Operations and Policy Center (OPC, formerly, Orient Policy Center) is an independent think tank and service provider based in Gaziantep, Turkey. Established in 2014, OPC conducts original research and provides consulting services to enhance policymaking, development programs, and humanitarian response projects. Syrian-led and owned, OPC combines local knowledge with technological and scientific expertise, utilizing in-house statisticians and graphic designers to create original and intuitive final products.
Between 2014 and 2018, OPC was an exclusive service provider to the Orient Research Center (ORC) in Dubai. Since then, OPC has focused on cultivating relationships with governmental and non-governmental bodies working in Syria or with the Syrian diaspora. Currently, OPC is in a stage of growth after significantly upscaling its capabilities due to increased demand from a growing clientele.
CEO and Founder
Basel Al-Junaidy is the founder, owner, and CEO of OPC. During the Syrian revolution, Basel believed that an independent and sustainable “think tank” in the Syrian context would be impossible without an innovative, for-profit business model. Basel is also a co-founder and operating director of Az Intelligence, a company headquartered in Dubai which runs online finance and retail investment outlets. He also serves as co-founder and Board Member of Kesh Malek, a nonprofit which advocates for human rights and education. Basel studied medicine and graduated as a doctor from YSMU in 2011, but has not practiced medicine since.
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Mohamed has nearly a decade of successful management and leadership experience. He established the NGO service department at OPC. Mohamed works under the principle that all partners should enjoy their relationship with OPC while receiving the highest level of service. He therefore aims to closely and continuously match client needs with the Center’s areas of expertise, in order to tailor a successful experience for every client. Before working full-time for OPC, Mohamed filled senior roles in several NGOs, and is a co-founder of several initiatives and organizations, including Kesh Malek, the Leishmania Initiative, and the Darna Center.
Finance & Administration Manager
Mohamed studied medicine, in 2012 during his last year of study he volunteered as an Emergency Doctor in a field hospital in Aleppo. He also worked as an administrator in the Aleppo Medical Council. After leaving Syria, Mohamed contributed to the establishment of OPC in late 2014, as a Researcher and Administrative Manager. He moved to the Kesh Malek organization and managed the education and child protection program for four years, as well as being a board member. Mohamed returned to OPC in 2021 as a Finance & Administration Manager, bringing in almost 10 years of administrative experience within the humanitarian and development fields.
Senior Research Fellow
Sultan is a social researcher focusing on issues of refugees, cross-communities’ relationships, socio-economic changes, and development studies. He has a special interest in research designing and methodology innovation. He studied sociology at Damascus University before continuing his Master’s in Development Studies at the Economic and Social Planning Institute ESPI. Inparallel, he worked as an investigative journalist for years and won the Samir Kassir Award for 2021. Sultan is a Cara Syria Program participant since 2019 and an Honorary Fellow at the University of South Wales.
Mohamad Haddad has built expertise in the fields of media development, freedom of expression and human rights. Previously, Mohamad led teams and managed projects for several Syrian organizations including The Day After, the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, and the Syrian Legal Development Programme; ensuring high quality implementation and fostering engagement with targeted audiences, relevant NGOs, as well as different stakeholders. Mohamad holds a B.A in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Petra in Jordan.
Senior MEAL Specialist
Rajy is a Senior MEAL Specialist with nearly eight years’ experience in the humanitarian field. He has worked as a project manager and MEAL specialist in several different organizations, in addition to being a community work trainer. Rajy is a graduate from Aleppo University’s Business Administration program and was a second-year Master’s student in Quality Management before his studies were interrupted by the conflict. As the senior MEAL specialist, Rajy sets up MEAL methodologies, develops workplans, and manages all MEAL projects. He leverages his long experience as a data analyst to analyze qualitative and quantitative data across OPC’s projects, including bidding on new projects.
Motassem is experienced in e-Training and learning platforms, cultural heritage documentation using 3D modelling and virtual reality, information system analysis, database systems design and implementation, web applications, and services development. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Jean Monnet University in France, and joint Master’s degrees in Computer Vision and Robotics from Heriot-Watt University (UK), the University of Girona (Spain), and the University of Burgundy (France). He also studied Computer Engineering at the University of Aleppo.
Belal Abo Nabot
Senior Field Coordinator
Belal Abo Nabot is an expert in program management and capacity building. He holds a B.A. in History from Damascus University. Belal is interested in conflict resolution and humanitarian response, and has developed deep relationships with community leaders across Syria. He has also run several programs in Syria from Turkey.
Nisreen is interested in the political, economic, and social dynamics of the conflict across Syria. Though her graduate degree is in Postcolonial Literary Theory, her interests shifted with her engagement as an activist with Syrian CSOs since 2011 in the fields of non-violent resistance, women empowerments, and education.
Content Creator and Research Fellow
Dima joined OPC in 2014, where she developed her research skills by working on dozens of projects and later helped found the organization’s media unit. She currently focuses on digital content creation and social media outreach. She is passionate about female and youth participation in the public and political sphere, and wants to use digital technology to reach this audience with innovative, research-based methods. Dima is a 2018 Political Science graduate from Sabahattin Zaim University in Istanbul. She completed a training program in Governance and Peacebuilding with George Mason University in 2019.
Ayham Barish is a data analyst with more than 4 years of experience. He is skilled at a variety of data analysis, management, and visualization softwares including Power BI, SQL Server, SPSS, and Python. Ayham holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, and has a professional certificate in Data Science from IBM.
Mossab Al Aryan
Mossab Al Aryan is a MEAL Officer with six years’ experience in the field. He currently manages, supervises, and provides technical support to the TPM field team to make sure that all planned activities are implemented to standard and on schedule. He is also involved in technical planning, the development of toolsets, coding on Kobo, and data analysis using several softwares like Excel, SPSS, and Python. Before joining OPC, Mossab worked as a MEAL Officer and Field Coordinator with Trust Consultancy and Development. Mossab holds a B.A. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Çukurova University. Currently, He is studying for a master in Power System Analysis in Gaziantep university.
Salah is a professional graphic designer with more than twenty-five years of experience. He studied at Damascus University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Visual Communication. The diversity of his work was an important source for building high expertise. He worked with Basma and Zaytouna Organization for several years and was one of the founders of the Communication Department. He worked in the past to support several cultural projects in the city of Aleppo, including the International Photography Gathering and Women around the World. Honorary Member of Kirayak Culture and Kirayak Immigration Studies Organization (Turkey).
Yasser Shikh Alachreh
Finance & Administration Coordinator
Yasser has more than eight years of experience in the field of financial and procurement management. He works to achieve financial transparency for OPC and to provide documentation and financial reports to partners in accordance with approved standards and policies. Before the displacement of Aleppo in late 2016, Yasser contributed to the establishment of several local bodies and events in non-government controlled areas. He previously worked for Adam Smith International, Horizons Academy, Research and Management Group, in addition to working for more than four years as a Financial Officer at Kesh Malek organization.
Hashem Haj Bakri is a former photojournalist from the city of Latakia, where he worked with a number of different media outlets from 2011 to 2017. Hashem started learning graphic design and illustration in 2017, and is currently enrolled at Istanbul University, studying Cinema and Television.
Marketing & Communication Associate
Rand holds a Bachelor’s degree in business and management from IESEG School of Management in Paris where she is currently completing her Master’s degree in Marketing. As part of an exchange programme, Rand also studied marketing and entrepreneurship in the University of Glasgow in Scotland. During her Bachelor’s, she volunteered as a communication and event manager in a French association in Paris.
Maysaa Almasalmeh is a MEAL Officer with four years’ experience in the field. She currently manages, supervises, and provides technical support to the Third-Party Monitoring field team to make sure that all planned activities are implemented to standard and on schedule. She is also involved in technical planning, the development of toolsets, and report writing. Before joining OPC, Maysaa worked as a MEAL Manager at the NGO Syria Bright Future, and as a community center manager at Al Zahraa University. Mayssa is a graduate from Damascus University’s Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry faculty. She holds a Master’s degree in Laboratory Diagnosis.