About us2018-12-14T03:12:22+00:00

About Us

The Barakat Trust was founded as a UK charity in 1987 and operates for educational and heritage purposes, providing scholarships and grants for study and research projects at the world’s most respected academic and cultural institutions at post-graduate and post-doctoral level amongst other initiatives.

The Barakat Trust is an international non-political, non-religious, non-sectarian and independent charity based in the United Kingdom.

The aims of the charity are;

a) Intellectual Excellence; support, nurture and promote study and scholarship of Islamic art history, architecture and archaeology.

b) Preservation of Heritage; conserve the material culture of the Islamic world and elevate the level of curation and skills in conservation. To further make the material culture of the Islamic world more accessible through digital and other means.

c) Create Awareness; provide a platform for cross cultural understanding and tolerance across the world by promoting the findings, research and project outputs and study of Islamic culture.

d) Sustainable growth & development; develop effective long terms partnerships and sustain current and future aims of the trust.

For fourteen centuries, the art and architecture of the Islamic world has represented a pinnacle of achievement for some of the greatest civilizations in history. In recent years there has been deliberate destruction of cultural heritage and looting of art and antiquities in the Levant regions in Iraq, Syria, Libya and beyond, which has been branded “a form of cultural cleansing” by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

In light of the current socio-political climate, there is a pressing need for the arts and culture of the Islamic World to be nurtured through scholarship and study programmes, preserved through elevated levels of curation and conservation, better understood through wider access and digital platforms creating long term growth and sustainability through a range of creative initiatives including the ‘curated culture’ programme aimed at adults and families.

Trustees

Rima Alsafadi

Trustee Rima Al-Safadi was raised and educated in Damascus, Syria graduating with a BA in English Literature & Civilisation from Damascus University. Rima brings a diverse range of skills and experience to her role as Trustee, having founded and managing various businesses including ‘The Glass Art’, ‘Wow Flowers’ and Dania Trading Establishment’, all of which are based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She has been active in the voluntary sector as a member of a wide variety of charities, including the ‘ Barakat Trust’ since 1991. She also founded and continues to run a private family non-profit charity organisation, the ‘SAKR Fund’, supporting humanitarian causes centered around education, health care and financial support [...]

Rabya Alfadl

Trustee Rabya Alfadl was raised in Saudi Arabia and educated in the USA. Alfadl graduated in Psychology from Wellesley College, Massachusetts, completed a range of executive management and leadership courses and currently completing a Diploma in Behavioural Science at The London School of Economics. Having worked in marketing, brand management, research design and strategic development in both the public and private sector with some of the worlds leading organisations ranging from Focus EuroRSCG, Bahrain Telecommunications Co., Unilever Arabia, PLC Arabia, and Elixir Consulting, Alfadl brings a whole host of skills and experience to the board of trustees. Further, she continues to work as a consultant working between Europe and the Middle East [...]

Sara Alireza

Trustee Sara A. Alireza, was born in London, raised and educated in Saudi Arabia and the UK. Having graduated from The London School of Economics in Industrial and Business economics, Sara spent a short stint at Banque Baring Brothers, Switzerland working as an analyst focusing on emerging markets. In 2005, she became a trustee of the Barakat Endownment Trust and was responsible for fund management, organising a diverse and eclectic range of cultural events and fundraising activities including gala dinners, lectures, workshops, exhibitions, concerts and craft fairs. She was instrumental in the co-ordination of the global cultural immersion programmes. In 2013, Sara became a member of the Saudi Art Council and was [...]

Abir Dajani Tuqan

Trustee Abir Tuqan, was born in Jaffa, Palestine and educated initially in Switzerland & later England. A member of Middle Temple, Inns of Court School of Law, London, Tuqan was called to the Bar in 1973 and later specialized in Islamic Law at the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), London University. Tuqan practiced Civil Law in London and Commercial Law in Kuwait after marrying in 1975. Whilst living and working in Kuwait she was one of the early members of Al Sadu, an association for the preservation of local culture & weaving. In the late 1970s Tuqan was closely involved with the Script writer Franco Solinas & director Costa Gavras [...]

Tarik Alireza

Founder & Trustee Tarik A. Alireza, was born in Cairo, raised and educated in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Switzerland and the USA. He completed a degree in Architecture at the School of Architecture and Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. Alireza worked with John Laing Design Associates, London, and then Robert Matthew-Johnson Marshall (RMJM) in Cambridge on residential, commercial and industrial projects in the UK and Saudi Arabia. Further he participated in RMJM's master planning project in the Western Province of Saudi Arabia for the Deputy Ministry of Municipalities, Ministry of Interior. In 1977, he established Tarik Ali Alireza Consulting Engineers, a multi-disciplinary architectural and engineering practise with offices in Jeddah [...]

Hamida Alireza

Founder & Trustee Hamida A. Alireza, was born in USA, raised and educated in Switzerland. Alireza is a Founding member of the Mansoojat Foundation: The Museum of Saudi Arabian Costume and was an Advisory Board member to the Centre for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University. In addition she has co-organised a conference on ‘The History of Islamic Art, Collectors, Collections & Scholars’ at the internationally renown Victoria & Albert Museum and curated a range of exhibitions; ‘Word CulturesThrough Traditional Costumes’ for the Singapore National Heritage Board during the Youth Olympic Games, 51 & 21 Costumes, hosted at the Jeddah Economic Forum and ‘Souk, Scripts & Sand Bites’ at the V&A London, respectively. [...]

Projects

Dr Olga Bush

Dr Olga Bush is a scholar of Islamic art and architecture, whose research interests engage interdisciplinary methods and theoretical issues in a wide variety of topics ranging from the relationship of poetry to architecture in medieval Muslim aesthetics to nineteenth-century European and American Orientalism, to patronage of the arts in twentieth-century [...]

NYLA Consults

NYLA Consults is honoured to have developed the business plan, financial targets, PR & social media strategy and children’s ‘Culture Vulture’ education programmes as the delivery partner for the Barakat Trust over the last 2 years. Wishing the Barakat Trust continued success in preserving Islamic culture and heritage for future [...]

Amal

Amal provides opportunities for people in Britain, regardless of their faith or beliefs, to come together and explore the rich diversity of Muslim cultures and arts including storytelling, visual arts, theatre, poetry, music, dance and film. Amal facilitates experiences, encounters and discoveries that help to address the complex and critical [...]

Grantee Profile

Dr Olga Bush

Dr Olga Bush is a scholar of Islamic art and architecture, whose research interests engage interdisciplinary methods and theoretical issues in a wide variety of topics ranging from the relationship of poetry to architecture in medieval Muslim aesthetics to nineteenth-century European and American Orientalism, to patronage of the arts in twentieth-century [...]

Paul Hepworth

Country of origin Turkey University Religious Foundation, Ankara Course Conservation Grant issued 2009 Area of interest Conserve 17 Ottoman endowment deeds from the 16th-19th centuries : a collaborative art historical and conservation approach Profile Conserve 17 Ottoman endowment deeds from the 16th-19th centuries : a collaborative art historical and conservation [...]

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