Who We Are

Letter from Ayman and Sawsan Asfariaa-and-sa

We met away from our home countries and settled in England decades ago.  We are both keenly aware of how fortunate we have been in escaping the tragedy and destruction caused by war, occupation and poor governance.  We also realise the importance of a strong civil society and the rule of law, of exposure to diversity and tolerance and the lasting impact of a good education.

We established the Asfari Foundation in 2006, after years of reactive giving.  We wanted to create a long-term impact that focuses on the issues we felt most passionately about – education, and the building of a strong civil society which is the foundation for any fair, resilient, sustainable and productive society.

We are proud of what the Foundation has accomplished in its short life.  Whilst there is no limit to what should be done, especially in the countries we originally came from, through our partners we have provided scholarships, fellowships and training to hundreds of young people across the UK and the Middle East, established the Asfari Centre for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University in Beirut and provided relief and education to tens of thousands of Syrians, displaced following the recent uprising, to name just a few programmes.

Young people deserve a good education and the right to live in tolerant and pluralistic societies.  So much ability cannot be wasted.  Hope for a better life will not die in the face of today’s grim realities, especially in the Middle East.  We want to play a small role in realising the potential of the youth, to make manifest our shared dreams of a safer, more inclusive and happier tomorrow.

Ayman and Sawsan Asfari