Our team


Khalifa Mohamed Rabban – President

A Qatari businessman, Khalifa Mohamed Al Rabaan is active in a number of humanitarian, charity and human rights organisations.

Rachid Mesli – Secretary

An Algerian criminal lawyer, Rachid Mesli defended the rights of dozens of individuals often subjected to unfair trials in the crisis that broke out following the halting of the legislative election process in the country in January 1992. On 31 July 1996, he was kidnapped by security forces and detained for three years following repeated beatings, death threats and a severely flawed trial, in violation of international fair trial standards. Higher courts repeatedly overturned the accusations and sentences against Rachid Mesli, but he remained in detention until July 1999, when he was finally released. Fearing for the safety of his family, he moved to Geneva in the year 2000 and participated in the creation of Alkarama in 2004. Since then, he is heading its Legal Department, supervising the work of the regional legal officers and establishing the organisation's work strategy as well as overseeing the interaction with the United Nations human rights protection mechanisms.

Ahcene Kerkadi - Treasurer

Dr Ahcene Kerkadi is a Swiss-Algerian national who works as a dentist. He was elected to the municipality of his hometown in Algeria in 1990. Holding political refugee status in Switzerland since 1994, he has been active in a number of human rights initiatives and organisations, including Amnesty's Swiss section. (Deceased, 25 March 2023).


The statutes of the Foundation, as approved by the Swiss Federal Supervisory Board for Foundations in August 2014, establish an Advisory Committee. The Committee, comprised of recognised experts in human rights or the Arab world, advises the Foundation on its global strategy and issues related to ethical standards and good governance. Its members are:

  • Mourad Dhina joined Alkarama in 2007 to lead the growth and professionalization of the organisation, when Alkarama registered as a foundation under Swiss law. Prior to joining Alkarama, he worked as a Research Scientist at ETH-Zürich and CERN-Geneva. In the 1990s, Mourad Dhina joined a number of efforts to ensure the respect of human rights in Algeria, working with various political actors to push for the establishment of the rule of law, including through the organisation of conferences on the subject. He holds a PhD in Particle Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). Dr Dhina acted as Executive Director at Alkarama until October 2018.

  • Maha Azzam is a leading policy expert on the Middle East and Political Islam. She is Egyptian and holds a DPhil (PhD) from Oxford University. She was an Associate Fellow in the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House (2002-2015) and an advisor on the MENA panel at the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Previously, Maha Azzam was Head of the Programme on Security and Development in Muslim States run by the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies. She is now Head of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council, a broad platform that promotes a democratic and civil state in Egypt.

  • François Burgat is a French political scientist and Senior Research Fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. He has held the position of Head of the French Institute of the Near East and is currently Director of Research at the Institut de recherches et d’études sur le monde arabe et musulman (IREMAM) in Aix-en-Provence. He has lived in the Arab World for over 18 years: as Professor of Law at the University of Constantine, Algeria (1973-1980), at the Centre d’études et de documentation économiques, juridiques et sociales (CEDEJ) in Cairo (1989-1993), then as the director of the French Centre for Archaeology and Social Sciences in Sana'a, Yemen (1997-2003).

  • Richard Falk is an American Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University, who authored and edited several books. In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Prof. Falk to a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

  • Mutaz Qafisheh is a French-Palestinian international lawyer and currently the Dean of the College of Law and Political Science at Hebron University, Palestine. He holds a PhD in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland, and has worked with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Beirut and Ramallah. He wrote and edited six books, over 50 journal articles and has taught Law at Al-Quds and Birzeit University. He is a PhD supervisor at the University of Exeter, UK.

Legal Director

Rachid Mesli