to support production, basing it in the stunning Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) campus within reach of a thriving ecosystem of research centres and start-ups.
According to Abdulrahman, the company plans to produce two models of Sajdah: a ‘light’ version, made affordable for children and converts to Islam, and a ‘pro’ version equipped with additional features adapted for new Muslims eager to refine the way they make prayers. Along with his partner at the company, they are currently applying for a patent, working actively with QSTP experts to secure it.
He started exploring the wide-scale production of Sajdah, attending the 2019 edition of The IDTechEx Show, a multi-industry event held in Santa Clara, USA, where attendees received a closer look at emerging technologies in a variety of sectors. Eager to start production as soon as possible, he connected with a variety of companies specialising in printed electronics and electronic textiles.
In May 2021, Thakaa launched a crowdfunding campaign and received 200% of what they needed for the first round of production exceeding expectations. The first batch of Sajdah is expected to start shipping by December 2021. The phone application associated with Sajdah supports several languages and the prayer rug can be linked to the mobile phone and apple watch via WiFi or Bluetooth.
Beyond his project, Abdulrahman volunteers at Qatar Science Club as the Deputy Executive Director. He oversees the daily operations and works closely with fellow innovators, lending his expertise to guide them on their own innovation journeys.
Abdulrahman is committed to the process, no matter the obstacles that lay ahead of him, considering this a personal strength. “I don’t surrender, I keep trying until I get it right or find success,” he added, “It’s not intelligence as much as perseverance.”
The Qatari misses his time on Stars of Science dearly, describing it as one of the best experiences he’s ever had. “We never felt incredibly competitive against each other, but we felt a team spirit,” said Abdulrahman. “Welcoming Nuha’s [Abu Youssef, fellow Season 11 contestant] baby to the world was a very beautiful and emotional moment for everyone!”
He also credits his experience on Season 11 with boosting his public speaking abilities. Spending time defending his project in front of the famed jury provided the inventor with a chance to improve his communication skills, adding to his ever-growing skillset.
For media coverage and more:
Sajdah Website: https://getsajdah.com/
Facebook: Abdulrahman Saleh Khamis
LinkedIn: Abdulrahman Saleh Khamis