Salwa Foundation team members

Yara Said

Yara Said is a Syrian visual artist based in the Netherlands. The Salwa Foundation was initiated by Yara. She received her education at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Damascus, where she graduated in 2014. As a result of personal experience, she is aiming to connect art with social development. By immersing herself in disciplines such as politics, psychology, sociology, and theology, she endeavours to pinpoint the position of artists in society and the perception of that same society on artists. With this goal in mind, the Salwa Foundation was established. Named after Yara’s grandmother, Salwa is a name for girls in Arabic. Salwa means: “consolation”, “that which brings happiness”, “something that makes you forget your sadness and worries”.
Yara is now enrolled in the Fine Art Department at the Sandberg Institute, a two-year
Master of Arts program.

Nanna Kassenaar

Nanna (Cultural Science Masters) has over 10 years experience coordinating art projects (inter)nationally, from small scale exhibitions, to large art interventions in public spaces. She owns a gallery in Amsterdam and has been working for the past two years as a project coordinator for the Favela Painting Foundation.

Mary Farwy

Mary Farwy is a Syrian architect based in the Netherlands since 2016. She has studied architecture in both Syria and Italy. In the Netherlands she designed an exhibition at the Stedelijk museum and she has co-curated at the Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amstrdam, also she had the chance to design for other projects related to spatial design . Currently she is an (INSIDE) interior architecture master student at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.  

Betul Ellialtioglu 

Betul was born in Istanbul where she was trained and worked as an Architect. She moved to Amsterdam in 2012. Over the years she has incorporated photography and graphic design to express herself and engage with the themes of migration, human development, and participation. She organized exhibitions, workshops, and worked in many organisations related to forced migration in diferent roles. She works as a community builder and communicater for Salwa.


Puccy was born in Syria where he was trained as a circus dog and worked as an entertainer. Over the years he has incorporated football playing and barking skills to express himself. He joined our team one year ago. Since then he has been the joy and fire of Salwa Foundation. He has been havily involved with our program.