April 15 - 18, 2020

Awards announcement at 7:30 pm or 5:30pm GMT

Awards announcement at 7:30 pm or 5:30pm GMT

What's It All About?

In partnership with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA and other corporate and government partners, we are kickstarting the first ever virtual hackathon that brings together Gaza, the West Bank, and the global tech community. 

From April 15-18, Gaza Sky Geeks, a joint effort of Mercy Corps and Google for Startups, aims to bring together the brightest minds in Palestine and beyond to participate in #HacktheCrisisPalestine.

We were inspired by the global #HacktheCrisis movement to generate solutions for our new COVID19 world. All across the globe, tens of thousands of people have joined forces online to solve problems in health, education, business, and have already created some amazing solutions, making a real impact in people’s lives. 

With support from global tech companies opening up APIs, international expert mentors, and local designers, coders, doctors, business minds, and more, we hope to generate immediate solutions to the health and economic crises in Palestine caused by COVID19.

If you believe you have valuable ideas or skills, we invite you to join us in this international effort! 


Join the fight against COVID19!

The winners

Heroes Game/ Afkar

We built a mobile game, to provide the kids the safety instructions, help them feel better about staying home, and entertain them.

Ya Saydali

Creating mobile app to delivery medicines to your door steps you can scan the prescription add your insurance and we will automatically deliver it for you using nearest pharmacy


Our solution is to create online platform, based on a website and a mobile application in order to facilitate the accessibility and provision of therapy for people suffering from mental health disorders during the outbreak of COVID19 virus with the intention to continue providing this help after the crisis as well.


Baladi is an online farmer marketplace for fresh groceries and food. Farmers can show their products for direct orders from customers thus enabling farmers to reach end customers directly and increase their margins.

Hackathon in Numbers

1 +
1 +
Teams Formed

Important information for participants


$35,000+   Split Among top 4 teams

We’re working every day to add more in-kind and cash prizes. Get in touch if you can provide a prize or contribute to supporting Palestine’s top COVID19 response solutions! 

Strategic partners

The hackathon is a volunteer effort to help solve some of the challenges we as a community and as a country are facing today. Let us know if your company is interested in sponsoring prizes, donating APIs or time, or anything else!.

Help us spread the word by posting on social media or writing an article about our hackathon


Angela Bee Chan

CEO, Hackathons International & Hackathons Australia

Amrit Dhir

Director of Business Development, Sidewalk Labs

Ryan Sturgill

Director of Gaza Sky Geeks

Mustafa Sezgin

VP of Engineering at Glovo, logistics and delivery

Daniel Dart

CEO of DEC projects

Ellis Bartholomeus

CEO of Ellis in Wonderland

Tom Hayton

Director/ Consultant in the tech industry

Reem Qawasmi

CFO - in - Residence at Ibtikar Fund

Johan Bjurman Bergman

Head of Operations, Strategy & Communications-DEC Projects

Luwei Pearson

Deputy Director Health UNICEF

Amin Shanaa

Co-Founder at JWAR

Anni Rowland-Campbell

Director, Intersticia Australia and UK. Non-Exec Director Founders & Coders UK

Bonnie Chiu

Managing Director, The Social Investment Consultancy (social impact, non-profit, technology, international development industries)

Anne van Drunen Littel

Senior Consultant at Steward Redqueen

Mona Demaidi

Co-managing director for Girls in Tech

Salmaa Elshanshory

Director of Operations, Handy Technology

Mohammad Kabajah

Infrastructure solution architect at (AWS), IT Consultant, and CEO of Brainsole startup

Tamkeen Rasool

Senior Manager - Accenture

Anas Alfarra

Intellectual Property Manager

Jon Morgan

Software Architect at Zimpatica

Isaac Hasson

Strategy and Operations, Google X

Dina Benayad-Cherif

iOS Engineer at Apple Inc.

Diana Biggs

Global Head of Innovation, HSBC Private Banking

Nicholas Doiron

Software Engineer

Amal Shaikhah

Epidemiology Expert

Ahmad Barakat

Cofounder, GoSocial - Digital Marketing & Transformation Consultant

Josephine Kant

Global Program Manager at Google for Startups

Daoud Ghannam

CEO of uMake

Alaa Fatayer

Head of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Fikra- Paltel Group Innovation Hub

Alex Chiou

Android Tech Lead at Instagram (Facebook Inc.)

Amr Darwish

Founder & CEO - Lyv

Yousef Elhallaq

City Representative at impACT and Business Development Specialist

Mohammed Abusulaiman

Communication for Development officer- Unicef

Aisha Nasir

Full stack developer

Whitney Purdum

Software Engineer

Abd Basheer

Business Program Manager at Microsoft

Rana Nofal

Head of Programming & Data Department at Ministry of Health

Nathan Fain

Artist in residence PACT Zollverein & Hardware Security Analyst

Sudqi Salaymeh

Founder & CEO - Clearomatics

Saba Rashid

Associate - ideas42 - Behavioral Science organization

A'laa Chbaro

Global Community Director at impACT

Matt Suiche

Founder at Comae Technologies

Hafeth Zughayer

Founder at Coding Academy of Jerusalem

Haya A. Saad

Business Consultants for Startups

Mohammed Nasr

Youth Programme and Communications Officer at the United Nations Population Fund - Palestine

judging panel

Angela Bee Chan

CEO, Hackathons International & Hackathons Australia

Amrit Dhir

Director of Business Development, Sidewalk Labs

Ryan Sturgill

Director of Gaza Sky Geeks

George Khadder

Managing Director and Founder at SUN BIRD GROUP

Ambar Amleh

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Ibtikar Fund

Razan Nasr

Head of Stimulation and Exploration Department

Mohammed Abusulaiman

Communication for Development officer- Unicef

How Can You Help?

Solve A Problem

We are inviting everyone to participate and show us how you would solve various challenges through creative production and application of technology. Participants can apply as an individual or in a team. Please keep in mind, every member of the team needs to sign up separately and use the same team name.

Propose a Problem TO SOLVE

Not ready to hack? You can still help by telling us your challenges! Tell us what are the priority problems in patient care, protection for medical and sanitary staff at hospitals, virus containment and digital solutions for people and business in quarantine, and more!


We’re looking for super-hero mentors to help the problem solvers! If you’re an expert in any field and want to share your know-how with our teams, sign-up as a mentor. Mentors based in any time zone are welcome to apply. We’ll help you coordinate all the processes and use your valuable time as efficiently as possible.

Become A Partner

The hackathon is a volunteer effort to help solve some of the challenges we as a community and as a country are facing today. Let us know if your company is interested in sponsoring prizes, donating APIs or time, or anything else!.


There are no limits to the challenges posed by COVID19. Hospitals, businesses, education, supply chains, government, and more are impacted. There are a few priority themes that have emerged based on UN and Government of Palestine priorities. We’ll be adding to these as more challenges are submitted!

  • How do we ensure that the public are informed about and practice prevention and treatment-seeking behaviours?
  • How do we effectively track and address rumors, myths, and misconceptions about COVID19? How do we combat stigma around COVID19?
  • How do we combat misinformation and scams, online and offline, seeking to take advantage of the COVID19 crisis? 
  • How do we ensure the public can report and access accurate information about COVID19?
  • How do we deconflict efforts and bring various stakeholders together?
  • How do we optimize analysis of data & conduct rapid assessments to learn about communities’ perceptions and top influencers?
  • How do we measure the impact of WHO/Ministry of Health messaging?  
  • How can we support the 1,442 people who are in quarantine facilities and 5,908 people are in domestic quarantine?
  • How do we help pregnant and lactating women and children who might not be able to receive essential healthcare because of health service re-prioritization? 
  • How do we implement COVID19 surveillance using existing respiratory disease surveillance systems and hospital-based surveillance, in addition to community surveillance?
  • How do we better develop triage procedures and integrate mental health and psychosocial support services at hospitals? 
  • How do we rapidly train hospitals to avoid contamination and prevent infections among health staff. 
  • How can training and fast track education protocols be implemented for doctors that suddenly have to change their field of specialization, or have to work with old-fashioned tools?
  • How can elderly citizens communicate easily with their loved ones at a safe distance during the crisis?
  • What tools can be used to maintain privacy in the healthcare field, in cases when patients have to share their private information when using applications or websites for tracking or reporting their symptoms?
  • How can we trace the possible deficits of medical supplies by providing up-to-date details about the needs of hospitals?
  • How can we determine the best distribution solution regarding medical equipment and other medical supplies?
  • How do we support the over 80,000 workers who are not allowed to work in Israel due to the West Bank crossings’ closure as a result of COVID-19?
  • How can small businesses remain connected to their customers during the crisis?
  • How can small businesses use the help of volunteers to be successful during the crisis?
  • How can small businesses be connected to larger corporations and organizations in order to establish collaboration?
  • How can companies effectively adapt and potentially localize their supply chains?
  • How do we support 1.43 million children who now need to learn remotely to receive age appropriate education and home learning resources (keeping in mind 360,000 children are without internet connections in remote areas). 
  • How do we help 215,000 children and their caregivers, and 3,000 teachers, who require psychological support from pre-existing and/or COVID19 trauma? 
  • How do we map out relevant Arabic materials on hygiene awareness and preventive measures related to COVID19 and disseminating them through multiple channels?
  • How do we raise awareness of the importance of home-based learning and support the Ministry of Education in monitoring connectivity of teachers to their students?
  • How do we prepare and disseminate messages to caregivers, teachers and children on supporting children’s emotional and psychosocial well-being?
  • How can remote education be optimized for children in the first and second year of primary schools?

How Can You PREPARE?

Check out existing hacks and useful data for your solution. We highly recommend reviewing the Coronavirus Tech Handbooka crowd-sourced library for technologists, civic organizations, public and private institutions, researchers, and specialists on all kinds working on responses to the pandemic. It is a rapidly evolving resource with thousands of expert contributors.

Hacking from Palestine has unique challenges like electricity and internet outages at certain times. We’ve compiled a tip sheet for how you can keep your devices and bandwidth going to the max.

A hackathon is a team effort. Call your friends and get them involved. 

Also talk to people in your community about the problems they face first hand. Do many other people face the same problem? If you solve that problem, how big will the impact be? 


Yasmin Abuomar

Mentorship Coordinator- Gaza Sky Geeks

kevin Gomis

CFO of Gaza Sky Geeks

Iyad Altahrawi

Startup Program Manager - Gaza Sky Geeks

Mahmoud AlMadhoun

Hachathon Website Manager - Gaza Sky Geeks

Mahmoud Khwatir

Participants Success Manager - Gaza Sky Geeks

Nadia Abu Shaban

Hackathon Organizer - Gaza Sky Geeks

Hussain Mahdi

Hackathon Organizer - Gaza Sky Geeks

Rand Safi

Partnership Management WestBank - Gaza Sky Geeks

Haneen Bader

Partnership Management WestBank - Gaza Sky Geeks

Aya Joma

Social Media Assistant - Gaza Sky Geeks

Ghada Ibrahim

Event Host - Gaza Sky Geeks

Abdallah Khadra

Event Host - Gaza Sky Geeks

Asmaa Elkhaldi

Communications and Production - Gaza Sky Geeks

Ismail Aziza

Operations - Gaza Sky Geeks

shams abu hassanein

Communication and Graphic Designer - Gaza Sky Geeks

Inspired by


Tuesday, April 14


Deadline to register as a participant and submit challenge ideas for the hackathon. Don’t be late!

Wednesday, April 15


All participants and mentors adding to slack

11:00am – 12:00pm

Kick-off Hack the Crisis Palestine 

12:00pm – 01:00pm

Webinar: Effective team formation and communication

01:00pm – 05:00pm

Start team formation around challenges online 


Register your team and the challenge you will solve.

Thursday, April 16


Day 2 Opening Remarks, Updates, Reminders


First check-in with mentors

03:00pm – 03:30pm

Meet our Participants and Mentors
Livestream ideas, participants, and mentors for 30 minutes


Webinar: How to build your prototype in one and a half day

Friday, April 17


Day 3 Opening Remarks, Announcements, Reminders


Second check-in with mentors


Livestream ideas and participants and mentors


Webinar by Crescent Enterprises: Economic Resilience


Start 30 minutes of Practice Pitch with mentors


Final submission deadline – you’re done! Now the judging reviews begin

Saturday, April 18


Livestream pitch videos


Deep dive calls with judges Q&A


Closing Remarks, Announcements; make sure we do a shout out to all partners


Winners and Prizes announced


A hackathon is an innovation marathon (in this case 72 hours) in which teams rapidly develop prototypes or other proofs of concept for existing problems.

Yes! Most of April 15 will be dedicated to online networking to facilitate team formation for those who don’t already have a team. Please feel free to register as an individual participant and let us know what your interests and expertise is. We will announce more information on how teams are made on April 15th.

We are recruiting mentors who have experience participating or advising at hackathons, or have a strong technical expertise that may be relevant to numerous teams. Mentors will be able to provide virtual talks, workshops, and directly advise teams throughout the hackathon.

No! Because our teams will be working around the clock, we welcome applications from mentors in any time zone. We will help you coordinate the processes with your time zone and availability in mind.  

Knowing Arabic is a huge plus, but it’s not necessary at all to participate as a mentor. Every team will have at least one English-speaking member.

Official communication between organizers and participants will take place on Slack and Zoom. All participants will be invited to a Slack workspace and we encourage open communication on the platform and to stay in touch with other teams. That being said, you can communicate with your team however you believe is best and most efficient!

The ultimate prize is to help your community tackle the challenges imposed on them by COVIV19. You will be helping save lives or improve lives for everyone impacted by the crisis. We will also offer monetary prizes to the top three solutions to continue developing their ideas into startups or achieving deployment in the real world. We are working to secure additional sponsorships in the coming days for prizes and other benefits.

Anyone can participate in Hack the Crisis Palestine, and no previous experience is required. All we ask is that you are motivated to find solutions to fight this crisis, are eager to work with others (yes, even with people you’ve never met before!), and can contribute with your energy and spirit throughout the event.

We will facilitate forming teams on Slack throughout April 15th but you can also apply with your team members if you already have a project/startup. Just make sure every team member participating registers on the website. 

At the end of the day on April 15, we will ask teams that have formed to formally notify us of their team’s members and outline of the solution they will spend the rest of the hackthon solving.

The hackathon is designed to be 100% virtual and to be done from home (or wherever you are working from).

Over the course of the three days, the organizing team will facilitate instructions, team formation, mentorship sessions and checkins, code and idea submissions, and judging all through webinars and interactive sessions using Zoom and Slack.

Throughout the event you will be able to check in with expert mentors, organizers, and other participants in our Slack workspace and massive Zoom meetings!

There will entertainment as well!

At the end of the hackathon, teams will pitch their final product by uploading pitches online (we hope to have live streamed pitches as well!).

An expert jury will pick the winning solutions based on their potential impact and award them with funds for further development.

The deadline for registration closes 23:59 April 14 Palestine time.

The hackathon will take place online from the 15th until the 18th of April.

As this is not a traditional event and solutions are needed right now, the goal is to start implementing these solutions in real life situations from 19th of April onwards!

You will need to upload a video pitch where you will also be able to answer a couple of questions.

The top teams identified by judges will also need to submit code for review and provide access to demos. 

We will send more information on this on slack.

You can send direct messages through Slack to just one or multiple people, but we encourage as much open communication in public channels as possible. 

You should create a public channel and name it appropriately with your team name and invite people to it by mentioning them. We will send detailed information on how you can do this via Slack once you register. 

There is no set leader required but you do need to appoint one person on your team to submit files to the organizers and take care of communications as you see fit.

Official communication between organizers and participants will take place on Slack and Zoom so make sure you keep an eye on any announcements. That being said, you can communicate with your team however you believe is best and most efficient!

We are glad you asked. We will let all participants know by April 14th and add them to Hack the Crisis Palestine Slack Workspace.
As long as you want to participate, have skills, and want to solve problems caused by COVID-19 then you will be invited to join us.

15-18 April