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One year on: Hands Up for Syria Appeal

The Hands Up for Syria Appeal, which ended on 9 May 2016, raised £4,129,841 from generous donors.  Together with matching funding from the Asfari and Said Foundations, which matched donations pound for pound, £8,259,682 was raised for Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee and the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, to be spent on educating children and young people in Syria and surrounding countries. Click here to learn how Syrian children and young people have benefited from this extraordinary generosity so far.

 

Administrator vacancy with the Asfari Foundation

The Foundation is seeking to employ an experienced, dynamic and capable Administrator to manage the office and provide the administrative and financial support that enables the Foundation to run effectively and efficiently. The Administrator will primarily manage the office and assist the Finance and Administration Manager and the CEO but will also provide support to the Programmes team.

The Administrator will work from the Foundation’s Finchley Road office in close cooperation with and under supervision from the Finance and Administration Manager. A job description and person specification can be found in the advert below. Applicants should submit a completed application form to info@asfarifoundation.org.uk or by post to Unit A, 1-3 Canfield Place, London NW6 3BT. CVs will not be accepted. Closing date for applications is midnight on 15 May 2017. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted in the same week. Interviews are likely to take place in the week of 22 May.

Please click here for more details.

 


The White Helmets wins Oscar for best short documentary film

The Foundation joined thousands across the world in congratulating The White Helmets for being awarded the Oscar for Short Documentary film, just months after being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In his acceptance speech, director Orlando von Einsiedel read a statement from White Helmets founder Raed al-Saleh, saying that “We are so grateful that this film has highlighted our work to the world. Our organisation is guided by a verse from the Quran: To save one life is to save all of humanity […] “We have saved more than 82,000 Syrian lives. I invite anyone here who hears me to work on the side of life to stop the bloodshed in Syria and around the world”.

The Asfari Foundation strongly supports peaceful Syrian civil society of which the White Helmets are a shining example. We are proud of supporting the White Helmets through highlighting and raising funds for their important work through the Syria Campaign.

 

Consultants required for Asfari Foundation review

The Asfari Foundation is looking for two types of consultants to conduct a review of its work to inform future strategy to ensure we leverage our resources to support young people and civil society organisations to greatest effect. We need:

  • a set of individuals working as a team (or an existing team) to evaluate the Foundation’s programmes, either through a geographic (UK/US; Lebanon; Palestine; Syria/Turkey/Lebanon) or a thematic lens (civil society, youth empowerment (education/employment) and relief);
  • a separate consultant who will discuss direction and strategy with trustees and staff, engage with the programme evaluation team where appropriate drawing on the programme evaluation results and results from a needs assessment, and pull these together into a multi-year strategy for the Foundation.Detailed information is in two Terms of References which can be downloaded via the links below. The work will take place from May onwards, with the Programme evaluation taking place between May and July and the Strategy Consultant role stretching from May to December. The deadline for applications is 23 April. Expressions of interest should be sent together with CVs, noting for which piece of work the applicant(s) are applying.

Strategic Review Consultancy ToR

Programme Evaluation Consultancy ToR

 

2017/18 Chatham House Asfari Fellowships
Type of scholarship: Fellowship
Partner institution: Chatham House
Subjects: see link below for list of priority fields of research
Who can apply: resident citizens of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine or Syria, and displaced citizens of these countries living elsewhere in the Middle East
How to apply: directly to Chatham House (see link below)
Deadline: 31 May 2017 (17.00 GMT)
Details: click here for more details

 

 

The Asfari Forum at Chatham House, Wednesday 19 April 2017

The annual Asfari Forum, jointly hosted by Chatham House and the Asfari Foundation, will take place at Chatham House on Wednesday 19 April 2017 from 18.00 to 19.15, on the topic of ‘Perspectives on Islam and Democracy’. Speakers will include Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi, Head, Ennahda Party, Tunisia, Abdel Moneim Abu al Fotouh, Egyptian Presidential Candidate (2011–12), and Elif Shafak, Turkish Political Commentator, and the event will be chaired by Dr Robin Niblett CMG, Director, Chatham House. The event will be followed by a reception. More information can be found here.

The annual Asfari Forum at Chatham House convenes experts, policy makers and civil society practitioners to encourage better understanding and dialogue of, and engagement with, key issues related to the development of a strong civil society in the Middle East region.

 


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace launches report

The Asfari Foundation is supporting the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Arab World Horizons Project: an affirmative agenda for a changing Middle East. This project, which will take place over three years, consists of research and consultations on key challenges in the Arab region, aiming to develop a broad policy framework examining these challenges and developing policy ideas to support transitions to more inclusive governance systems and to address the challenges in the region. The first public report on this research, entitled “Arab fractures: citizens, states, and social contracts”, can be downloaded here. Click here for the Arabic version.

 

 

Gaza Oxford Brookes University Scholarship

  • Type of scholarship: Masters (taught courses)
  • Partner universities: Oxford Brookes University
  • Subjects: see link below for list of priority fields of study
  • Who can apply: candidates from Gaza up to the age of 35
  • How to apply: through the British Council, see link below
  • Deadline: 31 March 2017

Details:  http://www.britishcouncil.ps/en/study-uk/scholarship/gaza-oxford-brookes

 

Bursary Opportunity: Campaign Bootcamp, UK

· Type of scholarship: fellowship bursary (one week programme)
· Subject: Campaign Bootcamp (residential training in the UK to build the confidence, skills and community participants need to run successful advocacy campaigns)
· When: There will be two bootcamps, from 7 to 12 May 2017 and from 10 to 15 July. Applicants can indicate their preferred date in the application but the allocation will depend on availability and other issues such as UK visa processing times.
· Who can apply: candidates aged under 40 who work on (and have a track record of) campaigning on social, educational, cultural, youth, peace, democracy and civil society issues from Palestine, Lebanon, Syria or the UK (including Palestinians or Syrians resident in the Arab world and Turkey)
· How to apply: interested candidates should apply directly to Campaign Bootcamp
· Deadline: 09.00 UK time, 7 March 2017
· More details and the application page can be found here

University of Oxford, Refugee Studies Centre ‘International Summer School in Forced Migration’, 2-14 July 2017

Type of scholarship: fellowship bursary (two week programme)
o Subjects: International Summer School on Forced Migration
o Who can apply: candidates who work on refugee-related issues from Palestine, Lebanon and Syria (including Palestinians or Syrians resident in the Arab World and Turkey)
o How to apply: interested candidates should apply directly to the International Summer School office
o Deadline: 10 February 2017
o More details and information on how to apply can be found here

 

Support refugee families fleeing Aleppo today. All donations matched by the Asfari Foundation

The Foundation is very disturbed by the immense suffering being endured by the people of Aleppo. To help Syrians fleeing Aleppo, the Foundation will match 1:1 any donations made to the IRC’s appeal for families fleeing Aleppo to Idlib province up to a total of £100,000. Many of these families are living in unfinished buildings without heating, toilets or running water in the midst of winter. The vast majority are women, children or the elderly. IRC teams have identified the families most desperately needing food, fuel and essential items including mattresses, blankets, soap and towels. To help ensure people can purchase the basics they need, the IRC will be giving £80 to the most vulnerable families. Please join us in supporting the people of Aleppo by making a donation. Even once match funding ends, donations made on this page will still go to the Syrian people.

Click here to donate

 

Developing Leaders Program for Non-profit Professionals at Columbia Business School, 19-24 March 2017

Columbiao Length of Bursary: One week intensive course
o Partner Institution: Columbia Business School, New York
o Who can apply: Syrians living in Syria, or displaced in Lebanon, Turkey or the UK; Lebanese citizens; Palestinian nationals, or refugee or displaced Palestinians living in Syria or Lebanon, or Palestinian citizens of Israel; British nationals who live and work in the UK or Syria, Lebanon or Palestine. Applicants must work full-time in middle or higher managerial or leadership positions in a mission-driven organisation on projects related to the aims and objectives of the Asfari Foundation or broader developmental issues related to Syria, Lebanon or Palestine. Applicants must also be aged 40 or younger.
o How to apply: Applicants should apply directly to Columbia Business School using the form on the School’s website (selecting ‘Asfari Foundation’ as sponsor).
o Deadline: Wednesday 28 October 2016
o Details: See here for more details.

 

2016 Atlantic Council Freedom Award awarded to The White HelmetsFreedom Awards 2016

On 3 June 2016 the Atlantic Council, a US think tank and Asfari partner awarded its annual Freedom Award to the Syrian rescue workers, the White Helmets, at a ceremony in Poland. Inaugurated in Berlin on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, these awards recognise extraordinary individuals and organisations that defend and advance the cause of freedom around the world. Ambassador Frederic Hof of the Atlantic Council presented the Freedom Award to Raed al-Saleh and Farouq al-Habib, who accepted the award on behalf of Syria’s Civil Defence – also known as The White Helmets. This all-volunteer team works tirelessly inside Syria to protect civilians and promote peace. Its team of 3,000 has already rescued 50,000 Syrians since the outbreak of war in Syria, losing 120 of its own members in the process.

Please click here to read more about the award and click here to read more about the work of The White Helmets. You can watch the video of the award ceremony here.

 

Asfari and Said Foundations’ Hands Up for Syria Appeal raises £7,995,856 for education for Syria’s children

 

LONDON - UK -9th May 2016: The 'Hands Up For Syria' Charity dinner held at the Banqueting House in London. Hosted by The joint Chairmen Ayman Asfari and Mr Wafic Saïd from the Asfari Foundation and the Saïd Foundation on behalf of the Hands Up Foundation. Photograph by Ian Jones for the Hands Up Foundation.

Wafic Said announcing the total raised by the Hands Up For Syria Appeal

The Hands Up for Syria Appeal, which ended on 9 May, has raised £3,997,928 from generous donors.  Together with matching funding from the Asfari and Said Foundations, which had pledged to match donations pound for pound, the £7,995,856 raised will give thousands of Syrian displaced and refugee children and young people in Syria and the neighbouring countries access to pre-schools, schools, teachers, books, pens and other learning materials, vocational training and university scholarships.

The Foundations’ initiative, the Hands Up for Syria Appeal, set out to raise money in response to the millions of children and young people from Syria that are out of education within Syria and in the surrounding countries.  While the Foundations have been involved in supporting Syrian refugees since the start of the crisis in Syria in 2011, often focusing on education, they wanted to encourage other donors also to recognise that education is a critical need, not an optional extra – critical both for Syria’s children now and for Syria’s future.

LONDON - UK -9th May 2016: The 'Hands Up For Syria' Charity dinner held at the Banqueting House in London. Hosted by The joint Chairmen Ayman Asfari (rt) and Mr Wafic Sa•d (left) from the Asfari Foundation and the Sa•d Foundation on behalf of the Hands Up Foundation. Photograph by Ian Jones for the Hands Up Foundation. Prime Minister David Cameron attended and addressed the guests making speech.

British Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Wafic Said and Ayman Asfari

The total raised was revealed at an event on 9 May 2016 for the Appeal’s donors. Speakers at the event included the British Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP;  the President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband; and UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador, Cate Blanchett. HRH the Prince of Wales sent a video message of congratulations and support in which he also stressed how important education was to the rebuilding of Syria.

The money raised was collected on behalf of the two Foundations by the Hands Up Foundation, an innovative British charity set up by young British volunteers with a strong record of fundraising for, and raising awareness of, the Syria crisis. The funds raised will be divided equally between three organisations working on the ground: the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Save the Children. All have long term, global experience in delivering educational programmes for refugee and internally displaced children. Between them, they cover the full spectrum of educational needs, both formal and informal, and from early childhood to university, often delivered in close partnership with organisations based in the region.

LONDON - UK -9th May 2016: The 'Hands Up For Syria' Charity dinner held at the Banqueting House in London. Hosted by The joint Chairmen Ayman Asfari (pictured) and Mr Wafic Sa•d from the Asfari Foundation and the Sa•d Foundation on behalf of the Hands Up Foundation. Photograph by Ian Jones for the Hands Up Foundation.

Ayman Asfari addressing the guests at the Hands Up for Syria event

The Chairmen of the Foundations, Ayman Asfari and Wafic Said, said:

“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our donors.  We know that our beneficiary organisations will use this generosity to transform the lives of thousands of children.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting the determination of Syria’s young people to rebuild their lives through education.”

Prime Minister Cameron said:

“As a result of the brutal conflicts in Syria, Syria’s children have lost their right to an education; currently nearly 3 million of them are not in school.

“The international community must come together to deliver an education for Syria’s victims and help this lost generation find a future.

LONDON - UK -9th May 2016: The 'Hands Up For Syria' Charity dinner held at the Banqueting House in London. Hosted by The joint Chairmen Ayman Asfari and Mr Wafic Saïd from the Asfari Foundation and the Saïd Foundation on behalf of the Hands Up Foundation. Photograph by Ian Jones for the Hands Up Foundation.

The Rt Hon David Cameron MP addressing guests

“We’ve already achieved a great deal in providing education opportunities for Syrian refugee children, with 250,000 Syrians now back in the classroom in Lebanon and nearly every Syrian child in Jordan in school.

“But I want us to do more, and that’s what I’m urging everyone to commit to today.”

David Miliband said:

“The generosity of the Said and Asfari Foundations, and of all of those who have supported the Hands up for Syria Appeal, will enable the International Rescue Committee, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Save the Children to make a sustainable difference for the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugee children currently out of school. With these funds we will help young kids to overcome the trauma of war, enable them to get an education and have their hopes of graduation and careers restored, and support scores of Syrian refugees to complete degrees at universities in Lebanon and Jordan. On behalf of the many people we will be able to help, I say a heartfelt thank you.”

 

LONDON - UK -9th May 2016: The 'Hands Up For Syria' Charity dinner held at the Banqueting House in London. Hosted by The joint Chairmen Ayman Asfari and Mr Wafic Saïd from the Asfari Foundation and the Saïd Foundation on behalf of the Hands Up Foundation. Photograph by Ian Jones for the Hands Up Foundation. David Miliband attended and addressed the guests.


CEO of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband, addressing guests

Speaking of her recent meetings with Syrian refugee families in Jordan, Cate Blanchett said:

“When I asked parents what hopes they held for the future, their message was clear: for their children to have an education, not just primary education but secondary and on to tertiary.  …We cannot allow a whole generation to be lost; uneducated, disenfranchised, alienated. 

For how will Syria ultimately rebuild without engineers, doctors, teachers, accountants, without journalists, artists … The funds raised by the Appeal are protecting that vital right to education, giving Syrian refugee children a future, giving Syria a future.”

LONDON - UK -9th May 2016: The 'Hands Up For Syria' Charity dinner held at the Banqueting House in London. Hosted by The joint Chairmen Ayman Asfari and Mr Wafic Saïd from the Asfari Foundation and the Saïd Foundation on behalf of the Hands Up Foundation. Photograph by Ian Jones for the Hands Up Foundation.


UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett addressing guests at the Hands Up for Syria event

 

The costs of the Appeal were met by the two Chairmen personally.

The Appeal film can be viewed here 

A note on the six organisations involved in the Appeal can be seen here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foundation’s founders awarded the 2016 Physicians for Human Rights Award

Ayman and Sawsan Asfari being interviewed by journalist Kati Marton at the PHR award event

Ayman and Sawsan Asfari, the founders of the Asfari Foundation, were given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) in New York on 18 April 2016. Physicians for Human Rights is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations, and this was the group’s second annual gathering to honour those who’ve made contributions to human rights worldwide. Last year’s recipients were Open Society Foundation founder George Soros, and Congolese human rights activist and physician Dr Denis Mukwege. This year’s Award honoured two female Syrian doctors for their medical work under fire and documentation of human rights abuses in Syria. It was shared by Ayman and Sawsan for their unrelenting support to Syria, through humanitarian aid and education, but particularly in supporting Syrian civil society to create the just, inclusive and democratic Syria of the future. You can read more about the award ceremony here.

 

 

2016/17 Chatham House Asfari Fellowships
o Type of scholarship: Fellowship
o Partner institution: Chatham House
o Subjects: see link below for list of priority fields of research
o Who can apply: resident citizens of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine or Syria, and displaced citizens of these countries living elsewhere in the Middle East
o How to apply: directly to Chatham House (see link below)
o Deadline: 31 May 2016 (17.00 GMT)
o Details: click here for more details

 

Hands Up For Syria AppealHands Up

The Asfari Foundation and the Said Foundation are holding an appeal in aid of education for Syrian children and young people in Syria and neighbouring countries. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Rescue Committee and Save the Children will be the beneficiaries of this appeal. Between them, they cover the full spectrum of educational needs inside Syria and in the neighbouring countries, formal and informal, from early childhood to university. The Asfari and Said Foundations are delighted to be working on this appeal with the Hands Up Foundation, an innovative UK charity set up by young volunteers that successfully raises money for Syria. We appeal to all those who share our belief in Syria’s children to put their Hands Up for Syria. Every penny donated will be matched by the two Foundations and all appeal costs covered by the Foundations’ chairmen, Ayman Asfari and Wafic Said. For further information on the appeal or to make a donation email: contact@handsupfoundation.org

 

 

Asfari Forum, Thursday 12 November 2015

The inaugural Asfari Forum will take place at Chatham House on Thursday 12 November at 6pm, on the topic of ‘Tackling Sectarian and Interfaith Conflicts in the MENA Region: The Role of Civil Society’. Featured speakers include Arine Hassan (Founder of We Meet to Succeed), Saad Salloum (Co-founder of the Iraqi Council on Interfaith Dialogue), and Nayla Tabbara (Director of the Adyan Institute). The event will be moderated by Academy Asfari Fellow Ghadi Sary.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.  If you would like to attend, please email clare.roberts@asfarifoundation.org.uk. Click here for more information.

 

Asfari Foundation: Open Call for Concept Notes

The Asfari Foundation is launching an open call for concept notes from Syrian (and Lebanese) organisations working with Syrians affected by the crisis in Syria and Lebanon. Grant sizes will range from £10,000 to £30,000. Please share this opportunity with relevant contacts. Please note: the deadline for submission of concept notes is 21 August 2015. Questions can be directed to clare.roberts@asfarifoundation.org.uk

Click here to download more information in English and Arabic.

Centre for Syrian Studies conference on ‘Syria: Moving Beyond the Stalemate’

The Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews is organising its Third Biennial Conference. The topic is ‘Syria: Moving Beyond the Stalemate’ and the conference will take place from 1 to 3 July in St. Andrews, Scotland. The international conference will bring together in one place the largest and most diverse concentration of scholars of Syria, feature papers by some 25 Syria researchers, as well as workshops and panel discussions with some of the leading scholars in the field of Syrian studies, diplomacy and conflict resolution. For details and registration please see https://www.eventsforce.net/standrews/frontend/reg/thome.csp?pageID=18767&ef_sel_menu=537&eventID=37&eventID=37.

 

Asfari Foundation supports IRC and Save the Children Xmas appeals for Syria with £250,000 in match funding   

The millions of Syrian refugees hosted in countries neighbouring Syria face another winter in the cold and the rain, with dwindling support from the host countries and the international community. In addition to its normal work to help Syrians in need, the Asfari Foundation has pledged £150,000 to the IRC Financial Times Seasonal Appeal (http://www.ft.com/seasonal-appeal) and £100,000 to Save the Children (http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/about-us/emergencies/syria-appeal). The money raised by the IRC will contribute to emergency support activities in and around Syria, including for the delivery of education for children, health care, support to women and girls who have suffered violence, as well as for essential non-food items such as cooking equipment, and winter and hygiene kits. The Save the Children appeal will provide young Syrians in need in Syria, and in surrounding countries, with food, medicine, water and sanitation, shelter, education, and safe spaces to play.

 

Foundation Chairman awarded the Issam M Fares Award for Excellence

ayman mei

Ayman Asfari accepting his award at the MEI Annual Banquet

Asfari Foundation founder and Chairman Ayman Asfari was awarded the Issam M Fares Award for Excellence at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC on 19 November 2014. The award honours Arab individuals who serve as role models in their communities for their outstanding contributions to the Arab region in the realm of politics, culture, business, art and philanthropy. The award, endowed by former deputy prime minister of Lebanon, Mr Issam Fares, was set up in 2010. Nominees are chosen by the Board of Trustees of the Middle East Institute in cooperation with the Fares family. Previous recipients include Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, Palestinian activist Hanan Ashrawi and Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. Ayman Asfari received the award for his promotion of Arab civil society, youth empowerment, and humanitarian relief for Syrians affected by the conflict.

 

 

 

Asfari Foundation announces cornerstone donation to Chatham House’s Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs

The Asfari Foundation and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) are partnering to strengthen the role of young global leaders in solving key global challenges and to help build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world.

Ayman Asfari, Chairman of the Asfari Foundation, and Stuart Popham, Chairman of Chatham House

Ayman Asfari, Chairman of the Asfari Foundation, and Stuart Popham, Chairman of Chatham House

On 17 November the Asfari Foundation announced a cornerstone contribution of £3.2 million towards Chatham House’s Second Century Initiative. This gift will establish the ‘Asfari Centre’ which will be at the core of the newly established Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs. The Asfari Centre will equip Academy Fellows – including fellows from the Arab world – with the skills to foster positive change in their home countries and in their fields of expertise.

The contribution will also support the continuation of the Academy Asfari Fellowships and Senior Fellowships, which provide opportunities for emerging civil society leaders from Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq to spend up to 12 months at the Queen Elizabeth II Academy.

The Foundation feels it is particularly important that young Arab leaders are given the skills and opportunities to participate effectively in policy making in their own countries and in the Arab region, but that they also take part in global decision making at a time of great change for the Arab world and for the world community. It believes that at Chatham House, the selected young Arab leaders will be able to enhance their skills, knowledge and networks so they can play an effective role in positive change for the future.

Ayman Asfari, Chairman of the Asfari Foundation, said: ‘I am delighted to support Chatham House through the creation of the Asfari Centre within the Queen Elizabeth II Academy. The Centre will contribute to the development of resilient civil societies in countries undergoing radical transformation and will encourage the leaders of tomorrow to support a transition to democratic and pluralistic societies based on civil institutions and the rule of law.’

Robin Niblett, Director of Chatham House said: ‘I am enormously grateful to the Asfari Foundation for such a generous contribution to the Second Century Initiative and for its dedication to the aims and ambitions of the Queen Elizabeth II Academy.  This commitment from the Asfari Foundation will be instrumental to the continued success of the Institute as it approaches its centenary.’

The Asfari Foundation supported two Syrian and one Palestinian fellow at Chatham House last year who conducted research on regional water resources, sectarianism in Syria, and the role of women in the Arab uprisings. In 2014/15 it will support a Jordanian, a Palestinian and a Syrian fellow, working respectively on the effectiveness of local NGOs, EU policy towards Palestine, and international aid to Syrian civil society.

 

Asfari Foundation increases aid to Syria

Trustees and staff of the Asfari Foundation are painfully aware of the long and difficult winter so many Syrians face, with the conflict turning ever more complicated and violent, millions of Syrian citizens on the move inside Syria or living as destitute refugees in host countries, and thousands of Syrian children unable to go to school. On 7 November the Foundation’s Board of Trustees made a range of further grants to partner organisations working to alleviate the effects of the Syrian crisis.

The grants will go to partner organisations which provide medical care, food, shelter and non-food items, as well as mine clearance and public services, and education to Syrian children. These projects, which will benefit over 20,000 Syrians in need, are run by partner organisations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres, Save the Children, the Child and Mother Welfare Association, the Mines Advisory Group, the Popular Association for Relief and Development, Bidna Capoeira, the Refugee Education Trust, Oxfam Italy, the Madad Foundation, and Jusoor, as well as six newly established civil society organisations inside Syria. All of these partners are reputable, carefully vetted secular organisations working with Syrians in need regardless of gender, religion or ethnicity. The Foundation also supports the Syria Campaign, which aims to raise international awareness of and aid for Syria, and to work for a peaceful end to the conflict.

The Asfari Foundation has supported Syrians since its establishment in 2006, and was one of the first organisations to help Syrian refugees arriving in Lebanon in 2011. Since that time, the Foundation has donated over £3.1m in relief aid to Syria, in addition to the projects for Syrians it supports through its Youth Empowerment and Civil Society programmes (for example, in 2014, the Foundation provided 42 scholarships, fellowships and bursaries to Syrian young people).

The Asfari Foundation will continue to support Syrians affected by the crisis and help them work towards a peaceful, pluralistic and democratic Syria.

 

Promoting quality education for young Syrian refugeesrsc report cover page

In collaboration with the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, the Asfari Foundation commissioned a mapping exercise focused on refugee youth education, a crucial yet often overlooked element in Syria’s humanitarian response. The report addresses the educational status of refugees from Syria aged 12–25 years. It determines their needs and maps some of the services provided by various organisations since the beginning of the Syria crisis in 2011, outlining gaps and challenges as well as progress and best practice initiatives.

The report was launched at a specialist workshop held in Amman on 19-20 September, which gave a wide range of international donors, refugee education specialists and implementing NGOs the chance to share their ideas and discuss the report’s results. The Foundation hopes that, besides informing its own grant-making under the Relief programme, the report may contribute to help these key actors to improve educational assistance through a better understanding of the needs of young Syrian refugees.

 

Past scholarship and fellowship opportunities from the Asfari Foundation


Fellowship at Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (2016-17) 

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is pleased to announce a call for applications for the Asfari Fellowship sponsored by the Asfari Foundation. This gives a unique opportunity for one journalist from Lebanon, Palestine and Syria to benefit from a funded fellowship at the University of Oxford for three to six months starting in October 2016. The candidate should be based in the Levant region or Egypt or Turkey and intend to work there upon the completion of the Fellowship. All Institute and University/College fees will be paid by the Fellowship, and the fellow will also receive their travel costs and a modest stipend to cover housing and living expenses.

The closing deadline for applications at noon on Monday 20th June 2016. Please click here for more information about the Asfari Fellowship and for instructions on how to apply.

 

Gaza Oxford Brookes University Scholarshipuntitled

  • Type of scholarship: Masters (taught courses)
  • Partner universities: Oxford Brookes University
  • Subjects: see link below for list of priority fields of study
  • Who can apply: candidates from Gaza up to the age of 35
  • How to apply: through the British Council, see link below
  • Deadline: 31 March 2016
  • Details: http://www.britishcouncil.ps/en/study-uk/scholarship/gaza-oxford-brookes

 

University of Oxford, Refugee Studies Centre ‘International Summer School in Forced Migration’, 4-22 July 2016

Type of scholarship: fellowship bursary (three week programme)RSC
o Subjects: International Summer School on Forced Migration
o Who can apply: candidates who work on refugee-related issues from Palestine, Lebanon and Syria (including Palestinians or Syrians resident in the Arab World)
o How to apply: interested candidates should apply directly to the International Summer School office
o Deadline: 1 March 2016
o More details and information on how to apply can be found here

 

Developing Leaders Program for Non-profit Professionals at Columbia Business School, 20-25 March 2016

  • Length of Bursary: One week intensive courseColumbia
  • Partner Institution: Columbia Business School, New York
  • Who can apply: Syrians living in Syria, or displaced in Lebanon, Turkey or the UK; Lebanese citizens; Palestinian nationals, or refugee or displaced Palestinians living in Syria or Lebanon, or Palestinian citizens of Israel; British nationals who  live and work in the UK or Syria, Lebanon or Palestine. Applicants must work full-time in middle or higher managerial or leadership positions in a mission-driven organisation on projects related to the aims and objectives of the Asfari Foundation or broader developmental issues related to Syria, Lebanon or Palestine. Applicants must also be aged 40 or younger.
  • How to apply: Applicants should apply directly to Columbia Business School using the form on the School’s website (selecting ‘Asfari Foundation’ as sponsor). Please see attachment
  • Deadline: Wednesday 21 October 2015
  • Details: See attachment for further details

 

2015/16 Asfari Visiting Fellowship at the Centre for Syrian Studies, University of St Andrews

  • Type of scholarship: 3-month Fellowship
  • Partner institution: Centre for Syrian Studies, University of St Andrews
  • Subjects: The selected fellow will conduct her/his own independent research project on contemporary Syria that she/he will work on and discuss with members of the Centre while resident at St. Andrews
  • Who can apply: The fellow should be a Syrian passport holder or a Syrian Palestinian living in Syria or elsewhere in the Arab region, and should be fluent in Arabic and English
  • How to apply: Applicants should send a letter of interest, a CV, proof of English language skills and a 500 word research proposal by e-mail to Prof Raymond Hinnebusch (rh10@st-andrews.ac.uk)
  • Deadline: 1 September 2015
  • Details: Download more details here: 2015-16 Asfari Visiting Fellowship

2015/16  Chatham House Asfari Fellowships

  • Type of scholarship: Fellowship
  • Partner institution: Chatham House
  • Subjects: see link below for list of priority fields of research
  • Who can apply: resident citizens of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine or Syria, and displaced citizens of these countries living elsewhere in the Middle East
  • How to apply: directly to Chatham House, see link below
  • Deadline: 31 May 2015 (17.00 GMT)
  • Details: http://www.chathamhouse.org/academy/fellowships/asfari

 

2015-/16 Asfari-MAP Health Masters Scholarshipsmap logo

Applications are invited from Palestinian applicants for the 2015-16 Asfari-MAP Scholarship for a one-year taught postgraduate degree (MSc, MA, etc.) in a medical or health related field at a UK university. Scholarships will cover tuition fees up to £19,000 for a one-year taught Masters and provide a monthly stipend for accommodation and living expenses. The closing date for applications is 31 March 2015. For further information (including details of how to apply) please see: http://www.asfarifoundation.org.uk/201516-asfari-map-scholarships/

2015/16 UK Masters Scholarshipsuni logos

  • Type of scholarship: Masters (taught courses)
  • Partner universities: University of Edinburgh, University of East Anglia, University of St Andrews, Imperial
    College London Business School
  • Subjects: depending on partner university, see below link for more information
  • Who can apply: candidates from Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, up to the age of 40
  • How to apply: depending on partner university, see below link for more information
  • Deadline: 31 March 2015
  • Details: http://www.asfarifoundation.org.uk/201516-uk-masters-scholarships/

Gaza Oxford Brookes University Scholarship

  • Type of scholarship: Masters (taught courses)untitled
  • Partner universities: Oxford Brookes University
  • Subjects: see link below for list of priority fields of study
  • Who can apply: candidates from Gaza up to the age of 35
  • How to apply: through the British Council, see link below
  • Deadline: 1 March 2015
  • Details: http://www.britishcouncil.ps/en/study-uk/scholarship/gaza-oxford-brookes

 

Columbia Business School:

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism:

 

Chatham House:

  • Type of Scholarship: Fellowship
  • Subjects: research project on pressing civil society issues facing the Middle East in security, Palestine and public health (see Chatham House website for details)
  • Who can apply: Candidates from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria that are engaged in, or working with, civil society in these countries
  • How to apply: Candidates should apply directly to the Academy for Leadership in International Affairs.
  • Deadline: 1 June 2014
  • Details: http://www.chathamhouse.org/asfarifellowship

 

University of Oxford, Refugee Studies Centre ‘International Summer School in Forced Migration’

  • Type of scholarship: fellowship bursary (three week programme)
  • Subjects: International Summer School on Forced Migration
  • Who can apply: candidates who work on refugee-related issues from Palestine, Lebanon and Syria (including Palestinians or Syrians resident in the Arab World)
  • How to apply: interested candidates should apply directly to the International Summer School office
  • Deadline: 1 March 2014
  • Details: http://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/study/international-summer-school

 

 

14 Asfari Scholars and Fellows arrive in the UK

This academic year the Asfari Foundation will support fourteen new students and fellows in the UK, studying and working at eight British universities and institutes, including St Andrews University, Chatham House, SOAS, Edinburgh University, the Royal College of Music, Oxford Brookes University, Heriot-Watt University and the Reuters Institute in Oxford. We are pleased to be supporting ten Syrians three Palestinians scholars and one Lebanese student, studying subjects ranging from journalism to water issues and management. We hope the students and fellows find their time in the UK valuable and will use their new knowledge to help their countries.

 

 

Riyad Nicolas performing

Riyad Nicolas performing

Asfari Foundation supports concert in aid of the IRC’s Syrian crisis response and raises over £142,000

On Friday 17 May 2013, talented young Syrian pianist Riyad Nicolas performed with the London Chamber Orchestra  at Cadogan Hall in aid of the International Rescue Committee’s Syrian crisis response.  The costs of the event were sponsored by the Asfari Foundation and the evening was well attended.  The concert was a great success with supportive guests and heart felt speeches about the crisis in Syria.  So far the evening has raised over £142,000 and funds continue to come in.

 

 

 

 

Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at AUB holds its inaugural conference

AUB Conference

Inaugural conference of the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at AUB

The Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at AUB held its inaugural conference on 23 and 24 May 2013. Entitled “New Spaces of Civil Society and Activism in the Arab World”, the conference brought together civil society academics, practitioners, journalists and activists who engaged in vibrant discussions on the impact of political transformations taking place in the Arab region on civil society, and the role civil society might play in these times of change. The conference highlighted new forms of civic engagement, the role of youth activists in the revolutions, the innovative ways people are working for their rights and the issue of transitional justice. It provided an opportunity for practitioners and academics to enter into dialogue and think of new ways to work together to find innovative solutions for problems in the region, which it is hoped will continue to be a vital part of future Asfari Institute activities. The conference and the Asfari Institute trended on social media and were covered by various media outlets including Jadaliyya (http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/11939/report-on-the-asfari-institutes-inaugural-conferen) and Al-Hayat newspaper (http://alhayat.com/Details/516348)

 

 

 

 

Guests enjoying food at the event

Asfari-sponsored ‘Hands Up for Syria’ event raises over £50,000

On Thursday 25 April, a group of enthusiastic British young people who all lived in Syria at some point and wanted to do something for the country they love organised the ‘Hands Up for Syria’ event in trendy Shoreditch. The evening consisted of Syrian cuisine and culture and raised funds for the Syria crisis. Currently, total funds raised amount to £50,000 and further donations are expected to come in. The first £30,000 raised are for Syria Relief and everything over £30,000 will go to Medecins Sans Frontieres’ Syria appeal. The evening was sponsored by the Asfari Foundation.

Please visit the website link for more information: http://syriansupperclub.wordpress.com/hands-up-for-syria-thursday-25th-april-2013/

 

 

 

 

Guests at the ball

Jasmine Ball raises over £100,000 for Syria with Asfari support

The Jasmine Ball was held on 7 March at London’s One Mayfair to raise funds for UNICEF’s work with Syrian refugees. The Ball was organised by a group of British young people who had all lived in Syria. The evening, supported by the Asfari Foundation, was a great success and £108,233 was raised from auctions and personal donations. Organisers expect further donations will be made in the new tax year.

Please visit the website link for more information: http://thejasmineball.co.uk/

 

 

 

Conference on the Syrian uprising at the Centre for Syrian Studies at St Andrews University

The Centre for Syria Studies at St Andrews University will hold a postgraduate conference on the drivers and dynamics of the Syrian uprising from 17 to 19 June 2013. Papers will be presented by doctoral and postdoctoral students from a range of disciplines. Subjects discussed will include the roots and dynamics of the uprising, the goals and strategies of the opposition and the regime, international dimensions and the post Baath state. The best contributions will be published in an edited book. The call for papers is open until 31 March. For more information please visit: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/intrel/css/

 

Asfari Foundation + ACTED distribute winter shoes to Syrian Child Refugees in Zaatari Camp

Children receiving their new shoes

Children receiving their new shoes

At the end of January 2013, Zaatari camp in Jordan, originally built to house a maximum of 60,000 Syrian refugees, had a registered 91,197 residents, with 2,000 new arrivals every day. Living conditions in the camp are very difficult, and the arrival of a cold winter made needs even greater. Most people wear the summer slippers they arrived in, including the children.  To support relief efforts in the camp, the Asfari Foundation made a donation of US$57,650 to the  INGO ACTED in order to provide 14,000 winter shoes to all children aged 1 -5 in Zaatari camp.

Boxes of shoes

The winter shoes given to the children

 

The Asfari Foundation is very grateful to ACTED for their hard work ensuring that the Foundation’s donation reached children in need in the camp quickly and effectively.

This is just one example of the work the Foundation does with many other partners in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan to  help alleviate the suffering caused by the crisis in Syria.

 

Copyright of all photos belong to ACTED

 

 

LAUNCH OF CIVIL SOCIETY ASFARI FELLOWSHIPS AT CHATHAM HOUSE

Posted 24 January 2013

ChathamHouse-PicsJan2013_2

Chatham House

The Asfari Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the Asfari Fellowships at Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs), a joint initiative of Chatham House and the Asfari Foundation.

The institute will offer Fellowship and Senior Fellowship opportunities to three candidates per year for 6 – 12 months. The fellowships are open to individuals who are resident citizens of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria, and displaced citizens of these countries living elsewhere in the Middle East. Candidates will be drawn from civil society and the broader civil society-related policy community, including academia, business, the professions and the media.

Chatham House will provide a dynamic base within which potential and established leaders from across the Middle East can pursue their own research interests; develop their skills at personal interaction, communication, and leadership; and extend their global networks and deepen their expertise by contributing to the institute’s research and activities. This experience will provide the Fellows with the training, network and skills to further their contributions to the advancement of civil society in their home countries on their return.

Dr Robin Niblett, Director of Chatham House, said, “Through the Asfari Fellowships, Chatham House will be able to support independent thinking, at a critical moment, within the growing community of individuals across the Middle East who will be involved in affecting policy at the national, regional and international levels. At the same time, we will benefit from the distinct national, political and cultural perspectives that the Asfari Fellows will bring to the institute.”

ChathamHouse-PicsJan2013

An event at Chatham House

Marieke Bosman, Chief Executive Officer of the Asfari Foundation, said, “The Arab world is going through major changes. There are many great minds in the region with creative ideas for the development of civil society who are in key positions and will be working on issues of great importance to the area and its people. The partnership between the Asfari Foundation and Chatham House will give them the opportunity to work closely with like-minded individuals and institutions to share their ideas and enrich theirs with those of others so they can create change upon their return to the region. We look forward to welcoming the first fellows in September of this year.”

The application window for the 2013 Fellowships will be open between 15 February and 31 May 2013. The first Fellowships will begin in September 2013.

 

Major New Institute on Civil Society and Citizenship in the Arab Region to be established at the American University of Beirut

Posted on 19/11/2012

The American University of Beirut (AUB) and the Asfari Foundation are creating a major new institute at AUB that will focus on civil society and citizenship in the Arab world. It will be the first of its kind in the region.

Funded by a $10 million grant from the Asfari Foundation, the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship will advance research and other initiatives to support the development of an informed

AUB President Peter Dorman and Asfari Foundation founder and Chairman Ayman Asfari signing the Institute agreement in London

citizenry engaged at all levels of Arab associational life and promote openness, transparency, and accountability in the region. Both the Foundation and AUB recognize that the Arab world is undergoing significant change, and they intend that the work of the Asfari Institute will make a unique and valuable contribution to progress in the region during this era of historic transition and beyond.

The president of AUB, Peter Dorman, said, ‘This is a most significant and timely initiative. Many areas of the Arab world are going through unprecedented transitions with unpredictable outcomes. The Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship will be at the forefront of discussions related to changes taking place in the Arab world, bringing together leading experts from every sector to engage in dialogue, conduct research and propose innovative ways forward on the most pressing issues. We are very grateful to the Asfari Foundation for its visionary leadership and partnership.’

Ayman Asfari, chairman of the Asfari Foundation, said, ‘Across the Arab world, we are witnessing citizens who want to participate in creating open and just societies. New models and innovative thinking are required to address the unique needs of civil society in the region. As the most highly-respected university of the Arab region, AUB is the ideal institution to host the Asfari Institute.’

New students tour the AUB campus during Orientation week in 2011. Picture taken by Ahmad El Itani, AUB’s Senior Photographer at the Office of Communications. Copyright AUB.

The Asfari Institute will generate evidence-based research, disseminate findings and make policy and practice recommendations. It will provide education and training to promote active citizenship and effective civil society, promote civil society and civic engagement in the region, and stimulate dialogue on related subjects.

Located at AUB in Beirut, the Asfari Institute will draw upon the wealth of expertise and resources of the University, and act as a hub in the region, drawing expertise from academics, practitioners, policymakers, and members of the general public. An international search will begin immediately to recruit the founding director.

 

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