The Israeli high-tech industry is considered a possible solution to a painful Israeli problem - integrating communities that are normally left outside the employment market (the ultra-Orthodox, Arabs and other minorities). The problem is that there are still very few high-tech companies set up by Arab entrepreneurs or businessmen. Another problem is that there are too few companies that are active within the areas of the Arab local authorities.
There is currently one town where the Arab high-tech revolution is likely to take place - Nazareth, within whose boundaries you can find more than 15 companies that employ Arab high-tech workers. There are some people who call it "the Silicon Valley of the Arab community." Not because it is already like that, but because potentially it could be.
Khatem Zuabi, a businessman from Nazareth who set up NCS Software Services, is one of the pioneers who has caused the desert of Arab high tech to bloom. Together with the software group One1, the company he set up bases itself on manpower from the Arab community. They employ talented Arab engineers who have refrained from applying to Israeli high-tech firms that are located mostly in the center of the country.
The salaries at NCS are somewhat lower than the average salary in Israeli high tech, but since some of the Arab employees lack experience and because the workplace is close to their homes, this is a convenient solution for them. Currently, the sector's high tech includes mainly companies that offer services in the field of software development. They deal with projects from Israeli high-tech firms and constitute an alternative to the cheap manpower of Eastern Europe and the Far East.
Zuabi's great challenge is to get the company he founded to move forward in the coming year as well. The objective is for the company to deal with more projects and especially to employ more Arab engineers. And perhaps, if he is successful, the salaries of the Arab high-tech workers will become equal to those of their counterparts in the center of the country.
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