Meet The Speakers


Ahmed Habib
Policy Expert, MADA

For over ten years, Ahmed Habib has been working with different organizations around the world to raise awareness about the importance of accessibility and the rights of people with disabilities. In 2009, Ahmed moved to Qatar to join the set up team of Mada - the Qatar Assistive Technology Center, a first of its kind center dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to the world of ICT. Since then, he has worked on numerous national initiatives. Currently, Ahmed is a policy expert at Mada.


 

Mr. Abdulla Gholam A. Genkeer Ali
Senior Manager for Terminal Operations for Hamad International Airport (HIA)

Mr. Abdulla has over 8-year experience in Aviation industry. He started working with Qatar Airways in 2008 where he worked through key departments as well as outstation assignment. Following; joined the Operational Readiness team looking after operation readiness projects related to airport opening.

Now a member of HIA Senior Management team, responsible for the overall performance, safety and functioning of the Passenger Terminal Complex including operational planning and landside operations.

Mr. Abdulla has a degree’s in both Air Transport and Aviation Management & Operations.


 

Hassan Abdulrahman Al-Ibrahim
Acting Chairman, QTA
Chief Tourism Development Officer, QTA

As Acting Chairman of QTA, Hassan is charged with leading the government body responsible for the planning, regulation and promotion of tourism in Qatar. In his role, he oversees the articulation and implementation of a dynamic strategy for the sectors’ growth and sustainable development in Qatar.

In addition to his role as Acting Chairman, Hassan leads QTA’s Tourism Development Sector where he heads a multi-disciplinary team of specialists responsible for the development, implementation and monitoring of national and institutional strategic plans, performance management systems and quality assurance programs across QTA.

Prior to joining QTA in 2012, Hassan served in several senior positions in the Marketing and Information Technology Project Management divisions of national energy giant, RasGas.

He also co-founded FIKRA Consulting and Research, a policy and research institute focused on social and economic issues relevant to Qatar and the broader Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Hassan holds a BEng in Computer Engineering from Portsmouth University, an MSc in Project Management from the University of Manchester, and an EMBA degree from HEC Paris, Qatar.


 

Mohammed Al Fehaida
Communications and Marketing Officer, MADA

Long before he graduated in Mass Communications from Qatar University, Mohammed Al Fehaida has also been actively smashing media stereotypes of people with disabilities. For many years, Mohammed was a young TV presenter on Qatar's national TV station, becoming the country's first blind presenter. As an advanced user of assistive technology for the blind, Mohammed has also created a vast set of resources to train others on the use of different tools. Currently, Mohammed is the Communications and Marketing officer at Mada, the Qatar Assistive Technology Center.


 

Najla Al Obaidan

Senior Architect at Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy is responsible for delivering all infrastructure and host country planning and operations required for Qatar to host an amazing and historic FIFA World Cup™ in 2022. Najla graduated from the college of Architecture and Urban Planning in Qatar University. Since then, she has been involved in all FIFA World Cup™ Stadium and infrastructure projects. Najla is currently working with the Technical Delivery Office, specializing in stadium design and transformational requirements for all venues, to ensure the successful delivery of the tournament and legacy. 


 

Bill Forrester
Co-Founder of Travability travel

Bill is an acknowledged world leader in Accessible Tourism, Universal Design and Social Inclusion and the economic impact the retiring Baby Boomers will have on the tourism sector.

He is a business focused professional who has a fundamental belief in sound economic management, and understands the competitive advantage to be had from effective environmental sustainability and social inclusion.


 

David Banes
CEO – David Banes Access and Inclusion Services

David Banes is Director of his company David Banes Access and Inclusion Services and was formerly CEO, at Mada, Qatar Assistive Technology Centre addressing all aspects of access and inclusion through technology. He currently is working across the Middle East and Europe with a focus upon building access infrastructure from policy to practice. Recent projects include the development of a response to disruptive innovation in the access industry, identifying solutions to meeting the needs of refugees with a disability, and building a business case for public investment in assistive technology, whilst supporting entrepreneurs to bring products and services to market.


 

Guy Davies
Founder and Managing Director, Disability Solutions Ltd

Guy has completed 2 courses at the Centre for Accessible Environments in London, and his Master’s degree in Accessibility & Inclusive Design through the University of Salford, Manchester.  We have extensive experience in the field of accessible transportation, as we have been involved as the universal design consultants on the following projects:
 

  • City of Cape Town MyCiti system
  • Rustenburg Rapid Transport system
  • Cape Town Railway Station refurbishment
  • Design of Khayelitsha stations, and refurbishment of Heidelveld, Athlone, and Langa Railway stations
  • Cape Town International Airport refurbishment
  • Drawing up the national Accessibility Guidelines for PRASA (MetroRail / Intersite)

We were also the appointed Universal Design consultants for the following FIFA stadia:

  • Greenpoint Stadium
  • Nelson Mandela Multipurpose Stadium

Aside from these projects, we have been involved in over 1,000 different projects, in the last 11 years, around the country with clients ranging from government departments, through major South African corporates, to schools, colleges, universities & places of worship.


 

KIJI (HIDETO KIJIMA)
President of Japan Accessible Tourism Center (Japan)

Wheelchair traveler visited 157 countries. At 17 years old he injured his spinal cord T-11 in a rugby accident but this has not stopped him from dreaming to explore the world. Kiji started his professional career in an advertisement agency as a marketing planner. In 2004 after 7 years as a marketing planner he decided to dedicate his time to his own business as writer, consultant for accessibility issues and to be a motivational speaker. In 2011 he founded the information center for international travelers with mobility impairment who wish to visit Japan.


 

Isabella Menichini
Head of Department, Milan Municipality

After some years in the Italian Foreign Service, Isabella has worked extensively for the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policies. She has focused her attention on welfare at both the national and international level and been a component of official delegations at the bilateral and multi-lateral level.

Since 2009 she has coordinated the Forum on Accessibility within the Italian National Disability Observatory. She has recently been Head of Department within the Milan City Hall’s Welfare Division. At this time she organized Milan’s participation in the European Access City Award, won in 2016.

She now is Head of the Milan City Hall’s Tourism Department and very much involved in the theme of accessible tourism.


 

Issam J. Azouri
Communications Adviser

Communication Adviser with more than 33 years of experience in journalism and strategic communication, Issam has always been an advocate for tackling humanitarian issues with creativity.

He created awareness about AIDS in Lebanon, advocated for road safety, environmental responsibility and was entrusted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) to put the Communication Strategy to combat Worst Forms of Child Labor in Lebanon.

His list of achievements includes co-engineering the solution which put an end to the usage of children as camel jockeys, promoting a leading center for the rehabilitation and employment of disabled persons, and offering media training to children with Diabetes in Lebanon and Qatar, and the establishment of the first multidisciplinary committee to protect the rights of these children in schools.

Issam was supporting Sasol’s definitely able campaigns since its establishment, and believes that “smooth accessibility can really make the society benefit from the full potential of disabled people”, noting that “disability can hit anyone hence the importance of having fully accessible cities and premises which can accommodate anyone.”


 

Jane Stoneham
Director, The Sensory Trust

Jane Stoneham is Director of the Sensory Trust, an organisation championing inclusive and sensory design in the UK. For twenty five years, Jane’s work has been making public spaces welcoming and engaging for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Key projects include the Eden Project, where a longstanding partnership with the Sensory Trust has incorporated an inclusive approach to all aspects of the visitor experience. Jane’s publications include Landscape Design for Elderly and Disabled People and design tools such as the ‘Access Chain’ and ‘Social Sustainability Toolkit’. She is a Built Environment Expert for the UK Design Council


 

Mark Todd
Access All Areas

Mark Todd is a disabled person with 30 years accessibility experience.

He provided all accessibility advice to the London 2012 Games writing their Accessible Transport Plan advising on accessibility to venues, ticketing policy and operations. In recent years he has acted as accessibility expert to Sochi 2014 Winter Games, Rio 2016 and currently advises PyeonChang 2018 Winter Games and Tokyo 2020.

Mark is co-author of the International Paralympic Committee Manual on Accessibility and sits on their Global Accessibility Expert Panel. In recognition of his work, Mark was awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2013 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.


 

Martin Heng
Accessible Travel Manager, Lonely Planet

Martin Heng left England in 1987 and travelled around the world for a decade before migrating to Australia to start a family. He has worked for Lonely Planet since 1999 in numerous roles, including seven years as Editorial Manager until a road accident in 2010 left him a quadriplegic. He is currently Lonely Planet’s Accessible Travel Manager. He has published a number of accessible travel titles, including the world’s largest database of accessible travel online resources. In 2014, he was a keynote speaker at the global accessible travel summit, “Destinations for All”, in Montréal. In 2016 he was a speaker at the UNWTO World Tourism Day event in Bangkok, “Tourism for All: Promoting Universal Accessibility”. So far in 2017 he has been a speaker at the UNWTO “Smart Destinations” conference in Murcia and at the Barrier-Free Day at the Berlin ITB.


 

Mike Park
e-Accessibility Expert, MADA

For more than 15 years, Mike Park has been consulting major institutions in Qatar and Canada on best practices in the e-Accessibility. Prior to joining Mada, the Qatar Assistive Technology Center, Mike worked with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to ensure that all major digital platforms in Canada were accessible to people with disabilities. Currently, Mike works as an e-Accessibility Expert with Mada and is spearheading national efforts in Qatar to ensure that government websites and mobile apps in the country are designed and developed according to international e-accessibility standards.


 

Morné Fourie
VP of Design Management, Dubai Parks and Resorts

Morné Fourie is currently the Vice President of Design Management at Dubai Parks & Resorts in the United Arab Emirates, a 10.5 billion dirham publicly listed entity created out of Meraas Development. At DPR Morne lead the design and design-management during the construction of 3 theme parks, a Marriott hotel and RD&E, as well as the concept design of four future parks and 6 hotels as part of the larger masterplan developed by his office. Under his tenure in Meraas, approximately 3000 Ha of land was master planned, islands were reclaimed and construction projects initiated. Morne partook in the development of the Dubai 2020 master plan, working with the key players from the Dubai Government.


 

Nabil Robert Barakat
General Manager, AURA Entertainment – KidzMondo Doha

Nabil Barakat graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management with a focus on Sales and Marketing from one of the most reputed universities in that field – Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Nabil held a multitude of Senior and Executive Management positions in Gulf and the Middle East where his Management and Consultancy skills transformed properties and companies into profit making establishments. His culmination of international experiences in Hospitality and Tourism of more than twenty years, has deemed him as one of the most reliable and success-guaranteed consultant and executive in the region. His comprehensive skills and creative mind has expanded businesses all over the region, turning them into profitable enterprises. As a man, his drive is his passion for “the best hospitality possible”. Therefore, in the midst of a demanding and challenging industry, he is constantly thinking up new and inventive ways to positively impact his clients’ welfare. He successfully led and managed pre-openings and openings of various well reputed companies engaged in Hospitality and Tourism in the U.A.E., Jordan, Lebanon, and now in Qatar.


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