Apple onboards over 60 Palestinian engineers, looks to grow

The tech giant hopes to “make meaningful change” while doing good business at the same time

 A Palestinian and Israeli engineer working together at Apple as part of the expansion of Apple’s R&D hub in the region (photo credit: APPLE)
A Palestinian and Israeli engineer working together at Apple as part of the expansion of Apple’s R&D hub in the region
(photo credit: APPLE)

Apple announced on Tuesday that it is onboarding over 60 Palestinian engineers working in the new city of Rawabi in the Palestinian Authority, as it continues to expand its engineering R&D hub in the Middle East region to support the development of core technologies.

The engineers will join the ranks of Apple’s 2000-strong engineering team in Israel who are working to develop technology across its products, including key innovations on silicon, such as the M1 family of chips.

“At Apple, we are committed to inclusion and diversity across our global workforce,” said Johny Srouji, senior vice president of hardware technologies at Apple. “By creating more opportunities for Palestinian engineers, we saw a way to help address an important regional matter while advancing Apple’s core values. We know that to sustain meaningful change, it must be good for business as well. Finding talent in the Palestinian Authority expands the pool of qualified engineers, which helps us meet the needs of our growing business.”

“These talented individuals in Rawabi are working on a range of critical projects, and share the same passion and commitment to excellence that we see in our team across the world,” said Srouji. “We are going to continue to invest as our engineering hub in the region grows.”

Initiative in cooperation with Rawabi

Srouji recently had the honor of meeting with President Isaac Herzog and updating him on Apple’s work with ASAL in Rawabi. Herzog offered his support for the initiative.

 Apple logo is seen on the Apple store at The Marche Saint Germain in Paris, France July 15, 2020. (credit: GONZALO FUENTES / REUTERS) Apple logo is seen on the Apple store at The Marche Saint Germain in Paris, France July 15, 2020. (credit: GONZALO FUENTES / REUTERS)

In the interest of the project, Apple has partnered with Rawabi’s founder, Bashar Masri.

“Our work with Apple is providing meaningful careers and high-paying salaries for more Palestinians every year,” said Masri. “Rawabi is a hub for technology and innovation, and the city is thriving thanks in part to engineers like those at ASAL Technologies who call it home.”

Expanding the Israeli workforce

The broadening scope of Apple’s recruitment in the region coincides with other companies in Israel expanding their search for talent as the country’s supply of ex-IDF intelligence programmers that they typically turn to has run dry. Employers have turned to the Israeli periphery in order to find talent, hiring more women, haredi Jews and Arabs.

Laly David, partner and head of business development at OurCrowd, elaborated on this phenomenon as it continued to pick up momentum earlier this year.

“The conjunction of a job-seekers market, with unfulfilled need for quality employees, and the continuous hybrid work from home model, has the potential of increasing a much-needed diversity in the workforce in terms of periphery, gender and age,” David said. “We already see a quarter of our companies increasing their hiring from the periphery and we hope this trend will strengthen.”