MEET OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Sara Sawaf is the Founder & Executive Producer of AYA Animations. Sara established the organization in 2015 with a vision to bring values-based content to children around the world. A mother herself, Sara is passionate about moral education and oversees the company’s production of the edutainment series in the form of books and animations, all rooted in universal values.
Alongside the AYA Animations team, Sara directed and produced the pilot episode Sara and Fares. This set the foundation upon which Sara and her global team of experts produced the upcoming series Aya and Yusuf. The hero series will be available in both English and Arabic in Spring of 2020.
Throughout her life, Sara attended Qur’an explanation classes led by Muslim visionary peacemaker Randa Hamwi Duwaji for nearly two decades. These classes inspired Sara to promote the universal values found both in the Qur’an and other religious scriptures.
Prior to establishing AYA Animations, Sara worked in various marketing and fundraising opportunities in London and Riyadh. She holds a degree in Finance and Marketing from the American University of Sharjah.
Rama’s career spans over 25 years of education, technical, communications and management expertise. Combined with her passion for social impact, Rama spent the last 15 years building startups to benefit youth and today, she runs VIP.fund, a venture philanthropy fund investing in youth programs and technology startups. Rama brings her passion for education, experience with marketing to youth, technical knowledge of digital content and operational experience to AYA Animations. With her considerable startup experience, Rama drives all growth for AYA Animations from business development to investor outreach and strategy. Based in LA, Rama represents AYA Animations in the Los Angeles media and entertainment industry. She also oversees all operations for the organization including finance, accounting and technology.
Rama has served on the board of a number of organizations including TechWadi, PCRF, PACES and The Impact HUB – UAE. She currently serves on the board of the Syrian International Business Association and co-leads Syria Digital Lab, a technology ecosystem for Syrian entrepreneurs.
Previously, Rama ran Baraka Ventures, investing in a portfolio of social impact and tech startups in the Middle East. Among the portfolio were Tawasul, a youth education and adventure company, BarakaBits, the first publishing platform for positive news from the region and Baraka Advisors, a cause-focused communications agency. Rama’s tech experience includes co-founding a startup to build out data centers and serving as Director of product development at Cable and Wireless.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and a Master’s in Engineering Management from George Washington University with continued education programs at Stanford.
MEET OUR ADVISORS
Karim is a Legal Consultant to AYA Animations overseeing all contracts, implementation and banking processes for the company. He is a Partner at Khoshaim & Associates law firm. He specializes in Banking and Finance and has extensive experience acting for lenders and borrowers on finance transactions. He qualified and practiced in London for a number of years, now based in Riyadh. Previous Law firms include Clifford Chance and Skadden.
Randa is a content consultant to AYA Animations, reviewing and ensuring all material is rooted in Qur’anic teachings and Universal values. Randa is a bilingual author, Qur’an researcher, and peace-builder whose published works include children’s books in English and Arabic, poetry anthologies, articles, radio talks, and a haiku featured on a commemorative plaque in New York State. Her most important work includes an opus on comparative interpretation of Qur’an which sheds light on the original intent of important words as understood using a renowned 10th century Arabic lexicon.
Today, Randa is finalizing a trailblazing book to be published in both English and Arabic- which recovers and presents a major Qur’anic dynamic that can be activated by anyone seeking awareness and working for peace. Randa’s work offers readers the unique privilege of observing Islam in its earliest light, reclaiming its identity, and drawing a clear path to the fulfillment of potential and conciliation with humanity at large.
Randa brings this peace and richness to AYA Animations, as well as her vision of humankind joined by common values and united in the desire for a better future for our children.
Nour is a British Curator and Art Advisor of Syrian heritage based in London. Nour is a Creative Consultant for AYA Animations. She works closely with the team reviewing script storylines, concept art works, character designs and production.
Nour Wali graduated from Sotheby’s Institute with an MA in Contemporary Art and worked at the renowned Contemporary Art Society (CAS) for four years. As Curator of Corporate and Private Collections at CAS, she was an advisor to several private and corporate collections and managed a number of exciting projects including the Economist Group’s outdoor sculpture exhibition program and a landmark public art commission by Langlands and Bell, “Moving World” for BAA Heathrow Terminal 5.
In 2008, she set up Nour Wali Art Consultancy, offering advice on creating ambitious and versatile contemporary art projects with international clients and artists, with special focus on art from the West and the MENA region. Her projects have ranged from curating exhibitions in London, Berlin and Dubai ; curating a permanent public art commission by Nicky Hirst for the Bulgari Hotel and Residences in London; to advising clients on building museum standard private and corporate collections.
Dr. Lama Taher