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Saleem Najjar Honored as One of the 2021 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World

September 10, 2021, St. Louis, USA — For being a self-taught entrepreneur and his focus on creating opportunities for workers, Saleem Najjar of Syria has been selected as a 2021 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) Honoree in the category of Business, Economic and/or Entrepreneurial Accomplishments. 

A longtime active mentor and advisor for startups in his community, Saleem Najjar started his entrepreneurial journey in Damascus, Syria, with very limited resources. He taught himself how to code, and how to run a business. He’s the founder of Sharqi Shop, a social enterprise that has created job opportunities for over 200 Syrian and Jordanian artisans, allowing them to make a monthly income by selling their products to over 30 countries around the world, reaching as far away as Mexico and Brazil. Sharqi gives those craftspeople the ability to make revenue without the need to worry about logistics, marketing or customer service. Along with his other projects, Sharqi extended the support to help over 1500 Syrian families find decent work opportunities and build small businesses.

Saleem is an entrepreneur, product manager, researcher, and e-commerce director with more than ten years of experience. He has built partnerships with global organizations, and believes that everyone has their own role and responsibility to help each other. He has won numerous awards celebrating entrepreneurship, including the European Youth Award in 2018, the Roadshow Award in 2018, first place in the NASA International Space Apps Challenge in 2017, the Techfugees Award in 2016 and Best Established Business in Syria Award in 2010.

Saleem’s curriculums and training materials were used by impactful acceleration programs to train more than 5000 young people and entrepreneurs to improve their skills and knowledge, besides providing them with one to one mentorship sessions to start and run their own business, embodying the JCI creed: “That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise.”

About JCI TOYP: JCI (Junior Chamber International) honors ten outstanding young people under the age of 40 each year. These individuals exemplify the spirit of the JCI Mission and have extraordinary accomplishments regarding individual development, business and entrepreneurship, community action and international cooperation. Whether through service, innovation, determination or revolutionary thinking, these young leaders create beneficial solutions on a local and global level.

The ten honorees will be recognized at the 2021 JCI Awards Ceremony at the 2021 JCI World Congress in November.

About JCI: JCI, a global leadership organization, provides personal and professional development opportunities to young leaders age 18 to 40. Through its international network of around 110 countries, JCI unites all sectors of society and empowers the leaders of tomorrow to turn challenges into opportunities today. For more information, visit

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Julie Amuedo

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