Keynote: Masarrat Misbah

Masarrat Misbah, a beautician of international repute turned philanthropist is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Pakistan. She heads the Depilex Beauty Clinic and Institute which now has 35 branches across Pakistan. Masarrat Misbah started this foundation to help acid burn victims rehabilitate through medical treatment, psycho-social support and skill and occupational training.

Issa Sadi Ebombolo

Issa is the founder and the director of Peace Club in Zambia. Peace club is an initiative, which helps students to learn non-violent ways of responding to conflict. It also gives the students a safe place to ask questions and organize responses to school, home, community and national issues. During its foundation, Peace Clubs started in three Zambian schools. The initiative has expanded in thirteen African countries and operating in 650 schools around the continent. Issa has worked with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees as a project coordinator to address violence that were happening in seven refugee camps. He has also worked as a project coordinator with ‘Peace Center’ a Catholic organization which was involved in resolving conflicts between refugees and local communities. From 2012 to date, Issa has been working with the Mennonite Central Committee as an instructor of “Peace Club: Theory and Practice” at Africa Peace Building Institute in Johannesburg South Africa. Currently, Issa is studying for a Master in Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel University College- University of Waterloo.

Nathan Funk

Dr. Nathan Funk is an associate professor in Peace and Conflict studies at the University of Waterloo where he teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate level. He received his BA in Global Community Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1994, and his PhD in International Relations from American University in 2000. He has lived in lived in South Asia and the Middle East. Dr. Funk has served on the Board of Directors of Project Ploughshares and Peacebuild: The Canadian Peacebuilding Network. His main areas of research are cross-cultural conflict resolution, religion in conflict and peacemaking, the contemporary Middle East, sustained dialogue and peace and conflict theory. Dr. Funk has been widely published, and has been involved in numerous speaking engagements. As well, he has designed online courses on peace and conflict resolution, and worked on training projects for the United States Institute of Peace.

Lucy Strickland

Lucy Strickland is World Vision International’s Global Education in Emergencies (EiE) Specialist based in Geneva. She was recently in Kurdistan province in Iraq, where she helped design and establish WVI’s emergency education and protection response for children displaced by the ongoing conflict. Having worked for 13 years in both the development and humanitarian context of education-sector programming Lucy is a passionate educator with extensive experience.


Rozana Al-Rawas


Rozana Al-Rawas, is a fourth year student here at the University of Waterloo. She was born and raised in Damascus, Syria and her interest in Peace and conflict resolution grew stronger after the events of the Syrian Civil War in 2011. She has volunteered in Canada and abroad with organisations such as Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support (MCRS), the Popular Aid for Relief and Development (PARD), in refugee camps in Lebanon and with food distribution programs for Syrian refuge children. Rozana has a passion for refugee aid and we are excited to have her at the conference.

Ryan Aldred


Ryan Aldred is the President of the Canadian International Learning Foundation (www.canilf.org). Since 2006, Ryan and his fellow volunteers have worked with educators in Kandahar, Uganda and around the world to provide education in regions affected by war, illness and poverty. CanILF specializes in the development of online volunteer teams that act as facilitators for remote schools, helping them to refine their curriculum, develop partnerships, improve their public relations and social media presence, and obtain and fulfill large-scale grants. Ryan also serves as a Sergeant in the Canadian Forces Reserve and as a board member of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. He and his family live in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Sarah Kamal

Sarah Kamal earned a Bachelor’s of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo then worked on social development practice, policy, and research in Canada, Nicaragua, Uganda, India, and Iran. Her interests turned towards media systems after a trip into Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in 2001. She began conducting independent research and volunteer work with local groups, including helping launch a women’s radio station in western Afghanistan. She also coordinated participatory team research on Afghan refugee youth in Iran for the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre, promoted gender equality in Afghan media for UNIFEM, and set up a CIDA-funded aid project for Rights and Democracy. She edited the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan, a 10-year policy platform for the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs to improve the status of Afghan women that was approved by the Afghan cabinet in 2008. Sarah holds an MSc in Comparative Media Studies from MIT, and has written for Oxford Analytica, the UN Chronicle, and Oxfam’s Gender and Development journal.  She is a former Trudeau Scholar.

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