Gaza’s Offline Ride-Sharing App Does What Uber Can’t

One of Gaza’s first female CEOs is the founder of its hit ride-sharing app.

Your city may be on its way to banning Uber but here’s one place that never bothered (before it was cool): Gaza. Despite its plans for world domination, Uber hasn’t even tried to touch Gaza, a region without a 3G network and therefore no feasible way to implement the Uber app model. But that doesn’t mean Gaza has no use for mobile ride-share solutions. That’s why 25-year old Gazan entrepenuer Mariam Abultewi came up with Wasselni, a ride-share that works offline.

“I live in al-Nuseirat refugee camp,” says Abultewi told the Guardian. “Drivers spend a lot of time there trying to find the right passenger, and the passengers spend a long time in the street waiting for the right taxi.”

When connected to a wifi network, Wasselni uses your location to find nearby Facebook friends or taxicabs going in the same direction you want to go. The app helps facilitate carpools by letting friends in your social network to post trips and request rides. Offline, the application lets you access a list of taxi companies and drivers working in specific neighborhoods. Currently, it boasts 2,000 subscribers, which is pretty impressive for a place as small as the Gaza Strip.

The app is designed for the specific transport needs of Gaza’s community, proving the importance of indigenous entrepreneurship. The oblivious, hoodie-wearing tech aristocracy of Silicon Valley can’t imagine the kind of tech solutions Gaza needs because they’re not immersed in that reality (or any kind of reality). And Gaza has another lesson for Silicon Valley: Abultewi is one of Gaza’s first woman CEOs. Check out her team: a full roster of women developers. Take note, brogrammers.

Wasselni founder Mariam Abultewi

Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less