The Team

Meet Our People

Our team has worked across most sectors including multi-lateral organisations, governments, non-profit organizations, private sector and academia. Our experts and advisors have worked in different countries in the Arab world. During the last 10 years, members of ANSCH have participated in many projects related to heritage management and protection in conflict areas. In addition, they are well experienced in archaeology, museums, libraries, conservation, heritage education and training, and the application and use of new technologies.

Coordination Team

Isber Sabrine

Founder and director and PhD in cultural heritage management
Isber is a Syrian archaeologist, specializing in cultural heritage management, as well as a certified National Tourist Guide in Syria. He has been a member of the Syrian Spanish team of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) since 2005. Since 2011, Isber has been a researcher at the Institución Milá y Fontanals of the Spanish National Research Council and has been involved in projects and studies on the protection of cultural heritage during conflicts.
He is currently chair and co-founder of the international NGO Heritage for Peace. Since 2015, he has been involved in cultural initiatives for refugees and immigrants in Europe. He is leading the Abuab Initiative, which is a social project that works on using cultural heritage as a tool for intercultural dialogue with refugees and immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

Yoldez Halleb

Project Assistant
Yoldez is an architect, specializing in cultural heritage management. As a Fulbright Alumni, she holds a master degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia, USA and a certificate in Art and Heritage management from the University of Boconni, Italy. She has worked with the National Heritage Institute of Tunis and has worked as a heritage consultant and a project manager with several CSOs that aim at safeguarding the tangible and intangible cultural heritage in Tunisia. She is also the creator of MediWander app, an interactive and educational game that promotes the rich history of the World Heritage site of the Medina of Sousse. With work experience in India and Tunisia, Yoldez has been involved in several community youth engagement projects and is a member of the World Heritage Youth Professionals and the Arab Heritage Youth Professionals Platforms. She is also currently a Local Pathways Fellow 2020 Cohort at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network - Youth Initiative (SDSN Youth).

Joanne Dingwall McCafferty

Project Adviser
Joanne Dingwall McCafferty raduated with an MSc Collecting and Provenance in an International Context (with Distinction) from the University of Glasgow in 2017. Her Master’s thesis provided an analysis of the UK’s ratification of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Her research explores how current UNESCO policy and procedures on cultural heritage protection during armed conflict in the Middle East, actively implement heritage safeguarding measures, and whether there are areas that need to be improved to allow for greater effectiveness. Joanne is designing and hosting an International Summer School, titled Heritage Protection in Urban Conflicts (3-14 August 2020), and held a series of workshops on the same subject at the University of Copenhagen. Joanne is also a Researcher at The Nordic Center for Cultural Heritage and Armed Conflict (CHAC), which assists international organisations, governments, military, museums and the academic community in developing better approaches to the changing role of cultural heritage in 21st century armed conflicts.

Rene Teijgeler

Project Adviser
René Teijgeler is a social scientist and a conservator. He started his academic career in 1970 with his studies in Sociology (BA) and Social Psychology (MA). As he developed a taste for books, he started studying book and paper conservation (BA). A year later, he was appointed Conservator at the National Library of the Netherlands. As his interests took him to preservation cultures outside Europe, he continued his academic training in Anthropology (MA cum laude). Working for Fair Trade NL, he became acquainted with the ins and outs of humanitarian aid. After serving as cultural advisor in Iraq (2004-2005) and in Afghanistan (2009), he knows what it means to preserve heritage in times of conflict. Since then, he advised many governments, international heritage organizations, lectured in many capitals and published many articles. In February 2013, René was co-founder of the NGO Heritage for Peace, which assists Syrian heritage colleagues during the conflict to save their heritage, and which he still advises.

Mahmoud Barakat

Project Assistant
Mahmoud Barakat is an architect from Syria, University of Aleppo. He holds a master degree in environmental engineering from Pannonia University in Hungary. He worked as a restoration architect in Syria for several NGOs and CSOs between 2015 and 2017, last work was partial restoring the mosaic museum in Maart AlNoman. He also did humanitarian and volunteering work before he moved to Hungary to continue his study. He served as a researcher in 2019 and 2020 at Shattuck CCNR at CEU, in his work, he focused most on the Heritage protection policy in conflict zones. He devots his work in cultural heritage protection and management.

List of collaborators

collaborators from Syria

collaborators from Lybia

collaborators from Iraq

collaborators from Yemen

collaborators from Syria

Ristam Abdou

Ristam is an Archaeologist from Syria, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology from Aleppo University. He has several on site experiences including excavation work in Tell Alshair in Al Hasakah, mosaic cycle excavation and pottery restoration at the Aleppo national museum.

Since 2015, Ristam has been working in the field of antiquities protection with Al Jazeera, where he documented hundreds of archaeological sites in all regions of the Khabour, Balikh and the Middle Euphrates Valley and published their results in separate reports.

He advocates for heritage protection through giving lectures in different schools and remote villages and has published dozens of articles related to heritage protection issues in local newspapers. Beyond his national activities, Ristam gave several international presentations and lectures including the Orkish Gallery and the dialogue table at the American University in Lebanon at the invitation of the American Mission operating in Tel Mouzan in 2017.

He also participated in a lecture via Skype at a training workshop held at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark in 2019 about the archaeological sites previously excavated by the missions during the Syrian crisis. He also contributed to the book that was issued under the name Millennium for Today in 2018, at the Rimini exhibition in Italy, which was held by the American mission operating in Mouzan. Moreover, Ristam is currently working with the local society I Khamishly, Al Hasakkah, Syria.

Abdulrahman Alyahya

Abdulrahman is the Director of the Center for the Protection of Syrian Cultural Heritage. He is currently working on developing cultural tourism through involving the local communities in managing archaeological sites, carrying out campaigns to raise cultural awareness, communicating with local councils, local residents and school students.
Previously, he has worked on several restoration projects and has been working on implementing emergency intervention plans, protection plans for archaeological sites and artefacts and documentation projects for archaeological sites and historical buildings.
Abdulrahman is also the director of SADAD, a humanitarian and developmental organization that seeks to achieve social justice and development of civil societies through engagement in sustainable projects.

Dr. Michel Al-Maqdissi

Dr. Al Maqdissi holds a PhD from the Sorbonne in Oriental Archaeology (1994). He taught oriental archaeology and Phoenician civilization at the University of Damascus and at the Saint Joseph University in Beirut. He was also a visiting Phoenician Archaeology Professor at Paris I Panthéon – Sorbonne University, a Middle Eastern Archaeology Professor at Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi, and recently a Professor at Louvre School of Levantine Archaeology.

In addition to his academic career, and since 2000, Dr. Al Maqdissi has directed excavations and archaeological studies at the General Department of Antiquities and Museums of Syria. In 1984, he directed his first archaeological project in southern Syria, before undertaking two major archaeological projects in Tell Sianu (1990) and Mishirfeh-Qatna (1994), aimed at studying Syrian cities in the second and third millennia BCE.

Lastly, he was also the project manager and a scientific researcher at the Oriental Antiquities department at the Louvre Museum. He has published the bulk of his archaeological research in three series of articles: Notes on Syrian Ceramology, Notes on Levantine Archaeology, and Material for the Study of the City in Syria. In Damascus, he has founded a newspaper (Studia Orontica) and a collection (Syrian Archaeology Documents) to publish recent research in several languages (Arabic, French, and English).

collaborators from Iraq

Dr. Alaa Nabeel Hamdon

Dr. Hamdon is a Professor and currently the Director of the remote sensing center at the University of Mosul. He holds a Master’s in Application of Remote Sensing in Geomorphology and urban planning from the University of Mosul and a PhD in structural Geology and Remote Sensing from the University of UOM. He held a post-doctoral position at the University of Aberdeen and was a visiting scholar at Oxford University. He has 15 Years of experience in teaching at the University of Mosul and was formerly the Director of the Visual Interpretation Lab for Undergraduate Students in the Remote Sensing Center at Mosul University, Iraq (from 2004 – 2012).

Dr. Hamdon is a member of Leadership of Iraqi Geologists Association, Nineveh branch, member of Young Academy of Scotland YAS/RSE, Scotland, member of International Council On Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), member of International Committee Of Risk Preparedness (ICORP-ICOMOS) and a member of the Science and Technology Advisory Group on disaster risk reduction (ArabSTAG / UNISDR). He has a wide range of expertise including remote sensing, GIS, disaster management of cultural heritage and urban, seismic activity analyses, seismotectonics, structural geology, tectonics, geomorphology, morphometry analyses and drone imaging.

Dr. Hamed Hyab

Dr. Hyab is an Architect and a Lecturer in the Architectural Engineering Department at the Basra University. He holds an MSc in Urban Design from the University of Technology-Baghdad, Iraq and a PhD in Urban Design from Salford University, Manchester, UK.

He is an affiliated member of the Iraqi Union Engineers, member of the committee for assessing the projects of Basra governorate, a member of the committee of Basra Development Plan and a past member of the committee of Basra Development strategy. He has worked on several heritage preservation projects including the Supervisor of the finishing works of the Imam Ali mosque in Basra and the rebuilding of Al-Fao city (City council building and agricultural administration building). Dr. Hyab has also co-authored several conference publications in the UK.

Dr. Jaafar Jotheri

Dr. Jotheri is a Geoarchaeologist with over 15 years’ experience in conducting archaeological excavations and surveys across Iraq and Iran and holds a PhD from the Durham University. He is currently an Assistant Professor and the Vice-Dean in the Faculty of Archaeology at the University of Al-Qadisiyah, Iraq, where he is teaching and supervising both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

He published 11 articles, in both book chapters and prestigious academic journals. Dr. Jotheri is involved in many current archaeological and heritage projects in Iraq such as the British Museum project in Girsu site; Manchester University’s projects in Charax Spasinou and Tell Khaiber; Durham University’s project of Climate, Landscape, Settlement and Society: Exploring Human-Environment Interaction in the Ancient Near East; Sapienza University of Roma’s project in Abu Tbairah; and Tokushima University’s project of the environmental geoarchaeology of the southern Mesopotamian floodplain.

Dr. Ali Naji Attiyah

Dr. Attiyh graduated from the Civil Engineering Department and he completed his studies in structural engineering at the University of Baghdad. He is now aProfessor at the College of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Kufa, teaching different courses such as Concrete Technology and Concrete Design. He is the Co-Founder of the American Concrete Institute ACI Iraq Chapter, where he was elected the first Executive Director.

Dr. Attiyah was also the coordinator of University Linkage Program ULP for the curriculum development of Civil Engineering Department courses, which was sponsored by the American Department of State to build relations between Iraqi and American universities. Beyond his teaching experience, Dr. Attiyah focus is the rehabilitation of Higher education in Iraq, a project he has been involved in with UNESCO since 2011.

He has also been awarded grants from the American Department of State as part of ULP to implement a program titled “move from Traditional Education to Outcomes Based Education” in coordination with the American organization International Research Exchange IREX. In 2015, Dr. Attiyah was appointed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research as a member of the Iraqi Council of Accreditation for Engineering Education ICAEE, for which he has been Chairman since 2018.

He recently received a grant from Nahrein Network, United Kingdom to support a research project on Heritage Buildings in Kufa, which will be implemented by the University of Kufa in cooperation with Koç University, Turkey.

collaborators from Libya

Dr. Ahmad A F Abdulkariem

Dr. Abdulkariem is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Tourism and Archeology, Omar Al Mukhtar University, Libya. He is the past president of the scientific committee of the conference of Libyan endangered World Heritage Sites and the permanent committee of the five municipalities of Libyan World Heritage Sites. In addition to being a member of World Heritage Committee, responsible for monitoring Shahhat’s archaeological sites (archaeological site of Cyrene), he is the founding member and the president of promoting heritage and archaeology group in Shahhat.
His background in teaching includes lecturing in architecture and Islamic civilization, heritage restoration and conservation and on scientific research methods. He took part in several national and international excavation campaigns in Libya including Omar Al Mukhtar University’s excavations in Belghray and the Islamic Alemkhili zone.
Dr. Abdulkariem has published several research papers, conference papers, book chapters and articles in prestigious journals, all on the topic of preserving the cultural heritage sites of Libya and on the reform and update of the heritage laws and policies in Libya.

Dr. Lamees A. Ben Saad

Dr. Lamees A. BenSaad is an influential activist who advocates for Femaleempowerment and integration within the society. She participated in the 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women emphasizing the critical need to see female participation in the peacebuilding and political process. However, her role extends from advocating for women to sustainable development. In 2018, she took part in a workshop on World Heritage, sustainable development and civil society in Belgium, and was present at the two recent sessions of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Meetings in Bahrain and Azerbaijan. She also participated in the 5th and 7th International NGO Forum on World Heritage.
She is deeply concerned about the preservation and conservation of Libya's World Heritage Sites. Dr. Ben Saad is an active member of World Heritage Watch and cooperates effectively with a network of local civil society organizations. Recently, she contributed an article on the situation of Ghadames for World Heritage Watch Report 2019 and, on the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee 2019, made a statement to support the removal of Ghadmes from the endangered list.

Fathallah Khalifa Idriss Mohamed

Fathallah is the founder of Balagrey Association for environment and cultural heritage in 2011. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology and a Master’s degree in Classical Archaeology from the University of Benghazi. He has been engaged in pressuring the local authorities, and in organizing demonstrations, condemning the destruction of monuments and demanding their protection.

collaborators from Yemen

Khaled Aissa

Khaled is the Training Manager at the Center for Studies and Architectural Training. He holds a Bachelor in Islamic Heritage and is currently working on obtaining his Master’s degree in Islamic Heritage from the University of Sanaa, Yemen. He took part in several workshops on the protection of built heritage in Yemen and on heritage photography. He has experience in heritage promotion and heritage tourism.

Doaa Alwasii

Doaa is an Activist, Writer, an Anchor and a Producer. She has a great experience in the tourism industry, whether working as a Tour Guide or a Trainer for tourism students at the National Hotel and Tourism Institute of Yemen. She is currently the General Director of the Heritage House of Sanaa and the President of Balkis’s Throne for the Development, Tourism and Heritage. Doaa has been involved in several national and international heritage related events and has advocated for the protection of Sanaa’s heritage through several national campaigns. In addition to her advocacy work, Doaa has produced and presented two documentaries on the Old Sanaa and Kokban to highlight their archaeological sites and historic cities titled “البهاء الحزين”. She also published several articles to highlight the state of the historic sites after the war.

Ayoub Amer

Ayoub is an Activist from Yemen. He is currently in his last year of finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media with a major in Public Relations in Aden University. Since 2018, he has been the CEO of Tahdeeth Foundation for Development, which focuses on capacity building activities for the youth to provide them with the appropriate tools and skills to avoid their involvement in violent activities. In addition to being the Director of public relations and media in the Civil Democratic Alliance, which includes 33 civil society organizations in southern Yemen, Ayoub is also a member of the Yemeni Young Leaders Network, which is working across the country to contribute to peace building, and to prevent violent extremism. He recently participated and represented Yemen in the first Arab World Heritage Young Professionals Forum in the Republic of Tunisia, organized by UNESCO.
Through his activities, Ayoub seeks to preserve the tangible and intangible heritage of his country from the effects of the war, and devotes his efforts to strengthening the protection of heritage and spreading the values it represents.

Dr. Alaa Ahmad Al Asbahi

Dr. Al Asbahi is an architect holding a PhD in Yemeni Architecture and Archaeological Arts and is an Associate Professor of Interior Design at the Community College of Sanaa. She has participated in several conferences and published several researchers in the field of heritage preservation. Her first book is entitled: The Ashrafieh School in Taiz in the Time of the Messenger City (2004) and the second is Steam Baths in the Old City of Sanaa: an Ethnographic, Architectural and Historical Study (2019).
Dr. Al Asbahi is currently working on a project to document the artefacts in the National Museum in Sanaa to publish them in a book so that it will be available to scholars and those interested in Yemeni civilization. Since 2016, she has been the Director of the Kahramana Heritage Center in Yemen, which works on several projects on the preservation of intangible and tangible cultural heritage of Yemen.