By Stephan Bachenheimer - The shelves in the showroom of the Jordanian Juman Para Pharmaceuticals company are packed with cosmetics that would be the pride of any beauty retailer around the world: lotions, creams, dead-sea mud extracts - just about everything that will keep you young and good-looking. One floor above, Rasha Eid, an energetic entrepreneur and owner of "Juman", walks through her storage and shipping department and throws her arms in the air.
By Farhad Peikar
A post-conflict situation in Yemen will present a unique set of challenges ranging from immediate humanitarian needs for affected populations, to recovery, reconstruction, and state and peace-building efforts. Such challenges will require early recovery efforts with multidisciplinary approaches that cover not only the humanitarian necessities, but that also address development and economic growth, particularly through the private sector.
By Farhad Peikar
Until recently, Ahmed Nejmeddine Mezzi was among the 40 percent or so of Tunisian youth who suffer from unemployment and its negative psychological effects like anxiety, self-doubt and helplessness that come along with it. Today, however, the picture is quite different. The 28-year-old resident of Menzel Bourguiba – a town in the extreme north of Tunisia – not only owns his own firm, but also employs two other people.
By Farhad Peikar
Mervat often works long hours at her vegetable stall at a corner of a poor neighborhood in the Al Fashn area of Beni Suef governorate in Egypt. She does so to bring home what little she can to feed her family. Her husband, a local craftsman, also works hard to make ends meet, fashioning and selling wooden flour sifts in the area. Despite their efforts, the couple barely manages to get by.
Conflict and fragility have been the main hurdles to implementing projects in conflict-affected countries, causing many fragile states to fall behind on their development agendas. In many past cases, international financial institutions (IFIs) have had to suspend or cancel ongoing activities as violence and instability increased, affecting national institutions and making project objectives untenable. For these reasons, the importance of flexibility and adaptability to conditions on the ground is key to avoiding total disengagement. A MENA Transition Fund-financed project, the Small Medium Enterprises (SME) Development Strategy in Libya, presents such a case.
The shelves in the showroom of the Jordanian Juman Para Pharmaceuticals company are packed with cosmetics that would be the pride of any beauty retailer around the world: lotions, creams, dead-sea mud extracts - just about everything that will keep you young and good-looking. One floor above, Rasha Eid, an energetic entrepreneur and owner of "Juman", walks through her storage and shipping department and throws her arms in the air. "It takes us now two months to get deliveries into Iraq because trucks are not allowed to cross the border anymore." Then she points to the storage shelves: 90 percent of her production are labelled for delivery into Iraq.
By Gehane El Sokkary and Farhad Peikar -
Sitting at a table in the middle of Cairo University Campus, Shadwa Alaa a fourth year student at the faculty of Engineering, is not shy to engage in conversation with other students passing by. Flanked by two banners that bear the words “youthinkgreen-Egypt”, Alaa has set up a station to find potential entrepreneurs to innovate in eco-friendly solutions for industrial waste management.
Finding a decent job can be an uphill struggle for many young people, especially recent college graduates around the world. Regardless of their chosen industry, they face a common dilemma: they need experience to get a decent job but they cannot gain that experience without working.
The little artisan studio in a suburb of Tunis is an interior designer's dream. Craftsmen are busy weaving baskets, young women are embroidering fabric. There is pottery, colorful Kelims, ironwork. Antique wood beams are piled up in a corner. Mosaics decorate the walls. A place to bring a shipping container, not a shopping bag.
It is teatime in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Casablanca. A dozen women are gathering; somebody has brought cake for everybody. Tea is being poured into the glasses on a silver tray, the only luxury in this sparsely decorated house. Khadijah Hassini, a housewife, tells of her ongoing struggle to get medication for her heart condition at a local clinic. People with better connections and more money are routinely preferred, leaving her without medication for months.