Rouba Mhaissen Director SAWA for development and Aid (2) (700x467)

Expert on the Syrian refugee crisis            


“Today we are living in a world where we as individuals ask in everything – in love, in relationships, in work – we ask, ‘What’s in it for us?’ I want to remind each and every one of you of Pastor Martin Niemoller’s poem speaking about the rise of the Nazis: “First they came for the socialists and I didn’t speak because I wasn’t a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.” Rouba speaking at a conference about Syria in London, February 2014

Rouba is an economist and development practitioner. She is an expert on the Syrian refugee crisis generally, and its implications for Lebanon in particular.

She has participated in conferences, consultancies and research focus groups on the humanitarian crisis of Syrian refugees; activism in the Arab world and building solidarity.

Rouba is also the founder and director of Sawa For Development and Aid, a grass-roots non-profit organization supporting Syrian refugees in Lebanon, which works with women, youth and children in the areas of economic projects, education, psychosocial support, and development.

Rouba’s work has focused on women in labour markets in lower-class Beirut, with issues pertaining to household economics, negotiation dynamics, and the family. She has also worked in the areas of violence, conflict, and development and the political economy of development and has participated in several research networks/consultancies about women during civil war, women refugees, gender and practices of faith, gender and violence, among other issues.

Rouba is currently working on a PhD in Gender and Development at SOAS, University of London.

BASED IN: London

LANGUAGES: English and Arabic

Syria: of Love and War

From the Heart of the World Economic Forum, Syria Reaches Out to the World