In the minds and experience of the four Middle Eastern graduates we spoke to recently, there is no doubt how an MBA from INSEAD not only rewards it's recipients but also has a significant positive impact on their immediate family and people they work with.
This is what drove these four alumni to get together and promote the school to Palestinians, helping them through the application process and financial support where needed, to empower those with commercial capabilities and entrepreneurial resilience, and prepare them to succeed in the business world.
Jafar Shunnar, a Palestinian INSEAD MBA'17D alumnus, is a perfect example of a Palestinian who used the INSEAD MBA to leverage his entrepreneurial ambitions. Having worked for several years in the software engineering field in Nablus, Palestine, he had dreamed of starting his own business but felt he lacked the connections and network needed to create a thriving venture, so he applied to INSEAD for that purpose.
Upon graduation, he set up his own company with a partner from the Netherlands whom he met during his MBA, creating the very first Palestinian-Dutch company and hiring over 40 professionals (and growing) across the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. Jafar is adamant to see other Palestinians like him able to venture and rock!
"Without INSEAD, I would have never managed to create such a diverse company!" - Jafar Shunnar, INSEAD MBA'17D
Similarly, Karim Beidas, a Lebanese-Canadian INSEAD MBA'06J alumnus, also with Palestinian and Syrian origins, is the founder and CEO of a growing startup. After graduating and working as a management consultant at MBC Group, he went on and launched his business in 2017 which currently employs more than a dozen employees and is rapidly expanding across multiple geographies, including the UAE and Egypt. Karim feels that INSEAD helped him both on a personal and professional level and is now keen to supporting to promote the region to other likeminded prospective candidates.
"INSEAD really did change my life, cliché as that sounds. Living and working with very smart, innovative and creative people from all over the world and various walks of life, is very simply a unique experience.” - Karim Beidas, INSEAD MBA'06J
Almunthir Abdullatif, an Omani INSEAD MBA'17D alumnus based in Muscat, believes the region has yet to deliver on its potential and education is key to prosperity. He had previously co-led a fundraising campaign to build kindergartens in remote fishing villages in the Musandam peninsula in Oman, by undertaking the challenge to kayak the entire coastline of the peninsula.
“My year at INSEAD was a humbling experience, it showed me how embracing diversity and inclusivity within teams helps us create novel solutions to impassable problems” - Almunthir Abdullatif, INSEAD MBA'06J
Munthir sees this initiative as a great opportunity for aspiring Palestinians to drive economic growth while creating a positive societal impact.
Ezzeddin Zahzah, a Lebanese INSEAD MBA'08J alumnus and serial-entrepreneur based in Egypt, would also like to see more Palestinians graduate from INSEAD.
His degree gave him the confidence and knowledge to launch several ventures which had a tremendous impact on the lives of the many individuals that joined him. “INSEAD made me realise how small the world really is and how simple it is to connect dots when you visualise the big picture” said Ezzeddin,
“Palestinians are extremely resourceful in my view…imagine how much more they can achieve when equipped with the right tools, such as an MBA from a top-tier school” - Ezzeddin Zahzah, INSEAD MBA'08J
These four INSEAD alumni are working in collaboration with INSEAD to get more Palestinians in the school, leveraging their personal experience and networks to support them to succeed in their ambition to join INSEAD.
In addition to the recruitment and financial support offered by INSEAD, interested Palestinian applicants are also welcomed to connect directly with these alumni for further guidance and mentorship.
The following is a list of scholarships Palestinian applicants may be eligible for, please see here:
• INSEAD Dr. Samih Darwazah Endowed Scholarship
• INSEAD Jacques Nasser Endowed Leadership Scholarship
• INSEAD Middle East Scholarship Group