• Our Staff

    Paper Airplanes is run by a team of 20+ 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 from the University of Chicago in 2016 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.

     

    Roua Kassar

    Citizen Journalism Program Manager

    roua@paper-airplanes.org

    Arabic and English

    Roua Kassar from Syria is a Digital Content Strategist at one of the largest universities in Malaysia. She studied law at Damascus University and volunteered as an English teacher and a translator for the past 3 years. Her journey in journalism started in 2016 when she worked as a journalist for a local company in Malaysia. She interviewed ministers, ambassadors, and professional businessmen, as well as covering international events and exhibitions. She likes playing classical guitar, reading, traveling, and making new friends. And coffee is her drink of
    choice.

     

    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.

     

    Emily Flynn

    Women in Tech Program Manager

    English

    Emily graduated from the University of Warwick (UK) in 2019 with a BSc in mathematics. In 2016, she began teaching introductory web development evening classes with Code First: Girls, an organization devoted to increasing women's participation in the British tech industry. She first got involved with Paper Airplanes' Women in Tech program as a mentor in 2017. While her main interests are software development and education technology, she also enjoys learning languages and doing puzzles.

     

    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.

     

    Gray Babbs

    Tutor Recruitment Coordinator

    Gray originally hails from the pocket-sized city of Paducah, Kentucky. In 2018, they graduated from Carleton College where they studied biology and Middle East studies. After discovering a love of English teaching through four years of work with Paper Airplanes, they moved to Bahrain to pursue this passion further through a Fulbright Fellowship. When not teaching, they play water polo and frisbee, read a lot of classic literature, and bake at least one new bread recipe a week.

    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.

     

    Nadya Sidki

    English Program Reading and Conversation Groups Coordinator

    My name is Nadya Sidki. I have been involved with Paper Airplanes for a year and half, and now am the English Program Coordinator here at Paper Airplanes. I am a public health professional with a master's in Global Health (MPH Global Health). I am Syrian American, and have always had a passion for volunteering and helping the community. In the past I volunteered at a local hospital, and also volunteered with children with Autism or related disorders. A few activities I love to do are: spending time with family and friends, reading, watching movies, and hiking.

    Sasha Kleiman

    Graphic Designer

    Sasha graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Painting and Printmaking in 2016. After graduation, she volunteered with the nonprofit Bike & Build and landed in Boston, where she now works as an illustrator and designer (www.sasha.work). Since joining the PA team in 2017 as Video Coordinator, Sasha continues to support PA's mission on the operations side of the organization. In her free time, Sasha enjoys baking sourdough bread.

    Sarah Khan

    Educational Specialist

    Sarah Khan graduated with a M.Ed. in Professional and Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University, Pennsylvania in 2015 after completing her Honors B.A. in English and Linguistics and Language Studies at York University, Toronto. In 2015, she was awarded the Fulbright Fellowship as an ETA in Turkey where she applied her pedagogical training and years of service as a student and community activist. Her passion lies in advocating for fair educational policies; creating accessible, quality-driven, and sustainable learning opportunities in post-conflict communities; and connecting students around the world to demonstrate the transformative value of personal relationships. Developing curricula and educational materials for Paper Airplanes encompasses all of these passions and has been her most rewarding project yet!

    Anna Farrell

    Educational Specialist

    Anna Farrell graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2016 with PhD in comparative and international development education and an MA in linguistics. Her dissertation entitled "There is no nation without language (Ní tir gan teanga): Language policy and the Irish Dance Commission", won the outstanding dissertation award from the Language Issues Significant Interest Group of the Comparative and International Education Society. In addition to leading Paper Airplanes programs and pilots, Anna is a freelance academic editor and teaches adult intermediate level English to immigrants in Minnesota. In her free time Anna studies Irish and Arabic, Irish dances, bakes pies, and plays with her pet rabbit.

    Marwa Darweesh

    Women in Tech Program Instructor

    Marwa recently graduated from Damascus University where she studied information technology engineering. She's passionate about learning English, reading books and teaching others. She firmly believes she was given a lot and now it's her turn to give back. She's interested in children's and women's issues and she's been ready to volunteer in these areas whenever she's had the chance. She's hoping to pursue a Master's Degree in Artificial Intelligence in the coming year. Her favorite quote is "There is no talent here, there is only hard work."

    Hussein Akoush

    Journalism Program Instructor

    Hussein Akoush is a Syrian freelance journalist based in Turkey. He has written for The Guardian, The Telegraph, Middle East Eye, Daily Mail, Syria Deeply and other media outlets. In Syria, he studied dentistry for one semester then was forced to drop out in 2012 due to his activism. As an ambitious young man he didn’t give up, even though it was a challenge to overcome many obstacles and to start again. He began volunteering in medical facilities and then started working as a media activist, covering daily updates on all aspects of the war. He became interested in journalism due to the absence of objectivity and professionalism in Syria’s media outlets. Hussein was previously a student in the Paper Airplanes English Program.

    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.

     

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