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Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

During my Road Trip visit to Israel, I spent a day in Ramallah, in the West Bank, to learn about the small but growing tech scene there.

An entrance to the territory -- the Qalandia checkpoint, north of Jerusalem -- includes a series of these red signs warning Israelis to stay out.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
1
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

After going through the checkpoint, the scene is busy, dusty and filled with concrete walls Israel built for security.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
2
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

Israel constructed a concrete barrier more than a decade ago to prevent terrorism from the West Bank. Palestinians have since drawn graffiti on many parts of the wall.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
3
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

Down the road, I found Ramallah, a modern city filled with towers of glass and limestone.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
4
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

Khaled Abu Al Kheir is co-founder and CEO of PinchPoint, a Palestinian mobile gaming company. His firm got a lot of notice last year with the debut of its first title, Spermania, a racing game about a cartoon sperm.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
5
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

Mousa Hamad, an intern at PinchPoint.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
6
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

Yasmin Eid, a PinchPoint artist, is busy drawing a cartoon chicken.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
7
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

My guide in Ramallah, Nuha Musleh, serves up lunch at her art gallery on the outskirts of the central district.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
8
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

Faris Zaher, CEO of hotel-booking startup Yamsafer, says his company outlasted many competitors from Jordan and Dubai because "We're hungrier."

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
9
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

Inside the company's call center, where Yamsafer employees field travelers' requests and questions.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
10
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

Here, a handful of Yamsafer workers take a break while looking out at Ramallah from their company's 11th-floor offices.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
11
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

The leaders of Mashvisor, a real-estate analytics company founded late last year, want to help build up the Palestinian tech scene.

"It's still a young ecosystem, it's small," CEO Peter Abualzolof said, "but companies like Yamsafer are definitely leading the way."

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
12
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

Ramallah's central market is hectic, filled with people, storefronts and noise.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
13
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

Here, a man on a megaphone calls for people to attend a protest that night.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
14
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

A handful of men wearing bright-red outfits sell sweet drinks to drivers.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
15
of 16

Warning signs

Past the Qalandia checkpoint

Graffiti walls

In Ramallah

PinchPoint's Spermania

Hard at work making games

Developing the next gaming hit

My guide for the day

Staying hungry

Yamsafer's call center

Hanging out above Ramallah

Looking to grow Palestinian tech

At the central market

A call for protesters

Selling drinks on the street

Central market fruit stand

Here's one of a handful of fruit stands lining the sideways in the market.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
16
of 16
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