• Our Staff

    Paper Airplanes is run by a team of 30+ educators, advocates, aid workers, refugees, and former students, all dedicated to expanding opportunities for those affected by conflict.

    Demetri Fadel

    Executive Director

    demetri@paper-airplanes.org

    English

    Demetri (Robert) Fadel proudly serves as Paper Airplanes’ Executive Director. Demetri also works at MIT’s Center for Excellence in Energy, and is an advisor and mentor at R2 Social. He has an MBA from Boston College, an MA in Energy and Environmental Policy from Boston University, and a BA from UMass, Amherst. Educational technology and learning for displaced youth have been a passion since helping to launch and grow One Laptop per Child (OLPC) and the MIT Refugee Action Hub (ReACT). Almost immune to jet-lag, Demetri enjoys making and eating peanut butter and hummus, and is an avid fan of the beautiful game of football (soccer).

    Gabrielle Wimer

    Managing Director

    gabby@paper-airplanes.org

    English

    Gabrielle (Gabby) Wimer graduated in 2016 from the University of Chicago where she studied the history of medicine and human rights. She first joined Paper Airplanes as a tutor in the fall of 2016 and quickly fell in love with the organization and its mission. Before moving to Amman, Jordan to work as Managing Director, Gabby worked in Guatemala running a program she co-founded called MealFlour which collaborates with local organizations to teach people how to raise mealworms as a more affordable source of protein. In her spare time, she likes to hike, read, and continue her quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.

    Chloe Walton

    Director of Development

    chloewalton@paper-airplanes.org

    Arabic and English

    Chloe first joined Paper Airplanes as External Relations Manager in March 2018. She graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Middle Eastern studies and a concentration in linguistics in 2016. She was a 2016-2017 fellow with the CASA program in Jordan, and has also lived and studied in Morocco and France. Since returning from Jordan, she has worked with World Learning on the pilot of the Arabic language version of their Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, worked as a case manager at Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia, and most recently started at HIAS Pennsylvania as a Legal Coordinator.

    Kaitlin Lucas

    English Program Manager

    kaitlinlucas@paper-airplanes.org

    English

    Kaitlin Lucas is currently pursuing an MSEd: Information Technology and Instructional Design Certificate at Western Oregon University. As a CELTA-certified English language instructor, she has taught in France, Poland, and the U.S. for the past five years, and has been working with Paper Airplanes' English Program since July 2017. She is passionate about making educational opportunities accessible to conflict-affected communities through digital platforms.

    Myuri Komaragiri

    Youth Exchange Program Manager

    myuri@paper-airplanes.org

    English

    Myuri is passionate about education access in conflict affected contexts, particularly for young girls and women. She has worked as a teacher and on education projects in Guatemala, Morocco and Jordan, and has conducted trainings and workshops on “Building Social Justice Classrooms” and “Intercultural Coexistence.” She completed her MA in Education and International Development from University College London’s Institute of Education, with a dissertation focusing on equitable solutions to higher education access for refugees. She loves learning languages, and has working knowledge in French, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, and Telugu. Myuri is based in Toronto, and loves fostering dogs and cats when she can.

     

    Zahra Najmi

    Women in Tech Program Manager

    zahra@paper-airplanes.org

    English

    Zahra graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a business degree in Management Information Systems. Although she currently works as a Solutions Engineer at VMware, Zahra has always been passionate about finding ways to bridge education and technology. This has led her to work with startups in Yemen, Belize and China. Zahra joined Paper Airplanes as an English Tutor, but quickly became interested in helping expand the Women in Tech Program after seeing how much of a positive impact it was making on the students. In her free time, Zahra enjoys traveling, learning new languages, and attempting new adventure sports.

     

    Ismail Haj Osman

    Turkish Program Manager

    ismail@paper-airplanes.org

    Arabic, English, and Turkish

    My name is Ismail. I am Syrian. I came to Turkey in 2014 because of the war and to complete my studies. I am now studying my last year of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Gaziantep University. I joined Paper Airplanes as an English student in 2015. After my language improved I joined the PA team as a Student Coordinator for the English Program in 2018 and I am now the Turkish Program Manager. I am so grateful for being a part of this team which has a huge positive impact on refugees lives.

     

    Ahmad Al Hajj

    Director of Student Advising

    ahmadalhajj@paper-airplanes.org

    Arabic and English

    My name is Ahmad Al Hajj. I am a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon. I graduated from the Lebanese American University with a BS in Nursing in 2017. After that, I worked as a research assistant for War Child Holland. Then I worked for a local NGO as a community worker. I have been with Paper Airplanes as a student for almost 2 years. Currently, I am pursuing an MBA at Nexford University. Hopefully, I can assist other students and advise them for work or studies opportunities. I enjoy meeting new people to learn about their culture, and my other hobby is mixed martial arts.

     

    Yasmeen Shahzadeh

    Director of Volunteer Recruitment

    yasmeen@paper-airplanes.org

    Arabic and English

    Yasmeen is completing her MA from McGill University in Education & Society (with a concentration in Gender & Women's Studies). She has a background in International Development Studies and Communications. Yasmeen's research and work interests lie at the intersection of gender, education, and development with a focus on the Middle East. Her current MA research looks at gender representations in Jordanian curricula and the impacts this can have on social learning, and has been assisting a research project on refugee and local youth access to education and employment in Jordan. She is eager to support the mission of Paper Airplanes on a regional and global scale, and boost volunteer recruitment and engagement across the programs. Yasmeen spends most of her time between Amman and Montreal, and enjoys travelling, eating, and being active!

    Jumana Saadeh

    University Club Coordinator

    jumana@paper-airplanes.org

    Arabic and English

    My name is Jumana Saadeh. I recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a bachelor degree in International Studies with a concentration in development and sustainability. I interned with Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency for about 2 years and Friends of Refugees for about a year where I assisted and translated for many refugee families whom I’m still in contact with to this day. I have always been interested in education, especially refugee education, where I did my senior seminar on refugee education in Jordan and the United States. I am currently in Amman, Jordan. I like learning new languages (took Spanish and Japanese courses in college), drawing and playing video games in my free time.

    Rafik Shoorbajee

    Data Manager

    rafikshoorbajee@paper-airplanes.org

    Arabic and English

    Rafik Shoorbajee first started with Paper Airplanes as a tutor in the summer of 2017. A few semesters later Rafik transitioned to a student coordinator role helping create a better experience for our students. More recently he transitioned to the role of Data Manager for Paper Airplanes. Rafik now overseas the programs' data including the design of the database, security measures, and reporting. Currently based out of Seattle, he is a native of Virginia having graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2013 with a Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering. Outside of volunteering with Paper Airplanes, Rafik coaches high school basketball and works in software development.

     

    "Jamous" Mohammad Aljamous

    Program Media Manager

    Mohammad Aljamous graduated from Yarmouk University, with a B.S. in Business Administration. Born and raised in Syria, lived in Jordan to complete his studies and because of the war, worked in the humanitarian sector and developed a career in Public Relations and Data Analysis and recently he moved to Canada. In 2015 he joined Paper Airplanes as an English language student, and after this, he joined the executive team. He is a firm believer in the right of education for refugees and conflict victims. He hopes the Paper Airplanes mission will make a true impact on students' life.

    Nadine Fattah

    English Program Tutor/Student Manager

    Nadine Fattah is a freshman in college at Stanford University, where she hopes to major in international relations on the pre-law track. Prior to becoming Paper Airplanes’ English Tutor and Student Manager, she founded her own chapter of the Youth Exchange Program at her high school, where she served as both a Tutor Coordinator and English tutor. One of her favorite aspects of Paper Airplanes is the face-to-face instruction offered which has given her the chance to meet new people with different backgrounds and inspiring stories; she’s sought to further these unique interactions by working in-person with a number of refugee organizations based in Istanbul, Turkey. Nadine is passionate about fostering cross-cultural dialogues and bridging the global education gap, and she looks forward to furthering those efforts in college!

     

    Hieu Vo

    English Program Coordinator

    Hailing from Vietnam to the US, Hieu graduated the University of Maryland, College Park with a BA in Linguistics and a minor in Chinese in 2018. With a deep passion for linguistics, intercultural exchange and community service, after volunteering to teach English in China in summer 2018, she obtained TEFL certification from International TEFL Academy and taught English in Chile via the English Opens Doors Programme. Currently, Hieu’s working as an AmeriCorps Literacy Lead for Reading Partners in Washington DC, dedicating her knowledge and compassion to serve K-4 students at low-income schools to unlock their potentials by improving literacy skills. As EPC, Hieu’s main goal is to listen, serve and support tutors and students of the English program to strengthen PA’s mission and increase our impact.

    Rabab Elgayar

    Youth Exchange Program Coordinator

    rabab@paper-airplanes.org

    Arabic and English

    Rabab Elgayar graduated from the University of Ottawa with an Honors BA with a major in History and Theory of Art and a minor in Greek and Roman Studies in 2017. She first joined Paper Airplanes as an English tutor in 2017 and has loved the cause and the positive impact that Paper Airplanes is making and providing for people living in conflicted areas. She is trilingual: English, Arabic, and French. She has traveled and lived in many countries, such as USA, Philippines, UAE, etc., hence, she has great knowledge of cultures and religions. Rabab is interested in creating new methods of teaching to make learning languages easy.

     

    Bayan Alraqqad

    Women in Tech Program Coordinator

    bayan@paper-airplanes.org

    English

    Bayan Alraqqad is an MBA graduate, with a BA in International relations and strategic studies. She joined Paper Airplanes as women in Tech program coordinator in Jan 2020. Bayan was instrumental in developing the admissions processes for existing boot camps in addition to candidate recruitment strategies. Her marketing skills and efforts were significant in developing partnerships with major INGOs. Bayan is still extremely well connected with major Jordanian ministries and players in the ICT sector.
    She finds great pleasure in serving people and making a change among diverse groups of youth and women. Her passion led her to the women in the tech programs. In her spare time, she likes to cook, learn new things, and volunteer with charities.

    Stephanie Stewart

    Student Advisor

    stephanie@paper-airplanes.org

    Arabic and English

    Stephanie is a junior at the University of Georgia majoring in International Affairs, Women's Studies, and Economics with a minor in Arabic. She spent her spring semester in Madrid, Spain studying at Universidad Complutense de Madrid and this academic year is studying at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, Oman. She loves traveling and learning new languages and she hopes to utilize her experiences working towards gender parity in negotiations of peace accords! She has been with Paper Airplanes now for over a year and a half and hopes to stay involved for much, much longer.

    Wynter Oshiberu

    English Program Tutor Coordinator

    Wynter Oshiberu has had a deep curiosity for languages and cultures from a very young age, and as she grew older her curiosity has blossomed into an appreciation for the mutual interests that individuals from various backgrounds share. These interests developed into her passions, thus, she has worked with researchers, academics and thought leaders on various topics pertaining to the well-being and advancement of marginalized communities. She is most passionate about promoting and ensuring quality education for women and girls, especially in lower socio-economic settings and post conflict regions. As an avid language and education enthusiast, she has continued to augment her language skills and believes that technology will play a role in the amelioration of many social and global issues.

    Christina Fuleihan

    English Program Student Coordinator

    christina@paper-airplanes.org

    Arabic and English

    Christina Fuleihan will graduate from Rollins College in 2019. She is currently an undergraduate, premedical student pursuing degrees in biochemistry and philosophy, with a concentration in neuroscience. She is passionate about learning and believes that education transcends all borders. As a lifelong activist and volunteer, she is especially thankful to have been given the chance to help fellow students achieve their own goals through this program.

    Ibrahim Alaboud

    English Program Student Coordinator

    ibrahim@paper-airplanes.org

    Arabic and English

    I graduated from the University of Aleppo in 2014 with a master's degree in criminal law. Born and raised in Syria, I moved to Lebanon to complete my studies. In 2018, I joined Paper Airplanes as an English language student, and afterwards, applied to be part of the PA team. I am currently volunteering with Paper Airplanes as a student coordinator.

     

    Hannah Erdogan

    English Program Tutor Coordinator

    My name is Hannah Erdogan, and I am a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. I am on a Pre-med track, planning on majoring in Psychology and Modern Middle Eastern Studies. In the future, I hope to become a physician in Philadelphia, bringing healthcare to refugees and other marginalized groups. I am passionate about languages, interfaith dialogue, and intercultural exchange. At Penn, I am the Director of Academic Mentorship for Penn Undergraduates for Refugee Empowerment and serve as the Tutor Coordinator for Paper Airplanes. In my free time, I enjoy practicing Taekwondo, dabbling in yoga, and exploring coffee shops throughout Philadelphia!

    Deidra Denson

    English Program Tutor Coordinator

    deidra@paper-airplanes.org

    English

    Deidra is currently a tutor coordinator of the English Program at Paper Airplanes. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary with a degree in English and Hispanic Studies. Her passion is tutoring international students in English. Currently, she is in training to teach ESOL classes at Peninsula READS in Virginia. She plans to continue her education either domestically or abroad and find work as an Assistant Language Teacher. When she is not sending a lot of emails, she is reading tons of blogs, researching new ways of effective English tutoring, studying new languages, and watching anime.

     

    Aya Alagha

    Youth Exchange Program Student Coordinator

    Hello! My name is Aya Alagha. I am 17 years old from Syria. I moved to Boise, Idaho, USA in 2017 when I earned a scholarship to complete high school at Riverstone International School. I am very excited to join Paper Airplanes as a YEP Student Coordinator. I have always prioritized my education and know that it is the way to become a changemaker. Many people helped me get to where I am today. Thus, I am very happy to be able to give back to less fortunate individuals who were affected by conflicts to learn English and seek great, transformative opportunities. I am particularly interested in gender equality and women's empowerment and I serve as a Teen Advisor with the UNF initiative, Girl Up. I enjoy playing music and singing as well as making art.

     

    Amanda Johnson

    amanda@paper-airplanes.org

    English

    English Program Tutor Coordinator

    Amanda graduated from Connecticut College (Go Camels!) in 2019 with a B.A. in Behavioral Neuroscience. She began working with Paper Airplanes in 2018 and has a passion for making education accessible. She also loves working with kids and plans to pursue a career in pediatric neurology. When not working, she loves reading, cooking, and spending time with her cat.

     

    James Nassur

    English Program Tutor Coordinator

    jamesn@paper-airplanes.org

    English

    My name is James Nassur, and I am a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania! I am currently applying to medical school and working in research for my gap year. I love to cook, bowl, and lift in my free time.

     

    Khalil Jouma

    English Program Student Coordinator

    khalil@paper-airplanes.org

    Arabic and English

    From Syria living in Turkey. Senior undergraduate student double majoring in Optical & Acoustical Engineering and in Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Gaziantep University in Gaziantep, Turkey. I am Volunteering at Paper-Airplanes as a student coordinator. My interests are Technology, Business, Food, Entrepreneurship, and Podcasts.

     

    Stephanie Cannon

    English Program Tutor Coordinator

    stephaniec@paper-airplanes.org

    English

    My name is Stephanie Cannon, and I am a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Georgia pursuing degrees in international affairs and Arabic with a minor in Russian. When I am not in class, you can find me either in the residence hall I work in as a Resident Assistant, in Sanford Stadium playing the baritone with the Redcoat Band, or hiking the many trails near Athens, Georgia! Working with Paper Airplanes has inspired me to become more involved with the nearby refugee community of Clarkston, Georgia, and to continue to advocate for refugees around the world.

     

    Omar Garebo

    English Program Student Coordinator

    omar@paper-airplanes.org

    Arabic and English

    I am Omar Garebo. I am Syrian and based in Turkey where I work in an NGO. I graduated from Damascus University, and am pursuing a master's degree in Turkey in political science and international relations.

     

    Bianca Navia

    English Program Tutor Coordinator

    biancanavia@paper-airplanes.org

    English

    Originally from Houston, Texas, Bianca is currently a junior at Arizona State University, pursuing a dual degree in Political Science and Global Studies. She is most passionate about international affairs, diplomacy, foreign languages, and cross-cultural exchange. She has been volunteering with Paper Airplanes since 2017, first as an English tutor and conversation group leader, then as a Tutor Coordinator. In her free time, Bianca enjoys reading, going to the theater, listening to stand-up comedy, and doing yoga. A fun fact about her is that she is the oldest of four sisters in a big Cuban-Italian family! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to her with any questions about Paper Airplanes.

    Karenna Oner

    English Program Tutor Coordinator

    karenna@paper-airplanes.org

    English

    Karenna is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in International Studies and English. She is currently abroad in Baku, Azerbaijan on an intensive Turkish language program. Her past experience in Paper Airplanes includes a semester as an English Program Tutor and a participant of the Virtual Language Exchange Program. As a first-generation American of Colombian and Turkish heritage, she is passionate about matters of conflict and forced migration. In her free time, Karenna is invested in community organizing efforts and is especially passionate about her role as a leader in the Pennsylvania Youth Climate Strikes.

    Ikram Tebai

    English Program Student Coordinator

    ikram@paper-airplanes.org

    English and Arabic

    My name is Ikram. I have a bachelors degree in English For Communication. My journey began with Paper Airplanes in late 2018 as a tutor. I fell in love with the organization's work and the eye opening experience I had with my student and the team. So, I decided to continue as a Student Coordinator. In a such a short time, I have learned timeless lessons: gratitude, resilience, and altruism. And, I have had the chance to step out of my little world and see how my peers are trying to survive and thrive amidst conflicts. I aspire to do a masters degree in International Relations and work on disarmament and conflict resolutions in the MENA. My contribution and work with Paper Airplanes is the first step in this journey.

    Rachel Karpf

    IELTS Instructor

    English

    Rachel’s academic background includes a Master's Degree in Literacy Education and a B.A.in Sociology and Education. She is an American who recently moved to Washington State to live with her fiance. Her hobbies include visiting museums, reading, and cooking delicious meals.

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