Najaf Had Its Biggest Technology Event And We’re Living For It

Over 300 tech enthusiasts attended the opening ceremony of Google Developer Group (GDG) Najaf held on 28th December 2018.

Like all other GDGs, GDG Najaf is a volunteer-led initiative that is run by passionate individuals who are interested in Google technologies. GDGs usually organise events such as hackathons and tech talks. The goal is to create a community of developers and share information about the latest Google technologies in the market.

GDG Najaf panel discussion with one women and three men sitting on a stage

GDG Najaf is the third Google Developer community to launch in Iraq after Baghdad and Erbil. The ceremony was the largest tech event the city has seen so far with 35% of attendees being women. Local companies such as Al-Murabaa’, Zee Media, Obr Taxi, and Al-Amaan Cyber Security Specialists also showed support by setting up booths to speak to attendees about various opportunities in the tech sector.

The event included 14 speakers from all over Iraq covering topics such as:

  • How tech has broken barriers
  • Women in tech and how they can achieve success through Google technologies
  • How to network and find your ideal startup partner


“Najaf has generally been portrayed as a city that is slow with innovation and technology in Iraq. After this phenomenal turnout, it is clear that there is a strong appetite among youth for tech-focused activities. We hope that this will be the first of many events in the city that will grow the tech sector, inspire youth and put Najaf on the map”

Hawra Milani, GDG Najaf Co-organiser

The launch event was sponsored by Google, Al-Alamain Institute, Nero Media, Code2Serve, Zain Telecoms, and 360 Restaurant. And the hype won’t stop there.

GDG Najaf Group Photo 1

GDG Najaf Future Plans

“The next GDG event we are planning will be for International Women’s Day on 22nd March, where we are expecting over 150 women to attend from Najaf and surrounding cities” says Hawra. “The event will be mostly technical. We will cover technologies such as Google Assistant and Web and Machine Learning. We will also have non-technical workshops that will help women understand their own value and celebrate their own, and other women’s achievements.”

We’re super proud to see GDG Najaf spearhead the tech community! You go Glen Coco!

Zahra Shah

I've been working in startups and emerging markets for over 7 years, with a focus on growing tech ecosystems in conflict-affected areas. Having spent the last two years leading Re:Coded's operations in Iraq, and working with Gaza Sky Geeks before that, I want to utilise my experience to bring business and investment to the region. I truly believe that Iraq can provide valuable opportunities for businesses looking to launch or expand here, and i'm interested in supporting others who want to venture out to a country that people are traditionally skeptical to pursue. A big part of this is to change the current perceptions of Iraq through quality content by highlighting some of the everyday success stories that are overshadowed by other news.

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