About Us

Anita

Anita is originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and now calls Vancouver, Canada home. Anita has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, a Diploma in Youth Justice from Douglas College in New Westminster, Canada and was a graduate student in the Human Security and Peacebuilding program at Royal Roads University in Victoria, Canada. She holds a TEFL certificate and specialized in teaching English to speakers of Arabic. She is currently writing a thesis on the application of the Istanbul Convention in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia.

Anita is especially interested in post-conflict peacebuilding in the Balkans and the Middle East, gender, women’s participation in peacebuilding state-building, political participation and ways to meaningfully and sustainably empower communities to take leadership and ownership of their own affairs. Furthermore, Anita is interested in secularism and the relationship between religion and state and its impact on women and girls.

Anita loves languages, and besides English, fluently speaks the unnecessarily politicized Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, French, and intermediate Arabic and Spanish and is currently learning and perfecting the two. Anita is an open networking enthusiast and always appreciates comments, suggestions, and introductions.

Nina

Nina is a Montana native who grew up in Seattle, Washington, recently spending a few months in New York City before returning to Seattle. She has two bachelor’s degrees, one in Political Science, the other in Eastern European Languages, Literature & Cultures. In 2011 she spent six weeks in Norway at the University of Oslo’s International Summer School in a course on Peace Studies, and is currently awaiting placement for a year-long volunteer abroad program, to begin in Sept. 2012.

Nina Protesting in NYC

Nina Protesting in NYC (in the green shirt & orange scarf)

Between her interest in politics and the Balkans, she has also expanded her horizons to include the Middle East, with particular interests in post-conflict development and peace building.

She has traveled to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, as well as Kenya. She can speak Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and is proficient in Turkish, with an interest in expanding her language repertoire to include French, Persian, Arabic, Hindi/Urdu, Swahili, and eventually resurrect her school-day Spanish skills.

Nina also has an avid interest in reconciliation, lending itself to her passion for dialog as a form of mediation. Having been involved to some degree with the #OccupyWallStreet movement, she is particularly interested in engaging a discussion on how can Wall Street and Occupy Wall Street hear each other, and how to engage more communities into such a dialog. She is also interested in interfaith work, minority issues, as well as refugee and immigrant experiences.

Our Mad Skills Webmaster

Vahidin Memic is a good friend of Nina’s (and the mastermind behind her own photography page), and is available for hire! His website and contact info is available at http://www.vahadesign.com.