Our Advisors

Muna AbuSulayman

Cultural Advisor

Muna AbuSulayman

Cultural Advisor

Muna AbuSulayman has had immense experience in the field of development, women empowerment, and poverty alleviation. She was appointed by the UNDP as the first Saudi Arabian woman to become a Goodwill Ambassador, as well as UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador. Muna also built the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation from the ground up and served as the Secretary General and Executive Director. She focused on four areas; promoting East/West dialogue, women empowerment poverty alleviation and disaster relief.

In addition, Muna’s role as co-host of the Arab world’s #1 talk show has served as a public platform to discuss social issues. She is a Regional Expert for the UN World Humanitarian Summit, and board member for several other socially driven establishments, such as Strategic Sustainability Solutions (3S); a fast growing Saudi company, providing consultancy services in sustainability. She also serves as an advisor in a number of organizations, such as her role as Media Advisor for MiSK Foundation.  Muna has received many awards and recognitions, most recently she has been named one of the “100 Most Powerful Arabs” by Gulf Business Magazine for her work on Entrepreneurship and Humanitarian Development. She is only the second Saudi woman to be included on this gender-neutral list, alongside 24 other Arab and Arab Diaspora women.

تحظى السيدة منى ابوسليمان بخبرة طويلة في مجالات التنمية وتمكين المرأة والحد من الفقر. اختارها برنامج الأمم المتحدة الإنمائي لتكون أول

Safaa Haddad

Academic Advisor

Safaa Haddad

Academic Advisor

Safaa joined Adri as a Relationship Advisor. He obtained his B.Eng and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Liverpool University/UK. He then taught Telecommunications at the University of Technology - Baghdad and Malaysia Technical University before immigrating to New Zealand. In New Zealand he worked for Telecom (now Sparks) as a Cellular Engineer and for BCL (now Kordia) as a Consultant Engineer. Later, Safaa made a career change by joining the Department of Labour as a Sector Advisor working with the Dairy and the Tourism sectors before joining Immigration New Zealand (INZ) as a Business Relationship Advisor.  He has now retired from INZ and enjoys travelling and social interaction.

Dave Moskovitz

Business Advisor

Dave Moskovitz

Business Advisor

Dave Moskovitz is a professional director and angel investor. He serves on the boards of a number of startups and larger organisations, and is a member of the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Ministerial Advisory Group reporting to Minister Clare Curran.
Dave was born in California and immigrated to New Zealand in 1982. He began his career in software development, studied computational lexicography and linguistics at the postgraduate level, and cofounded one of Wellington’s early Internet companies. Since selling that company, he has worked with startups, SMEs, corporates, and government to make the most of their use of digital technology and compete globally. He’s also involved in a number of philanthropic, non-profit, and interfaith organisations.

Dr Ayman Tawalbeh

Academic Adviser

Dr Ayman Tawalbeh

Academic Adviser

Dr Ayman Tawalbeh holds a PhD in Linguistics from Victoria University of Wellington. He brings with him a wealth of local and international teaching experience which has facilitated the development of strong interpersonal communication skills and cross-cultural understanding. Ayman is trained to carry out independent research and has published and presented research in the field of Arabic Sociolinguistics and Intercultural Communication at local and international conferences. As an Academic Adviser with ADRI, Ayman brings a passion for and understanding of Arabic language and research and looks forward to working with colleagues in solving key issues related to the accessibility of Arabic research. Ayman has recently collaborated with Wellington Radio Access to establish and present NZ’s first Arabic radio programme. He is also passionate about voluntary work and has been volunteering with Red Cross and English Language Partners in the capacity of helping Syrian refugees settle in Wellington.

Dr. Basem Al-Raba’a

Academic Advisor

Dr. Basem Al-Raba’a

Academic Advisor

Basem Al-Raba’a holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from Indiana University Bloomington. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies at Oberlin College, teaching both language and content courses. His main area of research is Arabic syntax, but he also presents and publishes on Arabic phonology and sociolinguistics. Basem has recently joined the Arabic Digital Reform Institute (ADRI) as an academic advisor and will be reviewing and revising Arabic texts for digitization.

 

Our Team

Ali Mazraeh
Chief Executive Officer
Ali Mazraeh

Chief Executive Officer

An established IT Manager, Ali is equipped with a rich portfolio of technical and business achievements and an excellent track record of service delivery to various clients. With over 10 years’ experience on various professional platforms and niches in information technologies, Ali carries a reliable wealth of knowledge on how to best deliver the technological services ADRI provides, in order to accomplish its vision.
Ali holds a Master in Strategic Studies and his academic passion revolves around the social and political affairs of Middle East and their international implications.
As a refugee from south-west of Iran, fleeing ethnic persecution, Ali was resettled in New Zealand in May 2009, by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and since has worked hard to create and inspire a bright future for himself and others.

Laurie Ingle
Financial Advisor
Laurie Ingle

Financial Advisor

Laurie is in his final year of a law, accounting and finance degree at Victoria University of Wellington. He has had experience in both corporate finance and public sector finance. He acts as ADRI’s internal financial compliance and financial strategy lead. Laurie is looking forward to new challenges and using his financial skills to help ADRI plan and execute its expansion in the Middle-East. When the weather is nice, Laurie likes to run. When the weather isn’t nice, he enjoys the odd video game.

Michael Karam
Lead Engineer
Michael Karam

Lead Engineer

A Team Leader at ADRI, Michael Karam has a robust experience architecting, developing and testing high-volume businesses of Warehouse Control Systems, Social Networks and LBS based applications.

Michael worked as a DevOps and Cloud Engineer designing and developing deployment pipelines while working closely to companies migrating their projects towards cloud automated infrastructure helping them enable, operate and innovate on the cloud.

Also design for a general purpose Analytics and Machine learning Platforms while working with Business Intelligence companies improving the efficiency of their Data Science teams.

His origin from Egypt and technical background inspired him to join ADRI supporting Arabic scientific content availability online.

Kim Shepherd
Technical Advisor
Kim Shepherd

Technical Advisor

Kim is a Chief Technical Officer at ADRI who seeks to provide some high-level guidance around technical direction, as well as ask as a mentor to the technical staff. Throughout his career, Kim has worked in systems and development teams since 2000, and has eight years of experience with digital libraries, repositories and research management development at the University of Waikato and the University of Auckland. He also joined the DSpace committer team in 2009.

Katharina Schlick
Regional Representative (Europe)
Katharina Schlick

Regional Representative (Europe)

Kat has joined ADRI as its Regional Representative to Europe. This role entails building relationships with donor institutions and cooperation partners in Europe and the Middle East. She has a BA of Modern China from Wuerzburg University (Germany) and Peking University respectively. In 2011, Kat graduated with a Master in Development Studies from Victoria University of Wellington. She then started work for an Egyptian organization working on ecotourism development and local community development in the Sinai. For the past two years, Kat has been engaged as a volunteer for a refugee integration project in Germany. Her experience with refugees and the Middle East fostered her interest for sustainable development in this region, through a knowledge based economy. Kat is convinced that ADRI’s work is filling an important gap for the development goal for the region. In her spare time, Kat has a passion for nature, travelling and outdoor sports. She can also speak German, English, French, Chinese and some Arabic.
Rhiannon Stannard
Senior Operations Officer
Rhiannon Stannard

Senior Operations Officer

Rhiannon is completing the final papers of her law degree, and holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and International Relations, which has prompted her interest in the Arabic language and the Middle Eastern affairs. She is also working as a legal assistant at Adina Thorn Lawyers, a law firm specialising in dispute resolution and litigation, which has further inspired her to work in areas of social need.
Before moving to Auckland, she previously worked as a lifeguard in Wellington, where she was inspired to further explore the unique culture and language of the Arab world that first began at the weekly women's only swimming night. Her volunteer positions at civics education organisations UN Youth NZ and Commonwealth Youth NZ enabled her to work with youth identifying and offering solutions to world issues, and has further driven her interest in ADRI's mission to achieve social change.
In the extremely small breath of time where she is not studying or working Rhiannon enjoys playing bass guitar, swimming and writing her collection of short stories.
Amelia Bowers
Executive Assistant
Amelia Bowers

Executive Assistant

Amelia is in her fifth and final year of an LLB/BA conjoint at Victoria University in Wellington. As an International Relations and Religious Studies major, she is particularly interested in the Middle East and the numerous socio-religious and political issues stemming from this region. Amelia was previously a Law Clerk at a Wellington based firm specialising in Constitutional issues and dealt extensively with the Treaty of Waitangi, a role which further inspired her desire to meet social issues domestically and internationally. She is extremely excited to use the knowledge from her studies in a practical way within ADRI, and is currently working on effectively illustrating what ADRI seeks to achieve as a social enterprise. On the weekends Amelia likes to beat her partner at Golf, and read any and all books that are not already prescribed by the Uni.

Fayez Shahbaz
Strategic Advisor
Fayez Shahbaz

Strategic Advisor

Fayez is in his final year of a double degree in Law and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science and International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington. Fayez brings a wealth of legal skills and experience to the team, having previously led the Wellington Community Justice Project for several years as its Student Director and summer clerked at Buddle Findlay, one of New Zealand's leading commercial law firms.
Being passionate about social issues and having grown up in the Middle East means Fayez has a special connection to the ADRI project and its vision. He believes ADRI is filling a gap in the community, and is looking forward to assisting ADRI as one of its Strategic Advisers. When he is not working, you'll find Fayez playing (rather unsuccessfully) football or caught up in the thick of a good book, movie, or TV program.

Maryam Alhaseny
Branding Specialist
Maryam Alhaseny

Branding Specialist

Maryam was born and raised in New Zealand by Iraqi parents, whose culture and traditions has had a great and inspiring influence on her worldview. She is currently working part time as a Brand Expert, while completing a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Visual Communications. Maryam's role within ADRI is a Branding Specialist, designing and implementing the user experience. With a sound understanding of both New Zealand and Middle Eastern culture, Maryam is passionate about visually merging the two cultures within this incredible company.

 

Yousuf Ahmad
Business Development Manager
Yousuf Ahmad

Business Development Manager

Yousuf is in his 5th year of a LLB/Bcom degree at Victoria University of Wellington. He is currently assisting ADRI as the Project Manager of the Crowd Funding Campaign, alongside his broader role within the enterprise as the Business Development Manager. Yousuf is passionate about social issues, and accordingly has just finished a 3-year project in the Wellington District Court creating a Welfare Advocacy service. He also has over 3 years’ experience in training and compliance for Microsoft NZ’s consumer retail channels. Yousuf is looking forward to new challenges and using his skills to bring a fresh perspective to the social enterprise model of ADRI.
When the stars align and the Wellington weather behaves, Yousuf is an avid but ineffective fisherman – at least the local fish are well fed! He also fantasises about cars that he cannot afford.