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Website Fighting Yemen’s Staggering Unemployment Wins IMF-Sponsored Award

Website Fighting Yemen’s Staggering Unemployment Wins IMF-Sponsored Award

Tuesday, 30 January, 2018 - 12:30
Men walk in front of damaged buildings in Sana'a on April 21, 2015. REUTERS

Overcoming the brutal fighting and suffering and diminishing employment opportunities, Yemeni innovator Saeed al-Faqih came up with a revolutionary concept for a job-seeking website linking between the employer and the job hunters.

As a muddled conflict shreds Yemen with Iran-allied Houthi militias straining economic conditions, forcing many companies to abandon the labor market, and driving unemployment rates among professionals and craftsmen up, the website comes as a small but valuable sigh of relief from a nationwide frustration.

Fighting against the devastation, information systems graduate Faqih who earned his bachelor's degree back in 2011 from Sanaa’s Future University, came up with the website’s new concept.

In May 2015, he founded the website ( (Arabic for “I am a professional”) which covers many professions such as accounting, marketing, sales, electricity, plumbing, agriculture and design. The site covers four countries: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and Morocco.

Inside Yemen, the portal sparked a glimmer of hope for Yemenis facing life difficulties, job cuts, poor services and poor Internet access. After several months, the website achieved great success, with applications reaching 312 per day in six Yemeni cities alone, namely Sana'a, Hodeidah, Aden, Ibb, Hadramout and Hajjah.

Faqih’s website won a number of awards, most recently the IMF Innovation Labs Competition at the "Prosperity for All" conference, held in Morocco on “promoting jobs and global growth in the Arab world”.

Despite winning the award, Yemen’s turmoil gave Faqih a hard time against him participating in the conference in the city of Marrakesh, Morocco.

"I live in Sana'a, and all the airports in the northern section have been closed,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“I had to take the bus to Aden.”

“Coup militiamen searched all the passengers several times at checkpoints, and badgered them with extensive questions about the reasons for travel from the north to the south,” said Faqih.

“The checkpoints were set up every 10 kilometers. The inspection took a long time. They searched the bags, mobile phones and letters for any comments that prove if the owner was anti-Houthi.”

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