Saudi Aramco World: May/June 2014 - page 47

own, and now she’s going to sell it to
others. Given that behavior, how would you
describe Hind Hobeika? You might say she
is creative, resourceful, determined; that
she meets challenges, and so on. Record
your answers in a two-column chart. In
the left-hand column, list what the person
described in the article said or did. In the
right-hand column, list the words you
would use to describe someone who said
or did those things. When you’re done,
bring the class together, and have pairs
share their descriptions. Have a scribe write
the words on the board or chart paper.
What conclusions can you draw about
people who start big things?
What do innovators make? Who pays
for innovators to do their work?
Now that you know who is involved in
the Arab high-tech boom, turn your
attention to what they make. We’ve
already mentioned Instabeat. What else
are the creators profiled in the article
creating? List the products and see if
you notice any patterns. For example,
do the innovations fall into categories
like apps, hardware and so on? How
would you summarize what kinds of
creations are being developed in the
Arab high-tech world? Write a one-
sentence summary. Discuss with your
partner any of the innovations that
you think are particularly interesting
and explain why you think so. As a
class, brainstorm about what high-tech
product you might make.
Creating new products costs money.
In the high-tech industry, perhaps more
than in most, someone has to give the
innovators money to
live on and pay for
office space, computers
and so on, while they
invest their own time
and talent to work on
their products. Some
products work, and
some do not. This is
why giving money to
innovators is risky: There
might be a multimillion-
dollar product at the end,
which the investor gets
to share in, or nothing at
all. Investments therefore
go hand-in-hand with
innovation. Much of
the article focuses on
the different ways that
innovators get funded to
do their work. Where does that money come
from? Here are a few questions to guide
you: What is a venture capitalist? Why are
venture capitalists important in high-tech
development? What role do governments
play in encouraging technological innovation?
What is an exit? Why might investors and
developers want one?
What factors make a place appealing
for building a high-tech industry?
Finally, the article “#techboom #arabnets”
is organized by place, with a section
each for Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
What are the pros and cons of locating
high-tech businesses in each place?
Find a way to add this information
to your map of the region. Or make
a graphic organizer that shows the
information. When you’re done, use
the data to answer these questions: If
I were investing in high-tech, where
would I locate my business? Why? What
characteristics would make a place a
good place for me to invest? Keep in
mind that you might decide to locate
somewhere beyond the borders of the
Arab world. If so, explain where you
would be instead, and why. You can
share your answers either in writing or
in a presentation to the class.
Many words in English originated in other
languages. Take, for example, the word
autodidact, from the article “Hayy Was Here,
Robinson Crusoe.” Look up the meaning of
the word and write it down. Then notice that
the word has two parts: auto- and -didact.
Look up their meanings, too. Working with
a partner, list at least three other words that
use auto- as a prefix. What do those words
mean? How will knowing the meaning of
auto- help you understand words you may
not know?
Sometimes when you read English,
you will see words or phrases from other
languages. These are used by English
speakers, even though they are not English.
Take the phrase tabula rasa, also from “Hayy
Was Here, Robinson Crusoe.” Look up the
meaning of the phrase—it is one you may well
hear again. As you go about your business in
the next week, pay attention to the words you
see and hear, and make a note if you hear any
that have auto- or -didact in them. See if you
can find a situation in which you can casually
use the phrase tabula rasa. You’ll find that
people might be very impressed.
March/April 2014
Now that you’ve got a list of adjectives to describe the
innovators and entrepreneurs of the Arab tech boom,
see what visual analysis can add. The photographs in
“#techboom #arabnets” show nine people who are
involved in the high-tech startup industry. With a quick
glance at the photos you’ll notice that each one shows
one person, and that most of those people are looking at
the camera. But spend some more time looking. Working
with your partner, match each photo to the parts of the
article that focus on that individual. What does each
photo reveal about its subject? What do the photos add
to your knowledge of the birth of high-tech in the Arab
world? What do they add to your knowledge of the
individual’s role in that birth? And what do they add to
your knowledge of the individual’s personality? [Note
to teachers: If you don’t have time to have all pairs look
at all nine photos, assign each pair one photo and have
them share their visual analysis with the class.]
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