Marwa Al Bashar
Marwa Al Bashar sat restless in front of the TV screen to watch the tragic news that day. For the first time in her life, she felt that she could no longer even cry. On February 29, 2019, the Misr station train accident occurred –a pivotal day in the lives of many Egyptians, including Marwa.
Marwa, a dynamic and visionary girl, became involved in blood donation during her early years at university; an issue that concerns many Egyptians and costs many of their lives. According to studies carried out by Marwa, who graduated with a degree in computer engineering, dozens of Egyptians lose their lives due to lack of blood bags and lack of connection between the needy and donors.
Dozens of blood units are wasted and thrown away despite the goodwill of donors, and dozens of souls are lost. After February 29, social media, TV news and local Egyptian circles were busy talking about the necessity to organize blood donation campaigns. Marwa along with some university friends did not stop at talking about it –they got to work immediately.
They organized a plan and transformed it into an application that is used today in Egypt. Their application is innovative and is certified by doctors who accompany Marwa and her colleagues to medical and social seminars to further promote it. The application is called ‘Noktat al Hayat’ meaning drop of life.
Marwa says: “Between making the decision and actually implementing an idea is a world no one expects. The decision to implement a mobile application of this size, equipped to receive, organize and link millions of data points with hospitals and ambulance networks is not an easy feat. Someone who doesn’t have confidence in themselves or the tools could not make it happen”.
Marwa, who specialized in computer engineering, realized from the beginning that her experiences and knowledge would not be enough – she needed to continue her research, until she found “a hidden treasure” as she says; One Million Arab Coders! She went on to study Android applications. Her need to excel and her perseverance proved worthwhile when she won the nano-degree scholarship. She also gained experiences that she described as incomparable to years of experience or degrees. With the initiative, Marwa was able to adapt and implement everything she learned and has provided her with the mentorship she needed from some of the most talented experts in the field. At the same time, the initiative has allowed her to bring the Noktat al Hayat app to life, which has won dozens of awards. As for the true prize –it is knowing that her application is saving lives by helping patients get the blood they need.