This 20-year-old Syrian woman is helping save the lives of refugees.
Siba Obeid designed a life jacket that’s equipped with GPS technology. When submerged, the life jacket sends the user’s location to the nearest coast guard. Obeid was motivated to design the life jacket after her father told her he was migrating to Europe by sea.
She explained, “I started imagining if, God forbid, I woke up to the news that my dad was drowned and no one was able to help him. What state would I be in?”
Obeid is a Syrian refugee who has been living in Jordan since 2013. After several applications for grants and scholarships were turned down, Obeid was accepted to a scientific innovation competition for teens, which provided her with the necessary training to build the life jacket.
Obeid hopes to get a patent and begin mass producing her life jacket, stating, “If anyone [at sea] comes across any danger, their voice will be heard and coast guards will be able to rescue them…It will not only reach refugees but also everyone, tourist groups, water-sport enthusiasts, and that they will live in peace and security.”
The prototype helped Obeid get a scholarship to study computer science at a University in Jordan.