The Saïd Foundation hosted more than 200 students, partners and special guests at its Annual Dinner in April 2018. At the event, the Foundation also launched its 2017 Review highlighting key achievements from our 2016-17 year.
In his foreword to the Review, our Chairman Wafic Saïd said of our Syria Programme: “Over the year we have supported around 10,000 Syrian children and family and community members in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to strengthen their own resilience and ability to build a better life. That is a great source of pride.” Between the start of the crisis in Syria and 2017, the Foundation has provided over £13.2m to support emergency relief, healthcare, child protection and, above all, education (from pre-school to university level), believing that the future of Syria lies with its children and young people. In recent years, in recognition of their reach across all the countries affected by the Syrian crisis and their experience in delivering support for multiple and evolving needs, much of our support has been provided in partnership with the International Rescue Committee, Save the Children and the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.
Other highlights of the Review include a report on our Scholarship Programme. For over 30 years, this has provided scholarships and training opportunities to young people from Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine to enhance their skills, networks and cross-cultural understanding. Our scholarships go to outstanding individuals who have demonstrated their potential to be future leaders and drivers of change within our target region. Since 1984, we have supported 1,150 students from these countries, 580 of whom have studied for postgraduate degrees at British universities.
The Review also reports on our support for Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, which continues to go from strength to strength; on the 2017 pilot of our Muslim arts programme, Amal, which supported around 400 events from Aberdeen to Brighton; and on a new partnership between the Foundation and the Rhodes Trust and Oxford University. Under this partnership, two new Rhodes Scholars will be selected each year, in perpetuity, to come to Oxford from Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, all new geographies for the Rhodes Scholarships.