Success Stories

Story of

Yaman Abou Jieb

1st Place Winner

About the project

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.

Beyond Stars of Science

Yaman hasn’t let a moment of productivity pass since his win in Season 7. He has soared from student to stakeholder in his own company. He took 15 courses in one year to graduate on time with his peers from the University of Damascus.

Besides looking to license Glean to British investors and companies, he has been working on two new exciting projects. The Syrian-born innovator considers it his mission to be involved in the restructuring strategy of his country after the war. He developed barley growth rooms and signed deals with international companies to lease rooms out for production. Depending on the size of the room, they can produce between 300kg to 1 ton of barley, daily!

After two semesters at the University of Arkansas, studying a Masters in Engineering, Yaman realized another lifelong dream – admission into the Oregon Institute of Technology. “This is where I’ll be able to fast track my education and fine-tune my innovations.”

Yaman has also been working on a new innovation called PenCam at the Arab Innovation Academy in Qatar Science Technology Park (QSTP). PenCam helps legally blind people read and write. The device is more affordable and convenient than anything else on the market, and is meant to be marketed towards people in developing countries. The patents have been filled and Yaman is actively looking for investors to take it to market.

Personal Reflection

Yaman’s mission is to encourage Syria’s youth to be the agents of progress in their country’s rebuilding. “The war created a massive education gap. We need an increase of 10 to 15% of highly educated youth to make up for the unfortunate void. Most people are focusing on building physical infrastructure, but we need to highlight the significance of educational infrastructure too – that’s what will lead us forward.”

Yaman emphasizes that human capital is vital to the success and sustainability of the region.  He reminisced a moment from Season 7, where Prof. Mrad said, “Yaman created Glean. Glean didn’t create Yaman.” This moment helped Yaman realign his thought-process and appreciate the power of education even more.

Follow Yaman

Instagram: @yaman_abj

Facebook: Yaman Aboujaib

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