Our Advocates

Sawsan Abou Zainedin is a Syrian architect and urban development planner based in London. Sawsan holds MSc in Urban Development Planning from the Bartlett’s Development Planning Unit of University College London. She also holds a post-graduate diploma in Integrated Planning and Urban Strategies from the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies at Erasmus University and a bachelor’s degree of Architecture from the University of Aleppo. Her work addresses the spatial manifestations of conflicts through research and practice, with a focus on the political, socioeconomic, and technical challenges of urban development and reconstruction in Syria. She has over 10 years of experience in working with academic institutions, think tanks, INGOs, civil society organisations and the private sector. She is a co-founding director of Sakan Housing Communities, a non-profit social enterprise for developing inclusive and socially just housing programs to aid recovery in Syria. 


Dr Yazan Douedari is a Syrian dentist and researcher, and a previous humanitarian worker. Yazan has an MSc in Public Health in Developing countries from LSHTM, a diploma of Membership of the Joint Dental Faculties, and is currently working on several Syria-related research projects at LSHTM. His main research focus is on health system governance in Syria.  Additionally, Yazan is currently working as a dentist within the UK health system. Yazan is based in London, UK. He has worked with several NGOs in Syria, Turkey, and the UK since the start of the 2011 Syrian revolution. Yazan is a co-founder and co-director of Syria Research Group “SyRG”, a team of primarily Syrian health system researchers based at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the National University of Singapore Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH). Yazan is a co-founder of Diaspora Exchanges initiative, working with the Syrian diaspora in the UK.


Eyad Hamid is an Investigation Officer at the Syrian Legal Development Programme (SLDP). Eyad holds a MA in Historical Research Methods, and he is currently pursuing a PhD in history at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He also holds a BA in History & Turkish from SOAS (2016), and a DDS from the Faculty of Dental Medicine, Damascus University (2008). His role includes research and monitoring the Syrian business scene for human rights violations and promoting accountability. Before joining SLDP, he worked as politics journalist for Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper. Eyad’s activism in support of the Syrian cause includes mobilising students through student societies and promoting dialogue among Syrian activists in London. He also volunteered with refugees in Turkey and Greece (2014-2016). Eyad is fluent in Arabic and English and intermediate in Turkish, French and German.


Kholoud Helmi is a gender and media expert and the co-founder and board member of Enab Baladi newspaper established in 2011. Kholoud holds an MA in media and development from SOAS, university of London, and is a Chevening scholar. She was the 2015 winner of the Anna Politkovskaya Award for reporting about the Syrian events, and the 2017 winner of the International Association’s Courage Under Fire Award for the documentary Cries From Syria. In 2016, Marie Claire magazine called her ‘the bravest woman in the world’. Before fleeing Syria, she was an eyewitness to the shooting of peaceful demonstrators, arbitrary arrests and massacres that occurred in Darayya and surrounding towns committed by Assad’s regime. Her brother was arrested in 2012 because of helping IDPs from Homs city.


Sama Kiki a Syrian activist and humanitarian worker based in London. Sama holds MSc. Global Project Management, University of Essex. Co-Founder and Executive Director of Sanad Group for Aid and Development which is a voluntary group operating across Syria, offering zero interest loans to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Sanad group is also offering humanitarian support to orphans and families who lost their provider because of the conflict. Sama is also a Co-Founder of Diaspora Exchanges Initiative, working with the Syrian Diaspora in the UK. She is currently working as Program Director with Dawlaty, a Syrian civil society organisation focusing on transitional justice, civic engagement, political participation, and memory work.


Leila Sibai is a Swiss-Syrian legal researcher with experience in advocacy, strategic litigation, and documentation of human rights violations. Leila has a master’s degree in International Law from SOAS and is currently pursuing a post-graduate degree at the centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths. She is currently working as a legal investigator with the Center for Justice and Accountability where she supports the development of case-files regarding international crimes committed in Syria.

Sawsan Abou Zainedin


Dr Yazan Douedari


Eyad Hamid


Kholoud Helmi


Sama Kiki

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Leila Sibai