“Go Home” The Refugee Crisis from a Syrian / EU perspective


Italian navy rescue asylum seekers

“Go Home”

This phrase was left as a comment on a refugee’s picture in a piece of news on social media. This comment was not the only one. It was among other hateful comments asking refugees crossing EU illegally to go back from where they came from. Why? I will tell you the story. Read the rest of this entry


How Racist Could The Irish Be?


I love Galway.
Well, beside the weather. Everything here looks just perfect. It has an unexplained vibe, a nice mix between interesting history and bright future, a lot of stuff and events going on around, not too big to be lost in and not too small to get bored and above all it has the nicest people in the world. I think that was the first thing that I realised when I moved to this city. How friendly everyone is. I think it is infectious. It spreads in the air. You have to be nice to be able to live in this city. People make you a nice person by their acts of kindness, even if you weren’t one. At least that was what I thought. Read the rest of this entry

And the Oscar goes to..


awardI recently got the great chance to attend the Extended Semantic Web Conference held in Slovenia. I presented our contribution to the Linked Data Mining Challenge that I talked about in an earlier post, and yes we won!

It was a positive experience and my first step into the research world which I kind of liked it. I got the chance to meet a lot of cool researches done all around the world. In addition, I joined the N2 Women Lunch where I met great ladies working in IT & research domain and discussed different obstacles we face as females in this field.

I came back to Galway full of excitement and energy to do more in my life, specially after knowing I will be part of launching Galway branch for… or you know what? let’s keep it a secret until then. Stay Tuned!

How my degree in Engineering saved my life


“I am Free” written in Arabic letters on a necklace

Update: This was published in GDG Dublin newsletter May 13-2015

Do you believe in the butterfly effect? I think that effect started the day I chose to apply for the Information Technology Engineering School, maybe before. I was just done with high school and still disoriented where to head after.  Back in 2003 in Syria, we didn’t have the luxury of college tours or someone explaining what every college teaches. We didn’t even have a website for the university back then. The only way for applying to college was to write a list ordered by the applicants most desired major choices , and depending on their marks and seats availability, they get accepted based on what they registered for in order. Usually, applicants order their lists by the major of higher score. For example, Medicine, Engineering schools, Science and so on.

Everyone wants to be a doctor

The highest income job and the most prestigious degree. Every family wants their daughters and sons to apply for Medicine School, even if they hate it, even if they faint for the scene of blood  and even if they threatened to commit suicide. As long as they have the highest marks, they will apply. Many families were torn apart by this decision. Many students try to rebel against their parents and end up studying drama or arts. The father can literally abandon them for a decision like that. Things might have loosen up recently but Medicine will always be the parents favourite field of study. Read the rest of this entry

What are you watching for your next movie night?


Imagine a movie with a female vampire, with a lot of chasing and stabbing, some axes and swords, maybe someone wearing leather pants who died at the end from leukaemia, and above all that it’s a sequel, based on a video game and you can’t recognize any of the actors. This is called a recipe for a disaster movie.

No one wants to spend a movie night with popcorn and drinks ready, to watch a bad movie. But how can you tell if it’s bad or good in advance? Well, thanks to Data Mining, now you can!

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The Oracle


“Sorry you can’t take the exam because you are Syrian”.

I still remember the day the employee working in the exam centre told me this.
Never able to forget it. Never able to believe it.

Due to US embargo against Syria. Oracle (a computer technology cooperation) decided to prohibit Syrians (among other few nationalities) to take all of Oracle certifications. Read the rest of this entry

A Happy New Year


The calendar changed announcing the end of 2013 years while I was crossing the airport of Istanbul looking for gate number 203.The adrenaline rush kept me awake all night for my long trip from Egypt to Dublin with extra nine hours transit in Istanbul.

I spent the hours walking around, watching passengers everywhere, searching in their faces for a reason behind their journey. Some of them looked so relaxed as if starting a leisure trip. Some of them were maybe meeting with families and friends. Some men in suits passed by, which I assumed they were on a business trip. A couple didn’t stop kissing and hugging the whole time, they were apparently on their honeymoon trip. I sat on one of the metal seats facing the big window where all the planes stood out. I threw my head back and wondered if anyone here was travelling for the same reason as mine; For freedom, for safety, for survival.

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