Maya Alkateb-Chami

Maya Alkateb

Organization and problem solving Maya’s educational projects are designed to solve local problems. She takes the local context into consideration and pays attention to different stakeholders’ needs, including the local community. She currently manages a leading organization in the area of supporting Syria through education and managed a cultural non-profit before, navigating a challenging work environments and successfully leading and inspiring teams of professionals, including volunteers.

Training – connection A proficient trainer in project cycle management and quantitative and qualitative data collection and reporting, Maya provides training in professional contexts as well as to adolescents in youth programs. She is also a trainer in the area of folklore fieldwork, focusing on traditional arts and practices, and building relationships with and between people.

Writing Author of two books and several edited booklets, reports, journal articles, and successful grant proposals, Maya writes in both English and Arabic.

Cultural professional experience

Jusoor, USA, UK, Canada, Lebanon

Directing an award-winning organization that supports the development of Syria through education, career development, and global community engagement. Key programs are the scholarship program (400+ academic scholarships), refugee education program (3,500+ students enrolled in 3 centers in Lebanon), and entrepreneurship and mentorship programs. Overseeing a team of 50+ members: directing programs, communications, finances, and partnerships, while actively engaging volunteers, board members, staff, and donors.

National Art Education Association, USA

Assessing educational resource submissions for the Digication Portfolio of NAEA’s Caucus on Social Theory and Art Education. This platform curates high-quality resources for educators: contemporary themes relevant to students’ lives, projects that speak to social justice created by a diverse range of authors, and critical thinking opportunities that broaden students’ perception of art. 

The Philadelphia Folklore Project, Philadelphia

Producing a report on the traditional arts of the Burmese, Iraqi, and Bhutanese-Nepalese refugee communities who had recently resettled in Philadelphia, and recommending ways to support them in celebrating and sustaining their traditions.

City Lore, New York

Writing grant applications for documentary films and a community arts project, editing a poetry-centered exhibit booklet on endangered languages for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, researching materials for a primary source-based curriculum on New York City’s “Little Syria” neighborhood, conducting an internal marketing assessment of the organization, and archiving music.

Engaging Youth Community Centers Project, UNRWA, Syria

Researching the needs of adolescents living in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria and their attitudes towards 13 recently established community centers in the camps, researching the local communities’ attitudes towards the centers, and designing a strategy to enhance delivery and dissemination of services at these centers towards youth, especially those not currently reached by them.

Ministry of Culture, Damascus

Authoring Syria’s country reports for two UNESCO Conventions: The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (due every 6 years), and the Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (due every 4 years). This includes original research and production of cultural statistics for the country. 

Al-Makan Art Association, Syria

Directing the NGO, which involved designing and implementing projects, writing grants, building and maintaining partnerships, evaluation, and leading teams of employees and volunteers. Programs included fine art exhibits, film and poetry festivals, book and music productions, documentation of oral heritage by youth, mobile exhibits on cultural heritage in buses, establishing a fine arts library, and delivering art workshops to children and youth.

Deir Mar Musa Al-Habashi, Nebek, Syria

Writing grant proposals for inter-religious dialogue workshops and a campaign to raise environmental awareness, and managing an architecture competition with a religious dialogue theme.


Trainer in project planning and management, including for Maastricht School of Management, United World Colleges, and UNRWA.
Founding Chair of United World Colleges’ scholarship program for Syrian adolescents.
Arabic-English interpreter, including for National Geographic Magazine.

Education and professional qualifications

M.S.Ed. in Education, Indiana University Bloomington, IN, USA 

Executive Certificate in Project Development and Management, Maastricht School of Management, the Netherlands

B.A. in Political Science, Damascus University, Syria

Diploma in Education Qualification, Damascus University, Syria (incomplete)

Certificate in Cultural Marketing, Al-Makan Art Association, Damascus

Certificate in Integrating Persons with Special Needs in Normal Classrooms, The Syrian Organization for the Disabled AAMAL, Damascus

Certificates in Moderation and Facilitation and in Encouraging Children to Read, Goethe Institute, Damascus

Certificate in Non-Violent Approaches to Conflict Resolution, Peace Building, and Reconciliation, United Nations University – International Leadership Institute, Amman

Awardee of the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Scholarship for Graduate Studies

Advisory Board Member at Arabesque Foundation for Arab Culture (AFAC)
Advisory Board Member of Sky School
Member of United World Colleges (UWC) Syrian National Committee and Refugee Initiative Task Force
Member-Elect of the UWC Committee of National Committees – MENA Region
Member of the UWC Committee for the Governance of the National Committee System
Former representative of the Folklore and Ethnomusicology Student Associations at Indiana University Bloomington’s Graduate and Professional Student Organization



Authored books

Alkateb, M 2010, Syrian silk: portrait of a living cultural heritage, The Danish Institute in Damascus, Damascus.

Aboufakher, I & Alkateb, M 2012, Policies and programs for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in Syria (2005-2011), Ministry of Culture, Damascus.

Edited books

Alkateb, M (ed.) 2008, أغاني من تدمر [Songs from Palmyra], Al Makan Art Association, Damascus.

Alkateb, M (ed.) 2008,أغاني من السويداء [Songs from Sweida], Al Makan Art Association, Damascus.

Alkateb, M (ed.) 2008, حكايا من السويداء [Tales from Sweida], Al Makan Art Association, Damascus.

Alkateb, M & Holman, B (eds.) 2013, Khonsay: poem of many tongues, City Lore, New York.

Peer-reviewed academic journal articles

Alkateb, M 2013, ‘Non-traditional education using cultural heritage: a case study from Syria’, International Journal for Education through Art, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 189-204.

Master’s thesis

Alkateb-Chami, M 2016, Youth Empowerment Using the Arts: An Indicative Theoretical Model for Practitioners (Master’s Thesis), Indiana University Bloomington.

Conference papers

Alkateb, M 2014, ‘Traditional crafts and supply chains: lessons from the Syrian silk craft’, Proceedings of Heritage 2014: The Fourth International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development, Guimarães, 22-25 July, Green Lines Institute for Sustainable Development, Barcelos.


Alkateb, M 2009, Syrian silk: saving the vanishing craft, The Syria Trust for Development, Damascus.

Syrian Ministry of Culture 2011, Report on the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and on the status of elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Ministry of Culture, Damascus. Main contributor to report with Imad Aboufakher, report submitted to UNESCO.

Syrian Ministry of Culture 2012, The first quadrennial periodic report on measures to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions in the Syrian Arab Republic, Ministry of Culture, Damascus. Main contributor to report with Imad Aboufakher, report submitted to UNESCO.


Alkateb, M 2007, ‘رحلتي الطويلة من أجل الحرية: قراءة [‘Long Walk to Freedom’: a reading]’, award-winning essay featuring Nelson Mandela’s autobiography.

Alkateb, M 2010, ‘صورة الدولة في مناهج التعليم’ [‘The image of the State in Syria’s educational curricula’], BA graduation project, University of Damascus.

Alkateb, M (ed.) 2011, Fruits: music from Syria, Italy, and Sweden [CD]. Al Makan Art Association, Damascus.

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