The Karim Rida Saïd Foundation was established in 1982 by Mr Wafic and Mrs Rosemary Saïd in memory of their son and registered in the UK as a charity.
Since 1984, the Scholarships Programme has offered scholarships and training opportunities for talented young people from our target countries that will enable them to achieve impact within their professional fields and ultimately bring benefits to others in their countries of origin. To date the Foundation has funded scholarships for almost 900 students from Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan.
In 1993 the Foundation established the Child Development Programme with the aim of supporting community-based organisations in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan to develop and deliver good quality and sustainable care services for disabled children and education in areas of greatest need. The CDP Programme has funded more than 250 project grants since its start, reaching tens of thousands of children.
In 1996, the Foundation established the first Disability Programme in Syria, opening an office in Damascus in 2001 to directly implement the Programme. The office became a locally registered charity in Syria in 2010, the Saïd Foundation for Development, with the chief aims of strengthening the professional capacity of disability practitioners and organisations, raising awareness of disability, developing a cadre of national trainers in disability-related fields and supporting or providing services for children with disabilities (and their families) especially in marginalised communities. The goals of the Saïd Foundation for Development later expanded to include providing support for the development of Syria’s higher education, health and cultural heritage sectors.
Due to the situation in Syria, the Saïd Foundation’s support for the Saïd Foundation for Development ceased in 2016.
The Foundation further expanded in 1997 when the Arab Culture Programme was launched in collaboration with the British Museum’s Arab World Education Programme. The ACP was wound down in 2009 to enable the Foundation to focus more clearly on its other programmes.
The name of the Karim Rida Saïd Foundation was changed to the Saïd Foundation in 2008 and it became a company limited by guarantee as well as a UK-registered charity.
In 2009 the trustees of the Saïd Foundation decided to start supporting the Saïd Business School at Oxford University. The Saïd Business School Foundation was created to provide grants for initiatives that will support the strategic development of Saïd Business School, largely in the areas of research, faculty development, scholarships and institution-building.
Due to the current turmoil in Syria, since late 2011 the Saïd Foundation has been providing support for non-political organisations that are delivering emergency humanitarian assistance to Syrians most affected by the crisis, whether as refugees in Lebanon and Jordan or as internally-displaced within Syria itself.
The programmes in Syria stopped in August 2018 after the Syrian government regained control of the areas they were being implemented in.