Monday, August 29, 2022

It has been two years since the Abraham Accords were signed. Trade between Israel and the UAE is booming - over $1.4 billion so far this year, more than all of 2021. 

However, it isn't only Israel and the UAE that are benefitting. Palestinian businesses are gaining as well. 

DANA describes itself as "an Abu Dhabi based venture builder and investment platform that supports women-led startups in desert tech, including sectors of agritech, water solutions, food security, waste management, and renewable energy through regional collaboration, innovation mentorship, impact community, and funding."

They currently support "six startups from different countries including the UAE, Israel, Palestine, and KSA, all of which are led by at least one female founder, focusing on sustainability in the desert climate, that address pertinent pain points in the region’s most significant industries. "

The three women who founded DANA include a Jewish American, an Arab Israeli and a Jewish Israeli. 
Majd Mashharawi, founder of Gaza's SunBox

Currently, companies that are being nurtured by DANA include BioCloud, an Israeli company that makes herbal pesticides; Sunbox, a Gaza-based solar power startup which is now reliably powering water treatment facilities; Eco-Bricks, which converts polluting stone slurry water from quarrying into quality bricks for construction; and The Food Engineer, a UAE-based vertical farming firm that created a misting technique that uses 95% less water than standard farms.

While the media has taken note of the skyrocketing increase in trade between Israel and the UAE in the wake of the Abraham Accords, one sees very few articles on how the normalization is helping Palestinian firms. They are getting know-how and funding as well as access to world-class expertise that simply would not have been possible before the Accords. 

Moreover, DANA fosters women-owned businesses in the notoriously patriarchal Palestinian society.

Israel haters deride the idea of "economic peace" as a basis for a stable Middle East, but this is how real peace can take root and grow. The UAE is an ideal bridge that allows Palestinian businesses to work with Israelis while bypassing the stigma of direct "normalization." 

The peace between Israel and the UAE is also creating unforeseen benefits for Palestinians, especially Palestinian women, and this is something to be applauded.




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