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GDL member Tarek Alsaleh wants to end competition among non-profit organisations and allow inspiring individuals to spend more time working with humans instead of computers. To this end, he founded FrontlineAid, and, in this article with TwentyThirty, he talks about the idea behind his project and other ways to rid the development sector of unnecessary bureaucracy.

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Tarek Alsaleh

Tarek Alsaleh, half German and half Syrian, has had a life-long passion for sport.

He studied sport science at the University of Cologne and went on to run his own gym in Cologne, Germany, established a real estate agency in Damascus, Syria, and set up two successful and innovative sports and play NGOs. Tarek’s work has been recognised by the BMW Foundation Award for Responsible Leaders 2015, the Anna Lindh Euro-Med Dialogue Award 2015 and Beyond Sport in partnership with UNICEF for Sport for Conflict Resolution 2013 and 2015.

Tarek has always been fascinated by the transformative power of play and its ability to overcome difference.

He is the founder of Capoeira4Refugees a project that uses the sport and art-form of capoeira to provide psychosocial support to vulnerable refugees. Since 2007, Tarek’s capoeira programmes have reached over 50,000 vulnerable children and adolescents in Syria, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and is now scaling.


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