An Anonymous Inventor
“People considered me an obsessed child and a trouble-maker. My parents always wished that I could behave as other children do. They only wanted me to succeed in my studies to become a doctor or an engineer or even a worker who would get married eventually, have children and so on!"
Hamzeh Farahat Abu Shekheidem was born in 1987 to a simple farmer’s family. He finished his primary and high school education in his hometown and was always enchanted by the world of industry and mechanics ever since he was a little boy. On a daily basis, he would look for new means to solve the problems that he encountered in his environment, especially in the domain of agriculture and electricity. Hamzeh recounts, “During my childhood, I would wait impatiently for the Eid (Islamic feast) to come in order to receive gifts. However, my desire was different from that of other children. I didn’t want to play with the toys; I wanted to learn from them. Unfortunately, I could never keep a toy unharmed. The minute I had it in my hands I would start dismantling it to discover new things. I was very curious to know how this toy functioned and how can I improve its performance. Of course, I was never able to keep a toy safe and sound which created problems between me and my parents who considered this as an act of destruction!" Time passed by and many unsuccessful trials followed one another. Meanwhile, Hamzeh’s horizons broadened. One day the radio in his house broke down. “When the radio broke down, I was overwhelmed with happiness as I was always curious to discover what’s inside this machine but was scared of my parents’ reaction if I ever touch it. But that day I had a legitimate reason to experiment with it. I ran into my room and brought out the small tool box. The road to discovery began..."
Hamzeh was only 12 years old and he knew very little about electronics. He couldn’t, of course, repair the radio but he was able to identify its components. His next step was to buy another broken radio from the hardware market and by manipulating both machines was able to repair the broken radio depending exclusively on his senses. After this modest success, Hamzeh started working with their neighbour the blacksmith. He made him paint the windows and doors using the traditional way. It was very tiring. This prompted him to think about inventing a more comfortable way of doing this job. Hamzeh realized that he needed a laboratory where he could carry out his experiments. What he found was a broken minibus which he put in the backyard. “I started creating slowly a modest laboratory in that bus out of what little equipments and tools I had collected over the years. That bus, filled with dreams and ideas, became my whole world." When he was 15 years old, he bought some materials with what money he had saved during his work with the blacksmith, but his budget wasn’t enough to enable him to accomplish anything. Hence, his inventions remained as dreams written on paper. All he could come up with were primary models and unfinished samples. He lacked the necessary information and skills to develop all these ideas, in addition to large sums of money required to make his serious inventions a reality. His ideas started to build up, beginning with a computerized shaving machine to a system to resist the wind and sweep snow from greenhouses, among others. One invention that is particularly dear to him is a robot that can move along the pipes of a building to detect blockage or damage. The robot is equipped with brushes, detectors and cameras in order to fix the problem without causing any damage. He constantly dreamt about this invention in all its details but did not know how to realize it. For two years, Hamzeh addressed all governmental and non-governmental associations for assistance, but it was all in vain. Not only was his invention rejected, it was received with mockery as well. One day he read an announcement that would change my life. It read: “Would you like to be an inventor?" At first, he couldn’t believe his eyes, but he was reassured when he called Al-Nayzak Association for Extra-curricular Education and realized that this association would open many doors for him through its project of promoting and supporting technological inventions by young people. Both hope and his project grew together while Hamzeh’s minibus became his dearest possession. He was finally able to create his invention with the help and sponsorship of Al-Nayzak. Hamzeh learned how to be a real inventor during his experience and work with the engineers of Al-Nayzak. He learned to work hard, to put an agenda for my work, and to write down the technical difficulties he faced and to draw and design everything. Most importantly, he learned how to benefit from his mistakes based on true scientific facts. Thanks to Al-Nayzak, his invention was included in the association’s exhibition of inventions by young inventors and which was shown on satellite channels. His voice was also heard on radio stations. All this helped him to take his first steps in the long road of creativeness and opened many doors for him, after a long period of depression and despair. For a simple young man and an uneducated inventor, with only his hands and ideas to work with, Hamzeh never dreamed of achieving all this, for which he is grateful to Al-Nayzak.