From Making to Earning – How Erbil’s Makerspace Fosters Opportunity
As a mechanical engineering student, Ahmad was concerned about his employability after graduation. Wanting to set himself apart from his peers, he decided to look for opportunities to improve his skills and increase his chances of landing a dream job.
Through Facebook, Ahmad became aware of the only female-led makerspace in Erbil, and in July decided he would apply for the first training that was given on 3D modeling and digital fabrication. From the moment he entered the makerspace there was an instant connection to it. And he participated in two more training sessions that were hosted.
It was during this time that he and his team member, Abdulhameed, started working on an idea of using digital fabrication and 3D modeling to make disability life hacks for individuals in his community. Dedicating himself to this project, Ahmad designed pieces, and eventually learned how to use the 3D printers without the need for supervision. This training, in turn, helped him learn how to convert his CAD models to physical products.
Since attending the makerspace, Ahmad now works at a University in Erbil as a Mechatronic Lab Assistant, where he gives lectures. He feels that the skills he learned in the makerspace helped him gain employment and further help him succeed at his new workspace. Ahmad has even begun to bring his own students to the makerspace, to further explain its capabilities. Providing a new opportunity and space for them to freely exchange ideas.
Ahmad feels that if he hadn’t come to the makerspace, he wouldn’t have found the type of likeminded people he can brainstorm, design, and fabricate some great things with; who would also eventually become his closest friends.
Ahmad believes, “The makerspace is a place for learning and innovation, it’s the only place where you enter, and you don’t come out without learning a new thing”.
In the future, he wants to continue designing for disabled people and others to help make their life easier.
Ahmad counts Ravin and Mariam, two Field Ready staff members as his inspiration at the Erbil makerspace. Together, they helped to support his ideas.