Dawoud doesn’t even blink when he’s asked to tell his story: “I’m the person who spent over 1,000 hours commuting across borders to get a decent education”, he says.
He was one of the first Palestinians to obtain a Bachelor’s degree from an Israeli university. He traveled across several countries, and he’s now back in Palestine building a leap-frog Web3 program for thousands of local youth. His story is one about meaning, passion and stubbornness.
At the age of 15, Dawoud seized the opportunity to do an exchange program in the U.S. and that is where he believes things started to change for him. He saw himself living in a small town in Wisconsin, where he stood out “99% of the time” but the experience molded in him a sense of independence in thinking and in actions which he carries with him today. In fact, the whole experience just brought to Dawoud’s attention the fact that there was so much more to see and do.
He then flew back home to Palestine and applied to study in Tel Aviv University, in Israel. He was accepted in the university and was granted a permit to access the city but not to live there. “It was not fair, but I had this feeling that I would regret it if I didn’t do it”, Dawoud explains while telling how his whole reality shifted when he found himself spending around 6 hours a day commuting to his university and back for almost 3 years.
Dawoud’s graduation meant something greater than obtaining a degree: it proved to him that achieving specific goals depended on how passionate he was, and it also showed him how far his “stubbornness” could take him.
“The day I graduated was a really great day, despite the unimaginable troubles I had to go through to make it happen”, he recalls.
His previous international experience, however, planted a seed in Dawoud and, at the age of 22, he was once again ready to repeat it: he applied for a Master’s degree at Oxford University and was accepted with a full merit scholarship.
By the time Dawoud concluded his studies in England, he made the decision to go back to Palestine, moved by the goal of doing “something unique and meaningful to his local community”. Once he got back, he took some time to understand what was happening in his surroundings as regards to policy, tech, crypto and the entrepreneurial scene. The idea of helping local start-ups to thrive started to take shape in his head but after some experiences he understood that these were still early days for Palestinian entrepreneurs:
“There weren’t a lot of people coming in with reality-shifting start-up ideas”, Dawoud claimed, “I started to understand that before the pitching and investing phases could happen at scale, we needed structural and cultural change”.
So Dawoud leaned on his academic background, his wide global exposure, and his previous work across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, to build something that could help bring to life “hundreds of reality-shifting entrepreneurial ideas”. And that is how the CREATE program became a reality: “The CREATE Program is a tokenized, Discord-based, innovation-education program where participants (Dreamers) finish specific quests—such as watching a course, reading an article, referring a friend—in return for CREATE tokens. There are 10 levels of achievement; each level with its set of quests, rewards, and community. And, at level 10, Dreamers get to pitch a startup idea in return for an investment, and join the Creators alumni community. This alumni community then helps govern the program.”
Dawoud’s goal is to recruit 50,000 young Palestinians to the program within the next 5 years and, after that, to extend the program’s impact to any developing region “struggling with mainstreaming innovation”.
“I’m focused on launching the beta version of the CREATE Program, but my long-term vision is to enable a generation of often neglected youth by providing them with the knowledge, skills and values they need to update what innovation means and where it's developed”.
Dawoud views the $DAWOUD token as a vote of confidence in his work. A stake in it, is a stake in his mission.
🪙Tokens in Circulation: 6,235.00 $DAWOUD
💰Market Value: $623.50