Ben Webster, Founder + Director

Ben is the Founder and the Director of the Jamiya, covering coordination of the projects, business development, external partnerships and funding. He recently returned from Jordan working with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on the Syria refugee crisis. He is part of the OuiShare UK network and has led workshops on using peer-to-peer technology in humanitarian aid, as well as previously being a researcher for the UK Government on peer-to-peer platforms. Prior to IOM, Ben worked at the UK Foreign Office, UK Trade & Investment, and Transparency International. Contact Ben


Malaz Safarjalani, Research + Student Outreach

Malaz a Syrian development consultant, is responsible for leading research, student outreach and financial planning. He was one of the authors on the EU Commission’s 2015 report ‘Access to Higher Education for Syrian Refugees and Internal Displaced Persons’. He has an MA in European Economics and Business from the College of Europe in Bruges. Malaz co-founded the Farah Development initiative in Damascus and has worked on financial management in several Syrian enterprises. He has worked on a documentary called ‘The Syrian Spillover’ which focuses on hardships of Syrians in Turkey. Contact Malaz


Dr Oula Abu Amsha, Academic Advisor

Oula, a Computer Science and Applied Mathematics scholar, holds a visiting position at the School of Engineering and Business of the Canton of Vaud. She is Jamiya’s expert in online learning and educational technologies, leading the learning design for Jamiya and the development of the Applied IT pilot course. She has significant experience of e-learning technologies, curriculum development, and education in emergencies, having spent 12 years at Higher Institute for Applied Sciences and Technology in Damascus, as well as working for the University of Geneva, World Bank, UN ESCWA, the University of Damascus, and the Syrian Virtual University. Contact Oula


Paul O’Keeffe, Academic Advisor + Communications

Paul leads the development of the Global Studies course and communications for the Jamiya Project. He is a research fellow at Sapienza University in Rome, where his research focuses on public higher education development in Ethiopia. Paul also has 10 years' international experience teaching at universities and managing NGO programmes in Europe and Asia. He is the co-founder of Contact Paul



Want to join our team? Send us an email telling us why and what you can do (and a CV)!


Jamiya is currently being incubated at the Alexandria Trust, who provide administrative support and a board structure to be accountable to. Visit the Alexandria Trust site to see a full list of their Board.

We are in the process of putting together a board for Jamiya when it is established as a standalone charity. If you think you'd be a great board member , we'd love to hear from you. Let us know here.