October 18, 2013

TechWomen SpeakOUT on StoryCorps

video
Voice of Menekse Gencer (2012 TechWomen Mentor (US) speaking to Noha Abousonna
 
“You know we’re both in technology but I’ve always had actually the support of my family and 
 
in what I’ve done. And so my father always, my father’s an engineer, and he always got the first 
 
computers that would come out so we had Commodore 64 and the Osborn and, oh gosh all the 
 
ones way before you were born (laughing). So I was encouraged by my dad at a very young age 
 
to even learn how does program, so, I mean all these things I felt like I had a lot of support and 
 
to push me into that field but your story is different and so you know what I’m inspired by with 
 
you is your own ability to get yourself like the fact that you recognize that this is a field that you 
 
really wanted to do and then despite all the odds, the cultural barriers or whatever, you did it. 
 
If you can maybe talk a little about that?”
 
Transitions to the voice of Noha Abousonna
 
“Sure so my first interaction with the computer is my dad put a computer home, it was like 
 
Windows 95. That computer was from my elder brother because he’s in college and he needs 
 
it in his studies. But we weren’t allowed to spend too much time on that. One time I was like 
 
eager to go online to send an email. It was an important email for me. I found a password on that 
 
computer so I was like trying to any different combinations of words to break the password and 
 
it didn’t work and I said, “Okay that’s it. I’m going to a computer science school to learn how to 
 
write passwords and to crack passwords and get into the system and become a hacker.” I was like 
 
now in high school. So we are the one’s who set limits to ourselves, so our capabilities, our, there 
 
is no limits to what you can achieve. You are not limited by your physical capabilities, by your 
 
financial capabilities, by your cultural capabilities. You can do anything that you set yourself to. 
 
Anything. That journey itself is like, it was like a dream I’ve been dreaming for like a year now, 
 
a year ago, and it’s not easy for a girl that is traveling to participating in such a long program, 
 
like seven weeks. Be away from my family, my friends, are my business. Our startup is like in 
 
its early stages so it’s critical for me to be there. But I left all that and I said I’m here to have 
 
something new to learn, something new, something that will help me and the next parts of my 
 
life.”
 
Ending title:
 
“Produced by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, with interviews recorded by 
 
StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to provided Americans of all backgrounds 
 
and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

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