AJYAL: A programme to Support Arts Education - Academic Year 2021/ 2022

The aim of the AJYAL programme is to provide educational opportunities for young Syrian art students by fully or partially covering their studies ranging from $1,200 to $4,000 per student. The programme also commits to providing support for beneficiaries residing in Syria through to the end of their studies. The AJYAL programme aims to hone the skills of young and emerging artists and art students, open them up to all forms of artistic expressions and create new channels of intergenerational communication. 

Grant Recipients in the Third Edition

Alaa Bassam Mohamad

A second-year student at the Department of Theatre Critique and Dramatic Arts at the Higher Institute of Cinematic Arts, Damascus
Born in Tartous, Alaa lived in Homs until he completed his secondary school education. He then enrolled at the Department of English Literature at Tishreen University. He worked as assistant director for a play produced by the Tartous National Theatre in 2018, and then as co-trainer for a university theatre workshop in 2019.

Jinda Ali Mansour

A second-year student at the Higher Institute of Music, Damascus
Jinda’s music journey started at the age of five. Inspired by her father who was also a singer, singing became one of Jinda’s top priorities as a teenager. She is currently studying classical singing and opera at the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus.

Maya Rihawi

Diploma in Cinema rom the Arab School for Cinema and TV, affiliated with the Cultural Development Fund at the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.

Rehawi is an architect who has taken part in several independent and university workshops on architecture and art, and subsequently in several exhibitions. She started researching the relationship between the architectural and build environments on the one hand and individual psychology on the other hand, as well as a mechanism for introducing visual and performing arts to the human self by linking between architecture and cinema and attempting to understand their absence both mentally and artistically from the current Syrian context.

Nagham Abou Assaf

First-year master’s student of Art and Design at the Dutch Art Institute, Art Praxis master program, ArtEZ University of the Arts, Arnhem, The Netherlands
Nagham is a contemporary artist with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Department of Ornamentation and Typography at the Faculty of Arts in Damascus (2011). She also completed her master’s degree in 2018. Her works tackle the relationship between the body and space, as well as resulting interactions. They range from printed art to photography, sculpting and compositions. She has participated in several collective art exhibitions in different Syrian cities as well as in art projects in the Netherlands, including the architectural healing project in Harlem and the “Give us the Museum” project at the City Museum for Contemporary Arts in Amsterdam.

Nawras Hamza Hamdan

A second-year student at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Painting and Photography, Damascus University
Born in Damascus, Nawras graduated from the Teacher Training Institute at the Department of Manual Work. He worked as a teacher throughout his art education and as a workshop trainer for oriental art. He pursued his education at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus University and began lecturing at the Department of Photography post-graduation. He has held several art workshops for children, along with other workshops at the National Center for Visual Arts. Nawras has also participated in several art exhibitions.

Raghad Sajee Azkoul

A first-year student at the School of Theatre Arts, Department of Theatre and Acting, Damascus University
Raghad graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Damascus in 2021. She has conducted several actor's training workshops, delivered acting training courses and worked on a project bringing together both theatre and architecture. The project was entitled "If I am here" and was rolled out through a grant from the Create Syria 2020 Programme. Throughout the project, Raghad experimented with a group of children and architects, with the objective of promoting the sense of place and our relationship to it.

Wajd Mohamad Mansour

A third-year student at the Department of Dance, Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts, Damascus
Wajd was born in Tartous and moved to As-Suweyda before re-settling in Tartous. He started studying dance in 2015 and has worked with several dance groups that specialize in folk and contemporary dance. Wajd is also passionate about theatre. He has worked with other students at the Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts in Damascus on shows featuring graduates from the Departments of Dance and Theatre Techniques.

Zain Alabedein Saleh

Diploma in Arts and International Cooperation, Diplôme d’Études Supérieures Specialisées, Zurich University of Arts, Switzerland
Zain graduated from the Department of Radio and Television at the Faculty of Media at the University of Damascus. He also studied Theatre Critique and Dramatic Arts at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus. Saleh is a playwright and independent artist who also works in cultural management, translation, editing and dramaturgy.

The third edition’s jury committee was composed of the following:

Theatre: Sawsan Bou Khaled (Lebanon), Maysoun Ali (Syria) and Najwa Kondakji (Jordan)
Cinema and Joint Grants: Zaher Omareen (Syria), Carol Mansour (Lebanon) and Yara Nashawaty (Lebanon)
Visual Arts and Architecture: Sulafa Hejazi (Syria), Ali Kaaf (Syria/Algeria) and Omran Younis (Syria)
Music: Shafi Badreddin (Syria), Noma Omran (Syria) and Jasser Youssef (Tunis)

The Third Edition of the AJYAL programme is launched with the support of the DOEN and Ford Foundations.

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