Head of Partnerships

Rawaad Mahyub | United Kingdom

Rawaad Mahyub was the Director of ACWAY since 2015 until 2024. He has also been working in the field of humanitarian and social development for over 15 years, delivering projects in adult education, livelihoods, social mobility and health. He has developed initiatives to improve global collaboration between international and local actors in the aid sector and advocates for local humanitarian organisations on issues of aid financing to decision making and delivery. He is also passionate about engaging young people to promote change through civic activism. He graduated with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Chemistry from York University and an Executive MBA from the University of Birmingham. He is originally from Yemen, lives in the UK and has two children.

Executive Director

Liliya Khasanova | Russia

Liliya Khasanova is the Director of A Common Word Among the Youth, after being a fellow and a member of the Executive Committee of A Common Word Among the Youth (ACWAY) since 2017. As an ACWAY fellow, Liliya drafted Interfaith Development Goals (IDGs), organized several youth Forums and held trainings for youth on various topics such as interreligious and intercultural dialogue, peacebuilding, and human rights. Liliya is currently doing her post-doctoral research in international law. She also held several academic positions with Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, University of Fribourg (Switzerland), Stockholm Center for International Law and Justice (Sweden), conducting research on international peace negotiations and human rights.

Head of Operations

Uzair Ben Ebrahim (Izzy) | South Africa

Uzair Ben Ebrahim is an educator, linguist, facilitator, social justice advocate, decolonialist, performance poet and writer. He holds a B.A. (2014) in linguistics, arabic language and literature, and Hebrew language and literature; a post-graduate certificate (2016) in education; and a B.A. honours (2017) in Hebrew language and literature with his thesis focusing on the development of modern Hebrew through analysing Aramaic texts in the Old Testament, all from the University of Cape Town. Uzair was an assistant lecturer at the global citizenship programme at the University of Cape Town, a programme designed to develop critical thinking and active citizenry in young graduates. He currently teaches English literature, Arabic language and literature and religion studies at high schools in Cape Town. Uzair also consults both locally and internationally on topics of education, curriculum development, social justice advocacy and interreligious dialogue.

Programs Officer

Riley Anderson | USA

Riley began her interfaith journey in 2018. She interned for a religious professor at Utah Valley University for a semester that turned into a position on the UVU Interfaith Council. I served on the council for a year as the service projects representative. After my time on the council, I graduated high school and moved to Boston to attend UMass Boston as International Relations major. She is now a part of ACWAY, work for the City of Boston, and study full time.

Communications Officer

Hira Aftab | United Kingdom

Hira Aftab is the Founder of Our World Too, an organisation dedicated to re-humanising the narrative surrounding refugees and displaced communities around the world. She is also a Communications Expert in the humanitarian/international development sector and is currently the Strategic Communications Lead for the Diaspora Programme at the British Red Cross. She has experience working in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UK on projects ranging from refugee support to access to justice. Hira is also an active ACWAY Fellow and looks forward to opportunities to engage with the wider network.
She holds two Masters degrees, an MA in International Relations from the University of Nottingham and an MSc in Humanitarianism, Conflict and Development from the University of Bath.

Marketing Officer

Gabrielle Hayashi | Brazil

Gabrielle Hayashi Santos has a degree in International Relations and is currently a graduate student in Development and Governance. She is passionate about using social media platforms as a tool to generate social impact by educating the public and generating mutual understanding about relevant topics related to the 2030 agenda, having a human rights-based approach to digital platforms.

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