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Our people

FOUNDING MEMBERS

Abdulrahman Al Nuaimi

A Qatari history professor at the University of Doha, Dr Abdulrahman Al Nuaimi has participated in the creation of a number of humanitarian and human rights organisations as well as research institutes in the Arab World.

Rachid Mesli

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 founded Alkarama in 2004.

Abbas Aroua

Doctor of Medical Physics from Lausanne Medical School, Abbas Aroua is a renowned Algerian expert on humanitarian, human rights, conflict resolution and intercultural communication, having contributed to numerous works, conferences and publications on these subjects. He is also a founding member of the Hoggar Institute and the Cordoba Foundation of Geneva.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Khalifa Mohamed Rabban – President

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

Abbas Aroua – Board Secretary

Ahcene Kerkadi

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.

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

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:

  • 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.

STAFF

Mourad Dhina – Executive Director

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Dr 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).

Email: mourad.dhina@alkarama.org
Tel: +41 22 734 07 ext. 830
Skype: alkarama.md

Youssouf Coulibaly – Finance and Administration Officer

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Youssouf Coulibaly joined Alkarama in 2011 as an administration and events assistant, and has been working as Alkarama's Finance and Administration Officer since 2012. Prior to joining Alkarama, he worked at the Arab European University in Damascus and held a number of other positions in Syria between 2006 and 2010. He holds a BA in Inter-Cultural Mediation and Social Science from the Higher Institute of Arabic Literature and Islamic Studies in Damascus. Youssouf Coulibaly is from Cote d'Ivoire and speaks Arabic, English and French.

Email: youssouf@alkarama.org
Tel: +41 22 734 10 07 ext. 835
Skype: yussuf.coulibaly

Legal Department

Rachid Mesli – Legal Director

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Rachid Mesli founded Alkarama in 2004 and currently heads the 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.

Email: rachid.mesli@alkarama.org
Tel: +41 22 734 10 07 ext. 820
Skype: rachid2454


Mashreq region (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria)

Inès Osman – Coordinator of the Legal Department & Regional Legal Officer

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Inès Osman joined Alkarama in 2013 as Regional Legal Officer for North Africa, and now coordinates the Legal Department. She also leads the organisation's work and strategy on the Mashreq region. Prior to this, she undertook an internship with Alkarama in 2011, and worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Geneva and an LL.M in International Law from Leiden University, The Netherlands, where she wrote her thesis on the Politicisation of the International Criminal Court through the referral of the Libyan situation by the UN Security Council. Inès Osman comes from France and speaks English and French.

Email: ines@alkarama.org
Tel: +41 22 734 10 07 ext. 825
Skype: ines.alk
Twitter: @Ines_Osman

Elisa Volpi Spagnolini – Human Rights Officer

Elisa

Elisa Volpi Spagnolini joined Alkarama in 2014 and currently works as Human Rights Officer for the Mashreq countries. She is responsible for treating cases of serious human rights violations in the Arab Mashreq countries in order to provide information to the UN human rights protection mechanisms. Prior to joining Alkarama, she worked with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining and at the International Commission against Death Penalty. She holds an LL.M from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights as well as a BA and an MA in International Relations from Turin University and SciencePo Bordeaux. Elisa Volpi Spagnolini is from Italy and is fluent in English and French.

Email: e.volpi@alkarama.org
Tel: +961 1 427 907
Skype: elisa.volpi.alk
Twitter: @Elis_eins

Saadeddine Shatila – Lebanon Country Representative

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Saadeddine Shatila joined Alkarama in 2007 as Alkarama's Country Representative in Lebanon. He heads the Lebanon office and is responsible for investigating and documenting human rights violations in the Mashreq region. Prior to joining Alkarama, Saadeddine Shatila trained in a Beirut law firm from 2005 to 2007. He holds a BA in Law Studies from the Lebanese University. He is a Lebanese citizen and speaks Arabic and English.

Email: s.shatila@alkarama.org
Tel: +961 1 427 907
Skype: alkarama-beirut
Twitter: @saadeddine


Maghreb and Nile regions (Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia)

Radidja Nemar – Regional Legal Officer

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Radidja Nemar joined Alkarama in 2014 and leads the organisation's work and strategy on the Maghreb and Nile regions. She holds a BA in Law and in Philosophy from Toulouse University, an MA in International Law from Aix-en-Provence University, a MA in International Affairs from Sciences-Po, and is currently finishing her PhD on the interplay between Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law during post-conflict transitional periods, for which she undertook visiting research stints at Oxford and Yale Law School as a Fulbright Scholar. French born Algerian, Radidja Nemar speaks Arabic, English and French.

Email: r.nemar@alkarama.org
Tel: +41 22 734 10 07 ext. 825
Skype: radidja.alkarama
Twitter: @RadidjaN


Gulf region (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen)

Julia Legner – Regional Legal Officer

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Julia Legner joined Alkarama in 2015 as Human Rights Officer for the Gulf countries and now leads the organisation's work and strategy on the Gulf region. Prior to joining Alkarama, she has worked for at the Regional Office of the International Labour Organisation in Beirut on fair labour migration in the Asia-Middle East corridor. She holds a BA in International Relations and Arabic from Westminster University and an MA in Middle Eastern Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Julia Legner comes from Germany and speaks Arabic and English.

Email: j.legner@alkarama.org
Tel: +41 22 734 10 07 ext. 815
Skype: julia.alkarama
Twitter: @JuliaLegner

Michelle Wazan – Human Rights Officer

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Michelle Wazan joined Alkarama in 2016 and is responsible for sourcing and documenting cases of human rights violations in the Gulf to the UN human rights mechanisms. Prior to joining Alkarama, she studied Political Sciences and International Law in Lebanon and in France. Michelle Wazan is a Lebanese-American citizen and speaks Arabic, English and French.

Email: m.wazan@alkarama.org
Tel: +961 1 427 907
Skype: michelle.alkarama
Twitter: @Michwaz1


Media Department

Hassan Nouhaili – Arabic Media Editor

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Hassan Nouhaili joined Alkarama in 2008 as an administrative assistant, dealing with complaints and communicating with the victims' families. Since 2011, he works as Alkarama's Arabic Media Editor. Prior to joining Alkarama, Hassan Nouhaili held various positions working with Permanent Missions to the UN. Hassan Nouhaili is Moroccan-Swiss citizen and speaks Arabic, English and French.

Email: h.nouhaili@alkarama.org
Tel: +41 22 734 10 08
Skype: alkarama.geneva

Iman Taha – Translation Officer

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Iman Taha is a Lebanese sworn translator since 2003. Before joining Alkarama, she translated for many Lebanese media institutions, companies, educational establishments and NGOs. She graduated with a BA in Languages and Translation in 2001 and obtained a Multimedia diploma in 2014. Meanwhile, she is preparing her Master 2 thesis in Computational Linguistics at the Lebanese University. Iman Taha speaks Arabic, English and French.

Email: i.taha@alkarama.org
Tel: +961 1 427 907
Skype: iman.alkarama