Gaza Strip_Gaza post
UNRWA student, Jihad Al Wahaidy, ranks fourth in the international competition of robotics. © UNRWA 2021. Photo credit by Mohammed Hinnawi.
Jihad Al Wahaidy, a ninth grader at UNRWA Salah El Deen Prep. Boys school, won the fourth rank in the international competition of robotics . Jihad was born with a rare brain disability. Some of the symptoms include: motor disability, speech and language delay. In spite of that, Jihad shows constant ambition, and he never stops dreaming.
“I was surprised when Jihad was born; I could not deal with his disability, as it is unfamiliar to me. Thus, I was extremely careful when dealing with Jihad, particularly at infant stage”. When Jihad became 6 years old, he was enrolled in a private school where he studied grades 1, 2, and 3. Then, Jihad was transferred to UNRWA schools.
Since earlier age, Jihad has shown special talents in the field of technology and software. “One day, his father’s cellphone broke down. Jihad spent two hours straight, trying to reinstall some of the applications. We were surprised that he could successfully fix it”. Jihad’s mother pointed out.
Jihad is an excellent student who is interested in extracurricular activities. Recently, he has won the international competition of robotics. Thanks to UNRWA educational teams, including teachers, principals, counselors, who have been always supportive, Jihad ranked fourth in the aforementioned competition.
Jihad single-handedly came up with the idea of the winning project. It is simply an online application that ensures people’s adherence to rules of physical distancing and wearing face masks. With his UNRWA teachers’ assistance, and area education officer’s support, Jihad could finalize designing his project. Basically, it is a small robot in the form of a brooch that has a built-in Arduino Nano board and a light. The red light goes ON when a person stands within less than a metre distance away and is not wearing his/her face mask. The application is designed to be connected via Wi-Fi to the near concerned authorities, helping them to follow up on the those who do not adhere to physical distancing. Jihad added, “This application can be used by teachers as well at schools to help decrease cases of COVID-19.”