About - Team

Ahmed Gatnash

Executive Director
Ahmed Gatnash is the co-founder and Executive Director at Kawaakibi Foundation. He is also a Strategy Advisor at the Albert Einstein Institution, and is the co-author of Middle East Crisis Factory, a primer on systemic crises and a vision for a positive future for the MENA region.

Iyad El-Baghdadi

Iyad is co-founder and Chairman at Kawaakibi Foundation. A prominent Norwegian-Palestinian intellectual and Arab spring activist, he is a board member at Munathara, the Arab debate NGO, and is currently building PAACT, a new grantmaking organisation for MENA human rights work. He lives in Oslo, Norway, where he was granted political asylum after being forcibly exiled from his home in the UAE in 2014.

Razan Saffour

Head of Content & Communications
Razan Saffour is a British Syrian activist with over 10 years of experience in research, advocacy, communications, emergency response and project management. She holds a master's degree in history from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

Khalid Albaih

Co-Director of Arts
Khalid is an award-winning Sudanese political cartoonist, curator and activist. He is the author of the acclaimed Khartoon! series, and his work has been exhibited worldwide.

Ramy Essam

Co-Director of Arts
Ramy is an Egyptian rock musician famed for his performances in Tahrir square during the 2011 revolution. He lives in exile in Finland after being tortured for his art, and his songs are illegal in Egypt. 


Project Manager
A is the team's project manager, bringing over 2 decades of start-up experience in running lean and efficient teams across multiple projects.

Yousuf Zubair

Media Editor
Yousuf is the team's media editor, overseeing podcast and video production.

Isabelle Davodi

Shefa Program Associate
Isabelle Davodi is a social anthropologist and cultural interpreter. Her background includes humanitarian work with organizations such as Red Cross, Norwegian Refugee Council, and Médecins Sans Frontières. She has led youth centers and worked as an environmental therapist, empowering vulnerable individuals to achieve independence and overcome psychological barriers.

Marco Younes

Financial Freedom Officer
Marco is a Bitcoin educator based in Lebanon, where he founded Bitcoin du Liban, the country's largest Bitcoin education initiative.