Lebanese American University


LAU alumna behind “best internet startup in the region”

Noor El-Fadl’s online networking site for creative people in the Middle East, tasmeemME, was voted the region’s best internet startup, at the ArabNet conference.

LAU alumna Noor El-Fadl's website tasmeemME, an online networking site for creative talents in the Middle East, was voted best internet startup in the region, at the ArabNet 2010 conference.

The website was co-founded last year by El-Fadl (left), who has established herself as a prominent graphic designer in Jordan, and Tamam Mango (right), a well-known business consultant in Jordan. (Photo: VIVA Magazine Amman).

LAU alumna, Jordanian national Noor El-Fadl’s website tasmeem Middle East, the first online networking site for creative talents in the Middle East, has been voted best internet startup in the region, by public and expert judges, at the ArabNet 2010 conference held in Beirut from March 25-26.

The only female among the contestants, El-Fadl has attracted much media and industry attention for her achievement and website. The site is the first regional online networking site dedicated to creative talent — including music, fine arts, design, film, theater, architecture, writing and all other “creative” fields — and offers both companies and individuals a platform to share work, find the right talent for projects, and connect with fellow creative individuals and professionals.

The idea for tasmeemME started after El-Fadl had been freelancing for over five years in the Middle East, she says. “It was difficult to market myself as a creative and to find freelance jobs. … When I needed to hire other freelancers, I didn’t know where to start looking for them. I felt it was necessary to bridge the gap between service providers and service seekers in the region, facilitating both outsourcing and freelancing, pushing them forward as concepts.”

With a booming creative industry across the Middle East, tasmeemME is designed to fill a gap to support freelancing and outsourcing. It brings unique and exclusive features to creatives across the region, including the opportunity to promote themselves through a free profile and portfolio, as well as networking, recruiting, messaging and advertising services.

“The internet is a fascinating tool, and when used productively can help bring so much opportunity,” explains El-Fadl. “There is plenty of potential to do new things in the Middle East — we’re such a fresh and untapped market in many fields.”

ArabNet 2010 was the first international conference for the Middle East and North Africa web industry, and was produced in collaboration with a number of strategic partnerships, including the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship and the Syrian Young Entrepreneurs Association. The event also featured many high-profile sponsors such as Microsoft, Google and Aramex, as well as some of the biggest names in the region, such as Bank Audi, Maktoob, and Souk.com.

The ArabNet conference aimed to give promising young and new entrepreneurs a chance to gain exposure and build their business.

tasmeemME was co-founded last year by El-Fadl, who has established herself as a prominent graphic designer in Jordan, and Tamam Mango, a well-known business consultant in Jordan.

The site will be launching new services soon, including project bidding, a forum, and an online marketplace to promote internet trade and more. The site, which is currently in English, will also be launched in Arabic this year.

“The creative sector in the Middle East is booming,” says El-Fadl. “We wanted to build a regional platform that brings the creative and the business worlds closer together.”

Ghada Majed, the assistant director for Alumni Relations at LAU, says El-Fadl’s success is a testament of her adapting her skills, with the market’s needs. “Noor [El-Fadl] is a young alumna who combined her design talents with today’s technology and was able to make a difference and achieve success,” says Majed.

Read more about El-Fadl’s achievement and the ArabNet conference in this CNN article. You can also watch this video on YouTube.


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