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Our Founders

Sawsan Darwaza

Festival Director and Co-Founder of Karama HRFF

Sawsan Darwaza is an award-winning theater, film director, and producer who chooses to evolve her work organically as she explores new spaces on the stage and the screen. Sawsan started her filmmaking career when she introduced audiovisual media in her theatre work. The intermingling between film and theater offers her audiences new experiences, enabling her to venture into new ways of action and interaction, moving both mind and soul. Currently, Sawsan Darwaza is co-founder and worker at Ma3mal 612-Think Factory and producer, founder & director of the “Karama Human Rights Film Festival” since 2010. In addition, she is president of the Jordan Center of the International Theater Institute, CEO at Mir’at Media Productions which merged with Ma3mal612 Productions, and chairman of Naseej Foundation – Resources for Community Youth Development in the Arab World. Sawsan has created, directed, and reduced several screen productions. For her documentary ‘Borderlands’, she received the Award for Best Short Documentary at the International EcoFilm Festival Greece, the Award for Best Short Documentary at AMAL film festival in Santiago Spain, and Special Jury Mention at Al Jazira Documentary Festival 2008.

Ehab Al-Khatib

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Karama HRFF

Ehab Al Khatib was born in Zarka, Jordan. He followed his studies at the Higher Institute of Cinema in Cairo, from which he graduated in 1991. After graduating, Ehab worked in the field of television for documentary and media productions, and as Artistic Director for various drama series in the Arab world. Within his years of experience, he directed more than 100 hours of TV documentary series and programs. Currently, Ehab is co-founder and worker at Ma3mal 612- Think Factory, in an initiative to develop cinema and film projects and create alternative methods for producing. In addition, Ehab is co-founder and artistic director/curator of Karama Human Rights Film Festival – Jordan, which is a project within Ma3mal 612-Think Factory. Ehab received the Bronze Award for his short fiction film ‘’Letters of the Sea’’ at the Ismailia Film Festival, in 1992.

Ayed Nabaa

Director and Producer

Ayed Nabaa, born in Amman in 1981, is a Jordanian-Palestinian-French scriptwriter, film director and producer currently based in France. In 2003, he graduated from the Fine Arts Faculty in Jordan (cinema department). He also took part in filmmaking training workshops such as the New York Film Academy filmmaking program. In his debut, he directed and produced short films, documentaries and also worked on a TV series in Jordan. He also led directing and scriptwriting workshops in several countries in the middle East as well as conferences around cinema. For the past years, he has mainly worked as a freelancer, writing and directing documentaries focusing on Arab culture, daily life and politics. His film Sunbird received the Ibn Batutta Originality Award in FDEO Tangier/Morocco 2016 and the Grand Prize at AFIFDOK houribga/Morocco 2017. The film also competed in the official selection of Al Ard Doc Film Festival 2017 in Sardinia/Italy.

Ammar Darwaza

Business management

Ashraf al Shakaa

Media expert

Ashraf began his two-decade-long career in cultural journalism in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, where he specialised in music reviews and reporting. In 2016, he produced the independent docu-drama film “Farid”, which was screened at a number of international film festivals. Ashraf is also an experienced corporate communications professional. Though based in Dubai, his remit covers a wide range of markets in the GCC, Levant and Egypt. His passion lies in writing, cinema, music and anything on two wheels.

Dr. Tariq Rimawi

Animation director and screenwriter

Tariq Rimawi is an independent Jordanian animated film director, scriptwriter, and an academic member of the Faculty of Architecture and Design at the University of Petra. In 2010, he graduated with a Master’s in Animation from Newport Film School in the United Kingdom. Since then his shorts have been screened at more than 180 international film festivals and received 15 awards. In 2016, Tariq established the Animation & Multimedia Department at the University of Petra. With his engagement in education and creating jobs for animation artists, he wants to show the potential of Arab artists and stories and put Jordan on the map of animation production countries. Filmography • 2010 - Missing • 2013 - Growing  - supported by Ma3mal612 • 2016 - Surprise - supported by Culture Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy) • 2022 – Zoo – Supported by Jordan Film Fund / RFC& Robert Bosch Stiftung

Dr. Abla Amawi

International Development and Gender Expert

Dr. Amawi Former Secretary General of the Higher Population Council/ Jordan and the President of the Arab Council for Population and Development/League of Arab States. Previously, Dr. Amawi worked for 24 years at the United Nations, during which she held several senior positions. Most of her work focused on designing and managing programs at the global, regional and country levels, where she was responsible for managing democratic governance programs (state building, elections, transitional justice) rule of law and access to justice, conflict prevention and peace negotiations, rehabilitation of war-affected communities and crisis management, public sector reform and assessment, formulation of national and local economic plans and an expert in poverty programs, gender equality and women's empowerment (strategies, gender mainstreaming and audits), design of UN Country Assessments and programming frameworks; local development and national and local strategic planning. Dr. Amawi is a former Deputy Country Director at the United Nations Development Program in Pakistan, and senior policy advisor/manager with UNDP for the Reconstruction of Gaza and programs linking higher education with economic empowerment, which she designed for Gaza and then for Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, in addition to her work as UNWOMEN country representative in Egypt and Sudan. She also held the position of Senior Adviser at UNDP in Jerusalem/Head of the Good Governance Team and as Regional Capacity Development/Public Sector Reform Manager for Arab States in addition to for her participation in specialized missions for economic transformation in Eastern Europe, and her work as Assistant Resident Representative to UNDP in Jordan and Sudan. Before joining the United Nations, Dr. Amawi was a visiting assistant professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University, and Randolph Macon College (USA). Dr. Amawi holds an MA and Ph.D. from Georgetown University, specializing in Comparative Politics and Political Economy. She is the author of many books and articles on political economy theories, issues of democracy, civil society and gender.

Dr Hakem Masoud

Theatre Director

Sana Abdallah

Journalist and writer