Jusoor is delighted to invite you to attend our 3rd annual global conference
In the midst of all the conflict and tragedy that has enveloped Syria, there is a truly powerful phenomenon taking shape. Young Syrians are building new institutions to strengthen civil society, and investing in themselves in ways that give us deep hope. There is a newfound spirit of empowerment, confidence, and determination.
At our annual gathering, we will celebrate this energy and look for ways to reinforce and galvanize it. The conference will focus on the following themes:
Syria’s future economy will be well served if we can begin to foster a strong community of entrepreneurs among Syria’s youth. And young Syrians are hungry for this expertise. Meanwhile, it is inspiring to see how many successful Syrian entrepreneurs live around the world, and we will be tapping into these entrepreneurs at the conference. Our two keynote speakers are both tremendously successful entrepreneurs, Fadi Ghandour of Aramex and Omar Hamoui of Admob, and the conference will feature the finalists from Jusoor’s start-up competition.
Only 25% of Syria’s children living as refugees in neighboring countries are receiving formal education today. That is a heartbreaking tragedy. At the conference, we will explore what is working and not working to date in the field of refugee education, and we will explore ways to dramatically increase the number of Syrian children receiving basic schooling.
An estimated 50% of Syrian university students before the war are no longer able to complete their studies. Jusoor has been partnering with US universities and the Institute for International Education to bring Syrian students to study in the US and Europe. We will explore the impact of this program and talk about how to strengthen its impact and increase the number of students we are helping.
Similar to our last two conferences — New York in 2012 and London in 2013 — we expect this conference to draw over 200 participants from around the world, including Syrian leaders in all fields as well as students. We very much hope you will be able to join us.
Together, we can make a profound difference for Syria’s future.
Nearly 3 million Syrian children are no longer in school and more than 1 million children have become refugees living in neighboring countries. School enrollment rates among Syrian refugee children is now among the lowest in the world. Providing these children with a basic education is critical to the future of Syria.
This panel will address the following questions:
· What refugee education programs are working well? What is working less well?
· What can we learn from the experience of other countries who have faced refugee education challenges?
· What innovative ideas do we have to dramatically increase the number of refugee children we are able to educate?
· What can participants in the room do to make a difference in refugee education?
During this session, we will hear from three presenters who are addressing the challenges facing Syrian youth through innovative approaches:
Project Syria, Nonny de la Pena: Project Syria, a recent project from the University of Southern California’s Interactive Media Lab, uses VR goggles to place virtual visitors inside the meticulously researched world of a Syrian citizen caught in the conflict. It’s being billed as “immersive journalism” for its capacity to put people inside the story.
Ideo.org Amplify Program, Luisa Covaria: Next March, The Amplify program will be launching an open innovation challenge focused on education in areas of conflict with a focus on refugee communities, including the Syrian diaspora. This open innovation challenge is part of the Amplify program, a series of 10 international development challenges, sponsored by the UK’s Department for International Development. It is a collaboration between OpenIDEO and IDEO.org. OpenIDEO’s challenges are based on IDEO’s design methodology, enabling collaboration amongst diverse teams and fostering iterative idea development.
ArabCode.org, Hadi and Marwan Aladdin: ArabCode.org is launching a MENA initiative to introduce 1 million Arab students (aged 8 and above) to the general principles of logic and computer programming, through game-based approaches. Through established partnerships with various entities, including Tatweer (the official Technology Arm of the Saudi Ministry of Education), this initiative is Phase I of a larger roadmap being implemented by CoursePeer Inc. to achieve a stronger culture of computer science in the region. Oil and Gas, Logistics, Telecom and Tech companies in Middle East are coming on board as sponsors for this ArabCode.
The panel will address the importance of entrepreneurship for young Syrians. During this session, the three finalists from Jusoor’s start up competition will present their business ideas to a panel of established Syrian entrepreneurs. The panelists will decide on the first, second, and third prizes and will also provide the entrepreneurs with recommendations on how to strengthen their business ideas. The panelists will also talk through what conditions are necessary to strengthen the foundation for startups among Syrians.
How might we tell stories about the Syrian refugee reality in a way that inspires action by others with skills and resources to create change?
During this workshop designers from IDEO.org will invite participants to learn and use the human-centered design process to raise awareness and inspire action around Syrian refugee education. Participants will walk away with basic insights into how to use the concepts of human-centered design to create innovative solutions for social change.
This workshop is part of IDEO.org’s effort to engage the Syrian diaspora in the next Amplify challenge focusing on improving education for displaced populations.
The Amplify Program is a series of 10 design innovation challenges, which aim to improve the lives of the billion people living in extreme poverty around the world. Leveraging the OpenIDEO.com platform for open innovation, Amplify sources the best solutions from around the world. At the end of each challenge a select set of ideas receives seed funding from the UK Department of International Development and design support from IDEO.org to bring them to life in the real world.
There are now over three million Syrian refugee children across Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. The vast majority of them are not enrolled in school and are not receiving a primary education. And even the children who are enrolled in the school are at high risk of dropping out, due to the psycho-social challenges they face, high cost of transportation, the tendency of parents to put their children into work at an early age, and several other factors.
This workshop will focus on identifying innovative ideas that can ensure a larger share of Syrian refugee children receive a primary education.
As a result of Jusoor’s scholarship program and programs like Institute of International Education’s Syria Consortium, the number of Syrian students who are able to come to the United States to complete their university education is rising. In order to amplify the impact of these scholarships on Syria’s future, we need to build a strong Syrian alumni association (for Syrian graduates across the United States) so that they (1) establish a recurring scholarship fund to give back to future generations of Syrian university students, (2) mentor current university students to help them with their job search, and (3) continue to collectively work on supporting Syria, its economy, and its people, even if from a distance.
The workshop will review the business plan put together by the founders of the Jusoor Alumni Association and identify recommendation to strengthen the plan and launch the effort.
Lara Setrakian is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of News Deeply. She’s spent more than five years as a foreign correspondent, covering the Middle East for television, radio, and digital platforms, reporting for ABC News, Bloomberg Television, the International Herald Tribune, the Business Insider, and Monocle Magazine. She has since focused on the fusion of news and technology; her first platform, Syria Deeply, launched in December 2012 to wide acclaim. TIME Magazine dubbed Syria Deeply “The Future of News,” while Fast Company said it “outsmarts the news business, redefines crisis coverage.” Fast Company went on to name Setrakian #20 on its list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business.Lara has served as an inaugural fellow with the Peter Jennings Program at the National Constitution Center and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She was also dubbed one of the Top Women of 2012 by Marie Claire Magazine. Prior to joining ABC News, Lara worked as a business analyst with McKinsey & Company, focused on finance and corporate strategy. Lara graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Fadi Ghandour is the Founder and Vice Chairman of Aramex. He is currently Managing Partner of WamdaCapital, a new Venture Capital fund focusing on technology investments in the Arab World, He is Member of the Board of Abraaj Capital, Member of the Board of Endeavor Global, Member of the Advisory Council of the MIT Media Lab and Member of the Board of Trustees at the American University of Beirut (AUB).
He is the Founder and Chairman of Ruwwad for Development, and Ruwwad Micro-Venture Fund, an equity-based fund providing seed capital and support for micro-businesses and micro-entrepreneurs.
Omar Hamoui is an Investment Partner and Partner at Sequoia Capital. Mr. Hamoui focuses on mobile investments. Mr. Hamoui serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Churn Labs, LLC. He served as President of Mobile Ads at Google Inc. until November 1, 2010. He joined Google in May 2010. Mr. Hamouist founded AdMob Google Inc. (a/k/a AdMob, Inc.) in January 2006 and served as its Chief Executive Officer until November 1, 2010. Mr. Hamouist focused on AdMob and ran one of the fastest growing and most innovative companies in the mobile world. Mr. Hamouist is an entrepreneur with deep roots in the mobile industry. He started and ran several companies in the mobile, Internet and computer software industries including Vertical Blue, GoPix and fotochatter. Mr. Hamoui is a Director at Relcy, Inc. He has been a Director at Kahuna, Inc. since February 26, 2014 and Lifi Labs, Inc. since June 23, 2014. He serves as a Director of Offermatic, Inc. He served as an Executive Director of AdMob Google Inc. until November 1, 2010. Mr. Hamoui has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from University of California.
Hani directs the Jusoor Refugee Education Program in Lebanon and administers the educational centers and Jusoor’s scholarship program in Lebanon, he joined Jusoor in 2012 and worked as Director of Member Engagement before moving to Lebanon to run the refugee program. He previously held the position Digital Account Manager at Memac Ogilvy where he was responsible for overseeing various digital accounts for multinational brands in multiple industries. Prior to that, he worked with international telecommunications and Internet solutions companies, and also worked in Syria with different NGOs in the fields of education, children, and youth. Hani graduated with a bachelor degree in Economics from University of Aleppo and holds a Diploma in NGOs Leadership from Columbia University in New York.
Suha Tutunji is the educational consultant for Jusoor. She has an MA in School Administration and Supervision as well as over 22 years of experience in education both as a teacher and an administrator. She was head of an elementary school run by Quakers and later became a Vice Principal of an international school in the United Arab Emirates. Six years later, she returned to Lebanon and headed a school in an impoverished area. Suha also aided in a study on Action Research in schools and the experience that resulted from the study was later published in an Australian magazine called Connect. Suha worked as a senior researcher in the Center for Lebanese Studies were she co-published a paper titled Widening Access to Quality Education for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon. She is a member of the Lebanese Association for History and the co-founder and president of an NGO which caters for young adults with special needs.
Kinda Hibrawi is a Syrian-American painter and humanitarian originally from Aleppo. Her work has been exhibited in galleries across the US and internationally, and is sought by art collectors worldwide. Her work has also been acquired for the permanent collection at the Arab American National Museum in Detroit, Michigan. In 2007, Hibrawi was named “Artistic Ambassador” by Arab News for helping to bridge cultural misunderstanding between Arabs and Americans through her work. In 2012, Hibrawi was named a Rio+20 Global Thinker and Influencer by the United Nations.
Hibrawi is the Innovative Education and Creative Director of Karam Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Chicago. In June 2013 she co-founded Karam Foundation’s Zeitouna – a creative therapy and physical wellness program designed to inspire and heal the youngest victims of the Syrian conflict: the children. Since then Hibrawi has led teams of international mentors on four missions for Syrian refugee children in schools on the Syrian/Turkish border. These missions have featured over 70 mentors and served over 2000 Syrian youth. Karam’s innovative education programs have been featured prominently in media outlets including the New York Times, NBC Nightly News, Huffington Post, NPR, BBC and Al-Jazeera.
Hibrawi currently lives and works in Southern California.
Deya’ Leonard Dresner is the Director of Development and Student Affairs at The Hope Fund. The Hope Fund is an NGO that secures and manages American university scholarships for Palestinian refugee students from the Middle East. In addition to securing scholarships at universities including MIT and Lehigh, Deya’ finds students summer internships and raises funds to help them complement their scholarships with holiday housing, transportation, computers, clothing and medical needs. Deya’ also works closely to support the students through graduate school and job placements back in their home country. Deya’ is an American with Palestinian roots, educated in the French, British and American school systems.
Nonny de la Pena is pushing technological boundaries for narrative endeavors, including exploring 3D environments for fiction, news, and documentary. Called “One of the 13 people who made 2012 more creative” by FastCompany’s CoCreate, she has built more than five virtual reality constructs including Hunger in Los Angeles, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2012. Her other projeacts include the MacArthur funded Gone Gitmo, a virtual Guantanamo Bay Prison; Cap & Trade, an interactive exploration of the carbon markets built with Frontline World and CIR; Ipsress which investigates detainees held in stress positions; and Three Generations, the Games for Change winner on the California eugenics movement. Currently a graduate fellow at the University of Southern California’s Interactive Media Arts department, she spent the past two years as a Senior Research Fellow in Immersive Journalism at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism and Communications. A graduate of Harvard University, she is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker with twenty years of journalism experience including as a correspondent for Newsweek Magazine and as a writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Premiere Magazine, and others. Her films have screened on national television and at theatres in more than fifty cities around the globe, garnering praise from critics like A.O. Scott wrote that her work was “a brave and necessary act of truth-telling.” While at USC, de la Peña is developing sophisticated linear stories in virtual reality that explore the experiential nature of spatial narrative and the feelings of presence that come with the connection to a digital representation of oneself. De la Peña’s other credits include co-founder of Stroome, a collaborative video sharing site which won a Knight News Challenge Grant in 2010.
Luisa Covaria is the Impact Strategy Lead for OpenIDEO– IDEO’s open innovation platform. Luisa strategizes and runs initiatives to increase the platform’s social and educational impact.
As part of her role to push the boundaries of what is possible with the online platform, she leads the last mile engagement and in-country network building efforts for the Amplify program –a five-year project with the goal of making international aid more collaborative and human-centered. As part of this role, Luisa is running different outreach strategies to encourage the participation of those with no access to the Internet. She is also building Amplify in-country networks run by local social entrepreneurs in East Africa and Asia.
Before this role, Luisa worked as a user experience designer for various boutique agencies and NGO’s in New York City, started a social venture to facilitate online conversations around pressing social issues, and developed programs to empower marginalized communities in Asia and South America through filmmaking.
Luisa graduated with a master in interaction design from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University and holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College. She is the recipient of various social entrepreneurship fellowships such as the Reynolds Fellowship and is part of the United World College scholar program.
Hadi Aladdin (CEO, CoursePeer Inc.) and Marwan Aladdin (COO, CoursePeer Inc.) are entrepreneurs, published authors, speakers and start-up mentors. Over the past 10 years, the Aladdin brothers have founded various ventures in North America and the Middle East including CoursePeer Inc., Kula Technologies Inc., Lifestyle Wellness International, and Organic 2.0, spanning the fields of education, food ordering, wellness & fitness, cleantech and agriculture.
CoursePeer Inc. is a global provider of Learning, Collaboration and Decision Making solutions for Enterprise, Government and Academia with offices in Canada, USA, China, Europe and the Middle East. Its research and patented technology have been featured at various reputable conferences and publications, including the Harvard Business Review, the Dubai School of Government’s Social Media report and the HR Technology Conference & Expo by Josh Bersin (Deloitte). The University of Toronto has featured CoursePeer as one of its key research innovations of 2013 in its Annual Research Report. CoursePeer Inc.’s team includes former leaders and Senior Executives from Xerox, Accenture, Citicorp, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), AlRajhi Bank and Riyadh Valley Company.
The Aladdin brothers’ journey started when they learned the C++ programming language at the age of 12, and presented their first “Credit Card biometric-based security” solution to MasterCard Worldwide’s senior executives at the age of 15, encouraging them to pursue a career in Hardware & Software Security. Later on at the age of 16, they became active contributors of platform-fixes and security-vulnerabilities to well-known solutions such as Skype.
The Aladdin brothers have been entrepreneurs since high school, when they co-founded their first venture in the video games industry with a six-figure angel investment in Dubai. Later on, they served on the boards of various North American organizations, and have been providing software and middleware consulting services for organizations and healthcare institutions in Canada and the Middle East. The Aladdin brothers are heavily involved in not-for-profit and charity organizations such as the Daughters for Life Foundation, and they advise various corporations in the fields of Cyber Security, Middleware, Video Teleconferencing and Big Data Analytics. They have been invited as speakers on topics such as Education Technology and Big Data at various international and regional conferences including the Annual Conference of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (Canada).
Hadi’s passion for entrepreneurship coaching started within the University of Toronto where he created a unique certification program (“myPatent”) at the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, mentoring students on the laws of patents. This program later turned into the Faculty’s formal incubator “The Entrepreneurship Hatchery”, funding tens of startups every year.
Both Hadi and Marwan hold a Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto.
Dr. Ossama Hassanein is an entrepreneur, mentor, and venture capitalist. Over the last 30 years, he has managed $1 billion of international technology funds in diverse leadership roles including Chairman of Technocom Ventures in Paris, President of Newbridge Networks Holding in Ottawa, and Chairman of the Rising Tide Fund in Silicon Valley. In the eighties, he led the mezzanine financing of 80+ Silicon Valley based IT companies that became spectacular successes including: Atmel; PMC Sierra; LSI Logic; and Oracle. Combined market value today exceeds $200 billion. He was chairman or cofounder of seven leading-edge digital communication startups in the US, UK, Switzerland and France whose combined market value at exit exceeded $2 billion.
He currently serves on the board of Bank of the West in San Francisco, is chairman of TechWadi, and charter member of the C-100, both Silicon-Valley based associations dedicated to mentoring and financing MENA and Canadian entrepreneurs. He has served on the Board of Advisors of Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies and of UCSF Department of Ophthalmology in San Francisco. He also served on the Board of Directors of Relief International, a non-profit, focusing his efforts on social entrepreneurship and women development in the Middle East. He was vice-chairman of PSD, an NGO dedicated to providing one laptop per child for 130,000 Palestinian children in need of education.
Dr. Hassanein was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo. He was a guest speaker at the White House, the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, MIT Enterprise Forum, Qatar Computer Research Institute, American University in Beirut, and the Global Initiative in Science and Technology in Rabat. He lectured on Management Science at Stanford University and the University of San Diego, and on international business at UC Berkeley and Santa Clara University.
As Collective Health’s CEO, Ali brings more than 15 years of technology startup and executive management experience to the company. Ali also brings a strong personal motivation to improve the quality and cost of company-sponsored health care after experiencing a major health problem while employed at a growing technology company.
Prior to co-founding Collective Health, Ali was VP of Product Management and Business Operations at AdMob, a leading mobile advertising company, acquired by Google in 2010. Previously, Ali held executive and management positions at Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and Yahoo!. Ali is a graduate of Stanford and Oxford universities.
Rama Chakaki has 22 years of experience in management, strategic planning and communications. Her passion is to promote a collaborative approach, invest in social enterprises, use technology for social development and nurture a generation of social entrepreneurs among youth and women in the Arab world.
In 2007 Rama setup Baraka Ventures investing in social enterprise. The company spun off three businesses successfully. In addition to a grassroots community engagement approach, Rama worked with regional institutions in the public, private, non-profit and education sectors to deliver the Baraka Ventures vision of being a positive change agent to build and support social ventures and sustainable businesses with a triple bottom line.In 2012, Rama established Dubai-based B Street Advisors, a digital communications agency rooted in the region’s culture and values and aiming to socialize business. The agency supportsNGOs, the private sector and Social Entrepreneurs in engaging stakeholders. Among her other activities, Rama runs women and youth leadership, entrepreneurship and civic engagement workshops, advised regional government and large enterprise on social investments in youth and women led social enterprise, and incubated sustainable social ventures and web technologies. In 2013, Rama co-founded BarakaBits, a new media venture delivering Good News from The Middle East. Rama sits on the board of TechWadi and PACES Charity. She was featured in Forbes and is one of 35 women featured in Arab Women Rising, a Wharton School Publication. Rama holds a Master’s in Multi-Media Systems and Engineering Management from George Washington University and a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science.
Ahmed Alfi is the founder and Chairman of Sawari Ventures a Cairo Based venture capital firm, founded in 2010, aiming to help transform the Egyptian and MENA region economics through the creation of sustainable, high impact businesses.
In 2011, Sawari Ventures created and funded Flat 6Labs, its own startup accelerator. Mr. Alfi is also the founder and chairman of Nafham Education, an online educational platform linked to the mandated public curriculum, providing free crowdsourced 5-20 minutes video lessons revised by professionals. He has also previously served as CEO of EFG private Equity and prior to that co-founded Hybrid Capital Partners, a private investment partnership. Sawari and Flat6Labs have funded and helped launch 45 companies in the past 3 years. Prior to that he also served as CEO at Alfigen, a genetic diagnostic company. He has extensive experience in creating and nurturing early stage companies, as well as structuring international M&A transactions and was Senior VP of Jefferies & Company, where he worked for 10 years . He is currently a member of the Board of directors of Waqf Endowment, and several for profit and non-profit boards.
Adnan Tarabishy is the CEO of a business group that owns: PDI (Professional Development Institute) which trains in professional financial certifications such as CPA, CMA & CIA established in 2000 in both Syria and Oman; Y2Ad, an Advertising Agency established in 2001 in affiliation with Impact BBDO Group operating in Syria and Iraq.
He is also the co-founder of Second Step, a business outsourcing agency operating in Egypt & Iraq since 2010. Adnan is the founding member of Taalim, children education support, and serves as the President of the LAU Alumni Association, Damascus Chapter. He managed to build himself a long standing reputation in the field of business and social activism, carving his path slowly with enough determination to become a reliable and trusted name within the Syrian society which is struggling to produce such people. Adnan’s latest conception is launching the WIN WIN initiative, which aims at connecting entrepreneurs with potential investors. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and an MBA from the Lebanese American University, LAU. Adnan also is a candidate at the Executive Education Program at MIT Sloan, MI, USA (2015).
The Beverly Hilton– Jusoor has reserved a block of rooms at the prestigious Beverly Hilton Hotel for those attending our conference. The Beverly Hilton will also be the site of our Charity Dinner the night of February 21st and is conveniently located close to UCLA where the conference will take place.
If you would like to secure one of these rooms, call 1-800-HILTONS and ask for “Jusoor Room Block”, or group code 616. You may also book online at www.hilton.com and under “Add special rate codes” enter 616 in the “Group Code” box.
The rate is $255.00 plus tax per night for a king or double standard.
Please note – the cutoff date is February 1st and rooms are limited.
We also recommend The Wilshire Hotel and The Beverly Hills Hotel.
Charity Dinner Information
Mariela Shaker was born in 1990 in Aleppo, Syria. She started playing violin at the age of ten when she joined the Arabic Institution of Music in Aleppo in 1999 and graduated from the institution in 2004 with a distinction. Mariela has been a very active performer in Syria and took parts in many festivals and concerts in Aleppo. Recent engagements in Aleppo have included a solo violin recital in the Directory of Culture and St. Ephrem Syrian Orthodox Cathedral. Mariela has received many accolades in Syria and she was invited to take part in Dubai Arabian Competition and play with Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2009, she joined the Syndicate of Artists in Syria. Mariela taught the violin for five years at the Arabic Institute of Music in Aleppo. In 2011, she gave a live audition in London and she got an offer to complete her music studies in Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music. In 2013, Mariela received a scholarship to attend Monmouth College, and is currently studying Music Performance for her second Bachelor’s degree. She previously received her first Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from Aleppo University. Mariela also received a scholarship to participate in Green Lake Music Festival in summer 2014. She is currently the Concertmaster of the Monmouth College Chamber Orchestra and also a member of Galesburg Symphony Orchestra. Mariela gratefully acknowledges the support of Jusoor organization through her studies in Monmouth College.
The dinner will take place at the prestigious Beverly Hilton, known for most notably for hosting the annual Golden Globes.
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JUSOOR Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved. Jusoor, E.I. Number 45-3842245, is a Michigan nonprofit corporation that has received a ruling from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service that it is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). Contributions are tax-deductible to U.S. taxpayers to the extent provided in section 170 of the Code. Jusoor is also affiliated with Jusoor Canada (a Canadian registered charity under number 85063 3371), and Jusoor UK (a registered charity in England under number 1154168). While these organizations work closely together they are independent corporations and a donor can donate to any one of them.