AWRAD Core Team
Research & Management Team
Dr. Nader Said-Foqahaa: Founder and President
Dr. Nader Said, AWRAD’s President, is considered a pioneer in his field – locally, regionally and internationally. Dr. Said’s expertise stems from his academic and research experience in United States universities, earning an MA in Economics and a Ph.D. in Sociology, with a focus on sociology of development and research methodology. Dr. Said boasts over two decades of experience in survey research, consultancy and development projects and exhibits excellent skills and capabilities to lead, conceptualize, design tools, manage field work and present results to key senior level actors and donors. His work on four exit polls in Palestinian elections was considered ground-breaking in social sciences within the Arab World. As a result of his capabilities, Dr. Said has been requested to lead research, projects and trainings for a variety of donors across the Arab Region. He has extensive research, survey and project implementation experience in Palestine, Libya, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Pakistan. In his regional work, he has endeavored to create a culture of polling and democracy, as well as boost the technical capacities of regional partners so they can serve as advocates. Throughout Dr. Said’s professional career, he has conducted copious work on democracy, public sector reform, education, gender analysis, development and human rights and, finally, the assessment of marginalization in the Palestinian context.
Dr. Said has exceptional experience in developing national and sectoral strategies for the future, with a particular emphasis on transition. In his professional career, Dr. Said served as the team leader and main author for four separate Human Development Reports. In this capacity, Dr. Said assessed the current state of critical circumstances, such as human security and human development, later crafting these indicators and data into actionable recommendations. Furthermore, Dr. Said served as one of the main developers for the National Development Plan, 2014-2016 proposing feasible strategies to improve Palestinian institutions, improve the relationship between the government and communities, and, ultimately, continue the endeavor of state building in Palestine. At the helm of AWRAD, he has initiated and supervised the implementation of hundreds of opinion polls and social surveys in Palestine and the region in the last 20 years. AWRAD has conducted these polls on a regular basis, and the results have been cited by governmental and non-governmental professionals, as well as referenced in reputable newspapers and periodicals. Under Dr. Said’s leadership, these polls have addressed some of the most sensitive contemporary issues, such as the ongoing peace process, as well as the daily life of Palestinians in a manner designed to accommodate changing circumstances.
Mrs. Reem Ziad-Ghattas: Executive Director
Ms. Ghattas is AWRAD’s Executive Director. She has exemplary management and communication skills and is an expert in project management, field research, group facilitation, questionnaire design, and research methods. She has strong experience in analysis and report writing and has been engaged in research implementation, supervision and monitoring for seven years with AWRAD. Her responsibilities include, questionnaire construction, fieldwork planning, supervision of data entry and analysis, report writing and quality control. Ms. Ghattas has excellent interviewing and facilitation skills, and is a renowned trainer in the areas of field research, interviewing, communication, project management and research supervision. She served as the principal project manager for some of the most challenging research projects with organizations such as the World Bank, USAID, the EU, Global Communities (formerly CHF), CARE International, NGO Development Center, UNDP/UNODC, JICA, and AMIDEAST. She also coordinates AWRAD’s work with various national ministries and institutions.
Ms. Kirsty Wright: Senior Research and Development Specialist
Ms. Wright has 40 years of experience (25 of which in Palestine) in development policy and strategy design in fragile and post conflict contexts in the middle east region with program and project monitoring and evaluation, project and program management in the governance, humanitarian assistance, health and agricultural sectors through grants and multilateral funding. She has 10 years of senior management program and operational experience with large and complex USAID-funded programs in Palestine and Iraq managed by Tetra tech ARD, leading rapid response grant-making teams and leading contractual performance. She has deep knowledge of Palestinian socioeconomic conditions and cultural context. Her evaluation and performance management work is multi sectoral spanning over multi-lateral UN agencies, the EU, governmental and non-governmental institutions. She is both a lead evaluator and technical expert for development program and evaluation proposal design.
Mr. Mohammad Shuaibi: Researcher and Media Coordinator
Mr. Shuaibi is a member of AWRAD’s research team with a major in media development and rich experience in the field of research, survey development and management. Mr. Shuaibi has over 10 years of experience in survey research and consulting and a solid understanding of Palestinian realities, prospects and challenges. Mr. Shuaibi developed his understanding through his analysis of AWRAD’s political polling work and his involvement with research on civil society, media, youth and gender issues. He is well connected with field researchers and organizations and supervises AWRAD’s media surveys and campaigns. He has more than 7 years of experience in SPSS analysis and data cleaning where he is responsible for all of AWRAD’s Data sets and data base. As a media expert he is responsible for AWRAD’s website and writing press releases.
Mr. Zuhdi Hashweh: Research Associate
Mr. Hashweh is a member of the AWRAD research team, with a strong background in quantitative analysis. Mr. Hashweh holds an MA in Economics from Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary, as well as an MA in Applied Economics with concentration in Econometrics/Statistics from Western Michigan University, where he has completed full Ph.D level coursework. Mr. Hashweh has worked as a teaching and research assistant for two years at Western Michigan University and for one year as an Assistant Researcher at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS). He has years of experience in quantitative research and his dual command of English and Arabic makes him an invaluable asset. In his work with AWRAD, Mr. Hashweh has been responsible for analyzing data, building models and writing analytical reports exploring the results of mixed-methods research projects. He has experience networking with high-level partners and presenting results in a conference setting.
Ms. Joyce Kashou: Research Associate
Ms. Kashou is a researcher who holds a BA in sociology from Birzeit University and is currently concluding the Gender and Development MA program at Birzeit University. Ms. Kashou has impressive research qualifications, and handles responsibilities ranging from report writing to research project management. She is an expert in qualitative research, having conducted dozens of focus groups and interviews and boasts strong abilities in data management, with well-attested proficiencies in SPSS and Excel. In addition to her technical prowess, Ms. Kashou provides a strong perspective on gender and women’s issues in Palestine, which is integrated in all of AWRAD’s work. She has significant regional experience, serving in Tunisia, Libya and Yemen, where she conducted fieldwork with regional partners. In her time at AWRAD, Ms. Kashou has written reports and designed accompanying graphics, as well as created PowerPoint presentations and presented results of research to high-level stakeholders.
Mr. Samer Said: Research Associate
Mr. Said is a research analyst at AWRAD, with skills in research development, methodology and sampling and research design. Mr. Said holds a BA degree from Clark University, where he graduated cum laude with high honors in political science and economics. Since beginning work in 2010, Mr. Said has been a member of a variety of research teams and projects related to opinion polling and public perceptions. He is a talented researcher with acumen and experience in designing survey methodologies and sampling plans and is responsible for the sampling procedures in AWRAD’s national public opinion polls. He has designed samples and methodologies for survey research projects particularly those with a qualitative component. Mr. Said worked with field research teams in Palestine, Libya, Tunisia and Jordan, travelling throughout the countries to facilitate interviews, supervise local researchers and implement research plans. Mr. Said has been one of the most active AWRAD employees in social outreach work, coordinating with researchers, trainees and community members in SAWT’s advocacy programs.
Mr.Simon Kandel: Research Associate
Mr. Kandel is a researcher with AWRAD who has worked on a variety of relevant projects in his professional career. Mr. Kandel is a cum laude graduate of Clark University and holds a BA in political science and history. In his work with AWRAD, he has been personally involved in a variety of M&E assessments, public opinion polling and consulting. He regularly composes survey tools, such as survey questionnaires and focus group guidelines and has experience operationalizing indicators. Mr. Kandel is a native English speaker who is responsible for the editing of AWRAD’s proposals, reports and other official documents. He has repeatedly written analytical reports and presented data from projects in a public setting.
Mr. Hisham al Satarai: Gaza Research Coordinator
Mr. Satari has served as an AWRAD field coordinator for 2 years, and has repeatedly proven his qualifications through a variety of projects. A sociology graduate, Mr. Satari has extensive experience working in national opinion polling for local NGOs and international partners. His work in this field has equipped him with important skills in the fields of policy assessment and strategy development. He has evaluated everything from small projects, to large long-term planning for international and domestic actors. In his capacity as a field coordinator, Mr. Satari has supervised scores of field researchers in the Gaza Strip, and has strong teamwork and advisory skills. Before working with AWRAD, Mr. Satari was a field researcher for the Center for Development Studies of Birzeit University and worked on a variety of economic, gender, and social projects.
Mr. Yassir Mezouari: Maghreb Research Coordinator
Mr. Mezouari serves as AWRAD’s Morocco coordinator and holds a BA in economics and a MA in management and cultural development. He is qualified as a facilitator, trainer and researcher in youth participation, entrepreneurship, public policy analysis, human rights and other critical subjects related to AWRAD’s work. In his professional career, he has experience in the public, private and NGO sector and has served as a director and manager of some of the most ambitious projects related to development in Morocco. In addition, he is fluent in Arabic, English and French and has strong competencies on all Microsoft Office programs.
Our Data Entry and Statistical Analysis Specialists:
Mr. Bassem Darweesh: Data Specialist (West Bank)
Mr. Darweesh is an expert in data entry and analysis, who has worked extensively on projects within the West Bank. His previous work with AWRAD has allowed him to develop vital experience in the field of data entry, most notably in quality assurance and control. Mr. Darweesh is well qualified for data cleaning and processing, and is trained on SPSS, Access, Excel and N-Vivo. He has copious experience working with local partners, such as government ministries and NGOs, as well as international ones such as USAID and CRS. As a member of the AWRAD team he is responsible for ensuring quality results that the office team will incorporate into their illustrative reports.
Mr. Ali al Bandi: Data Specialist (Gaza)
Mr. Bandi is AWRAD’s data entry expert in Gaza. He is qualified for all components of the data entry and cleaning process and is critical in ensuring that AWRAD’s data is quality assured and ready for use by the office team. He is able to identify anomalous data and address as necessary. Mr. Bandi is trained in a variety of data entry tools, most notably SPSS, Acess, Excel and N-Vivo and has worked with AWRAD on a variety of complex research projects.
Our Regional Field Coordinators:
Mr. Mahmoud Al Louh: Gaza Field Coordinator
Mr. Louh holds a BA in media and has been a vital member, researcher and coordinator of AWRAD’s Gaza team for the past two years. Before his work with AWRAD, he was a reporter for a number of radio stations, experience which has made him a strong asset in AWRAD’s media work. He is currently serving as a coordinator for the Um Adnan Campaign, a relief effort to assist the people of Gaza suffering after the most recent Israeli war. Additionally, Mr. Louh supervises AWRAD’s Ana Hur Facebook page, a social media initiative to bring Palestinians together and share inspiring and newsworthy stories.
Mr. Khaled Hamamdeh: South West Bank Coordinator
Mr. Hamamdeh is a fieldwork coordinator, holding a BA in management and entrepreneurship. He has extensive experience leading teams and coordinating with researchers and has experience in fieldwork, such as interviewing and focus group facilitation. In his work with AWRAD, Mr. Hamamdeh has experience in projects related to community participation, youth empowerment, local governance and the rights of the disabled.
Mr. Muntaser Khdeir: North West Bank Coordinator
Mr. Khdeir serves as one of AWRAD’s fieldwork coordinators. As a graduate of An Najah he has experience working in the North of the West Bank, as well as vital skills and experience to assist in any research process. He has years of fieldwork experience, which have provided him the ability to develop his skills in training researchers, documenting data and leading large teams. Part of this stems from his previous experience as a field researcher, working on projects related to civil society, political polling and youth engagement. He has coordinated field teams involved with mapping, recruitment, household interviews, focus groups and a variety of other significant fields.
Mr. Youssef Chouni: Maghreb Field Supervisor
Mr. Chouni is a member of AWRAD’s Morocco team, with strong analysis in fieldwork supervision and data management. He has a MA in Business Intelligence and is currently working on a PhD in Data Mining. He has extensive experience serving as a research and strong knowledge of survey and research realities in Morocco. In his professional experience, he has responsibility serving in a position of authority and managing those he works with, along with other strong interpersonal skills. His technical competence in data management programs and database construction makes him an invaluable member of AWRAD’s team.
In addition to overall regional supervisors, AWRAD appoints one supervisor for each individual governorate in the West Bank and Gaza.
Administrative and IT Team:
Mr. Yasser Mustafa: Administrative Assistant
Mr. Ayoub is responsible for logistical and clerical work at AWRAD. His punctual work ensures that communication between team members, in the office and field, is smooth and individuals can work efficiently. He is also responsible for managing AWRAD’s financial affairs, namely the collection of budgetary records. His work is essential to ensuring the punctual and quality work of the project team.
Mr. Jamal Abu Shamma: Senior Accountant
Mr. Abu Shamma is AWRAD’s accountant with 15 years of experience in the sector. He is responsible for ensuring all of AWRAD’s finances and budgets are well managed and we can conduct our research and projects successfully.
Mr. Yazan El Rifai: IT Specialist
Mr. Al Rifai is AWRAD’s IT specialist with over eight years of experience in IT and programming and holds a BA in computer engineering. He is responsible for all of AWRAD’s programming and technical IT support.
Mr. Ahmad Frouk: Logistics Assistant
Mr. Frouk has extensive experience in office and event-planning experience.
AWRAD is supported by dozens of field researchers who are enthusiastic, well trained and fully prepared for all of our field research. Our field team is drawn from all walks of life and is representative of age, gender, residence, level of education and other key demographics. All AWRAD’s field researchers receive periodic training in the most professional research and fieldwork techniques, as well as customized training for each project of which they are a part. Our field team is functional in most Arab countries.