Omar Salha is a PhD Nohoudh Scholar at SOAS University of London and a Lecturer in International Diplomacy & Soft Power and British Politics. Omar is also a Fellow at The RSA (Royal Society of Arts) and Research Fellow at the Islamophobia Studies Centre, UC Berkeley, California. Omar is the Founder & Chief Executive of Ramadan Tent Project (RTP), an award-winning non-profit organisation established in 2013 with a mission of bringing communities together to better understand each other. This is done through several of its key projects and programmes and notably the UK’s largest cultural community event in Ramadan, Open Iftar.


Omar is an MA graduate in International Studies and Diplomacy & was awarded the PhD Nohoudh Scholarship for the study of ‘Integration of Muslims in British Society’. His first academic chapter was published by Routledge titled ‘Diplomacy and The Beautiful Game: Muslim footballers as ambassadors of faith’. Omar is a lecturer in International Diplomacy and his research interests include innovations of Soft Power, Re-Orientalism, Integration/Identity Politics, Islamophobia, Sport & Cultural Diplomacy, and Faith, Bridging and Belonging. He has taught at SOAS University of London, in addition to the Foundation of International Education (FIE) and regularly delivers talks, workshops and lectures in leading academic, professional institutions and conferences across the globe; including headlining TEDxBradford in January 2019. Omar was also invited to speak and share his expertise at the inaugural Global Soft Power Summit 2020 alongside Lord Sebastian Coe and Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. He is a Research Fellow at the Islamophobia Studies Centre at UC Berkeley and presents at the annual International Islamophobia Conference in

Berkeley, California and Paris, France.


In addition to his academic work, Omar founded the Ramadan Tent Project (RTP) in 2013, a non-profit cultural organisation dedicated to creating spaces of belonging, dialogue, and empowerment through its flagship initiative Open Iftar. RTP’s vision is a world where all people belong and live together in harmony. Open Iftar invites people of all faiths and none to the breaking of fast to explore the Islamic faith and to share the community spirit through food, inspirational talks, spoken word, poetry, artistic expressions and engaging discussions. To date, over 350,000 people joined events across the UK and the globe, including ground-breaking and unprecedented Open Iftars at Westminster Abbey, Baltic Museum, Southwark Cathedral, Bradford City Park, Wembley Stadium, Tate Britain, The British Library and Trafalgar Square.


For the past 15 years, Omar has worked with and consulted several community projects, NGOs, civic organisations and international governments on interfaith-dialogue, community cohesion, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power and Sports Diplomacy. He was one of the first respondents to the Grenfell Tower Fire and coordinated the Grenfell Muslim Response Unit (GMRU). GMRU was awarded the Pride of Britain Special Recognition Award by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.


Omar was appointed as a Fellow at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), upon outstanding recommendation for his commendable work in community engagement, social innovation and academic excellence. Omar is passionate about servant leadership & social entrepreneurship. He is also a keen sports, arts and creative enthusiast and his greatest footballing achievement to date is scoring a penalty against one of the most successful professional football coaches in the world, Jose Mourinho!


He is also a founding member of Football Beyond Borders & featured in a documentary titled ‘Over the Wall’, a film about a London-based football team and their journey to play in Palestine. He is a regular contributor to international & national print and digital media and has featured in Al Jazeera English, TRT World, CNN International, BBC London, Huffington Post, ITV News, Time Out Magazine, Channel 4 News, The Guardian, New York Times, Evening Standard & LBC Radio. Omar speaks fluently in Arabic, Turkish and English.


TitleThe Future of Learning Together
DateWednesday 7th July 2021
Time13:45 – 14:45