Syrian refugee wins $1 million Arab Coders challenge

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A Syrian software engineer has been crowned the winner of the 1 million Arab Coders Initiative in Dubai.

Mahmoud Shahoud, who fled the conflict in his country in search of a better life, first went to Jordan before settling down in Turkey.

He won the top prize of USD 1 million for developing the 'Habit 360 application' that helps people build new habits, track their progress and stay motivated.

Dubai's Crown Prince His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum honoured the winners at the closing ceremony of the challenge which was held at the Museum of the Future.

Five runners-up were awarded $50,000 each and the four best trainers won $25,000 each.

The competition is a major gateway for Arab youth to use their programming skills to realise their dreams.

More than 1 million Arab participants from around the world took part in the latest edition virtually, which drew a total of 257 programming projects from 50 countries.

In order to qualify for the final stage and compete for the million-dollar prize, the nominees were selected according to a set of main criteria, including the project idea, the innovation quality, and ease of use.

Led by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) and organised under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), ‘One Million Arab Coders’ is the largest initiative of its kind in the world.

It aims to teach one million young people from the Arab world to code and enable them to launch exceptional projects and programmes that serve Arab societies, drawing on the science and skills gained from their training.

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