LINA SERGIE ATTAr
Lina Sergie Attar Lina Sergie Attar is the co-founder and CEO of Karam Foundation. She is a Syrian-American architect and writer from Aleppo. She co-developed Karam's Innovative Education initiatives: the creative therapy and holistic wellness program for displaced Syrian children and the Karam Leadership Program, an entrepreneurship and technology program for displaced Syrian youth. Sergie Attar frequently travels to the Syrian border in southern Turkey to run Karam’s Smart Aid programs. She was named one of GOOD magazine's 2016 GOOD 100 for Karam's innovative work with Syrian refugees. Her articles and essays have been published in the NYT, Chicago Tribune, Foreign Policy, Politico, and BBC. She has appeared on CNN, NBC News, BBC News, Huffington Post, NPR and other media outlets. Sergie Attar has spoken about the Syrian humanitarian crisis at schools, universities, and institutions including: RISD, Harvard University, University of Chicago, Loyola, Northwestern, DePaul, Bentley University, Philips Exeter Academy, King's Academy in Jordan, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Tahrir Institute, and others. Sergie Attar is a co-founder of the How Many More? project and serves on the Board of Directors of The Syria Campaign.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Nada Hashem is the Director of Operations at Karam Foundation. She is a Syrian-American pursuing her M.S. degree from Boston University in Computer Information Systems, with a concentration in Health Informatics. At Karam Foundation, she hopes to help bring technology opportunities and solutions to improve and develop Karam Foundation's operations and programs. Nada coordinates the bi-annual innovative education missions to Syrian border towns in southern Turkey. She has 5 years of experience in organizing nationwide and worldwide campaigns to raise awareness about the needs of the people in Syria and the ongoing refugee crisis. Hashem has spoken at various institutions and media outlets including: University of California Riverside, California State University Fullerton, KPFK 90.7, Reuters, and ABC7. Nada is the co-founder of the How Many More? project and nationwide student organization Students Organize for Syria.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
Samia Akhras, a Syrian-American from Chicago, IL, has been a part of the larger Karam family since it was founded in 2007. Samia studied Psychology at DePaul University and officially joined the Karam Team as an intern in 2014. She is a two-time mentor at her favorite Karam Foundation program, Zeitouna, a creative therapy program for Syrian refugee children. Beyond dedication and passion for the Syrian cause, Samia loves to play volleyball, eat Chipotle, and spend quality time with her nieces and nephews.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCIAL OPERATIONS
Maya Fallaha is the Director of Financial Operations and Humanitarian Aid Coordinator. She first volunteered with Karam Foundation coordinating the #Milk4Syria campaign. She has an extensive background in International Relations with a focus on development and food insecurity which she plans to bring to her new role at Karam. She also has 3 years of experience in operations and management and plans to use her expertise to help develop new funding and growth strategies. Maya resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son and enjoys traveling, hiking, and tackling DIY projects.
Project Coordinator • Reyanli, Turkey
Abduljabbar (AJ) Al-Hasan is the Project Coordinator in Reyanli, Turkey. He received his degree in English literature from Damascus University in 2008, and English teaching degree in 2004 from the Teachers' Training Institute in Hama, Syria. AJ has extensive experience in curriculum development, classroom management, early childhood education, student assessment and behavioral management. Before joining Karam Foundation, he was a teacher at the Salam School and worked with the Foundation over the course of three Innovative Education missions in 2013 and 2014. AJ oversees our on-the-ground operations in Reyhanli, including coordinating our Sponsor a Syrian Family Program and Innovative Education missions. One of his most special qualities is his ability to make Syrian children laugh, play, dance, and forget their heavy burdens of loss. His philosophy is to always to put the needs of the children first.
Lilah Khoja received her B.A. from UCLA in International Development Studies. Lilah has worked with the Democracy Council and the Committee to Protect Journalists. She has been published in The Outpost, Mashallah News, Today's Zaman, and SyriaDeeply. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Public Health, with a focus on refugee health. She believes in sustainable aid and is thrilled to be working with the Karam Foundation.
product + Social media manager
Roya Naderi is a recent graduate from DePaul University where she studied both Political Science and Islamic World Studies. She began working with Karam earlier this year as a volunteer and later took on the role as Product Manager Intern, taking leadership on the Scents of Syria project. Aside from Karam, she stays involved with the greater Palestine Solidarity movement. Roya is planning on pursuing a career in nonprofit work and staying connected to Karam.
Dania Mukahhal received her B.F.A. in graphic design from Columbia College Chicago. She has spent the past couple years using her graphic design skills in nonprofit organizations as well as startups. Her work can be seen on her website, www.daniamukahhal.com She is very excited to be a part of the Karam Foundation team. Aside from Karam, Dania is also a graphic designer for Palestine in America and YourDIL Chicago. Dania spends her free time reading design books/articles, baking, and freelancing.
Sami Ascha is a rising sophomore at Tufts University studying Arabic, International Relations, and Philosophy. His family moved from Damascus to Cleveland, Ohio in the late 1980s and has since emphasized maintaining strong cultural ties to Syria. Sami hopes to use his internationally focused education toward ensuring a better future for Syria and, more generally, the Middle East.
Sarah Shannon is a recent Washington State University graduate with a passion for social justice and public education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Science Communication. As the Seattle outreach coordinator for Karam, Sarah focuses her efforts on planning events that bring people together to support our mission to better the lives of Syrian refugees. She is a writer, photographer and science enthusiast seeking opportunities to utilize her passions to help create positive change in the world.
Serra Deniz Pelin is the Research Assistant in Istanbul, Turkey. She is a Turkish-American who plans to use her language and networking skills within the framework of researching higher education opportunities for Syrian refugees in Turkey. Serra graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and is currently pursuing a B.A. in International Relations at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Serra believes that through research and organized aid, human rights crises can be better solved. She is eager to contribute to this ideal through her work with the Karam Foundation.
Siobhan Pierce recently graduated from Dickinson College with a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Arabic. More than seven years living abroad in Europe and the Middle East has shaped Siobhan into a passionate humanitarian and traveler. She will begin a Master’s in Global Policy at the University of Maine in the fall of 2016. Karam’s mission inspires her and she is thrilled to join the team.
operations + legal intern
Abdulazziz Hussaini is the Legal and Operations Intern at Karam Foundation. He holds a PGDip in International Security from the University of Warwick [United Kingdom] and a B.A. in Near Eastern Civilizations with a concentration in Islamic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He has previously worked for Grassroots Campaigns, Inc. facilitating non-profit fundraising and political consulting. He is very passionate about human security and strives to dedicate his life to protecting innocent lives. His interests include watching police dramas, cooking & BBQing and reading classics as well as spending time with friends
muhammad usman ali
Muhammad Usman Ali is an inaugural class student from Pakistan at Minerva Schools at KGI. He is a Global Youth Ambassador to 'A World at School' and an Education youth Ambassador to 'Idara Taleem o Aagahi'. He will be graduating Minerva in 2019 and plans to study Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence and Economics. He is a youth activist in his country and is particularly interested in exploring the dilemma of child Labor, the causes and the solutions as well as the policy affairs and security situation of Middle East and South Asia region. He hopes to further develop the use innovative Education technology to educate the next generation in the most productive way.
Hannah Burroughs is a senior at Washington State University, where she is studying International Relations and Public Relations. She is beginning her work with Karam this year, and is becoming extremely immersed in the foundation and is devoted to helping Americans understand the conflict affecting Syria. As an intern, she hopes to bring awareness on the issue to the Greater Seattle Area. Aside from the foundation, Hannah is a member of Alpha Chi Omega at Washington State, and enjoys being around good people and always being positive.
JOIN OUR TEAM
Interested in joining our mission to build a better future for Syria? Check out our job and internship openings!