Maha is a future entrepreneur based in Sfax who graduated from the Biotechnology Faculty of Sciences in Sfax. She is an associate of Retaste, a brand that promotes healthy eating and produces and sells products containing black garlic. She is an alumna of Aiesec Thyna, a youth leadership development organization, where she was a manager of business to business development. She is a member of JCI Sfax, where she is the director of the project Arti-Sfax. Lastly, she was the team leader of her group who participated in the Hult Prize Challenge.
It was an honour for Mariem to be part of the Lazord family. She had the opportunity to connect and work with professional people, making it a really worthwhile experience. She learned so much from organisations, colleagues and, more importantly, mentors. What she learned has helped her a lot in her current position. She would like to thank everyone who was involved in this fellowship program.
“Believing in yourself is the first step to success. Whether it means your life, your career, or simply your confidence, and in that lays your power. Once you determine of doing something, nothing can stop you.” -Sriram Athri
Ohoud holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Cairo University as well as a master’s degree in comparative politics from Saint Joseph University in Beirut. She started her career in civil society in Egypt in 2012, when she became a Lazord Fellow. She is passionate about helping vulnerable groups, and believes in the role that governmental and non-governmental entities can play by working together to enhance the welfare of vulnerable groups. She has worked for several organizations, such as Nahdet El Mahrousa, Misr el Kheir Foundation, and Handicap International-Egypt, and has experience in implementing different projects relating to R&D, innovation, education, and the preservation of arts and culture.
Ohoud is currently working on a short mission as a research consultant at AUC, in cooperation with UNICEF Egypt and the Ministry of Social Solidarity. Her main role for this mission is to conduct qualitative research about social workers. She had a similar mission with Handicap International-Egypt, where she conducted a needs assessment for primary health care units in Greater Cairo, focusing on early detection and early intervention (EDEI) services. Dedicated to research, Ohoud has conducted mapping assignments and published reports about: citizenship education in Egypt, the phenomena of co-working spaces, challenges facing civil society in Egypt, and development in Shalatin.
Ghaith traveled to Egypt to get a second degree and to explore different work environments. This led him to get a degree in commerce and to work in the broadcasting industry, working specifically on refugees issues in Syria and Africa. Throughout his career, he has conducted various workshops revolving around soft skills such as communication skills, leadership skills, etc. Moreover, his business writing skills and his experience in project management have proven to be useful at his job placement. In addition to that, he has immense knowledge on institutional development work. As an avid learner, he is concurrently doing an MBA in human resources while being a Lazord Fellow. Through the Lazord Fellowship, he has the opportunity to work with Drosos Foundation whose scope of work is similar to his interests in development.
Ghaith is also interested in Cairo’s architecture and history. Whenever he gets a chance, he tries to explore this multifaceted city and enjoy the savory cuisines.
Sami was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, and then moved to Jordan. During his years in college he was interested in extracurricular activities. He, thus, participated in a program called Business Ambassadors and had the chance to become more involved with his colleagues and professors and to improve his skills. He then had the chance to go to Vilnius, Lithuania, as an Erasmus exchange student. He met people from all over the world and got to know their cultures and beliefs. Now Sami is with Integrated International, which gives him the opportunity to work on various projects with different people and gain experience in different areas.
Raya received a B.A. in development studies from Philadelphia University, and is currently pursuing a master’s in women’s studies from the University of Jordan.
Raya started in civil society by volunteering for five years with NGOs. She now has three years of working experience with local and international NGOs such as UNICEF, NRC, BASMA, INJAZ, and Better World.
She has represented Jordan in several European countries and given training courses in different Arab countries. She loves volunteering and working with creative youth. Raya is a leader whose skillset and interests are multifaceted: she is a trainer and facilitator: she is skilled at public communication, marketing, and project writing; and she is interested in women’s empowerment, children’s rights, and education.
In addition, Raya is an inventor, and has an idea for an invention that would help disabled people be mobile without having to use a wheelchair.
As a Lazord Fellow, Alaa started her placement at the Families Development Association (FDA) as an administrative assistant on October 2014. In her position, she was a very hard worker, quick-witted, responsible and reliable. This resulted in her being hired on the FDA staff.
Mays has always had a passion for social development. Her focus on community collaboration has led her to a number of volunteering opportunities and community leadership roles with many local and international organizations. She is currently working as the programs coordinator at Partners-Jordan, where she was placed as a Lazord Fellow. Partners-Jordan is a Jordanian not-for-profit organization, committed to advancing civil society, promoting mediation, conflict management, and culture of change, as well as encouraging citizen participation in Jordan’s social and political development. The reason why she joined the Lazord Fellowship was to learn and gain as much professional experience and as many skills as possible in order to be able to have a hand in bringing about future social change.
Heba Shama is an architect with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the American University in Cairo (AUC). Heba was involved in several projects that focused on reclaiming the right to public spaces and proposing physical interventions to overcome social issues such as women and girls’ safety, children’s rights to play, and encouraging mutual acceptance between local communities and refugees. Heba is currently working with Takween Integrated Community Development (ICD) in the framework of a project for the British Museum, where she works on documenting the vernacular architecture of the village of Shutb while trying to engage with the community on building a collective appreciation for the local tangible and intangible heritage.
Shama grew up in South Sinai where she is currently involved on a project, “Strengthening Protected Areas’ Financing and Management Systems,” with the Operational Unit for Development Assistance for UNDP Egypt. She is also involved as a teaching assistant for the USAID program, “English Access Micro-scholarship Program.” Heba is working as a voluntary art workshop co-facilitator with Tur-Sinai Youth Center, which collaborates effectively in delivering a diverse range of visual arts-based workshops to young children. Shama has a special interest in working on relief operations and education and refugee-oriented initiatives, especially on initiatives that focus on children.
Heba considers herself as a multidisciplinary designer. She is an architect who is interested in the visual and literary expression of cultures; a philanthropist with a strong passion to work with, learn from, and empower the local communities. This is an identity that she developed through her participation with the Lazord Fellowship. Recently, she has become a graphic designer, and sometimes considers herself as an amateur photographer who enjoys taking photos with her cellphone camera.
Big results require big ambitions. Dana started her career as a girl who came from a medical background, but who was not able to adapt to her current situation. Her ambition kept growing, waiting for its chance to appear!
Dana does not like to be behind the scenes; she loves to work hard and to be a productive person who makes an impact. So here she is, going from having no experience in the NGO sector to living a very mixed adventure in the NGO sector. Lazord was the set of keys to new opportunities that helped her move forward and open other doors. The first key was being a field officer in Zataari and Azraq Refugees camp. Dana overcame a number of challenges, and even became a protection focal point, allowing people to feel safe while being around her! And then what happened? She starting a new career path by becoming an entrepreneurship trainer and communications officer. She has ridden a roller-coaster to achieve big results and to follow her ambitions. She currently works at an NGO as a Coordinator of International Affairs and Entrepreneurship.
Dana loves switching on light bulbs with people – facilitating those, “aha moments,” that change mindsets and open up new possibilities. She is a motivational speaker who seeks to help youth find their own way. She believes that the human brain can multitask to find its own passion. Dana is passionate, a hard worker and a dreamer. “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”