Rebecca ‘Becky’ Dykes was a Policy and Programme Manager in Lebanon for the UK government’s Department for International Development (since renamed the FCDO).
On 16 December 2017, she was raped and strangled by a taxi driver in Beirut during what should have been a 10-minute ride home.
Becky was passionate about humanitarian work throughout her career. It was based on her firm belief in basic human rights and equality. In the last year of her life, she was working to improve the lives of refugees and vulnerable communities in Lebanon. She particularly enjoyed a Host Community project between Lebanese and Syrian refugees. Another one she favoured was for local women at risk of violence.
In her spare time, Becky enjoyed scuba-diving, swimming and hiking. She studied Arabic and took photographs. An outstanding long-distance runner, she’d already run two marathons in the UK and half marathons in Bahrain and Brighton. ‘Looking forward to what lies ahead in the next new decade,’ she posted on Facebook on her last birthday, her 30th.
In response to Becky’s death, the UK government established The Rebecca Dykes Chevening Scholarship with the aim of continuing Becky’s humanitarian work for refugees and other vulnerable communities. It is open to female Lebanese applicants (or Palestinians in Lebanon) who wish to undertake studies in gender studies, peace and conflict studies, development and human rights, refugee and migration studies, and other subject areas related to Becky’s work.