Analogue leadership in a digital world

Ahmed Elqattawi

Ahmed Elqattawi

Ahmed Elqattawi, 26, is a Palestinian from Gaza! He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from the Islamic University of Gaza. During his university life, he was immensely involved in curricular and extracurricular activities, especially by participating in the Annual Cultural Show for Talented Students as a performer and stage actor. Performing arts have absolutely caught his attention to understanding the components of literary works, movies plots, philosophy, and psychology. Inspired by Shakespeare, his passion guided him to play part in coordinating a live-link cultural exchange event in 2017 called Shakespeare in Gaza between the students of the IUG English department and those of the UK to talk about Shakespeare between literature and reality.

In 2015, he was recruited to contribute as a storytelling writer in We Are Not Numbers project, which is a safe platform for Palestinian youth writers to tell the hidden stories behind the numbers lost in conflicts in the news.  He was able to publish six stories and he has his own personal blog documenting reflective thoughts on life. Besides his post-graduation work experience in freelance writing, translation, interpretation, and English language teaching, he was recommended to work as a Gaza-based Distant Research Assistant with the Australian National University in data collection and fieldwork for a project about The Palestinians and Sovereignty Building.

Currently, he works as a Business-English Mentor at GazaSkyGeeks, which is a leading co-working space, startup accelerator and technology education hub in Gaza. He helps freelancers with their English language skills to be able to hunt for remote jobs successfully and to make clients meetings more fun and interactive. Due to the 66% unemployment rate in Gaza, he believes sharing knowledge and building the capacity of individuals would make a huge difference for an alternative light at the end of the tunnel. As a community member of GazaSkyGeeks, he has volunteered to give sessions on clients networking, interpret for international mentors, help startup teams in pitching ideas for tech-hackathons and summarize live sessions for other community members to benefit from.

In 2020, he was fortunate to be accepted into the PCELT programme (the Professional Certificate in English Language Teaching). Thus, he has obtained  an internationally recognized TESOL certificate for teachers in the MENA region and North Africa developed by AMIDEAST and World Learning/SIT Graduate Institute. Since COVID-19 has posed a challenge, he had to apply for the DOTS programme in 2021 which stands for Developing Online Teaching Skills sponsored by America House and implemented by AMIDEAST to seek more professional development for online teaching skills employing interactive and engaging tools. Having gone through this professional development, it was definitely life-changing to him as an English trainer on so many levels. He is interested in hip-hop music, spoken-word poetry and social impact. His future plan is to apply for an international scholarship to pursue his postgraduate studies in Education and International Development in the UK. “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” is a quote that inspires him the most.

May 2023