Trustees and staff

Fobzu Board of Trustees

Lady Anne Stoneham │Chair

Anne was a former city solicitor with Coward Chance (now Clifford Chance).  Since 1995, she has been an academic specialising in company law and since 2005, an accredited mediator. She has had a long interest in the voluntary sector, particularly with respect to education and disadvantaged young people, and has been involved with pro bono work for community law centres, as a school governor with the Girls Day School Trust, a volunteer mediator and as a Director and Trustee of UK Youth since 1987. She has an MA in Geography (Oxon), and MSc Pennsylvania State University, USA.

John FergusonTreasurer

John is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.  He is retired after enjoying an international career in the oil and gas industry, in which he held several senior financial management positions in a variety of cultural environments, including Syria. He moved into industry with Shell in 1980 after qualifying with Coopers & Lybrand and a subsequent spell with Price Waterhouse.  This provided an opportunity to experience many facets of conducting business and managing internal and external relationships within different cultures. He enjoys art and architecture, travel, cycling and golf. He lives in the UK with his wife.

Dr Marwan Darweish

Marwan is a senior lecturer at the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies (CPRS) at Coventry University and an expert in peace processes and conflict transformation. He has extensive experience across the Middle East region and special interest in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He has a wide ranging experience working with government and civil society organisations on conflict transformation and peacebuilding. He is undertaking consultancies in strategy development  to resolve conflict.  He has been leading  programs in East and Central Africa. Before joining Coventry University, Dr Darweish worked as Peace and Conflict Advisor at Responding to Conflict (RTC) and as director of the Middle East program.

Belinda Coote

Belinda  spent 18 years with Oxfam in a variety of policy and advocacy and management roles mainly focused on South Asia and Southern Africa and included periods of time living and working in Bangladesh, Nepal and South Africa. In 2002 she became Chief Executive of Medical Aid for Palestinians, a position she held for four years. Since then she has led Lattitude Global Volunteering and AMREF UK, spent a period of time in a senior position with the humanitarian organisation Merlin and is currently working as Chief Executive of the Chauncy Maples Malawi Trust. Belinda is author of several publications on international trade.

Dr Aimee Shalan 

Aimee is CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians and previously served as Director at Fobzu. She was formerly Head of Education at Caabu (the Council for Arab-British Understanding) and has written for a variety of publications, including the New Statesman, the Guardian, openDemocracy and Jadaliyya. Previously she taught at City University and Queen Mary, University of London. She has a doctorate in the Politics of Palestinian Literature.


Dr Donna Baillie

Donna is currently a senior research consultant specialising in the public
and third sectors.  In her previous role as a documentary filmmaker she
produced films about the second intifada which have been screened by major
broadcasters and featured in high profile film festivals.  She continued her
research into dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through
undertaking academic degrees in Social and Political Sciences (Cambridge),
Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology (Oxford), and Social Psychology


Mazen Arafat

Mazen spent 18 years in the City in various trading, investment, and management roles.  He also was involved over the years in Arab tech start-ups and today continues as a non-executive partner in a leading Arab digital consultancy.  Since 2016 he has pursued interests in economic development studies, entrepreneurial endeavours in Palestine and elsewhere, as well as specific investment strategies such as systemmatic and value approaches.  In addition to his interest in the educational advancement of Palestinians, he is a patron of Medical Aid for Palestinians.  He holds a BA in Economics (Rutgers) and an MPhil in Political Science (Columbia).


Omar Shweiki │ Director

Omar was formerly Acting Director of the Kenyon Institute, a British Academy supported research centre in East Jerusalem where he also served as Jerusalem Scholar. He taught History and Politics at the Al Quds University and is completing a doctorate in International Relations at Balliol College, Oxford University. He holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics; and an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, also from Oxford University.