Buthaina Aburoza is a passionate social, green entrepreneur, who founded Qutoof Professional Development, to provide the skills and knowledge required to assess occupational competence in various areas in the environment field. Qutoof is a leading, approved center from City & Guilds institutes of London, in Waste Management and Recycling in Jordan and the region.
Qutoof aims to empower individuals to acquire knowledge, values, and skills they need in the work field, to be implemented with confidence, creativity, and enjoyment. Buthaina has over a decade of experience working with communities on different sectors under the umbrella of the United Nations. She has passion for environment conservation, and cooperative actions to empower communities to be part of the solution. She firmly believes in that education to be the key to face and free ourselves from our prejudices, and that it's our way to move forward.
Dr. Charif Bahbouh, CSc.
He is an alumni of the Faculty of Arts at the Charles University (in Czech, Arabic and Russian) and the Lomonosov University in Moscow. Mr. Bahbouh is a translator of several well-known works from Czech literature into Arabic (such as Čapek's Mother or The White Plague, Czech stories and fairy tales etc.). He also translated some of the Arabic literature into Czech. Altogether, he is an author or co-author of seventy books.
From 1975 to 2004 he was teaching at the Language School of Prague and also lectured at universities in Prague and Pilsen. In 1990, he has founded the publishing house Dar Ibn Rushd, which has since been translating fiction, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, textbooks of oriental languages and other books focused on the Orient. So far, Dar Ibn Rushd has published 300 titles. In 1997, he read through 200 Arabic manuscripts and assisted in making them available to the general public. In cooperation with the Czech National Library, Albertina Icom Prague and UNESCO, he has published two brochures and a CD entitled The Catalogue of Arabic Manuscripts in Czech and English.
Mariam Bachich a civil engineer with an additional master’s degree in World Heritage Studies (Cottbus University), worked in Directorate-General of Antiquities & Museums, DGAM Syria until 2012. She worked in the Syrian Heritage Archive project in the Museum of Islamic Art.
Currently she researches the Syrian collection in the Ethnological Museum (SMB), and she is a member of “Multaqa” project – Museum of Islamic Art (SMB). Also runs projects in Syria working with the locals- mainly women and children.
Lukas Driedger has been involved with the humanitarian crisis in Yemen for more than six years. He has seen the terrible aspects of conflict and poverty, but got also fascinated by the beauty of this country, its culture and its people with their overwhelming hospitality.
As Director of Humanitarian Aid for the NGO ADRA Germany, he is part of the international emergency relief effort with which humanitarian organizations try to prevent the suffering civilian population from famine.
Mgr. Radka Hanzlová
Radka Hanzlová is a graduate of sociology at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague, where she is currently a PhD student too. At the same time, she works as an analyst at the Public Opinion Research Centre, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, where her focus lies in the areas of questionnaire surveys, methodological matters / problems and data analysis.
She is also involved in the issue of food wastage within the research programme Strategy AV21 - Food for the Future, where she is working on the topic "Food Waste as a Social Problem".
Cora Josting translates, writes, organizes cultural events, and is the chairwoman of the Ibn Rushd Fund, an Arab-German organization based in Berlin. She started cooking with her grandmother, later with friends in their 'cooking club' in small-town Northern Germany. Then already, she was a lover of garlic, and she believes in the magic of spices since becoming part of a Palestinian family many years ago.
Omar Koleilat is a co-founder of the Crestyl Group. He draws up business strategy, maintains relations with investors and ensures funds. Omar is of Czech-Lebanese origin. He graduated in architecture and holds the British RICS postgraduate diploma in real estate investments. He has been active in the real estate development in Central Europe since 1998.
His leading achievements include cooperation with GE Real Estate in the development worth more than EUR 500 millions and putting together a team of professionals for the residential and commercial real estate market which implemented many highly appreciated projects. Thanks to him the CRESTYL group became a respected market leader with a strong portfolio of projects, including for example lucrative and unique Savarin project, situated in the heart of the Prague metropolis and having a value exceeding EUR 300 millions.
Mgr. Veronika Kramáreková, PhD.
Mgr. Veronika Kramáreková, Ph.D. (1987) works as an assistant professor at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, where she also completed her BA and MA. She earned her PhD. also in Pilsen at the Department of Anthropology with her dissertation on "The sociological significance of khat chewing in Yemen".
During her studies, she completed numerous study and research visits in the Middle East and North Africa, namely to Syria, Lebanon, Morocco and Yemen. She currently focuses mostly on teaching Arabic and studying the modern history of Yemen and the Muslim community in the Czech Republic.
Jakub Mazanec studied MA in History and Cultures of Islamic Countries and currently is finishing MA in General History with specialization on Modern History and History of International Relations. He focus on a topic of water resources and their role in the international relations.
Jakub Mazanec studied these issues in historical perspective and also contemporary context especially during his internships at Nordiska Afrika Institut, Uppsala and at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic.
Doc. PhDr. Miloš Mendel, CSc.
Doc. PhDr. Miloš Mendel, CSc. (1952), who has worked for the Oriental Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic for many years and who currently teaches at the Department for the Study of Religions, Masaryk University in Brno. Since 2018, he is also working at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen.
He is mainly focusing on the modern history of the Middle East and the Islamic world, especially the political and cultural history of Islam. Throughout the years, he published numerous articles and studies in both Czech and international journals and authored several publications in Czech, for example an extensive book entitled Wine and Wine Making in the History of Islam (Prague, 2010).
Martin Merta is a graduate in the Middle Eastern Studies of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. During his studies he spent a month in Lebanon and Jordan and now he works at the UWB. In his free time, he enjoys traveling in both the Middle East and elsewhere and editing his own videos.
After graduating from a BA in Comparative Religious Studies in Bratislava, Aneta decided to pursue a graduate degree at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. The field of Middle Eastern studies is attractive for her mostly because of the study of Islamic culture and Arabic. In her dissertation, she is focusing on a relatively unstudied topic of prophet Muhammad’s medicine.
In 2019, she completed a two-month language course in Oman at the Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic to Non-Native Speakers. Thanks to this experience, she became familiar with the extraordinary culture of Oman, including its traditional cuisine.
PhDr. Bronislav Ostřanský, PhD.
Dr. Ostřanský graduated from the Arab studies and the history and culture of the Islam countries at the FF of the Charles University in Prague. He also lectured Czech at the university in Cairo. Currently, he works as a researcher at the Orient department of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, where he is interested in classical Islam, sufism, folk religiosity, and the culture of the Islam countries in general.
He published several books and papers, including the Arab Oneirocriticism in the Middle Ages and Present (Arabská oneirokritika ve středověku a v současnosti), and A small Encyclopedia of the Islam and Muslim Society (Malá encyklopedie islámu a muslimské společnosti).
Ing. Naji Sulaiman
Naji Sulaiman is a Ph.D. student at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague in the specialization of Ethnobotany. He earned his M.Sc. degree from the same university in the field of Tropical Crops Management and Ecology. In the frame of his M.Sc. study, he did research about medicinal plants used for making herbal teas in coastal Syria.
Naji is a member of the executive board of "Syrian Researchers" which is a scientific network launched by a group of academics in Syria and abroad. During the years of war in Syria, he wrote many articles in several Arabic newspapers about the daily suffering of the Syrian people under the crisis umbrella. He currently focuses on the ethnobotany of Western Georgia.
Dr. Sami Zubaida
Sami Zubaida is Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck, University of London, Fellow of Birkbeck College, Professorial Research Associate of the London Middle East Institute, and of the Food Studies Centre, both at SOAS. He has held visiting positions in Cairo, Istanbul, Beirut, Aix-en-Provence, Paris, Berkley CA and NYU.
He has written and lectured widely on themes of religion, culture, law and politics in the Middle East, with particular attention to Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. His other work is on food history and culture. Books: Islam, the People and the State: Political Ideas and Movements in the Middle East (3rd edition 2009; translated in Arabic, Hebrew, Italian and Turkish); A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (edited, with R Tapper, 2nd edition 2000; translated in Arabic and Turkish); Law and Power in the Islamic World (2003; translated in Arabic, Danish and Turkish) and Beyond Islam: A New Understanding of the Middle East (2011); Food, Politics and Society: Social Theory and the Modern Food System, with Alex Colas, Jason Edwards and Jane Levi, (2018).
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