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Women pioneer Rana Chemaitelly and her "little engineer" project

Women's profile

Rana Chemaitelly, the founder of the “little engineer" company, graduated as a mechanical engineer in 1993. In 1997, she founded her first company in Lebanon, a digital imaging business. She then moved to a teaching position at the American University of Beirut where she got the idea for the “little engineer" project.
Chemaitelly observed her first year engineering students who left their studies when they realized that this is not the field they would like to specialize in.  She then got the idea to set up an institute which would allow them to understand the field and to decide early on whether this was the specialisation they wanted.  The Little Engineer project initially arose as an attempt to help her young son overcome his isolation. She started her project from home, and then expanded into an orientation centre which operates at two levels.  First, the centre offers entertainment and educational activities for kids between 4 and 14 years of age in order to help them develop their skills in creativity and engineering inventions and to assist teenagers, who are getting ready to enter university, to expand their ideas and to decide on their future professional career
The project now includes four centres with plans to open 5 more centers in Lebanon and later to expand into the Arab region through a franchise that is being created. It is to be noted that Chemaitelly received a number of prizes for her Little Engineer project notably one for the best workplan in the Arab region for 2010, which she won through a competition organised by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT.  She also received the Cartier prize for best pioneer woman. Rana's advice to women pioneer is not to be scared but to insist and persevere to reach their goals.
Source: The Daily Star 4 March 2014

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