November 25, 2018
WEST BANK - As part of the activities of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Faculty of Business and Economics at Birzeit University invited Khaled Sabawi, CEO of Union Construction and Investment (UCI) and Vice Chairman of its Board of Directors, to deliver a public lecture on entrepreneurship in Palestine. The lecture was attended by Dr. Samia Batma, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics; Rami Kashu, Lecturer and Head of the Business Administration department; Mrs. Dahouk Dawoudi, head of the Continuous Training Unit at the University, and a large crowd of students from the faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
The lecture highlighted the prospects and challenges faced by entrepreneurs in Palestine and the importance of social entrepreneurship, which combines both profit and community service. Sabawi’s talk also focused on encouraging youth to innovate by translating creative ideas into successful projects that can serve the community and contribute to achieving sustainable development. In his address, Sabawi shared the history of his family, and how their lands were seized by the Israeli occupation of Palestine in 1948, in addition to discussing the situation of Palestinians today, who are still suffering from continued dispossession and confiscation of their lands by the Israeli occupation. Sabawi then focused on the TABO project, which protects Palestinian lands by issuing title deeds and making them available at affordable prices to Palestinians all around the world. The lecture concluded with an overview of the work mechanisms of the TABO project and the most important challenges it has faced over the past years.
The students were invited to ask questions and discuss topics covered during the lecture. Sabawi stated “When we take fate into our own hands and work together, there is nothing we cannot achieve.” He also stressed the importance of developing entrepreneurship and social leadership for young people and motivated them to adapt their scientific, artistic and technical capabilities to serve and build their communities.
Khaled Sabawi is the son of a Palestinian refugee from Gaza and holds a bachelor's degree with honors in computer engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada. After deciding to return to Palestine in 2006, he founded MENA Geothermal, one of the leading clean energy companies in the region and winner of the Global Energy Award in 2008. He has also been the General Manager of UCI since 2010 and is one of the founders of the TABO project. Sabawi was one of the speakers at TEDxRamallah in 2010 and was invited by several universities to give lectures, including McGill University in Canada and Harvard University in the United States. In October 2014, he appeared on the cover of Forbes Magazine - Middle East. He was also selected as one of the most outstanding young leaders in the world in 2015 by the World Economic Forum, and was named one of the most important and successful entrepreneurs in the world in the energy field by Global Post.