August 21, 2013
We don’t write about politics on Wamda, but we do write about humanity. Two of Egypt’s leading lights in technology and entrepreneurship were extinguished by the constructed chaos engulfing Egypt in the past week and I am close to despair.
Silminds co-founder Assem El-Gamal and MiMV’s Managing Director Amr Abd El-Rahman were both shot at the Rabaa protest. The first is dead and the latter is in critical condition with his chances of a full recovery slim at best, as he was shot in the head.
People have asked me to write this tribute to both men. They were visionaries and examples for us all to look up to, even those of us like me, who were older than both of them.
Assem El-Gamal (on the left in the photo) was only one of three or four microchip design managers in Egypt. He graduated from Cairo University in 1999 and decided to stay in Egypt while gaining international experience to help the development of his country. He worked up to co-founder at Silminds, an Egyptian startup with eight patents that is working in the semi-conductor field of standard floating point arithmetic; this field contains only one other company of note, called IBM.
I spoke to friend and peer Mohammed Omara about the news. “Assem’s been my friend for years, he was one of the politest people I’ve ever met, I never even heard him swear once. If I’m ever blessed with a boy I want him to be like Assem,” he said. “When I heard he’d been murdered, I was distraught; I still am. Forget that he was my friend, Egypt has lost 25% of its talent in semi-conductor design, we won’t be able to get someone of his caliber for 15 years at least.”
Read more at Quartz.
August 21, 2013