Graduation Ceremony for 400 Trainees

Beirut, Lebanon, 19 April 2007 – Since the inauguration of the first Professional Computer Association of Lebanon Information and Communication Technology Academy (PICTA) in September 2006, seven other centers have opened in Lebanon, all as part of a larger humanitarian effort called ‘Partnership for Lebanon.’ Despite many challenges along the way, the project co-funded by the Professional Computer Association (PCA), Intel Corporation, Mercy Corps, IESC, Cisco, Microsoft, Computer Associates, Universal Knowledge Solutions, Booz Allen Hamilton and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP-ICTDAR), has today marked the graduation ceremony for 400 trainees.
“This ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable determination of these trainees to further their Information and Communication Technology knowledge in spite of many challenges,” said Khaled Elamrawi, general manager of Intel Egypt, LEVANT and North Africa. “The impact of this training will enable these trainees to use the knowledge, skills and experience they have gained to grow and develop new avenues in their future careers.”
The ceremony was held at the Unesco Palace in Verdun, where the 400 trainees from the eight PICTA centers in Bourj el Barajneh, Bourj Hammoud, Baalbeck, Bint Jbeil, Nabatieh, Batroun, Qana and Marjeyoun were recognized for their efforts in completing the course. The top 10 graduates received special certificates, and Microsoft contributed also with 10 Windows Vista & Office Software Packages and the top three were presented with laptops by Dr. Craig Barrett, Intel Chairman.
The top three students were 16 year-old student Kevork Bayrakdarian from Bourj Hammoud; Khalil Chaaban, another 16 year-old student from Bint Jbeil, and Khadije Chayto a 50 year-old housewife from Bourj el Barajneh.
“This remarkable program has proved beyond a doubt that anyone can push themselves to learn new skills and knowledge regardless of their age or background,” said Nizar Zakka, Vice president of the WITSA and the Professional Computer Association CEO. “All these trainees have excelled in managing to stay the course and finish their studies regardless of the difficulties they faced along the way.”
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