Youth, technology and the spirit of Mosul

15/10/2020

“Years ago, I realized there was a huge gap between what we studied at university and what the market needed,” said Salih Mahmoud, founder of “Mosul Space”.

In 2014, Salih and his friends came up with the idea of creating a club that would connect and introduce young people to the job market. Turning their eyes to the future, the young Moslawis launched the first community workshop that focuses on teaching technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. Mosul Space was born; a community workshop providing training and business development programmes.

We wanted to use technology to develop something not only for our city or country, but for all of humanity. There was a need to change the way people tackle problems.

Salih Mahmoud, founder of “Mosul Space”

During their displacement, Salih and his cohort met with young Iraqis from other cities and deepened their knowledge on international project development and further shaped the future of “Mosul Space”. When they returned to war-torn Mosul in 2017 their hearts were set on bringing their project back to life.

With the help of Caritas Czech Republic the project was revived.

“Together we developed a project to use our Makerspace technologies like 3D printing and digital manufacturing to support maintaining medical devices in hospitals where there was a great need,” Salih said. “By June 2018 when we were able to rent a small house in Mosul. Our focus was on meeting this need.” They worked on incubators for babies and other type of medical equipment.

The Caritas project also allowed the newly established Mosul Space to create an Innovation Hub to promote technology and entrepreneurship with a co-working area and training programmes. In parallel, collaborations with other international organizations such as the German Agency for International Cooperation were developed.

“Our future objective is to also have companies use this space to develop their services for Iraq and the world, as well as to address issues related to climate change,” Salih added, underscoring his dream to take his project a step further to empower youth around the country, and the world.

 “In 2019, 850 young people accessed one of our “Mosul Space” workshops and nearly half of them found new jobs,” said Salih “but more importantly, they found new ways of thinking and solving problems that we desperately need in Iraq.”

The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic also brought to light new questions that require innovative responses. “Our Makerspace team has a technical background and we already started working with medical devices,” he said as he discussed the need for ventilators and other medical devices to treat patients in Iraq.

“Technology is about giving people more solutions,” said Salih filled with hope for the future.

To have a beautiful life our youth need and deserve opportunities.

Salih Mahmoud

Through its initiative “Revive the Spirit of Mosul”, launched in 2018, UNESCO works on empowering young people as leaders and partners in innovation as well as in finding solutions to the issues they face in today’s world.