1. Ayah Bdeir

Bespoke - - SPOTLIGHT -

Bdeir is a 33-year-old grad­u­ate of en­gi­neer­ing from AUB who got a Mas­ter’s at MIT be­fore found­ing Lit­tlebits in New York, a toy com­pany with a cur­rent val­u­a­tion of close to 200 mil­lion USD. Lit­tlebits makes a Lego-like kit of elec­tronic com­po­nents that snap to­gether with mag­nets to form com­plex sys­tems. “Our mis­sion is to un­leash the in­ven­tor in ev­ery­one,” she says. “We want Lit­tlebits to help peo­ple be in­spired and em­pow­ered by tech­nol­ogy.”

They may be im­pa­tient and love self­ies but Mil­len­ni­als are also the first gen­er­a­tion in his­tory to be worse off than their par­ents. Here are some ex­cep­tions to that rule.

Trained as an aca­demic and plas­tic sur­geon in Lon­don, 31-year-old Nehme co-founded Touch Surgery, a mo­bile sur­gi­cal sim­u­la­tor en­abling users to prac­tise sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures on their smart­phones. He came up with the app, which has al­ready been down­loaded al­most two mil­lion times and across 225 coun­tries, in re­sponse to the prob­lem of sur­geons’ hours be­ing cut while also “aim­ing to im­prove pa­tient safety be­fore a blade ever reaches a body”. Last year, this 22-year-old eco­nomics grad­u­ate from NYU-ABU Dhabi who went on to gain a Mas­ter’s from Ox­ford as a Rhodes Scholar re­sponded to a tweet from Sheikh Mo­hammed, the Prime Min­is­ter of the UAE, that young­sters make up half of Arab so­ci­eties and their as­pi­ra­tions had to be taken into ac­count. He ended up ap­point­ing her as his Min­is­ter of Youth, and she now has the hopes and as­pi­ra­tions of her gen­er­a­tion rest­ing on her shoul­ders. Born and raised in Ten­nessee to Iraqi par­ents, Kat­tan stud­ied fi­nance at the Univer­sity of Michi­gan-dear­born be­fore mov­ing to Dubai in 2006. Four years later she started a beauty blog, merely as a pas­sion project, but it has turned into an em­pire with al­most 17 mil­lion In­sta­gram fol­low­ers, an ex­ten­sive Youtube cat­a­logue and a three-year old cos­met­ics brand. As a re­sult, the 33-year-old is now in charge of a 44-per­son full-time team, and on a quest for global dom­i­nance. Try­ing to put a la­bel on the Sakhi sis­ters is a fu­tile ex­er­cise. Born to a Le­banese fa­ther and a Pol­ish mother, they say they got their cre­ativ­ity from hav­ing been im­mersed in a multi-cul­tural en­vi­ron­ment and the world of ar­chi­tec­ture and art at an early age. Still only in their twen­ties, they’ve al­ready co-founded an ar­chi­tec­ture stu­dio, Ate­lier2té, de­signed prod­ucts, ac­ces­sories and fur­ni­ture, cre­ated a pho­tog­ra­phy col­lec­tive, and dab­bled in films that won prizes in Dubai and a se­lec­tion at­cannes. Cred­ited with be­ing the first Saudi stand-up comedian, 31-year-old geo­physi­cist Fa­had Albu­tairi got his first taste for per­form­ing­com­edy on a stage as a stu­dent at the Univer­sity of Texas at Austin, be­fore his big break came when he joined the Axis of Evil com­edy tour. He has since gone on to cre­ate La Yek­thar, one of the most suc­cess­ful Ara­bic Youtube chan­nels with over a mil­lion sub­scribers. He re­cently added English sub­ti­tles to fur­ther the reach of his unique brand of hu­mour.

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