Tarek Alsaleh, half Syria half German founded capoeira classes for street kids and refugee children on the streets of Damascus in 2007. 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 is a member of the Global Diplomacy Lab and his 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. Since 2007, Tarek’s capoeira programmes have reached over 60,000 vulnerable children and adolescents in Syria, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and beyond.
“I’m after the changemakers who have the motivation, the desire, already – and we release their potential. I’ve worked with young people in some of the harshest environments, and I’ve met them, again and again, these bright stars just wanting, waiting for that opportunity.”