Michelle Ajami is a graduate of Brown University and The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. In both institutions, her focus was on history and Chinese language, with an eye to the Foreign Service. She ended up teaching history and literature to New York City public school students for nearly three decades and loving it. Her personal interests and commitments were brought farther west by her husband, and the Middle East and later Syria, in particular, became a vital focus of their lives. Joining and supporting Karam has answered both passions – working with and educating children and contributing to a better future for the Syrian people

advocacy advisor -washington DC

Kenan Rahmani is a Syrian-American political and human rights activist who makes regular trips to Turkey and inside Northern Syria to meet with Syrian civil society leaders. He has served as the US government affairs advisor for the Syrian Network for Human Rights, and is the co-founder of How Many More and also of Students Organize for Syria. He has also served in numerous other Syrian organizations since the uprisings began in 2011. He is a recent law school graduate from American University and is completing his Masters in International Relations. He has been interviewed by CNN, Al-Jazeera, FOX, BBC, The New York Times, and other media to discuss the situation in Syria.

hala droubi - lead journalism mentor

Hala Droubi is a Syrian-American journalist. She studied Psychology at The American University in Beirut and did her Masters in Print Journalism at Columbia University. She was part of The New York Times team in Beirut covering the crisis in Syria and then moved to Dubai where she worked as an editor in Yahoo!. She’s passionate about narrative writing and storytelling in Arabic, and writes for independent media platforms in the Middle East. She's a lecturer at the American University in Dubai. Hala heads the Karam Journalism Program which teaches displaced Syrian teens basic newswriting skills and the ethics of journalism to support talented writers and help them become selective, critical, selective and engaged readers and news consumers.

Email hala@karamfoundation.org 


Apryl Eshelman is a veteran fundraiser, having raised millions of dollars for various not-for-profit organizations over the past 13 years years.  She is a Certified Fundraising Executive, the highest professional designation for a fundraiser.  Her experience raising support is built upon 16 years as a commercial banker. Eshelman is a graduate of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Wilmette, Il with her husband and daughter. 

Email apryl@karamfoundation.org

WASSIM AL ADEL - lead literary arts mentor

Wassim Al-Adel has traveled with the Karam Foundation to Southern Turkey for 4 missions where he has facilitated Philosophy workshops for Syrian refugee youth. He is a Syrian-British blogger and currently resides in the UK.

Email wassim@karamfoundation.org