Our team

Marieke Bosman


Marieke joined the Foundation in 2011. She has 28 years’ experience in and on the Arab world, particularly in Syria, which she has worked on since 1997 and where she lived and worked for several years. Marieke speaks fluent Arabic and before joining the Foundation ran her own Middle East development consultancy; managed regional grants and set up an office for the Said Foundation in Syria; and worked with local organisations in Palestine. She holds a BA in Arabic and Middle Eastern History and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from SOAS. She volunteers with the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, has organised fundraisers for Lebanon and Palestine, and mentors young women.

Gabrielle Sparkes

Finance and Administration Manageranon

Gabrielle joined the Foundation in 2017.  She is an ACCA qualified Accountant with a BSc from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine London and a MBA.  She has worked as a Project Accountant and Finance Manager in the private sector for over ten years in a variety of industries.  She is a friend of and volunteers with hearing impaired children, accompanying and supporting with fundraising activities for various events.

Maria Ali-Adib Pravda

Head of Programmes 

Maria joined the Foundation in 2018, having held the role of interim Head of Programmes on a consultancy basis since mid 2017. Maria has over 18 years’ experience in development and aid, working with local and international NGOs on education, protection and forced displacement. She has designed, implemented and evaluated education programmes, peace building initiatives and emergency responses for displaced people in the Middle East, Africa and the US. Maria holds an MSc in Managing and Implementing Development Projects from the University of Manchester, and an MA in Educational Psychology from the Institute of Education at University College London.

Anas Darkaoui

Civil Society Programme Manager

Anas joined the Foundation in 2015. He has over 10 years of experience with NGOs in Syria in particular, and in the IMG_8017Arab world and the UK more broadly, focusing on youth participation, civil society and communication. Anas has a BA in Economics from Damascus University, an MA in Youth and International Development from Brunel University and an MSc in International Management from Exeter University.

Abdulrahman Alhalawani

Youth Empowerment Programme Manager

Abdulrahman joined the Foundation in 2016. He has worked on international development in the US, the Middle East and India, focusing on relief programmes, youth empowerment, social inclusion and mobilisation, and gender justice. In particular, he has worked on education and employment policies in Saudi Arabia, and on refugee response programmes in Jordan. Abdulrahman has a BSc in Computer Programming from the University of Jordan, a Post Graduate Diploma in NGO Management from Amity University in India, and an MA in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University in the USA.

Shereen Daoud

Administrator anon

Shereen joined the Foundation in 2017. She has more than 20 years’ experience in administration working in various sectors including corporate and higher education institutions. Shereen is a native Arabic speaker, graduated in 1996 with a BA in Russian and Soviet Studies from the University of Portsmouth.  She worked in the USA for seven years where she volunteered in various community projects including Christmas in October and homeless shelters.