Hassan Aourid is a Moroccan writer, born in 1962. He obtained a state doctorate in Political Science and currently teaches Political Science at the Mohammed V University, as well as being a consultant for the Moroccan academic journal Zaman. He has written academic and literary books in Arabic and French. Among his literary works are six novels: Wistful Conversation (2015) Morisco (published in French in 2011 and Arabic in 2017), Biography of a Donkey (2014), Sintra (2017), Cordoba Spring (2017) and Mutanabbi’s Rabat (2018).
Ezgi Toper is an international journalist and digital content creator in Istanbul. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Journalism at Boston University, she worked at GBH’s award-winning documentary channel: WORLD Channel. She is currently a Digital Producer at TRT World, where she reports on global issues as part of the digital news desk. She is also frequently sent on assignment as a presenter at various events. On the side, she manages a popular social media page that showcases Istanbul’s vibrant food and culture scene, known as Istanbul Bucket List (@IstBucketlist).
Isra Almudallal is a distinguished Palestinian journalist and former TRT WORLD Producer, renowned for her substantial contributions to the fields of media production and government representation. Her illustrious career spans various roles, including serving as a Digital Presenter Producer at TRT ARABI, a TV Presenter & Producer, and notably, as the first Spokesperson of the Palestinian Government. Her international influence extends to the United Nations, where she made history as the main Presenter of UN TV. Recognized as an inspirational leader for women in the Middle East by France International Radio in 2014, Isra’s exceptional dedication led to her title as one of the most activist journalists in Palestine in 2012. In addition to her journalistic achievements, Isra is a versatile writer, storyteller, and the visionary founder of the Ensan platform in social networking media. Her entrepreneurial spirit shines through as the Co-Founder of Mariam coffee company. With her diverse and far-reaching contributions, Isra stands as a powerful and influential figure in her field.
Abdullah is the current team lead at Al Sharq Youth and has been an active part of the organization since 2018. He is an Educational Psychologist by training and has a Masters in the field while currently pursuing his PhD in the same. He has 11 years of experience in multiple areas such as Program Management, Strategic Planning, Curriculum and Content Development, Training and Mentoring. His expertise lies in developing effective and efficient networks and has been a key person in establishing and managing Al Sharq Youth Hubs around the world.
S. Sayyid is a Professor of Rhetoric and Decolonial Thought. Until recently, he served as the Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds. His significant publications include Recalling the Caliphate and “A Fundamental Fear”. Sayyid played a crucial role in shaping the parliamentary definition of Islamophobia, which has garnered widespread adoption. He spearheads an innovative research program in Critical Muslim Studies. Sayyid is the founding editor of interdisciplinary ReOrient and his work has been translated into nearly a dozen languages.
Dalia Mogahed is the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, where she leads the organization’s pioneering research and thought leadership programs on American Muslims. Mogahed is former Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, where she led the analysis of surveys of Muslim communities worldwide. With John L. Esposito, she co-authored the book Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think. President Barack Obama appointed Mogahed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009. She was invited to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations about U.S. engagement with Muslim communities. Her 2016 TED talk was named one of the top TED talks that year. She is a frequent expert commentator in global media outlets and international forums. She is also the CEO of Mogahed Consulting.
Mohammad Affan is the director of Al Sharq Strategic Research and Al Sharq Academia. A medical doctor by training, he holds a PhD from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, in 2020. He obtained his MA degree in Comparative Politics from the American University in Cairo in 2015. In addition, he holds a post-graduate diploma in Civil Society and Human Rights from Cairo University, a diploma in Political Research and Studies from the Institute of Arab Research and Studies in Cairo, and a diploma in Islamic Studies from The Higher Institute for Islamic Studies, Cairo. He is the author of “Secularism Confronts Islamism: Divergent Paths of Transitional Negotiations in Egypt and Tunisia.” Also, his master’s thesis was published in Arabic as a book titled: “Wahhabism and the Brotherhood: The Conflict on the Concept of the State and the Legitimacy of Power”. His research interests include Islamism and democratization in MENA region.
Thembisa Fakude is a senior research fellow and director of Africa Asia Dialogues (Afrasid),a think tank based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He holds a Master’s degree in Politics from the university of the Witwatersrand. He is a columnist with the Middle East Monitor in London and a research fellow at Al Sharq Forum in Istanbul, Turkey. He also serves on the board of Common Action Forum (CAF) in Madrid, Spain and on the board of Mail and Guardian publication in South Africa.
Thembisa is the chairperson of Gauteng Industrial Development Zone (GIDZ), a government owned special economic zone (sez) located at OR Tambo International Airport in South Africa. He also serves as a Deputy Chairperson of Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) a government investment promotion agency in South Africa.
He is the former Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera Media Network in Southern Africa, former head of English unit of Al Jazeera Centre for Studies and a former chairperson of Foreign Correspondents Association of Southern Africa (FCA).
Ahmed Mohsen is the founder and director of the Siyasat Institute for Public Policy and Good Governance. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in political science and international relations at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University. Ahmed also holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Doha Institute, which he obtained in 2017. He has authored several research papers in both Arabic and English, with a focus on public policy issues in the Arab world.
Kamran Kiyani is the Managing Director at GEM, a Digital Transformation company. A serial entrepreneur, he has founded two AI technology companies: Scoute & Zaheen Systems. Kamran is a Mathematician by training. He has a B.S. from Purdue University, an MBA from the Krannert School and a Masters in Technology Design from Harvard University. Kamran has founded and worked with various not-for-profit organizations in the US, Singapore and Pakistan. His work focuses on leadership development, Artificial Intelligence and impact of technology on society.
Ustadha Dalya is a wife and mother of three daughters. Her roots are in Palestine, where she hopes to return with her family in a liberated Al-Aqsa
She is the founder of Life Matters, an organization dedicated to reviving Islamic knowledge and creating positive change through transformative educational experiences such as study circles, workshops, short courses and retreats.
She has a BA in political science from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, earned a Masters degree with honours in Islamic studies from Charles Sturt University, Australia and is currently a PhD candidate in Tafsir and U’lum al Qur’an at Al Madina international university, Malaysia. Her research interests include exegesis of the Qur’an through combining the inner essence of the message of the Qur’an with an outward expression of practice. Ust. Dalya has an ijzaha in Qur’an recitation, runs a not for profit Qur’an online program. She has also studied various religious sciences including theology, Seerah and women’s rights within Islamic law. Additionally, Ustatha Dalya teaches an online halaqah of 1000 committed students from around the world, a platform of knowledge she believes to be the key to revival of individuals and the Ummah at large.
Ustatha Dalya has won numerous awards including Muslim role model of the year (Australia 2017) and People’s choice award (Australia 2019). She has been working in non for profit organisations for more than 20 years and served as an executive on multiple boards and is currently working with Qawafil, a Gaza-based charity organisation that serves those most in need.
Fadi Quran is the Campaigns Director for the global civic movement Avaaz, an online community of over 69 million people that campaigns to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere. Fadi leads campaigns pushing for human dignity, justice, and democratic values across the world, with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. He also currently leads Avaaz’s work on AI and digital rights. He is a respected community organizer and youth leader in Palestine and has been arrested multiple times for his work. Time Magazine named him as one of the new faces of the Middle East. Fadi is deeply engaged in building transformative leadership across the Middle East and North Africa, with the conviction that we can build the collective movements needed to transform the politics of the region and ensure that its people thrive and flourish. Mr. Quran’s work has been covered by the Economist, the New York Times, Le Monde, Al-Jazeera, and other news outlets. You can follow him on Twitter @fadiquran.
Director of Mülkiye Migration Research Center of Ankara University, Faculty of Political Science (SBF) since February 2022 . He was a fellow at CATS (Centre for Applied Türkiye Studies) of SWP (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik -German Institute for International and Security Affairs) in Berlin between April 2022-January 20223. Prof. Erdoğan is a member of UNESCO-Turkey Communication Committee, board member of ISC of Metropolis International and the President of IGAM-Academy. He was between 2017-2022 at Turkish German University. He was also the founder and director of the Migration and Integration Research Center of TAGU between November 2017, May 2021; and Hacettepe University Migration and Politics Research Center (HUGO) between 2009-2017. His academic research interests include voluntary and forced migration, refugees, people of Turkish origin living abroad, EU, political cartoons, political behaviour, Islamophobia, and Germany and Turkish foreign policy. He conducts comprehensive public opinion research on a regular basis and publishes particularly the “Euro-Turks-Barometre” on Turkish diaspora in Europe, and the “Syrians Barometer” on Syrians in Turkey.
ASK is the founder & CEO of Youth Impact, an award winning not for profit, having trained 26,000+ youth across five continents on earth. ASK, a cancer survivor, who has dedicated his second life to empower youth of the world, has introduced ‘Markhor’, Himalaya’s unique wilderness-based youth leadership conference held annually since 2013. A published author, founded leadership development organizations in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, has leadership development experience of more than 20 years. ASK is specialized in wilderness and adventure-based leadership development programs. Being an adventure enthusiast, he is first Pakistani to graduate from National Outdoor Leadership School, USA. He is also certified in ‘Train the Trainer’ from American Management Association, Chicago. ASK holds multiple Leadership Fellowship including at Stanford University’s ‘Executive Program for Nonprofits, International Visitors Leadership Program by US State Department, South East Asia Leadership Academy, Executive Endeavor Award in Australia and many more.
She was born on 4th of January, 1969, in Sivas, where she also went primary, secondary and high
school. She started Marmara University Faculty of Law in 1985. After the Faculty of Law, she
graduated from Anadolu University Faculty of Economics, Department of International Affairs.
She worked as project designer and marketer in a private software company in between 1989
and 1991, and then on analysing and reporting for an engineering company in between 1992
and 1995. She started practising law in 1996. She served as manager in Association for Human
Rights and Solidarity for the Oppressed People (MAZLUMDER) in between 1996 and 2012, and
also served as manager in Human Rights and Freedom Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) in
between 2004 and 2018.
In 2009, she took a crucial part in the main coordination for Viva Palestina – Gaza Convoy, which
organized the Turkey part by IHH, and took an active part on the convoy’s arrival in Gaza and on
making a breach on the embargo and blockade. She also took a crucial part as a manager in the
Gaza Freedom Flotilla organization in 2010, and is a participant of the Mavi Marmara ship. She
built the project of Conscience Convoy for the Syrian women that are being tortured and raped,
and draw the world’s attention on the war-weary women by gathering 10.000 women all around
the world on the border of Syria. This project is still continued with the name Conscience
Movement by herself.
She took actions on various both international and national studies on human rights, and
published a wide range of reports and articles, besides, a book. She became members of the
Turkey Human Rights Institution and Committee of Prevention of Torture. She occasionally took
parts in İstanbul Bar Association Human Rights Commission. She also attended a wide range of
educational classes and courses such as management, marketing, communication, crisis
management, planning, project management, capacity building, various law programs,
conciliation, arbitration, humanitarian diplomacy, international law and human rights, and gave
lectures on human rights, right of organization, law of associations and so forth.
For the trial of war crimes and crimes against Humanity in Mavi Marmara, Iraq, Syria and Yemen,
within the scope of universal jurisdiction, she has cases in universal crime courts, such as
International Criminal Court, besides her various cases on individual human rights violations.
She still continues practising law.
Hasan Abo-Shally is a visionary tech entrepreneur and social innovator committed to creating scalable solutions with lasting social impact. He is currently the CEO and co-founder of GoodDeeds.AI — a tech startup utilizing advanced AI to help impact-organizations efficiently generate, fund, and execute high-impact projects at any scale. With GoodDeeds.AI, Hasan envisions a world where everyone is empowered to amplify and fulfill their goodness potential.
Hasan’s tech journey commenced in high school, where he developed and sold his own software. Following diverse software-engineering and product-design roles, he transitioned to product-management, contributing to Microsoft’s cybersecurity team and several startup companies in fintech, healthcare, and education.
Hasan holds an MBA from the Technion and a B.A. in communication and interactive media from The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC), where he also served on the research team of the Media Innovation Lab (miLAB), exploring human-computer interactions, experiences of life-long learning, and critical design.
Parallel to his tech career, Hasan has been actively involved in social innovation and entrepreneurship; over the past decade he has initiated and advised several local and international initiatives, leveraging his diverse expertise to foster effective social impact.
In 2013, at 22, Hasan established “Hasoub,” a grassroots nonprofit which raised over $10M to foster tech entrepreneurship as an economic lever for the Arab Palestinian minority in Israel. Three years later, he founded “Ibtekar,” a social enterprise offering affordable STEAM education to underserved kids and youth, with an emphasis on technology, craft, and digital creativity. Today, Hasan serves on Hasoub’s board and presides as chairman of Hasoub Labs.
Among several prestigious listings and fellowships, Hasan was featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2017, and his TEDx talk in 2019 was spotlighted by the TED team, reaching tens of thousands of people. His combined technological innovation and social dedication forge a unique path, pursuing a world of meaning, compassion, and prosperity.
Riyaad Minty is the ex Manager of Digital Strategy at TRT World. Previously, he founded AJ+, one of the world’s largest news publishers for a digital generation, in San Francisco as part of the Al Jazeera Media Network. Riyaad spent a decade at Al Jazeera as part of the network’s New Media team, building the networks global strategy across social platforms as the Head of Social Media. He is recognised as a leader in the space of digital media and regularly speaks at conferences and universities around the world on the shifts within the media industry. He joined TRT World in Istanbul in 2016 to help build the digital arm of the new network.
Omar Alshogre is a Syrian public speaker and human rights advocate, who endured three years of unjust imprisonment before being smuggled and brought to safety. Currently, he serves as the Director of Detainees Affairs for the Syrian Emergency Task Force dedicating himself to the critical cause of advocating for the release of those unjustly detained. Omar’s public speaking engagements focus on the essential elements of Effective Storytelling, Leadership in Crisis, and Trauma as a Driving Force. He has presented his insights at several world-renowned universities, organizations, and businesses, including Harvard, Georgetown, CNN, Aljazeera, BCG and Spotify, captivating audiences with his compelling personal experiences and enlightening perspectives on the intersection of advocacy and personal growth.
Mustafa is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. His
areas of research include Growth and Development, Macroeconomics and Applied
Econometrics. He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge, Centre for
Development Studies, under the supervision of Dr. Ha Joon Chang, about the impact of fiscal
policies on economic growth at different stages of development. Before joining Boğaziçi
University, he worked as a teaching fellow at the Department of Development Studies at
SOAS between 2019-2021 and published semi-academic discussion papers at TRT World
Research Centre between 2018-2021. Mustafa holds two BA degrees (Economics and
Sociology) from Boğaziçi University.
Abdur Rasjid Skinner took a double honours degree in Anthropology and Psychology from the
University of Durham. He then went on to take an M.Sc. in Abnormal Psychology, and qualify as a
Clinical Psychologist at the Queens’ University Belfast, while also training in Jungian Analysis.
He has been in professional practice as a Clinical Psychologist since 1976 and was appointed to a
hospital Consultants position in 1990. He has lectured in clinical psychology at the Universities of
Leeds and Sheffield. He has taught at the Cambridge Muslim College. He is an Associate Fellow of the
British Psychological Society, a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and a Fellow of The
Royal Society of Medicine.
He presented his first paper on Islamic Psychology to the IIIC London Conference ‘Traditions,
Paradigms and Basic Concepts in Islamic Psychology’, in 1989; (revised and republished in 2018); and
he has been active in developing the field with the late Malik Badri and others since then.
10 years ago he devised and began teaching 5 day intensive training programmes on Islamic
Psychology and therapy. In 2014 he helped establish ‘Ihsaan’. – the first Islamically based integrated
psychological therapy service in the UK..
He is a director of the International Association for Islamic Psychology, and holds visiting
professorships at the University of Karachi and the I.I.U. Islamabad.
His most recent peer reviewed paper is: Hasan, W. and Skinner, R. Decolonising Psychology: Back to
the future. The Psychologist. September, 2022. 84-86.
Mehmet Asutay is a Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Political Economy & Finance at the
Durham University Business School and the Director of the Durham Centre in Islamic Economics
Mehmet’s teaching, research, publication, and supervision of research is all in Islamic moral
economy/Islamic economics, Islamic political economy, Islamic finance and banking, Islamic
governance and management and the Middle Eastern political economies.
His articles on his research interest have appeared in various international academic journals
and professional magazines. He has also published manuscripts and edited books on aspects of
Islamic moral economy and Islamic finance, the latest of which are: A Model for Islamic
Development: An Approach in Islamic Moral Economy (with S. Jan, 2019), Mapping the Risks
and Risk Management Practices in Islamic Banking (with W. Eid, 2019).
Mehmet’s recent research includes the construction of Islamic moral economy and Islamic
political economy; and their articulation in economic and sustainable development. In addition,
his research focused on locating Islamic banking and finance within the expressed ideals of
Islamic moral economy by essentialising sharing and collaborative economy nature of Islamic
finance. Mehmet is also involved in empirical research in various aspects and dynamics of
Islamic banking and finance, as well as examining the political economy determinants and
consequences of various Islamic finance industry development models.
Mehmet has acted as a consultant to COMCEC (part of OIC), CIBAFI and UNDP-IICPSD on
various projects, and was also a member of the Board of Directors of Albaraka Turk Islamic Bank
Mehmet is the Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Islam and Society, the International
Journal of Islamic Economics and Finance Studies, and the Review of Islamic Economics.
Mehmet is also a Board Member of the International Association for Islamic Economics.
Zamzam Ibrahim is a British-Somali activist; she has spent the past decade representing students and young people advocating on various causes related to social justice, education, and the environment. As a young climate activist, she co-founded Students Organising for Sustainability UK (SOS-UK), She is also a co-founder and Chair of the Muslim Leadership Foundation. In 2019, launched the Climate Education Bill, which calls for mandatory climate education in schools throughout the UK. She’s the Former Vice President of the European Students Union (ESU), Chair Muslim Leadership Foundation (MLFUK) and the former National President of the National Union of Students in the UK (NUSUK). She currently serves as a board member of SOS International and SOSUK, works as a consultant for Julie’s Bicycle, amongst various other projects and has been selected as a Youth Advisor on UN Green Jobs Pact.
Arwa Damon is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and president and founder of the International Network for Aid, Relief, and Assistance (INARA), a nonprofit organization that focuses on building a network of logistical support and medical care to help children who need lifesaving or life-altering medical treatment in war-torn nations.
Until June 2022, Damon, an award-winning journalist covering the Middle East, was a senior international correspondent based in CNN’s Istanbul bureau. During her sixteen years at CNN, she reported from across the region, including extensive coverage of Iraq and Syria. In 2018, she was awarded the George Foster Peabody Award for her reporting on the fall of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, in addition to winning three Emmys for that coverage, including an Emmy for Outstanding News Special for Return to Mosul. At the height of Europe’s refugee crisis in 2015, Damon followed and reported on refugees from Syria and Iraq as they traveled across the continent by foot, boat, and train, resulting in coverage that earned her both an Emmy Award and Gracie Award in 2016.
Before joining CNN, Damon spent three years covering Iraq and the Middle East as a freelance producer for various news organizations including Feature Story News, PBS, and CNN.
Inspired by her experience reporting from war zones and war-torn nations, Damon launched INARA in 2015. INARA’s impact has been recognized by several awards, including the 2017 James W. Foley Humanitarian Award; the World of Children’s 2017 Crisis Award; the Syrian-American Medical Society’s Humanitarian Award; and Time Warner’s 2016 Richard Parsons Community Impact Award and Excellence in Service Award.
Damon graduated with honors from Skidmore College in New York with a double major in French and biology and a minor in international affairs. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts but spent most of her childhood in Morocco and Turkey. She is fluent in Arabic, French, and Turkish.
Yaqeen Sikander is internationally recognized for his amazing ability to bring principles of psychology, spirituality, philosophy and research into practical strategies that accelerate performance, success and empowerment. As a Psychotherapist & Clinical Psychologist, Yaqeen trained in Malaysia, Germany, Turkey & India to develop people-centric interventions that boost individual and organizational success & well-being. Yaqeen has widely travelled to more than 35 countries in the last 5 years to deliver keynotes, workshops, lectures, and training. He is an excellent storyteller and a polyglot who speaks English, Hindi, Urdu, Turkish, Kashmiri, Arabic & a bit of Malay too. He was a speaker at the recent 2023 G20 Summit in India. Yaqeen creates social media content regularly and has a 100,000 followers who love his content. Yaqeen is currently based in Istanbul, Turkey.
Turgay Aldemir, born in 1967 in Malatya, Turkey, is a versatile individual who ventured into various fields. He pursued Mechanical Engineering at Gaziantep University in 1987 while simultaneously engaging in activities like establishing a bookstore, radio station, and charitable foundation in Gaziantep. His interests extended to research on civil society organizations and social movements in the Islamic world, leading to his involvement in founding the Anadolu Platform in 2006. Aldemir has also authored books and articles on diverse subjects, some of which have been translated into Arabic.
I was born in Fatih, Istanbul in 1989 and was given my grandfather’s name. My fathers’ international investments and occupation required living in various countries around the world: I competed primary school in Rochester, New York, secondary school in Khartoum, Sudan and high school in Johannesburg, South Africa. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Monash University in South Africa and Malaysia. Throughout this time, I have learned both English and Arabic languages.
My professional life began at MON Investment in Johannesburg, a company that takes pride in being a strong bridge between Turkey and African countries. My life has been intertwined with the African continent for as long as I can remember. My principal goal is to draw on my experiences in order to guide anyone who wants to develop diplomatic and economic relations between my homeland, Africa and Gulf countries. My entire professional life has been built around this goal. I have gained invaluable insights and experiences regarding African life and business culture over the years since my youth and have merged them under the umbrella of MON Investment. I have been the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company since 2017.
Entrepreneurship is extremely important for our country and with this awareness I decided to be among the founding partners of H₂O Invest, established in 2020. I also have the added responsibilities of being on the board at SENYAP Investment and partner at Aksan Consulting.
Other Business and Social Responsibilities
I also assume various tasks in professional organizations and NGOs.
Vice President of DEİK Sudan – Turkey Business Council
President of Diplomatic Relations at MÜSİAD
On the Board of Directors for Al Sharq Forum
On the Board of Directors for Forum Istanbul 2023 Conferences
On the Board of Directors for Association of Friends of Africa
On the Board of Directors for Adil Efendi Foundation