our team

International Board Members

Aurelia Thompson-Mcnicol

Curriculum, Teaching & Accreditation Director (Palestine & UK Board)

An experienced international school leader transforming schools for sustainability and new approaches to education.
Raised in the Pyrenees where she specialized in sciences, then educated at La Sorbonne where she studied Arts, Art History and Esthetics, Aurélia McNicol is a creative and language Arts specialist who has worked in international boarding schools for over 15 years, after a UK career in marketing.
A hyperphantasic synaesthete with Grapheme-color and Ordinal linguistic personification, she has focused on supporting High Potential linguist teenagers with agencies and communities such as Gifted and Talented London, Eton and Libellule in Lausanne.
A chair for NEASC accreditations, she is known for her research and presentations on reflection and the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in educational programmes ever since they were implemented in September 2016, as well as leading workshops on plurilinguism in International conferences.

Saman Khan

Research and Development Director (Palestine & UK Board)

Saman Khan is an experienced social researcher and currently working as Research and Development Director. She had a degree in Social Work and have experience in in Education and Health sector and carries expertise in Research reports, Designing surveys, Data entry and analysis on Spss software, Content creating on website, Expert in both Quantitative and Qualitative data, editing, proofreading, media monitoring. Saman has extensive experience in handling large scale surveys, mix method evaluation and evidence reviews. She is handling the impact assessment reports of the programs running under the organization.
Saman has a keen interest in deliberative research and have experience working with DFID and UNICEF projects. She have also interest in event management and have organized international conferences of public health and on Education development.
Prior to joining her current team at Women Youth & Kids Empowerment Initiative, is to serve the community and to help women and youth by awaking them of their rights. Saman prefers to work on the “Women’s Education and mentoring” area as she consider her knowledge and experience in the women field is extensive and can bring value to the organization. And having a degree in social work she worked much on women issues and their educational barriers. Since then she have advanced through progressively more responsible positions in both sectors of education and health and have designed and implemented highly successful public policy strategies at departmental level.

Jamila Munir Al-Abbasi

Founder & CEO (Palestine & UK Board) & President

An experienced international human rights lawyer with expertise in employment law, human rights, due process, the administration of justice, misconduct at national and international level and UN-CMCoord qualified. She is a British Palestinian who studied an LLB and an LLM in International Human rights Law and work with charities, diplomatic organizations, businesses, law professors and at UNRWA whilst pursuing her legal career covering several areas of law, comparative laws, human rights, employment law, humanitarian law, due process, commercial law, privileges and immunities of UN agencies, neutrality and providing legal advice to the DUO at UNRWA Field Legal Office as required. After losing her UN job due to the funding crises at UNRWA in 2018 and due to the Arabic reading and writing language barrier she was not able to secure a local job so she studied the Arabic language online whilst pregnant with her third child and completed the UN-CMCoord, Gender Inclusivity in Peace-Building and Conflict Analysis with USIP/UN-OCHA. She studied with UPEACE on a course called Operationalizing the Right to Development in Implementing the SDGs. This course sparked interest for Jamila to work at schools to teach Human Rights skills and knowledge with the idea that SDGs is better achieved through education first from the bottom-up approach. After starting to volunteer at a local school in Jerusalem to help establish a peace faculty and sustainability initiatives, Jamila developed her first empower youth for life course but due to the covid crises, courses could go further so in her plight to seek funding and progress with the mission she realised she had to set up a an established organisation which led to the idea to empower women, youth and kids through learning skills to deal with the main global problem areas such as Human Rights, Gender Equality, Conflict Transformation and UN-SDGS and providing a full on support system to empower women and youth to become agents of change, supporting them through research and developing their own ideas into action through their own organizations or community projects. 

Chiara Attura

Human Rights Education & Research Director
(UK Board)

Salma Yusuf

International Law & Human Rights Director (UK Board)

Chiara is a high-energy, international oriented trainee lawyer, passionate in Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law. 
After a brief experience as a lecturer – leading a seminar regarding restorative justice at the course in International Criminal Law at the University of Trieste -, she completed her master degree in Law and her thesis received a specific mention by the Evaluation Committee as thesis of particular value. Chiara is currently a candidate at the Master of Laws in Transnational Crime and Justice jointly organised by UNICRI and University for Peace. She has worked as a legal intern at the National Public Prosecution Office Authority in Kigali, Rwanda and at the national Trial Court in Trieste, Italy, personally assisting a judge of the criminal sector.
Committed to gender equality and social justice, she strongly believes that cooperation and passion are the very key to success in reaching a safer and more equitable world.
She joined the team as Human Rights Education and Research Director.

Salma Yusuf is a Sri Lankan Lawyer, International Consultant & Trainer in Human Rights, Peace-building & Transitional Justice providing services to organizations at the international, regional, & national levels including to governments, multilateral and bilateral agencies, civil society & NGOs.
She has served in multiple roles & capacities from being a Civil Society activist nationally & internationally, a University Lecturer & Researcher, a Journalist & Opinion Columnist, & most recently a Public Official of the Government of Sri Lanka where she led the process of drafting & developing of Sri Lanka’s first National Policy on Reconciliation which is the first in Asia.
She has published extensively in scholarly journals including at the Seattle Journal of Social Justice, Sri Lanka Journal of International Law, Frontiers of Legal Research, American Journal of Social Welfare & Human Rights, Journal of Human Rights in the Commonwealth, International Affairs Review, Harvard Asia Quarterly & The Diplomat.
Hailing from a “triple minority” background – namely, ethnic, religious & linguistic minority communities – Salma Yusuf has translated her heritage into professional acumen by developing a high degree of empathy to grievances, sophisticated & nuanced understanding of challenges & cross-cultural sensitivity to the aspirations & needs of societies & communities she works with, in the pursuit of the ideals of human rights, law, justice & peace.
She has a Master of Laws in Public International Law from Queen Mary University of London & a Bachelor of Laws Honours from University of London. She was called to the Bar & has been admitted as an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.
She has completed specialized fellowships at University of Toronto, University of Canberra & American University of Washington.

William Salameh

Palestine Legal Director & Honorary Officer

Reem Hisham Iriqat

Palestine Capacity Building Director & Vice President

Anbara Abu-Libda

Palestine Board Member, Director & Board Member

Anbara is a former teacher with 23 years of experience in teaching English for secondary students. As a mother of 6 didn’t allow that to restrict her career. She opened and is currently running her very own resort in Jericho with an additional clothes shop business. Anbara is an inspiration to all mothers especially in Palestine to encourage them to achieve their highest potential. Anbara joined WYK Empower with a passion for empowerment and helping women, youth and kids live happier and economically secure lives. 

Mr. William Salameh is a Palestinian living in Ramallah, he graduated from the evangelical escopical high school in Ramallah in 2001, to continue his studies in the Arab American University, he graduated in 2006 with a degree in Law. He started his two years’ legal trainee at Ziadeh law office in order to get the Membership Certification in the Palestinian Bar Association in December 2008. Since earlier 2009, he started his career as an Attorney at Law and Legal Advisor in Equity Legal Group, and he was later appointed as a Legal Advisor and Projects Manager in Horizon for Sustainable Development until 2013. William started his current position as a legal officer for UNRWA in July 2013. 

Reem Erekat lives in East Jerusalem and studied English Language & Literature and a minor in French Language at Al-Quds University as a bachelor degree. Currently Reem works as a nationally youth mobilization inspirator at Actionaid Australia based in Ramallah where she works to mobilize youth and to support the newly established youth hub. She helps to build the youth activist and volunteer network in Ramallah and the surrounding area and encourage youth groups to join youth hub activities to volunteer which includes providing support to youth that apply for funding to do specific activities that could influence social change. Reem joined WYK because she believes that we as social activists have to support women, youth and kids to be empowered so they can be effective citizens who influence their communities for positive change socially, educationally and financially

Jamila Khwies Dola

Palestine Teaching & Sustainability Director & Treasurer

Jamila is a mother of 4 and a teacher at a public school in East Jerusalem and has a passion to improve the community she lives in. Jamila has several years of teaching experience and leading school projects one of which recently included sustainability projects. Jamila has a passion for the work of the WYK Empower and joined the board to help to empower women, youth and kids through capacity building and sustainability for a more sustainabile peace and development.