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Reyhan Jamalova has been lauded by Forbes, World Citizen and the BBC

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Reyhan Jamalova met with Israeli Ambassador George Deek, who described her as “a brilliant young Azerbaijani who founded Rainergy in order to provide energy from rainwater,” which will improve the quality of life for everyone in Azerbaijan. (Photo: @GeorgeDeek)

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Although it may be hard to believe, over half of people living in less developed countries still lack access to electricity. This means that two thirds of the world still do not have access to electricity, something which in our times we consider to be so basic and pivotal. In fact, even in many urban areas in the developing world, access to electricity is poor, thus adversely affecting the quality of life there.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, this reality was especially dire, as the preservation of COVID-19 vaccines requires good access to electricity. It should be added that having no or poor access to electricity also adversely affects the quality of education and standard of living in these areas. 

However, one young Azerbaijani teenage girl named Reyhan Jamalova who grew up in a rural area of the country believed that renewable energy could be a solution to this global problem, as it is more affordable than gasoline. 

Thus, she believed that the solution to the gap between the Global South and the Global North is to light up one house at a time via renewable energy.    

However, she did not stumble upon this idea overnight.   

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Growing up in a rural area of the Caucuses, her environment was not conducive to being an innovator. So, she moved away from her rural community at a young age in order to pursue better educational opportunities in Baku. By doing so, Reyhan shattered stereotypes within her community regarding what girls could accomplish. Once she did so, she founded the Rainergy Project at age 14, which sought to help hundreds of young people, especially girls, to innovate.

According to Reyhan, “Having witnessed temporary blackouts caused by strong rains in my rural village in Azerbaijan, I often thought about how hard it is for people to live in a permanent power outage due to unimaginable heavy rains throughout the year. This is what led me to the idea of harnessing energy from rainwater.”

Of course, not everything eventually went as planned:

“I remember the time when the generator I had been building with my team for 3 sleepless months burned to ashes in front of my eyes just 4 days before the ClimateLaunchPad national final. At that time, the engineering consultant mentoring us suddenly decided to quit calling our idea ‘a product of hideous idealism’ that is ‘bound to fail.’”     

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But, this did not deter Reyhan, who managed to rebuild everything within four days and subsequently was rewarded for her hard work:

“In my opinion, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is a wonderful initiative by the United Nations to motivate girls to be interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” she said. “The day itself breaks the stereotypes of girls’ capabilities and potential by promoting successful women worldwide, thus inspiring girls to believe in themselves and pursue their passion in a particular branch of science.”

“Our world’s future, the betterment of our lives and future generations-humanity depend on youth, including boys and girls; therefore, let’s believe in ourselves and our capabilities, work hard, never give up, and dive in the sea of knowledge that science present to us to tackle our global problems,” she wrote on the UNICEF website after discovering a way to transform rainwater into electricity. 

Now, Reyhan Jamalova, who turns 20 years of age in November, is studying at the University of Pennsylvania, in addition to being CEO and founder of Rainenergy.  

She was selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Asia as the first Azerbaijani and was one of the BBC’s most inspiring and inspirational women of 2018.  She also won the 2018 Presidential Youth Award, the TRT World Youth Award, and was a Global Food Fund Fellow and a One Young World Ambassador. 

Her example shows that even if you set your mind to something, you can accomplish great things.  

Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights.  She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings at the American, Israeli and Arab Media.”  

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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