Back in April 2018, Google launched it’s first Arabic digital skills program, ‘Maharat min Google’. The free program helps Arabic speakers develop practical digital skills through an online learning platform and in-person training.
Maharat min Google in Lebanon
I was happy to deliver Google’s first in-person digital skills training in Lebanon. The training was hosted by Mercy Corps in Achrafieh last month with around 15 selected attendees. A 4-hour intensive training featured practical case studies, and interactive quizzes. The training covered 4 major topics such as growing a business on social media and digital jobs.
Who can access this program?
The program is open to any Arabic speaking individual for FREE. “Maharat min Google” aims to help youth including students and job seekers. The program also focuses on female participation as well. Google hopes to help users advance their careers in the digital industry or grow their businesses.
What will you learn?
Through the online learning platform users can access 26 core topics in digital marketing. Numerous topics included such as eCommerce, SEO, social media, SEM, & Email marketing-to name just a few. After the completion of the entire course, you will receive a certificate from Google similar to the below.
What you’ll love?
The topics are short, practical and interactive – and of course in ARABIC!
Each video is just few minutes long with different formats. You can also read the transcripts below each video, check your progress and enroll in various topics. You will also solve case studies of local businesses like a florist shop, bakery and barber. What you will absolutely love is the interactivity of quizzes!
The easy-to-use platform is also a feature-rich platform. Certainly, after working for 3 years on online courses and online learning platforms, this is definitely an amazing achievement combining both specs.
Why should you take this course?
It is true that skills gap is a universal problem. But I’ve spoken earlier about the digital skills gap in Lebanon. Likewise, this is also the case in many other Arab countries due to the lack of quality content around digital topics in Arabic. Maharat min Google aims to change this challenge for Arabic-speaking users! Fresh graduates will be equipped with the needed digital skills in today’s workforce. Business owners as well even those in rural areas will benefit from this content.
After 2020, 90% of the jobs will require digital skills!
You can access the online courses anytime anywhere on g.co/Maharat. Future in-person training in Lebanon will be announced soon.
If you love online shopping. Aliexpress just made it easier for you to start shopping online.
We all know by now that Aliexpress is cheap compared to local prices in Lebanon, easy as they deliver your products to your doorstep and safe, you can get your money back if you never get a product or if you receive defective products. But if you have not been able to purchase products earlier because you don’t have a credit card. Well you can pay on AliExpress using western union.
Here are some tips to shopping online from Aliexpress to Lebanon to make the whole experience more enjoyable & easier:
Choose a trustworthy seller. I would suggest to go for sellers with at least 100 orders on a specific item.
Check the average rating. An average rating of 4 stars or more is generally a safe choice.
Keep an eye on the protection period. If the period is going to end and you still don`t have the products, ask for extension of this period or open a dispute if the seller isn’t responding. This is the only way to ensure you are safe.
Check if there’s a size chart. Sizes are different than those in Lebanon.
Check the shipping cost. Go for aliexpress standard shipping or china post registered air mail which is usually cheap or free. If it’s a small package shipping can take up to 3 months, bigger products require usually less time.
Do not confirm receiving any product unless receive it & check that it is exactly like you ordered. Or else, if the product has any issue and you have already marked “Acknowledgement of goods acceptance,” then you can’t open a dispute
Make sure you are very clear when adding your address details.
Shipping usually takes a minimum of 1 month and a maximum time of 2 months. Most products arrive earlier. However, sometimes your product can be shipped in one week only!
Liban post will deliver your products to your assigned address at no extra fees.
Sometimes customs clearance takes up to 2 week so you need to wait. Use the tracking code to check your product arrival date. Tech gadgets require further clearance inspection.
You will pay taxes if you purchase smart phones, 10 items or more of same product or products above 100$. However you can’t know how much you will end up paying as the calculation of customs charges is not announced.
You must open a dispute when you don’t received your parcel within 60 days and before buyer protection expired. There are multiple reasons for your product not to be delivered: product is not allowed to be shipped to Lebanon, product is lost, or refused by customs in china.
I am not surprised that AliExpress is becoming the preferred shopping platform in many countries around the world. Share with me your shopping experience, if you have been ordering products from the Chinese giant eCommerce Website or other local websites in Lebanon as the online shopping market in Lebanon is growing rapidly as well!
PS if you are looking to ship a huge number of products you need to check Alibaba the Wholesale marketplaces.
There are hundreds of NGOs in Lebanon. Recently I came across couple NGOs in Lebanon doing great work on the ground but those activities and achievements are not reflected on their website. Thus their impact is being limited and they are missing out on getting support from volunteers & donors.
So here’s some advice to NGOs in Lebanon wanting to create a new website or wanting to revamp a current website.
1. Make the Cause Clear
Make sure users can clearly understand who you are, your cause and mission.
2. Integrate Your Website with a CRM
Integrate your NGO website with your members database, will simplify contacting donors, volunteers & members.
3. Your NGO Website MUST be Mobile-Responsive
Mobile is the future. Users should easily navigate your website when using a mobile device or tablet. Check if your website is responsive.
4. Include Social Elements
Having the social sharing features incorporated into your website will increase engagement.
5. Add a Subscription Element
Adding a subscription feature to your website will help you share your news & events.
6. Update Your Website Content
Your website should always be updated& authoritative to build trust & reputation.
7. Branding Consistency
Your website is all about your NGO & it reflects & reinforces what the NGO represents.
8. Highlight Your Events
Keep your events calendar updated. New members will love to to join.
Your NGO website needs to look good, this is a fact and not an option. You need to stand out.
IE Venture Day Beirut showcased the latest in Edtech, Family businesses & innovation, Online & offline business challenges & a startup competition, with insights from Lebanon’s most distinguished speakers, leaders and influential entrepreneurs.
Karl Naim, The founder of ChefXChange addressed the challenges of building his startup team in Lebanon and the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Lebanon. The event also featured Roula Moussa, the founder of Netaways, who shared her journey to success. Nicolas Boukather, Chairman of ANB Holding & automotive called for closer collaboration between private sector investors, government and incubators to help youth come up with innovative solutions to challenges SMEs and family owned businesses face.
The event also showcased a selection of Lebanon’s hottest startups. The entrepreneurs gave a three-minute presentation in front of an excited audience and a jury.
Why should you attend events similar to IE venture day Beirut Lebanon? If you want to find your “Aha” Moment or if you want to take your business to the next level. You might as well turn some key insights into golden nugget. If you take away just “one thing” from an event that it’s worth the entire day!
Follow me on instagram if you are a student, entrepreneur or a freelancer in the digital industry and want to get access to all events and entrepreneurship competitions happening in Lebanon & the Arab region!