photo-2SANAD Co-Founder and Executive Director

Syrian Democracy Youth Activist and Political Analyst.

Oula A. Alrifai and her family are political asylees from Syria, they are the first Syria family to seek political asylum in Washington, D.C. in 2005. She left Syria due to Assad Regime direct death threats. Since the Syrian Revolution started in 2011, she has been deeply involved in political protest particularly through social media-spreading the word both within and outside Syria, and keeping protesters motivated. In December 2011 Oula received her B.A from the University of Maryland in Government and Politics and Middle Eastern Studies. In 2009, with Tharwa Foundation she co-hosted and organized “The First Step”, a breakthrough academic television show that focused on promoting democracy, development, and stability in the Middle East. She has also worked at The United States Institute of Peace on the Arab-Israeli conflict, for the Terrorist Propaganda Project, a joint effort between the University of Maryland and the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) in Singapore, and at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on the Arab Uprisings. Oula spent a year from 2014 to 2015 as a Researcher at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy focusing on Syria. She is currently a Middle East Analyst at Navanti Group.