Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Corporate Social Responsibility

Partnership for Lebanon Builds Hope, Economic Stability in Middle Eastern Nation

December 1, 2011 at 11:45 am PST

In 2006, then-President George Bush reached out to Cisco and other major corporations. He wanted to see how the business sector could help the Middle Eastern nation recover from a conflict that had displaced one-quarter of its population and destroyed entire communities.

Cisco CEO John Chambers traveled to Lebanon, and he was moved by what he saw. Tremendous structural damage was everywhere. Businesses struggled to recover from the crisis, limiting job opportunities. Lebanon’s slow and expensive information technology infrastructure cut off its residents from the rest of the global marketplace.

Even worse, its young people – known for being smart, creative, well educated, and energetic – had lost hope for the future. They felt they had to leave Lebanon to find professional success.

From this visit, the Partnership for Lebanon was born. Cisco and four other corporations – Intel, Microsoft, GHAFARI, Inc. and Occidental Petroleum – joined forces to help Lebanon improve its networking technology infrastructure and move its people toward long-term economic growth and stability. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

A geek is a geek wherever you are: TechWomen 2011

July 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm PST

“This trip was worth everything I left behind for it. Now I have 36 sisters.” Thekra Dwairi is one of 37 women to participate in the inaugural TechWomen program funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The program paired women in Silicon Valley with their counterparts in the Middle East and North Africa for a professional mentorship and exchange program at leading technology companies.

Cisco had the honor of hosting the closing session for this 5 week program at its San Jose, CA headquarters. Each of the mentees presented their key technical and cultural learnings as well as their action plans for when they returned to their home countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, West Bank and Gaza.

Loubna Haouam of Algeria

Loubna Haouam discusses her goals upon returning to Algeria: exchanging knowledge, encouraging women to learn English and providing computer access

The mentees ranged widely in terms of their backgrounds.   Some work for international corporations, while others are local start-up founders.  Some are world travelers. One woman mentioned that this is her first time out of her hometown!  It was humbling to hear about the challenges these women manage on a day-to-day basis.  Just applying for the TechWomen program was a challenge for Egyptian participants.  The application deadline, February 1, was at the same time that the government shut down the internet—happily, an extension was provided. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,