Said Foundation

The Saïd Foundation is a UK-based nonprofit organisation investing in higher education through scholarships and institutions as well as supporting humanitarian initiatives targeted for disadvantaged children and refugees in the Middle East. The foundation was initially established as the Karim Rida Saïd Foundation in 1982 by Mr Wafic and Mrs Rosemary Saïd in memory of their son, and was later changed to the Saïd Foundation in 2008. To date, the foundation has funded scholarships and training opportunities for thousands of students from Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan in the UK and the Middle East. The foundation chairman is also the founder of the Said Business School at Oxford University and as such, the business school is heavily supported by the Said Foundation in initiatives that support strategic development of the Said Business School, particularly in the areas of research, faculty development, scholarships and institution-building.

Related sustainable development goals

  • Quality Education
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Partnerships for the Goals

Focus areas

Focus sectors

  • Arts
    • Arts education
  • Development
    • Business and industry
      • Entrepreneurship
    • Economic development
      • Employment
        • Job training
  • Education
    • Vocational education
    • Higher education
    • Graduate and professional
  • Humanitarian
    • Youth development
      • Youth mentoring
    • Special population support

Focus populations

  • Refugees and displaced people
  • Self-employed people
  • Unemployed people
  • Victims and oppressed people
    • Victims of conflict and war
  • Young adults

Focus geographies

  • Europe
    • United Kingdom
  • Middle East
    • Syria
    • Lebanon
    • Palestine
    • Jordan


  • Breaking Barriers
  • Hands Up Foundation
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Said Business School
  • The Prince's Trust


  • Amal Programme
    The foundation founded its Amal Programme in 2017, taking an arts approach to increasing understanding of Britain’s Muslim communities among others and their sense of belonging in the UK.
  • Humanitarian Programme
    The foundation supports a number of mainly grass roots organisations in the Middle East that work to bring important services to disadvantaged youth and children, particularly those in vulnerable communities that are in need. Over the years, the foundation has focused on education and arts education, protection, training, job training and job development, as well health and disability.
  • Said Business School
    The Saïd Business School at Oxford University was established in 1996 with a generous donation of £28m by Mr Wafic Rida Saïd. Ever since, the Said foundation has been heavily supporting initiatives that support strategic development of the Said Business School, particularly in the areas of research, faculty development, scholarships and institution building.
  • Scholarships Programme
    The foundation provided higher educational scholarships and training opportunities for talented individuals from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan, allowing them to pursue one-year master’s degree courses in the UK in programs that would promote knowledge transfer and development in the Middle East.


Funding model

  • Foundation-administered programme awards
  • Grants to Individuals
  • Grants to organisations
  • Matching grants
  • Programme related investment

Primary funders

  • Wafic Said


Key staff

  • chief executive, Catherine Thome

Board members

  • Khaled Said, Member
  • Lord Powell of Bayswater, Member
  • Michael Peat GCVO, Member
  • Nardine Zakaria, Member
  • Rasha Said, Deputy Chair
  • Reverend Jonathan Aitken, Member
  • Rosemary Said, Member
  • Sirine Idilby, Member
  • Wafic Said, Chairman

Contact details