How a shipping container is connecting strangers around the world

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Photo by Stephen Babcock

A hackathon set to be held next week is bringing together students and medical workers in Baltimore and Gaza City.

It won’t involve travel. Instead, the key to link lies within a gold shipping container.

Known as Portals, the retired cargo transport vessels allow groups of people from different sides of the world to sit down for a conversation.

The portals were created by former journalists Amar Bakshi and Michelle Moghtader, who are cofounders of D.C.–based Shared Studios.

“We wanted to create a space where people can create their own understanding of one another,” Moghtader said Thursday morning on the Decker Quad at the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus, where one of the Portals is currently stationed.

Read more about Portals and its intercontinental connections over at

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