Meet Our Staff

The founders of the Excellence Center in Europe (Rafat Shantir, Mutaz Tamimi, and Elisa-Kohl Garrity) are young people who have worked in various non-governmental organizations, community centers, language schools, and refugee camps. All of them are insatiable travelers who enjoy meeting new people and experiencing new cultures.

Collectively, the team at the Excellence Center has exceptional experience working in international environments with locals, internationals, immigrants, and refugees.

The founders and their positions are as follows: Rafat Shantir, Center coordinator; Mutaz Tamimi, Activities Coordinator; Elisa-Kohl Garrity, Advisor.

  • Rafat Shantir: Rafat has participated and volunteered in many community development projects in diverse places, such as Mongolia, Denmark, Egypt, and Jordan. He has worked for community development organizations for several years in Palestine, and he strongly believes in the role of community activities and cultural exchanges in the lives of Palestinians and members of the world community.

Rafat has received his higher education in Germany and has since continued to embark on regular international trips. He also has two years of experience working for a community organization with refugees in Germany.

  • Mutaz Tamimi: Mutaz completed a bachelor’s degree in law in Syria, where he worked as a lawyer for almost three years. Among other adventures, Mutaz has received his master’s degree in human rights in Germany. Mutaz also worked for a year with refugees in Berlin. Mutaz is a multicultural lover and insatiable traveler.
  • Elisa Kohl-Garrity: Elisa is from Germany and she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology. Ms. Kohl-Garrity received her master’s degree from Free University of Berlin. She lived in Mongolia for one and a half years conducting research and has participated in many workshops, conferences, and training sessions addressing a variety of culturally related topics. Ms. Kohl-Garrity demonstrated her abilities by creating new projects in Mongolia for the benefit of Mongolian children.

Ms. Kohl-Garrity was also involved in helping a Mongolian NGO receive funds to build various alliances and partnerships in Mongolia. In addition, Ms. Kohl-Garrity is well-informed about Palestinian culture and the political realities within Palestine.