💼 Co-Founder and Executive Director, FoodBlessed
🎓 MSc Migration, Mobility and Development, SOAS University of London (2016)
Maya is a political, social, and environmental activist, whose personal mission is to tackle hunger and food waste in Lebanon.
Through her initiative FoodBlessed, Maya recovers fresh food destined for the dustbin, which is then packaged and distributed to those in need, including Lebanon’s large population of refugees from Syria and other countries in the region. Since the foundation of the organisation in 2012, Maya and a large team of volunteers have been able to distribute over 300,000 free meals to the hungry, and to rescue over 60,000 tons of food from going to waste.
Maya also works as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) consultant, advising firms how to conduct business ethically, and give back to society. She’s won several awards including ‘CSR In Action’-Lebanon (2012), King Abdullah II ‘Award for Youth Innovation & Achievement’ –Jordan (2014), LAU’s ‘Spirit of Service Award’- Lebanon (2015), and MBC al Amal ‘Humanitarian of the Year Award’ -Dubai (2016).
Those who are courageous enough to leave the comfort of their classroom seats are the ones who truly learn!
What is the most important thing you learned during your Chevening experience?
Real learning starts outside of the classroom. As such, those who are courageous enough to leave the comfort of their classroom seats are the ones who truly learn!
What is your favourite place in the UK?
To have been fortunate enough to explore Great Britain thoroughly, experiencing its rampant and raucous cities as well as its relaxed and rich countryside, was by far the highlight of my Chevening experience.
Some of my absolute favourite spots in the city include London’s many parks (weather-permitting of course). During cold and rainy evenings, nothing warms my heart more than the West End shows and musicals. London’s theatre I believe has this exceptional ability to take its audience out of their time and place and magically transport them to an entirely different world!
What message would you share with the next generation of Chevening Scholars?
Try to build up momentum in life and maintain it. Never give up, trying is half the battle!
And no matter what, always, always, always choose to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to turn you into someone that you are not. This everyday accomplishment, I believe, is what makes life worth living.
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