Alaa Mahdi Kudaih

Alaa, 16, was born in the UAE, but her family moved to Gaza in 2013. She studies at the Alkansaa Secondary School and is a participant in AMIDEAST’s Bridge program, which prepares students to apply to international universities. Alaa volunteers for Al Nayzak, a nonprofit that encourages youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and for the Tamer Institute for Community Education on the Voices from Palestine Team. She also participates in the “Technovation Challenge,” a social entrepreneurship program for young women. Her favorite hobbies are running, swimming, writing, reading novels and photography. In fact, she says she is known as one of the youngest photographers in Palestine! “My dream to be a famous journalist and filmmaker, creating movies about Palestinians in new and creative ways.”