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92 Bowery St., NY 10013

+1 800 123 456 789

Team Category: Manara Center

Rami Aoudeh

Rami Aoudeh

Rami, originally from Damascus, Syria resettled in Lebanon when he was 13. Rami has a passion for telling stories through filmmaking and photography. He holds membership in our Young Syrian Filmmakers team which was established at the Manara Center. Due to his attention to detail and leadership qualities, we have designated Rami as our media and logistics lead on site at the Manara Center working directly with our Director of Opertions to ensure all programs are running smoothly and and students are taken care of. You will always see him with a camera in hand.

Nadia Rdeini

Nadia Rdeini

Nadia Rdeini: Co-founder of the Manara Center, Pioneering Transformation and Empowerment

In the chronicles of visionary leaders, Nadia Rdeini’s name emerges as a guiding star, illuminating the path toward empowerment and positive change. As the co-founder of the Manara Center, her biography stands as a testament to her exceptional dedication, tireless efforts, and unshakable commitment to shaping a brighter future for the youth.

Nadia’s educational journey began at the Lebanese International University, where she earned a BioMedical degree—a foundation that would prove instrumental in her endeavors. Her quest for knowledge knew no bounds, as she also dedicated three years to studying English literature at the Lebanese University, a testament to her holistic approach to transformation.

Her professional journey started with her role as an assistant at a local medical lab, but her boundless drive and passion for community well-being propelled her into the role of assistant project manager at the National Association for Vocational Training and Social Services. This was just the beginning of her trajectory of impact. Nadia’s strategic thinking and exceptional leadership earned her successive promotions, culminating in her role as center coordinator and project manager, spearheading initiatives in collaboration with the Spanish NGO Cives Mundior.

However, it is her role as a co-founder of the Manara Center that truly showcases her unwavering commitment to youth empowerment. The Center stands as a beacon of hope, a platform she envisioned to broaden perspectives and amplify the voices of young individuals. Her seven-year immersion in the humanitarian sector has been marked by her dedication to transforming lives and creating a nurturing space for self-expression.

Nadia Rdeini’s biography epitomizes the remarkable synergy of education, empathy, and action. As a co-founder of the Manara Center, she has not only uplifted communities but also redefined the very essence of empowerment. Her journey is an embodiment of the truth that a single spark of determination can ignite change and illuminate the futures of those who come after.

Elias Matar

Elias Matar

I had been following the Syrian refugee crisis since March 2011. At first, I was observing the situation from afar. Then I started running and posting my miles on social media to bring attention to the plight of the refugees. But I felt a strong calling to do more. In August of 2015, I decided to a book plane ticket without a clear idea of what I would be doing. And so my journey began.

On my first night in Sid, Serbia, more than 2,000 refugees walked through a cornfield where I, along with a group of other volunteers, had set up a station offering food and water.

I spent weeks traveling between Greece and Germany. I did what I could to help the refugees along the way. I listened to their stories, cried with them, gave them whatever information I had about border openings, bus and train routes and where to avoid minefields.

When the refugees discovered that I spoke Arabic with a Syrian accent they felt a connection to me and shared the stories of their journeys, the loss of loved ones, and their hope against all odds for a better future. It was here that I learned of refugees crossing the Aegean Sea along with the horrific stories that accompanied them. I knew that I needed to meet this beast of a sea in order to complete my journey. So in December 2015, I boarded a plane and headed back, this time to Greece and Turkey.
I spent December and January on the island of Chios, Greece, working with international volunteers at the CHIOS EASTERN SHORE RESCUE TEAM. Our mission was to distribute food, water, blankets and relief kits to the refugees as they landed on the island, and to ultimately prepare them for the next leg of their journey.

In June of 2016, I traveled to Lebanon to join a local NGO. We helped  purchase and distribute food to the refugees in the informal settlements and worked in conjunctions with UNHCR and Teachers Without Borders to educate children while we were there as well as set up long-term education solutions. We also assisted in covering basic living needs for new arrivals and in paying medical bills for refugees uncovered by UNHCR.

The Bekaa Valley has had a massive impact on me. It’s been very hard to go back to my “normal life” and not think of these children. The world has turned its’ back on these people in their time of need, in what is one of the largest humanitarian catastrophes of our time. Although we were only 24 volunteers, in the end, we delivered more than 17 tons of food.  But still, this is only a teardrop in an ocean of need. My experience in the Bekaa Valley, living among the refugees, is the reason I have formed LPI Corp.