The Friends of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music UK are constituted by a Board of Trustees and Advisers, who oversee the delivery of the charity’s projects, approve its development plans and monitor its legal and financial obligations. The team is composed of individuals from diverse backgrounds, all of whom support the sustainability and advancement of the charity and are committed to help young Palestinians.
John Cope is a Conservative politician who was an MP from 1974 to 1997 and was then appointed to the House of Lords. From 1979 to 1994 he held various offices in the Governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, latterly as Paymaster General at the Treasury. He has a long interest in Palestine where his wife was born.
Wissam Boustany is an internationally renowned flutist, Professor of Flute at the Royal Northern College of Music and international peace campaigner. Having taught at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Palestine on three occasions, he recently toured Indonesia with the Palestine National Orchestra. His international career has taken him to concerts across the world and, in 1997, he was presented with the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. Wissam was awarded a knighthood by the Lebanese government (Chevalier de l’Ordre du Cedre) in recognition of his music, which he continues to use as a powerful healing force to ‘help us reflect on our common humanity’.
After studying Classics at Oxford, Robin Kealy served in the Diplomatic Service from 1967 to 2004 and spent most of his career in the Arab World. His early postings included Libya, Kuwait and Iraq. From 1997 to 2001 he was British Consul-General in Jerusalem -effectively Britain’s representative to the Palestinian Authority- and from 2002 to 2004 he was British Ambassador to Tunisia. Before joining the FESNCM UK, he was Chairman of the charity Medical Aid to Palestinians.
Michel Massih was born in Jerusalem and he moved to London to study Law. Over the last 33 years of his legal career Michel has defended in some of the most notorious leading criminal cases in the UK and Internationally. In 1999 he was appointed Queen’s Counsel and he is the only practising Queens’s Counsel of Arab origin in the world. Michel was recently awarded the prestigious ‘Outstanding Criminal Lawyer’ of year award by the Society of Asian Lawyers.
After studying in Lebanon and at Columbia University in New York, Lena Saleh started her professional career in teacher education with UNRWA in Nablus and Ramallah. She has also served as Director in Special Need Education in Lebanon and as consultant to the Ministry of Labour and Social Development in Jordan for two years. Lena joined UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 1979 to 1999 as Senior Education Specialist, Head of Inclusive Education, before she moved to Palestine to work with the ESNCM as Deputy Director for Activities and PR.
Countess of Sandwich, Caroline Montague, has been involved with Saudi Arabia for 30 years, first as a business and financial writer and more recently studying civil society in Saudi Arabia, women’s issues, social services and the domestic NGO sector. Her most recent publication is a research report for Chatham House on aspects of Saudi civil society; among many others are a report for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the Saudi NGOs and a paper for the Middle East Journal. She has been a Research Associate of the SOAS’ London Middle East Institute, a committee member of the Saudi British Society, on the Saudi British Joint Business Council and an honorary member of the Middle East Association.
Zina joined the Friends in January 2014 as Administrator and Secretary of the Company. Zina studied History of Art at the University of York and conducted her research on the challenges faced by Palestinian artists to create both in a local and international context . She has a particular interest in music and culture and she holds a Certificate in Fundraising by the Institute of Fundraising. Zina is also the Development Assistant at International Musician Seminar(IMS) Prussia Cove.