Located in Athens, Zaatar assists all refugees and asylum seekers with a focus on single women, mothers with children, and LGBTs.
In Arabic ‘za’atar’ is a mix of herbs used daily in Middle Eastern cuisine. Just as the herbs combined together enhance the food they are cooked with so we believe that people with various backgrounds, skills and interests enrich each other too.
United with volunteers from around the world, Zaatar’s guiding purpose is to assist refugees who are searching for a safe haven – peace and respite from war.
We are an international and local team with various personal and professional backgrounds, speaking many languages and with a background in refugee-related work. Our co-founders are both Greek citizens.
With approximately fifteen volunteers each week we work in conjunction with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), informal settlements, and an organisation operating a local warehouse of donated goods to deliver services in Athens and the Attica region.
Hasan was born in Edleb, Syria. He has spent most of his life in Athens, Greece and works in the HR department of a multinational company. He started volunteering for various worthy causes a few years ago. Hasan is passionate about helping refugees and improving their lives. He is actively involved in empowering the refugees that Zaatar serves. He speaks Arabic, English and Greek.
Marina is a French-Greek citizen. She studied law and communications in Paris and New York City. She has always volunteered in parallel with working in international companies and government agencies. She decided to set up a non profit organization with Hasan in 2016. Marina is involved on a day to day basis with Zaatar. She loves interacting with the refugees that Zaatar serves. She speaks Arabic, English, French, Greek and Spanish.
Mariam is Iraqi and grew up in Saudi Arabia and the UK. In conjunction with studying humanitarian work, she volunteered with various groups in Austria and Greece. She volunteered at the Orange House four times before deciding to move to Greece to help with managing the organization. She speaks English and Arabic.
Léa studied HR and Communication in Paris and Montreal before dedicating herself to recruitment. She has more than 4 years of experience recruiting junior and senior positions across different industries on a global level. She worked for top recruitment companies in Paris, London and Barcelona. Léa has dedicated herself to Zaatar to recruit the best individuals to further our cause.
Fariba was an accountant in Iran before coming to Greece. She was one of the first volunteers when Zaatar started. She taught jewerly-making in conjunction with learning English at the Orange House. She gradually got more involved and is now House Manager of the Orange House. She speaks Farsi/Dari, Arabic and English.
Rinki & Chirag
Rinki is studying medicine and Chirag works in the robotics sector in the US. They spent several weeks volunteering at the Orange House in the Summer of 2017. They continue to help remotely answering emails, Facebook messages, and helping with the Zaatar’s strategy.
From a partner organization:
I am privileged to have worked with the Orange House during Autumn/Winter 2016 as part of a collaboration to provide legal advice and representation to the most vulnerable residents and visitors. What impacted me the most about my time at the Orange House is the incredible dedication and professionalism of its volunteer staff members. Their commitment to empowering the lives of refugees is truly inspiring. I look forward to seeing the successes of the Orange House continue in 2017! – Laura Edwards, Advocates Abroad (NGO), UK
In the Press
What other people are saying about Zaatar and the Orange House…
Al Jazeera International covered a story that incorporates some of our philosophy of why it’s important that refugees live in urban areas where they can apply for asylum and access integration supports. Please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzlUl1H_K4Q