Muthanna Khriesat
January 09, 2024

What if?!

Everyone is born looking for someone looking for them. A newborn immediately focuses on her mother’s eyes at the distance of the crook of her mother’s arm. Even our elbows get us to focus on the one focused on us. It’s baked in.

But what if we find that no one is looking for us? We stop looking. But I think we sneak timid peeks from time to time to see if, somehow, someway, someone is looking. For us.

Mahmoud was one of those timid peekers who found someone looking for him. For his first 13 years, his undiagnosed autism and the confusion it caused him and everyone around him was too much. He never went to school. He never learned to read. He never, well hardly ever, looked beyond the walls of his room. But he peeked anyway. Couldn’t help himself. Baked in.

A friend told his father one day about a place where kids like him were welcomed to learn. So he walked six miles to a Questscope Non-Formal Education (NFE) Center, on the off-chance that someone might be there looking for him. And someone was there! A teacher who befriended him in a world of words, ideas, and inspiration.

Whatever interested him in whatever way he wanted to learn about it, his teacher was ready to go! If he wanted to talk, his teacher wanted to listen. If he wanted not to talk, his teacher wanted to listen anyway. He excelled! And wilder things than anyone imagined happened! Mahmoud discovered his brain power and people who would invest in him to develop it.

Today, he is in the 4th of seven years of Med School at the Hashemite University. Imagine!

What if no one had been there, looking for him?  No one skilled to respond to him wisely? No one to befriend him in the intricacies of jumping through the hoops of getting an education?

But someone was there! Someone made possible by you. By friends like you.

It is you, who back our teachers to spark learning in generations of young people like Mahmoud. You, who support volunteers who look for people looking for them. Friends like you, supporting our relentless pursuit of quality – collecting and analyzing data for evidence to guide better decision making with students and families.

You are the ones who help us restore refugee youth to a hopeful future. The ones who transform zero-income women into small business owners for alternatives for their 14-year-old daughters instead of marriage. The ones who make learning into a path up and out, where there was no path before.

Who would have ever dreamed that a young physician would be “hidden” inside a kid who hid alone in his room for 13 years? Who would have imagined that investing $5.20 a day in his education ($1,900 for a year) would get him into Med School?

Or that the same $1,900 would start economic independence for a refugee woman and her children? Or that a young woman who once could not read, write or do arithmetic could build a career in digital technology?

All of this is possible, has been possible, will be possible because you stand with them, with us.  You can “adopt” future success options for any of these young people. $158 for a month. $950 for half a year. Or $1,900 for a full year.

Come, imagine with us! Double-dream with a whole bunch of Mahmouds! The next generation will be even more surprising!


Questscope CEO

PS Mahmoud recorded a personal message for you about his experience with us - click here 



8 Aug23 Muthanna Headshot
Chief Executive Officer

Muthanna Khriesat

Muthanna Khriesat is the Chief Executive Officer of Questscope.  

In 1999, Muthanna joined Questscope as a volunteer and was exposed to a community of youth detached from society and in need of positive social change. Since then, he has dedicated his work to helping create social, educational, and entrepreneurial opportunities for marginalized youth. 

In his early years with Questscope he held various positions for Questscope related to knowledge management and administrative leadership, including program director for mentoring disadvantaged youth, as well as Chief of Party for a USAID-funded alternative education program for out-of-school youth. 

The extensive experience he earned through those various roles along with his dedication to furthering positive change in the MENA region led to his appointment as Jordan country director in 2010, and then Regional and Jordan Country Director in 2015. 

He continued to excel within Questscope, eventually leading to him becoming the first Chief Operating Officer of Questscope in 2020. In April, 2022, Muthanna succeeded Dr. Curt Rhodes to become the second Chief Executive Officer of Questscope.  

Muthanna is looking forward to taking Questscope to the next level and serving even more people than before. 

He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Princess Sumaya University of Technology in Amman, Jordan. He also has the distinct honor of being a 2021 Yale World Fellow. 

He resides in Minneapolis with his family and splits his time with Jordan.