MEET THE TEAM
Bashair lives in Brighton, UK and focuses on migration, human rights, and humanitarian action. She speaks and writes English and Arabic.
With over 20 years’ experience working with United Nations agencies and international organisations focused on fragile and conflict-affected countries, Bashair has consulted on a wide range of migration and diaspora initiatives, including: the protection of irregular migrants; the development of e-trainings on humanitarian principles for diaspora organisations; and providing guidance on diaspora engagement in development and humanitarian response. Bashair holds a doctorate in Migration Studies from the University of Sussex, where she is also currently a Research Associate; her academic interests include humanitarianism, diasporas, migration and development, and intergenerational engagement. She speaks and writes in English and Arabic.
Coffee makes Bashair happy, macchiato from Kaldis, in particular!
Paul lives in London, UK and focuses on research and policy advocacy around migration, diaspora development and humanitarian response. Paul has 20 years’ experience in managing community development and public health projects, as well as conducting research in Africa, Europe, and the UK. From 2012 to 2020, Paul was the Policy and Engagement Manager at the African Foundation for Development (AFFORD), a leading African diaspora organisation in the UK. Paul is also a Research Associate at the Centre of African Studies, SOAS, University of London, where his interests include: diasporas, migration, and development; culture, health, and migrant communities; and Islamic models of development in North Africa and the Horn. Paul, our most accomplished linguist, speaks and writes Arabic, Amharic, Kiswahili, French and English.
Another coffee lover, this time Ethiopian, Paul is a father of several cats!
Orvil lives in London, UK and focuses on accounting and business support. He holds both MBA and FCCA qualifications and, prior to joining Shabaka, held both Chief Financial Officer and Finance Director roles in various organisations.
Orvil is a Caribbean son who enjoys the diverse cultures of the United Kingdom.
Orvil can be reached on LinkedIn.
Sara lives in Brighton, UK and focuses on cultural studies, digital media, diaspora and migratory groups with an emphasis on national and cultural identity formation both on and offline. Sara holds an MA in Media and Cultural Studies, a BA in Visual Communication, and has worked with diaspora groups in the UK on research projects (both academic and not) and as a volunteer. She speaks Arabic, English and Turkish.
Sara loves discovering new places, meeting people and storytelling!
Reach out to Sara.
Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, and currently living in the UK, Diala has recently joined Shabaka having previously worked at the Arts Canteen, an organisation focused on empowering and giving a platform to Arab artists in the UK. She has an MA in International Relations, a BA in Communications and Journalism, and experience volunteering in slums and orphanages in Kenya, India, and Ain Elhelwe refugee camp in Lebanon.
Rania lives in Glasgow, UK and has been a Shabaka team member since 2017, currently in the role of Researcher and Data Analyst as well as technical lead for Sudan on the Switchboard project. Rania also works with the Scottish Refugee Council as a caseworker supporting destitute asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable adults in the asylum system. Rania is finishing her MSc in Data Science for Politics and Policymaking at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow this summer, and has two teenage children, two cats, and a husband.
Josh specialises in refugee and diaspora finance and is interested in research on Latin and Central American Diaspora Humanitarian initiatives. He holds an MA in Humanitarian Action, speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese, has a working knowledge of French, and is currently learning Estonian and Russian. A British-Ecuadorian and international adoptee, Josh has lived overseas and has future ambitions of pursuing a PhD on refugee finance.
Sara Ibrahim Abdelgalil
Sara Ibrahim Abdelgalil
Sara is a UK-based doctor and democracy activist in the Sudanese diaspora. She has 18 years’ experience with the UK’s National Health Service and has led numerous advocacy campaigns for children and young people, refugees in the UK, street children in Brazil and Africa, and young people’s rights in Sudan. She also proposed ‘The Jigsaw’, a multi-professional modelling for active children, and co-founded Governance Programming Overseas (GPO), a Sudan-based NGO aimed at raising young people’s awareness of governance in order to protect democracy, human rights, the rule of law and other aspects of civil society. Sara is also a member of the EUDiF Expert Roster.
Vikas is a UK-based, second-generation Indian diaspora member and senior storyteller with over 20 years’ experience in creative communications, building brands and thinking disruptively. While Vikas fully embraces the power of digital, he also believes connecting with people through the power of emotion and authenticity is always key.
Kirstie is a PhD candidate in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS, University of London. Her areas of focus include migration and development, African diaspora populations, and second generation transnationalism. Kirstie also has experience working with Ghanaian and African diaspora focused organisations in both the US and UK.
Reach out to Kirstie on LinkedIn
Clara has over 10 years’ experience working with diaspora organisations in Europe involved in local development in origin countries. Convinced of the mutual benefit of co-development, she has taken a keen interest in the structuring of the diaspora associative sector and its funding mechanisms. Among other experiences, Clara coordinated a regional collective of diaspora organisations in France; acted as a Senior Capacity Building Officer within the pan-European platform ADEPT; and has also worked in project management, with a particular interest in multi-stakeholder projects.
Clara can be reached on LinkedIn
Bara’ah is a values-driven activist and professional with over 10 years’ experience in the humanitarian and development sector in conflict settings. As Bara’ah worked with UN agencies, international organisations, and local NGOs, where she supported and managed livelihood, education and health projects, she has a comprehensive understanding of the international aid landscape. Bara’ah also co-founded and led several community initiatives aimed at empowering youth to become active citizens and prospective professionals in both Syria and the diaspora. Bara’ah uses a social justice lens in all her work, strongly believing in localisation, empowerment, and justice. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Damascus University and a master’s degree in Political Economy of Emerging Markets from King’s College London.
Based in London, UK, Samah specialises in programme management and holds a master’s degree in Communication for Development. Prior to joining Shabaka, Samah worked as a programme manager for several INGOs, overseeing projects on capacity strengthening, accountability, ICT4D and advocacy.
Get in touch with Samah
Based in Petersfield, UK, Louise advises on Shabaka’s communications strategy. Louise has worked across the finance, technology and third sectors and focuses on international digital communications. She holds a BCom in Economics and a Social Innovation qualification from the University of Washington. Louise loves travelling and is chasing Thabani’s record of 41 countries, especially those where the sun always shines!
Based in London, UK, Richard has over 20 years’ experience advising a range of blue-chip companies—including Liberty Mutual, Barclays, Tesco and BP—on digital transformation initiatives. Most recently, he was an Investment Associate at the Global Innovation Fund, a USAID and FCDO-funded, social-first investment vehicle whose mission is to find, back, and scale-up innovations with the potential to measurably improve the lives of people living on $5/day or less in the developing world. His focus sectors were tech, education and SME growth services in Africa, specifically Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Kenya. Richard’s side passion is Star 100, a Ghana-focused professional diaspora network established over 15 years ago. Richard holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics and Geography from the University of London, a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge and a Certificate in Education from the University of London.
Jehanne is an independent consultant, human rights lawyer, Sudan(s) analyst, and the former East Africa Director at Human Rights Watch.