Director of Humanitarian Relief and Regional Relations
As it has with so many other victims of this crisis, the Syrian war turned businessman Shadi Martini into a refugee, an activist, and an advocate for greater cooperation across faith and cultural lines.
Now, as the Director of Humanitarian Relief and Regional Relations of the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, the nation’s leading interfaith response to the Syrian crisis, Mr. Martini travels throughout the U.S. and abroad to raise awareness of the crisis, encourage greater public engagement, facilitate partnerships between organizations focused on addressing similar issues, and plant the seeds for future stability in the region by fostering people-to-people engagement. He frequently presents to government officials, civil society leaders, the media, and various secular, faith, and interfaith gatherings.
In March 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on those providing aid to anyone suspected of being in the opposition, Mr. Martini, then the General Manager of a hospital in Aleppo, and his comrades worked covertly to provide aid to wounded and ill civilians. This secret network was eventually discovered in mid-2012, forcing him to flee his country.
In 2014, Martini founded Refugee Support Group, a humanitarian aid organization based in Bulgaria. For the past several years he has partnered with numerous faith-based organizations in the U.S. and abroad, which led to his involvement with the Multifaith Alliance. In that capacity, he continues his work in the Middle East and also coordinates major relief efforts for Syrian refugees flooding into Europe.