Who We Are

Orient Policy Center (OPC) 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 highly detailed and visually attractive final products.

After separating from the Dubai-based Orient Research Center and becoming a for-profit company in 2018, 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. 

Our Team

Basil al-Junaidy

Basil al-Junaidy

CEO

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Mohammad Al-Khalili

Mohammad Al-Khalili

Founder

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Karam Shaar

Karam Shaar

Lead Researcher

Originally from Aleppo, Dr. Karam Shaar lived in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and New Zealand, spending four years in each. He is particularly interested in Syria’s political economy. His writings on the subject have been published in the Middle East Institute, The Aleppo Project, Carnegie Middle East Center, and the Atlantic Council. Karam was active in his support for democratic reforms in the first year of the Syrian uprising (2011-12), but later fled the country and continued his activism from abroad. He also is a Senior Analyst in the Research and Forecasting team at the New Zealand Treasury. Prior to that, he did research at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Nisreen al-Zaraee

Nisreen al-Zaraee

Researcher

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 in the fields of non-violent resistance, women empowerments and education since 2011. Her career as a researcher started with a project delivering a series of qualitative reports for the British Foreign Commonwealth Office and DfID. She then moved on to become a lead researcher and conflict analyst on several projects implemented in opposition-held territories from 2014 – 2017 in the fields of governance, stabilization, policing, justice, and education.

Orwa Khalifeh

Orwa Khalifeh

Researcher

Orwa is a journalist and researcher interested in the sociopolitcal changes and political transformation within within Syria, with a special focus on exposing the power structures shaped by the struggle of both local and regional forces. He studied political science and has worked as a journalist since 2010 and as a researcher since 2015. His work mainly focused on tracking militant factions within Syria and their subsequent influence on Syrian society.

Sultan Jalabi

Sultan Jalabi

Researcher

Sultan is a researcher and sociologist interested in cultural change. Though initially interested in social theory and research methodologies, Sultan’s passion gradually shifted to developmental and applied social theory after earning his master’s degree. He tries to reflect this passion in his work and strives to produce systematic studies with a strong grounding in social theory that are useful for policymakers and planners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Christou

Will Christou

Researcher

Will is a journalist and researcher focused on Levantine issues, with a special focus on Syria. He graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in International Relations. After, he worked with Syria Direct in Amman, Jordan as a journalist for two years, before working as a freelancer. He has been published in Al-Monitor, The National and the Middle East Institute. He speaks Arabic fluently (depending on which one of his colleagues you ask) and spends most of his time cooking for his friends and neighbors.

Moatessm Nawaf

Moatessm Nawaf

IT & Technology Manager

Motassem is the IT and technology department manager at OPC. He 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.
Motassem holds a PHD in computer sceience from Jean Monnet University in France, and a joint master’s degree in computer vision and robotics from the universities of Heriot-Watt (UK), Girona (Spain) and Burgundy (France). He also studied computer engineering at the University of Aleppo.

Tareq Abulebdeh

Tareq Abulebdeh

Head of design

Tareq is a graphic designer, art director, and is long experienced in working on creating holistic visual solutions. He is based in Istanbul, but is originally from Damasacus, where he earned a degree in interior design. He has worked in many startups—including some of his own—tv channels, and was previously a member of the Syrian Red Crescent media committee. He now works at OPC developing the company’s visual identity, as well as preparing visualizations for its reports. When not working on his latest art project, Tareq is taking care of his four cats.