About Us

In Arabic, “Makeen” means empowerment.

We believe in education as a tool that empowers individuals to achieve self-sufficiency and well-being for themselves, their families, and their community.

team

Our Values

Self-sufficiency and growth

Self-sufficiency and continuous growth for the student and our program. Provide digital skills that allow students to participate in the global economy.

Do things that don’t scale

Optimize for local needs. Work with good people in difficult areas. Do the extra English-Arabic translation. Aim for mastery, not memorization.

No barriers

Reduce all barriers to access, be they lack of English fluency, financial resources, technical access, or mobility.

Focus on the whole person

Address wellbeing and mental health alongside skills education. Treat ourselves and others as humans, not as cogs in a machine.

Optimize for fun

Don’t take ourselves too seriously. Go with the flow; follow the curiosity of the students above strict adherence to schedule.

Create belonging

Welcome students as they are. In our classroom is a home and safe place for each student to learn and grow. No discrimination.

Our founders

We are a grassroots initiative founded by two individuals with expertise in entrepreneurship, software engineering, and education.

Melanie Gin

Strategy, Curriculum, Partnerships

Melanie Gin is a technologist and educator based in Bethlehem, Palestine. Originally from San Francisco, California (United States), Melanie arrived in Bethlehem in August 2018 to teach mindfulness and conflict resolution to young people from the Aida Refugee Camp. Since then, Melanie has developed software engineering courses for high school and college students in Bethlehem, in collaboration with Palestine Ahliya University, Shoruq Organization (Dheisheh Camp), and Jerusalem School Bethlehem (Beit Jala).

Melanie also runs their own software consultancy, offering web development and technical strategy services to startups in the social good sector. In their previous role at Etsy, Melanie built scalable, accessible systems for millions of users, focused specifically on machine translation pipelines, localization, and international search. Melanie has also provided strategy consulting for the world’s biggest companies as a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting, and taught coding to hundreds of people who are now full-time software engineers in Silicon Valley as an instructor at a top coding school.

Anas Alsarabta

Strategy, Palestine Operations

Anas Alsarabta is a youth innovator, born and raised in Hebron, Palestine, where he also earned his bachelor's degree in computer engineering and built his expertise in youth development. In 2010, Anas started his career at Hebron Youth Development Resource Center (YDRC), a nonprofit organization based in Hebron where he managed to combine his passions in technology and youth empowerment. Anas is leading the programs at the YDRC where he managed to expand the organization’s outreach and services to focus on youth economic empowerment.

He also provides his expertise to many organizations in Palestine to expand their work in the fields of technology, digital media and business empowerment. Several projects were implemented under his leadership to empower youth economically in Hebron. Through the connections and partnerships he made during his 10 years of work, youth in Hebron managed to get many scholarships/training and other opportunities worldwide, he believes that this exposure would help youth build their motivation and interest in their future careers.

Our Partners

We partner with local NGOs in Arab communities to offer tech education to their existing populations. Current NGO partners include the Youth Development Resource Center in Hebron, PalVision, and Station J.

Past partners include: Shoruq Organization (Dheisheh Camp, Bethlehem) and Jerusalem School Bethlehem (Beit Jala).