Core Members:


Bilal Ghalib – Bilal is the founder and catalyst of GEMSI. Since 2011 he’s been helping people create community productive spaces in the middle east. He believes in beauty and wants to share what inspires and enables him.


Justin Jach – Justin is a photographer, filmmaker, and science groupie based in San Francisco. In 2011 he spent six months working in Brazil studying the graffiti movement there and working as a videojournalist. Working with Gemsi has been a dream for him as it allows him to travel, tell the stories of others, learn new languages, and immediately see the project positively impacting the lives of people that Gemsi works with. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese and is currently working on Arabic. He’s very excited about showing the world how community working spaces and passion-based learning can positively impact the Middle East.


Qarly Canant – Qarly is a multidisciplinary human with a strong passion for positive interaction and action. Her work as a team building and high ropes course facilitator gives her first hand experience working with people and promoting effective and positive communication, problem solving, and creative collaboration. She has earned a B.A. in psychology from UC Berkeley with a special emphasis on human emotion and expression, development over the lifespan, and teamwork. She is also involved as an organizer and therapeutic clown with the non-profit group, ClownZero. Qarly is excited to be bringing her skills and energy to the GEMSI project to facilitate empowerment through collaborative community environments.


Bilal Ghalib – Bilal is the lead instigator of GEMSI. He believes in beauty and wants to share what inspires and enables him.


Murtadha Al-Tameemi

Murtadha Al-Tameemi – Murtadha is an Engineering student at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Originally from Iraq, he is strongly passionate about empowering the youth in the country and restoring hopes to the hearts of his fellow Iraqis.

SAV’s – Super Awesome Volunteers:

Sarmed Jabra

Susu Attar

Wafa ben Hassine

Adam Funk

Karen Abad