Dana was born in Canada to Syrian parents, and growing up she spent her summers with her extended family in Syria. She completed a BES in Environmental Studies and has always dreamed of creating projects that support both people and the planet. After a visit to Northern Syria in 2013, she founded Tight-Knit Syria, an organization in which she could pour both of these passions. Despite many challenges over the years, Dana remains as motivated as she was on the first day.
Malak was forced to leave her hometown of Aleppo five years ago with her husband and five children, while pregnant with her youngest daughter who was born in Shatila camp, Lebanon. Although Malak has been enthusiastically knitting, embroidering and crocheting for most of her life, she had never thought of turning it into a business until she met Dana in 2015 and co-founded the Tight-Knit Syria collective in Shatila camp with her.
Ever since, Malak has been the collective’s field manager who inspires, organizes and teaches the other Syrian refugee women in the Shatila community. Her advanced needlework abilities coupled with her leadership skills and charisma are central to TKS operations, and the living room of her small apartment has become a hub of activity for artisans (and fellow TKS staff).
Alex hails from the Netherlands, but after living in and travelling across the Middle East for a period of her life, she always kept an affinity with the region. Upon completing her MSc International Relations in 2015 she came to Lebanon to do an internship with the United Nations. She met Dana and Malak in Beirut and immediately knew that she wanted to become part of the initiative. Alex was an integral part of the establishment of the Lebanese branch of TKS in Shatila camp, and since then has been a dedicated member of the TKS family.
Lara was born in Canada and raised in Syria. She has been working in the fashion industry since 2011 and pursued a Masters in Fashion & Luxury Brand Management in Paris. Since completing her studies, she has focused on working with social enterprises and NGOs relating to women’s empowerment and children’s education in Lebanon and Jordan. She joined the TKS team in 2018 and has been a pillar of the organization ever since.