Archive for the ‘Startups’ Category

Qanawati, Check Flight Details & Availability Using SMS

| October 16, 2009 – 1:06 pm | comment 1 Comment

QanawatiQanawati (‘My Channels’ in Arabic) is a new mobile based service that was just launched from Saudi Arabia by Remal IT, allowing you to check for flight reservation availability via SMS.

The service enables you to check for the availability of seats to be reserved specifically for the following airlines: Saudi AirlinesNas air and Sama; as well as for all airlines using IATA data.

Other than that, the service also makes it possible to check the details and status of a specific flight by entering the flight number, and if needed the specific date for it.

Another available option is  to check the arrival/departure activity in Saudi airports to see what planes are coming in or leaving on that day and the details of the flights.

Qanawati

The service is based on premium rated sms messages, and currently works with Mobily and Zain, with STC support on the way.

Nakhweh, A Volunteer Matching Portal For Jordan

| October 4, 2009 – 10:26 pm | comment 2 Comments

Nakhweh

Nakhweh is a new portal that was recently launched in Jordan, aimed at being a tool to foster and develop voluntary work in the community, through bridging the gap between available programs and volunteers.

The site tries to achieve its goal by offering a number of online features to support the networking of leaders and volunteers in the community.

The portal is the brainchild of Kamel Al-Asmar and Hadi Nasereddin of Ideation Box from Jordan.

The following is a little Q&A we got to do with Kamel to know more about Nakhweh, how things have been going so far and their plans for the future. A big thanks to him for taking the time to answer our questions and offer some insight into Nakhweh.

Tell us more about Nakhweh and your goals for it in your own words.

Nakhweh.com is basically a website that aims to help in the matching process between the volunteers who are passionate about serving their communities and the organizations that need the help of those volunteers.
Nakhweh has been launched on the 19th of August with the least options that make the website usable and functioning in a way that serves volunteers and organizations simply yet effectively. That decision of launching the project at its early stages has been taken for two main reasons, which are: The Holy Month of Ramadan and to be the first in taking such an initiative before anybody else.

Our vision for Nakhweh is to make it the official volunteering platform for Jordan in a short time, to help other social entrepreneurs and to plan events every while and then to support a cause.

(more…)

Bedkash, A New Palestinian Free Classifieds Portal

| September 27, 2009 – 10:58 pm | comment 98 Comments

BedkashBedkash is a new free classifieds portal for Palestine that was just recently launched in its beta version, providing the service for users in all Palestinian cities.

The service enables users to post the objects they want to sell or the service they can provide, or what they are searching for, for free on the site for other users to search, navigate through and reply to with their offers.

The ads are organized under categories and subcategories, as well as by city, enabling users to go through all posted classifieds narrowing down the selection either by the available categorizations or by specific cities or a combination of both.

Only registered users can get in touch with the person who posted the classified ad, otherwise they just get to see the different details of the posting without any information about the poster.

Bedkash

Bedkash is a new product of Sadaf Technology Development, a Palestinian web development company based in Gaza. The site is available in Arabic only, and the company plans to monetize it through selling online advertising.

Shawshara, An Online Encyclopedia For Arabic Music

| September 24, 2009 – 1:11 pm | comment 4 Comments

ShawsharaShawshara is a community based project aimed at collecting and documenting all aspects of Arabic music in an online encyclopedia.

Shawshara is set up as a wiki based platform enabling anyone to add and modify the contents of any page, without the interference of site administrators, in order to enrich the content and grow the database.

The site currently contains over 25 Arabic artists, their biographies and discographies that translate into several hundred albums, and over 700 song pages which include the song’s lyrics, lyrics translated into English and other languages, transliteration and videos.

Shawshara

The site interface is presented in both English and Arabic, and so is the content, which is translated and transliterated into English, and in some cases into other languages as well.

Shawshara was founded by Waseem Sayegh, a Palestinian, currently living and studying in Canada.
It is powered by MediaWiki, the same open source software that runs Wikipedia.

Nahel.com, A New UAE Online Shopping Destination

| September 19, 2009 – 5:45 pm | comment 9 Comments

nahelIn an Arab internet scene where e-commerce remains largely untapped, Nahel.com from Dubai is a very welcome addition, with a very big goal: to establish itself as a prime B2C online retailer.

They’ve worked on building an inventory of thousands of new brand-name products covering several categories, from electronics, to games to perfumes, watches and clothing. They source products from wholesalers and distributors in order to be competitive in terms of selection, quality and prices.

The idea behind Nahel.com was conceived back in 2007, with its original business plan born as the first place winner in the University of Toronto’s Business Plan Competition.

Over the past 2 years Nahel sold products through other existing online markets, like Souq.com, and were involved in all aspects of selling products online. After building the experience and community, Nahel went a step further, and launched its independent e-commerce portal, offering a full e-commerce experience to its clients, from the moment they log on to the website all the way to post-sale services.

Nahel.com

To make it as easy as possible for people to pay for items they buy on Nahel, several payment methods are provided: from Cash on delivery, to credit cards, PayPal and Nahel gift certificates.

Nahel.com was founded by Saeid Hejazi, and was officially launched in July 2009 from Dubai, UAE. It currently only covers the UAE, although there are plans to expand to the GCC region and maybe the whole Middle East in the future.

Tamtem, A Site To Anonymously Share What’s On Your Mind

| September 16, 2009 – 2:57 pm | comment 3 Comments

tamtemTamtem is a new Arabic service where people can use an anonymous name to post their everyday anecdotes, embarrassing or weird situations from their lives, as well as get certain secrets off their chests and share it all with the world.

The site follows pretty much the same concept as FMyLife, and adopts a similar look. It allows people to post their little bits and pieces describing the situations they’ve gone through or the secrets they’re hiding, and then people get to read them, comment and vote on them, either showing their support and understanding or implying that the person deserved it.

The service also enables users to start following one another to keep track of their different posts, or to send direct messages in private to each other, adding another social networking angle to it.

The posts are organized under different categories, from love related to embarrassing to political to work related and more, and also classified by country, to make it easier for people to find posts about a certain topic or from a certain country.

tamtem

The service which was launched from Jordan is in Arabic only, and targets users from all around the Arab world. Staying true to the spirit of the service, where people can unload their experiences anonymously, the founders also want to remain anonymous for the time being.

Photojonet, Online Photo Storage & Printing For Jordan

| September 10, 2009 – 3:16 pm | comment 5 Comments

PhotojonetPhotojonet is a new online photo service that was recently launched in Jordan, specialized in digital photo printing, and aiming to provide users with quality photo prints at good prices.

Basically, the service provides users with unlimited online storage for their photos, which they can upload, organize into photo albums and then order high quality prints of. The chosen photos are then printed and delivered to the person’s doorstep within 24-72 hours (Free if the order amount is over 6 Jordanian Dinars).

Usage of the service and storage of the photos is totally free, as long as at least one order is done per year; printing prices range from 0.10 Jordanian Dinars for a 9x13cm print to 20 Jordanian Dinars for a 80x120cm one. Payment for the prints is done with cash on delivery.

Photojonet

Photojonet was officially launched in July 2009, and currently only provides its services for people living in Jordan. The company was founded by Issam Hijazi, who started work on the project as part of his graduation project, and Rami Al-Natsheh who came up with the initial idea and invested in it.

A special offer is currently available offering 10 free prints to newly registered users.

MailPacks Email Marketing Service Launches Private Beta

| September 5, 2009 – 9:00 pm | comment No Comments

MailPacksMailPacks, a new online service that enables companies and organizations to manage and send their email marketing campaigns, has just gone live with its private beta.

MailPacks promises low prices for sending email campaigns and a free tracking and follow-up system to measure the effectiveness of sent campaigns and set up follow up messages.

Using the service, email marketers can create and manage unlimited lists of email addresses, for example having lists for multiple tasks and/or lists for different sites.
When sending they can also choose to send to selected segments and target specific subscribers according to their countries, age, and/or sex.

They also have full control over the design side, as they can fully customize all landing pages with their text and design, and use an integrated HTML editor to create and design their HTML email messages as well as their custom pages. (MailPacks provides unlimited image hosting space.)
A set of pre-designed and tested templates are also made available.

Once done with the design of the message, the spam score for it can be checked, so that the message can be optimized in order to get higher deliverability.

After the email campaign is sent, marketers can keep track of the campaign’s results (opens, clicks, bounces …etc.), and set up unlimited follow up messages at the intervals of their choice.

To be sent an invitation code for MailPacks, you need to send a message to the MailPacks twitter account (@MailPacks) with a small request.

MailPacks was founded by Mamod Mehyar from Jordan, who is also behind Feedoor, that was previously reviewed here.

Twtlens: An Easy Way To Create Your Own Twitter Aggregator

| August 30, 2009 – 12:34 pm | comment 2 Comments

twtlensTwtlens is a new service that allows you to create your own twitter aggregator (or lens as they call it) around any group or community of users that have something in common (location, work, interests, passions, etc.), as a means to have direct access to the community pulse, and tap into what’s on their minds at any given moment.

twtlens is built on the same platform powering UAE Tweets, that was previously reviewed here, enabling you to create similar views of Twitter for your own groups and communities; customizing it with your own logo, color scheme and background image.

To create a lens of your own all you’ll have to do is have a twitter account that follows everyone within the community you want to aggregate tweets from, and then go through the quick sign up process on twtlens.

Each created lens will then aggregate all tweets from the community in one interface, make those tweets searchable, extract trending topics (words and #hashtags) from the tweets, extract the most popular shared links by the community, and list the new links that are being shared by them.
Search results and trends can be made available through RSS feeds too.

twtlens

Twtlens which was developed by Dubai-based CloudAppers, is still in Alpha (with limited testing slots open at this moment), and the team are working on adding more features in the form of widgets that twtlens creators can add or remove at will.

This service is currently available for free, but according to CloudAppers, a paid model is in the works and should be unveiled soon.

NaqaTube: A “Purified” Collection Of YouTube Videos

| August 27, 2009 – 2:08 pm | comment 6 Comments

NaqaTubeNaqaTube is a service that was launched a couple of months ago from Saudi Arabia, and that aims to offer a clean alternative to YouTube, preventing youth from watching profane or sexually explicit video clips online. (The word ‘Naqa’ means ‘pure’ in Arabic.)

The site features a collection of “clean” and edited clips from YouTube, cutting out all profanities or sexually explicit clips, as well as censoring videos that are deemed negative towards to the Kingdom’s government, scholars and citizens in general.

In keeping with strict religious guidelines, clips that have music are edited and their music removed, while images of women are banned. NaqaTube visitors are also able to edit their own clips through the site before uploading them online.

Much of the material on the site is religiously inclined and the site’s front page displays links to over 10 channels mainly featuring scholars, preachers, children and other Islamic-related material.

NaqaTube

According to one of the moderators of NaqaTube, the site has received nearly 5,000 to 6,000 visitors since its launch two months ago.

NaqaTube was created by Saudi web development company House.

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