Raghad Mardini is the founder and director of Art Residence Aley (2012), an NGO that hosts Syrian artists and curate art shows and performance. A Syrian/Canadian national, Raghad Mardini was born in Syria. She studied and taught engineering and design at Damascus University. She designed and supervised residential and commercial construction projects. She also restored old houses and hotels in Damascus. Ms. Mardini left Damascus with her family in 2011 and settled down in Lebanon. She rented and restored an old horse stable in Aley (Mount Lebanon) and turned it into an art residence which hosts two Syrian artists on a monthly basis and provides them with space and freedom to express themselves through art. Ms. Mardini holds a Masters in Structural Engineering and a BSS in Civil Engineering from Damascus University.