Al Sharq Forum is an independent, international non-profit organization that aims to consolidate the values of pluralism and justice, while developing long-term strategies and programs that contribute to the political development, economic prosperity, and social cohesion of the people of the Al Sharq region and the world.

Al Sharq Forum Profile

The Forum consists of three pillars working in tandem to ensure the realization of its mission

Wadah Khanfar

Position: President of Al Sharq Forum

Wadah Khanfar is the President of Al Sharq Forum and was the Director General of the Al Jazeera Network 2003-2011. During his tenure Al Jazeera went from a single channel to a media network with multiple properties including the Al Jazeera Arabic channel, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Documentary, Al Jazeera Sport, Al Jazeera’s news websites.

He has addressed leading political and media think tanks including the Middle East Institute, Wilton Park, Chatham House, New America Foundation, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Wadah Khanfar

President of Al Sharq Forum

Wadah Khanfar is the President of Al Sharq Forum and was the Director General of the Al Jazeera Network 2003-2011. During his tenure Al Jazeera went from a single channel...

Nicci Enchmarch

Position: Managing Director at Al Sharq Forum

Nicola Enchmarch is the Managing Director of Al Sharq Forum in the United Kingdom. She has a wealth of commercial and Not for Profit experience acquired over 20+ years in business and management consultancy roles across multiple industry sectors within the UK, New Zealand, Europe and the MENA region. Nicola has experience working in multi-national and cross-functional environments from enterprise-wide to micro-level projects. Nicola holds a BRS in Environmental Studies and continues to maintain an active interest within this field.

Nicci Enchmarch

Managing Director at Al Sharq Forum

Nicola Enchmarch is the Managing Director of Al Sharq Forum in the United Kingdom. She has a wealth of commercial and Not for Profit experience acquired over 20+ years in...

Mercedes Bellavista

Position: Executive Secretary & Project Manager

Throughout her professional life, Mercedes has performed several roles, such as manager`s assistant, executive secretary, as well as project manager and worked with international companies, consulting firms and foundations in Spain, Switzerland, the United States and the United Kingdom. With an excellent ability to assess any situation, Mercedes provides a personalized approach and a smooth and easy communication style, and has the ability to adapt to a wide variety of environments and cultures

Her current roles in Al Sharq Forum Geneva: Executive Secretary and Project Manager

Mercedes Bellavista

Executive Secretary & Project Manager

Throughout her professional life, Mercedes has performed several roles, such as manager`s assistant, executive secretary, as well as project manager and worked with international companies, consulting firms and foundations in...

Mohammad Affan

Position: Acting Director of Al Sharq Strategic Research

Mohammad Affan is the acting director of Al Sharq Strategic Research, the coordinator of Al Sharq Program on Political Islam, and the managing director of Al Sharq Academia. A medical doctor by training, he holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. Also, he obtained his MA degree in Comparative Politics at the American University of Cairo. His 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.’ 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, and a diploma in Islamic Studies from The Higher Institute for Islamic Studies, Cairo. His research interests include Islamism and democratization in MENA region.

Mohammad Affan

Acting Director of Al Sharq Strategic Research

Mohammad Affan is the acting director of Al Sharq Strategic Research, the coordinator of Al Sharq Program on Political Islam, and the managing director of Al Sharq Academia. A medical...

Yaser Sayed Omar

Position: Administrative Director

Administrative Director at Al Sharq Forum. Yaser has a +10 years Experience in the field of Management, Human Development, and Nonprofit Organizations. He also co-founded a number of civil society organizations working to provide support in the fields of education, charity, and human rights. He is a blogger and writer in many websites, including Huffington Post Arabi.

Yaser Sayed Omar

Administrative Director

Administrative Director at Al Sharq Forum. Yaser has a +10 years Experience in the field of Management, Human Development, and Nonprofit Organizations. He also co-founded a number of civil society...

Basheer Nafi

Position: Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Basheer Nafi is a Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and Senior Research Fellow at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies. He writes weekly columns for Middle East eye.

Research Interests: Egypt, Iraq, Political Islam, and Middle Eastern Politics in General.

Basheer Nafi

Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Basheer Nafi is a Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and Senior Research Fellow at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies. He writes weekly columns for Middle East eye....

Galip Dalay

Position: Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Galip Dalay is a Senior associate fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and Al Jazeera Center for Studies. He previously worked as a visiting fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin and as a political researcher at SETA Foundation in Ankara. He is a regular contributor to German Marshall Fund of the United States’ on Turkey policy brief series, and a columnist for Middle East Eye.

Research Interests: Turkish Politics, Turkish Foreign Policy, Regional Kurdish politics, Political Islam, and Radical Movements.

Galip Dalay

Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Galip Dalay is a Senior associate fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and Al Jazeera Center for Studies. He previously worked as a visiting fellow at the German Institute for...

Sinan Hatahet

Position: Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Sinan Hatahet is a Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research. He is currently a consultant working with a number of think tanks on Syria.He previously worked as the executive director of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) media office since its establishment in late 2012 until September 2014.

Research Interest: Governance and local councils, anti-radicalization, Islamism, the Kurdish National Movement, and the new regional order in the Middle East.

Sinan Hatahet

Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Sinan Hatahet is a Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research. He is currently a consultant working with a number of think tanks on Syria.He previously worked as the...

Omer Aslan

Position: Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Omer Aslan is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and an assistant professor of International Relations at Yıldırım Beyazıt University. He received his Ph.D. from Bilkent University.

Research Interests: Military and politics in the Sharq region, radicalization, and foreign fighters.

Omer Aslan

Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Omer Aslan is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and an assistant professor of International Relations at Yıldırım Beyazıt University. He received his Ph.D. from Bilkent University. Research...

Larbi Sadiki

Position: Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Larbi Sadiki is a Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research. He is a Professor of Arab Democratization at Qatar University and the author of The Search for Arab Democracy: Discourses and Counter-Discourses (Columbia University Press, 2004) and Rethinking Arab Democratization: Elections without Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2009). Most recently, he is editor of Routledge Handbook of Middle East Politics: Interdisciplinary Inscriptions (2020). He is also Lead Principal Investigator in the four-year QNRF-funded project titled “Transitions of Islam and Democracy: Engendering ‘Democratic Learning’ and Civic Identities.”

Research Interests: Democratization, Democracy and Islamism, Arab Spring, New Politics and Protest, and Arab politics in general.

Larbi Sadiki

Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Larbi Sadiki is a Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research. He is a Professor of Arab Democratization at Qatar University and the author of The Search for Arab...

Mesut Özcan

Position: Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Mesut Özcan is a Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a professor at the Social Sciences University of Ankara.

Mesut Özcan

Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Mesut Özcan is a Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a professor at the Social Sciences University of Ankara.

Yilmaz Ensaroğlu

Position: Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Yilmaz Ensaroğlu a Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research. He previously served as the president of “The Association of Human Rights & Solidarity for Oppressed People” (MAZLUMDER) between 1996 and 2004. He is a member of Human Rights Agenda Association (İHGD) and Human Rights Research Association (İHAD). He has authored many articles on issues of human rights, civil society, democratization, security sector reform, civil-military relations, Kurdish question, among others topics.

Research Interests: Conflict & Peace Studies, Reconciliation, and Human Rights.

Yilmaz Ensaroğlu

Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

Yilmaz Ensaroğlu a Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research. He previously served as the president of “The Association of Human Rights & Solidarity for Oppressed People” (MAZLUMDER) between...

Talal Kanaan

Position: Al Sharq Youth General Coordinator

 

Talal is the General Coordinator for Al Sharq Youth Network. He holds a Masters of Engineering from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Nottingham. He advises various UN agencies, NGOs, and humanitarian organizations on challenges at the intersection of renewable energy, infrastructure resilience, and climate change. His interests broadly lie in systemic change, transitions, and reform in the Arab world and the wider MENA region.

Talal Kanaan

Al Sharq Youth General Coordinator

  Talal is the General Coordinator for Al Sharq Youth Network. He holds a Masters of Engineering from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Engineering from the University...

Kamaran M. Palani

Position: Associate Fellow

Kamaran is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a Lecturer in International Relations at Salahaddin University-Erbil. Palani is also a Research Fellow at the Middle East Research Institute. He is currently finalizing his PhD study at Leiden University.

Research Interests: Iraqi politics, regional Kurdish politics, de facto statehood in the international system, and violent extremism in the Middle East.

Kamaran M. Palani

Associate Fellow

Kamaran is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a Lecturer in International Relations at Salahaddin University-Erbil. Palani is also a Research Fellow at the Middle East Research...

Tamer Badawi

Position: Associate Fellow

Tamer Badawi is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a Program Associate at the Middle East Directions Program at the European University Institute. He was previously a Policy Leader Fellow at the School of Transnational Governance in the European University Institute and prior to that a Research Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research.

Tamer Badawi

Associate Fellow

Tamer Badawi is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a Program Associate at the Middle East Directions Program at the European University Institute. He was previously a...

Thembisa Fakude

Position: Associate Fellow

Thembisa Fakude is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research in Istanbul, Turkey. Deputy Chairperson Common Action Forum, Madrid, Spain. Columnist Middle East Monitor London, United Kingdom. Member of the Board Mail and Guardian, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Thembisa Fakude

Associate Fellow

Thembisa Fakude is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research in Istanbul, Turkey. Deputy Chairperson Common Action Forum, Madrid, Spain. Columnist Middle East Monitor London, United Kingdom. Member of...

Amjad Atallah

Position: Associate Fellow

Amjad Atallah is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and the CEO of Vortex International and was a legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team from 2000 to 2003. He was most recently the Editor-in-Chief for Al Jazeera America and the former Bureau Chief for Al Jazeera English in the America.

Amjad Atallah

Associate Fellow

Amjad Atallah is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and the CEO of Vortex International and was a legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team from 2000 to...

Muhanad Seloom

Position: Associate Fellow

Muhanad Seloom is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and an independent analyst and academic researcher into ethno-sectarian conflicts. He is also the co-founder of the Iraqi Research Network (IRN), a non-profit research centre based in London. He is an associate lecturer in International Relations at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom.

Muhanad Seloom

Associate Fellow

Muhanad Seloom is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and an independent analyst and academic researcher into ethno-sectarian conflicts. He is also the co-founder of the Iraqi Research...

Yury Barmin

Position: Associate Fellow

Yury Barmin is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a risk consultant whose work focuses on issues related to the Middle East and Russia’s positioning there. He is an Expert at the Russian International Affairs Council, covering the Middle East and North Africa and Moscow’s policy towards the region as well as the conflict in Syria. Mr Barmin holds an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge; his dissertation looked into the failed Arab Spring protests in Bahrain and Kuwait.

 

Yury Barmin

Associate Fellow

Yury Barmin is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a risk consultant whose work focuses on issues related to the Middle East and Russia’s positioning there. He...

Inga Kristina Trauthig

Position: Associate Fellow

Inga Kristina Trauthig is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a Research Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) and a PhD candidate at the War Studies Department at King’s College London. Her research focusses on non-state actors in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly Libya. At King’s College, she convenes the MENA Research Group within the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies (IMES). She also works on broader issues concerning violent extremism in Europe and the US. Inga has conducted work with UN-organisations, NGOs and private companies that addressed root causes of civil strife as well as practical and ideological competition between state and non-state actors in the Middle East. She holds an MLitt in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies from the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

Inga Kristina Trauthig

Associate Fellow

Inga Kristina Trauthig is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a Research Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) and a PhD candidate...

Betul Dogan Akkas

Position: Associate Fellow

Betul Dogan Akkas is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a PhD candidate at joint degree program between Qatar University Gulf Studies Center and Durham University School of Government and International Affairs. She also received her MA degree with a thesis titled “Securitization of Qatari Foreign Policy” at Qatar University. Dogan Akkas completed her BA in International Relations at Bilkent University. Following her undergraduate studies, she conducted field research in Jenin, Palestine. Her research interests and publications include foreign policymaking, security strategies and social transformation of the Gulf Monarchies and Yemen.

Betul Dogan Akkas

Associate Fellow

Betul Dogan Akkas is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a PhD candidate at joint degree program between Qatar University Gulf Studies Center and Durham University School...

Fırat Kimya

Position: Associate Fellow

Fırat Kimya is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a PhD Candidate in the department of Politics at the University of Virginia.  His research explores the formation of democratic institutions, particularly political parties, before and after democratic transition processes. Regionally, He is interested in Europe and MENA, utilizing a comparative approach to the study of democratization. His research interests include political parties, corruption and party finance, democratization in the MENA, social movements, European politics, and democratic consolidation.

Fırat Kimya

Associate Fellow

Fırat Kimya is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a PhD Candidate in the department of Politics at the University of Virginia.  His research explores the formation...

M. Nurullah Gulec

Position: Associate Fellow

M. Nurullah Gulec is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a graduated from Bogazici University with bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Mathematics. Then, he completed his MPhil in Economics at the University of Oxford. He is now continuing his Ph.D. studies in Economics at Duke University. He is interested in industrial organization, development, and political economy.

M. Nurullah Gulec

Associate Fellow

M. Nurullah Gulec is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research and a graduated from Bogazici University with bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Mathematics. Then, he completed his MPhil...

Mehmet Emin Cengiz

Position: Researcher at Al Sharq Strategic

Mehmet Emin Cengiz is a Research Assistant at Al Sharq Strategic Research. He received his B.A. in the Sociology Department from Ege University in 2016. During his B.A. he attended the Erasmus+ Program and studied at Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf as an international exchange student in Germany. Cengiz received his master’s degree from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the Middle East at Marmara University in 2020. His pieces regarding the Syrian war and non-state armed actors have appeared in national and international media outlets and think tanks.
His research interests are: Syrian Conflict, Non-State Armed Actors, Turkish Foreign Policy, Volunteer Foreign Fighters, Regional Kurdish Politics, and Political Islam.

Mehmet Emin Cengiz

Researcher at Al Sharq Strategic

Mehmet Emin Cengiz is a Research Assistant at Al Sharq Strategic Research. He received his B.A. in the Sociology Department from Ege University in 2016. During his B.A. he attended...

Rawan Hammoud

Position: Researcher at Al Sharq Strategic

Rawan Hammoud is a research assistant at Al Sharq Strategic Research Center. She holds an MA from New York University and a BA from the American University of Beirut. Her work focuses primarily on the socio-political transformations in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings.

Rawan Hammoud

Researcher at Al Sharq Strategic

Rawan Hammoud is a research assistant at Al Sharq Strategic Research Center. She holds an MA from New York University and a BA from the American University of Beirut. Her...

Osama El-Mourabit

Position: Researcher at Al Sharq Strategic

Osama El-Mourabit is a research assistant and program coordinator at Al Sharq Forum. He holds a MA in International Relations from the University of Humboldt-Berlin with a thesis on « the EU discourse towards the Southern Mediterranean: from the EMP to the ENP », and he is currently doing his PhD in Area Studies at the Middle East Technical University.

He has previously worked in various institutions, with research experiences at the Policy Center for the New South, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), and the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA). His research focus includes the Global and Regional Power Competition in the Middle East, Identity and Foreign Policy, and the Soft Power theory.

Osama El-Mourabit

Researcher at Al Sharq Strategic

Osama El-Mourabit is a research assistant and program coordinator at Al Sharq Forum. He holds a MA in International Relations from the University of Humboldt-Berlin with a thesis on «...

Yahya Zakaria

Position: Al Sharq Youth Impact Lead

Yahya Zakaria is Al Sharq Youth Impact Platform lead. He has engineering bachelor’s degree from Alexandria university and master’s degree from Istanbul University in Turkey & Koblenz university in Germany on entrepreneurial organizations design. He participated in the establishment of projects that serve entrepreneurship ecosystems in several countries including Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. As an organization designer Yahya supports organizations to be more purpose-driven, networked, adaptable, and humane in complex and fast changing environments.

Yahya Zakaria

Al Sharq Youth Impact Lead

Yahya Zakaria is Al Sharq Youth Impact Platform lead. He has engineering bachelor’s degree from Alexandria university and master’s degree from Istanbul University in Turkey & Koblenz university in Germany...

Mohamed Hegazy

Position: Al Sharq Youth Fellowship Lead

Al Sharq Fellowship Program Coordinator. Mohamed Hegazy holds a master degree in mechanical engineering from Alexandria University and a master degree  in entrepreneurship & development management from Bahceşehir University.

Mohamed, has over 8 years of experience in consultation in the fields of NGO management, education, business development, organizational development, election campaign management, organizational change, strategic communication and Crisis management.

Mohamed co-founded a number of civil society organizations and social initiatives mainly in the field of informal education. 

Mohamed Hegazy

Al Sharq Youth Fellowship Lead

Al Sharq Fellowship Program Coordinator. Mohamed Hegazy holds a master degree in mechanical engineering from Alexandria University and a master degree  in entrepreneurship & development management from Bahceşehir University. Mohamed,...

Ali Beştaş

Position: Resource Mobilization and Partnership Coordinator

Ali Beştaş is a Resource Mobilization and Partnership Coordinator at Al Sharq Forum. Beştaş graduated from Marmara University, Department of Political Science and International Relations and received his MA in Conflict Analysis and Resolutions from Sabancı University. Beştaş previously worked in the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s Human Rights Investigation Commission, Sabancı University Istanbul Policy Centre, Checks and Balances Network, and the U.S. Department of State-U.S. Embassy Turkey.

Ali Beştaş

Resource Mobilization and Partnership Coordinator

Ali Beştaş is a Resource Mobilization and Partnership Coordinator at Al Sharq Forum. Beştaş graduated from Marmara University, Department of Political Science and International Relations and received his MA in...

Beshr Abdulhadi

Position: Social Media Specialist

Beshr Abdulhadi is the Communication Officer of Al Sharq Academia. Beshr is a blogger and social media specialist,focusing on marketing and the media industry. Beshr is studying media and mass communication

Beshr Abdulhadi

Social Media Specialist

Beshr Abdulhadi is the Communication Officer of Al Sharq Academia. Beshr is a blogger and social media specialist,focusing on marketing and the media industry. Beshr is studying media and mass...

Firdaous Amri

Position: HR & Admin Coordinator

Firdaous Amri is the HR & Admin Coordinator at Al Sharq Forum. She completed her undergraduate program in History department at Istanbul Sehir University. Firdaous has been actively working in many NGO’s in Turkey and was member of Istanbul Cosmopolitan Municipality Youth Assembly. She took part in organizing several youth conferences and social activities, Turk Arab Youth Congress (TAYC) and Ramadan Tent 2014 and 2015.

Firdaous Amri

HR & Admin Coordinator

Firdaous Amri is the HR & Admin Coordinator at Al Sharq Forum. She completed her undergraduate program in History department at Istanbul Sehir University. Firdaous has been actively working in...

Jawad Abazeed

Position: Head of Information Management

Jawad Abazeed is the Head of Information Management at Al Sharq Forum. He was the Community Coordinator for Al Sharq Youth Network from 2015 to 2016. He studied accounting at the University of Science and Technology in Yemen. Previously, he worked in accounting and operation management, and was an IT instructor.

Jawad Abazeed

Head of Information Management

Jawad Abazeed is the Head of Information Management at Al Sharq Forum. He was the Community Coordinator for Al Sharq Youth Network from 2015 to 2016. He studied accounting at...