Legal and Governance

Alsama is run by the team in Lebanon and governed by its Board of Trustees.

Elizabeth Robertson is a partner at a leading international law firm headquartered in New York. She is a specialist in international white collar crime and government enforcement matters. She has been committed to pro-bono projects throughout her career, with a focus on women’s empowerment, prisoners’ rights and social mobility. In this context, she has come to understand that access to a decent education is the driver for real change. At her firm, she works on projects assisting international refugees.

Elizabeth also sits on the Board of Prime, a charity committed to improving access to the legal profession through work experience.

I am excited to be part of the Alsama project and the hope that it brings.

Elizabeth Robertson

Meike Ziervogel is a German-British novelist with five novels to her name. She is the founder of an award-winning publishing company in the UK and a fluent Arabic speaker. Since 2018 she has lived in Lebanon. From 2018 to 2019 she transformed a failing needle art workshop in the Shatila refugee camp into a sustainable independent business, providing a monthly income to 100 refugee women, and empowered the leadership team of 5 Syrian refugee women to drive the business forward on their own. In January 2020 she set up Alsama Project with Kadria Hussien, a Syrian refugee living in Shatila. Meike is now the CEO of Alsama Project and has shaped it into one of the most innovative and successful NGOs serving Syrian refugees in the Middle East.

I am passionate about empowering refugee teenagers and women - to give them the tools that will help them to develop agency for their lives even in the most challenging circumstances.

Meike Ziervogel

Paul Mitchell KC studied Russian, Farsi and Arabic at university, completing his PhD thesis about an early 20th century Iranian revolutionary poet before going to the Bar. He brings experience of private international law to the board of trustees as well as general sensitivity to the legal issues that arise in managing a charity that raises money in the UK to be spent overseas.  

I am honoured to be able to contribute to the restorative and hope inspiring work funded by Alsama in Shatila and other camps in Lebanon.

Paul Mitchell

For 23 years Richard Verity has served oil and chemicals companies as a management consultant. His first engagement with Syrian Refugees – a pro-bono project to assess how McKinsey might help – was a matter of chance. Or was it? Richard has always been interested in the Middle East. He taught in Turkey, consulted in Saudi and gone on holiday in Oman. And he has attempted to learn Turkish in the distant past and Arabic now. Nevertheless he could not have imagined how profoundly he would be affected by seeing Shatila and the refugee camps in the Bekaa.

I didn't expect to find the experience of teaching Syrian refugee children such a joyous one. So here I am: a board member of Alsama and happy to be so.

Richard Verity


Suhir Helal was born in Syria. She lived and studied in Damascus before she came to London in 1998 to obtain an MA in International Relations. She has worked as a translator and written for Arabic newspapers. Over the last five years she has helped UK boroughs to resettle Syrian refugees fleeing the war in their home country. Suhir has always strived to empower and give a voice to the voiceless.

Being on the board of Alsama gives me an opportunity to help my fellow country people in the Middle East.

Suhir Helal

Christopher (Doug) Teesdale –  30 years in waste management for organisations ranging from social enterprise to PLCs such as the Kier Group. He brings a broad range of management experience to the board of trustees, including budgeting, human resources, and health & safety. Also a qualified ECB cricket coach, he has lead teams to county finals in U13, U15, and U19 age groups, and national indoor finals at U17. These cricket based skills complement the sports based work of Alsama.

In 2019 on holiday in Lebanon, a brief experience of the pent up energy and incredibly difficult conditions for refugees led me to become involved in supporting the work to create better life opportunities for the refugees served by Alsama.

Christopher Teesdale


Alsama Project UK

Alsama Project is registered in the United Kingdom as a not-for-profit company registration No 12433605. It is also registered as a charity, charity registration No 1191810 .

Alsama Project Lebanon

In Lebanon Alsama Project is registered as a non-governmental, charitable organisation with the Ministry of Interior, registration no: 372/2021 .

Alsama Project US

In the US, Alsama Project is a tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organisation, registration no: 87–1842640.




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