Mariam Abdel Gowad is a translator specialist and a researcher at Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism. Mariam is a graduate of Al-Azhar University, Faculty of Humanities, English Department.Mariam has also received a “Translation Diploma in Legal and UN Translation” from the American University in Cairo. She has a certificate in “Translating Religious Texts” and is now taking part in “English for Religious and Cultural purposes” programme at the American University in Cairo. Mariam has taken part in a number of TV shows and documentary videos geared towards better awareness of Islam and Islamic issues, in addition to developing awareness campaigns and videos for the Observatory. Mariam has also taken part in some of the most important conferences held at Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, Islam and the West, Al-Azhar international conference of Renovation of Islamic Thought. Mariam is a valued member of EDIN because she aspires to use her language and communication skills to reach out to the world and deliver the right message and image about Islam and Muslims.
Jessica Abou Haidar is a spiritual director, bible teacher, creative director and award-winning entrepreneur from Lebanon. Jessica is also a 2019 fellow of the KAICIID Dialogue Center in Austria, and the Vice President of the Media Committee in Adyan Foundation’s religious social responsibility forum in Lebanon. Jessica founded, and still manages Takween, a house of creatives that develop communication and brand strategies, digital marketing, and design, to support the mission and work of faith-based, interfaith and humanitarian organizations, since 2011. Previous to Takween, she also co-founded, along with a group of lay and consecrated people, Kalimat Hayat (“Word of Life”); a Maronite-Catholic community that prays and studies the word of God and equips itself to teach and form young adults in Lebanon and the Arab region.
Jessica is a valued member of EDIN because she is passionate about faith-based, interfaith and humanitarian work that seeks to help people live out faith-based values in the face of the world’s challenges.
Emile Ackermann was born in Strasbourg, France, where he has been studying Jewish texts since he was young. Emile went to Yeshivat haKotel after graduating from high school, and then moved to Paris to study International Law. He then studied at the French rabbinical school and taught in several Jewish schools and Sunday schools to children as a Bible teacher, while contributing to different newspapers. He has also been active in interfaith groups such as Coexister and believes in meaningful dialogue between different religious traditions. In 2017, Emile and his wife created AYEKA, with the goal of creating a modern orthodox Jewish community in Paris. In 2019, Emile became a rabbinical student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, and he will be graduating in 2023.
Emile is a valued member of EDIN because he is a passionate and fierce advocate of religious freedom and the media’s role in promoting religious tolerance and coexistence.
Sabah Ahmedi is one of Britain's youngest imams. He was born and raised in Manchester and is now serving as an Imam in London. Sabah studied in London for 7 years at Jamia Ahmadiyya UK, which is the seminary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He has also collaborated with the BBC and a variety of other news outlets in relation to faith, religion and breaking misconceptions about Islam. Sabah has taken to social media under the name @TheYoungImam with the aim of removing stereotypes and misunderstandings around his faith. Sabah is a valued member of EDIN because of his devotion to creating content which showcases that Muslims around the world are peace loving and loyal citizens, no matter what country they reside in.
Hossam Ed-Deen Allam holds the MA of Diplomacy and Religion with Distinction from the department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University in the UK. His main research area concerns Faith-based Diplomacy, Conflict Transformation, De-sectarianisation, and Peacebuilding. Currently, Hossam works as a Member of Al-Azhar Fatwa Global Centre and a Lecturer of Usul al-Fiqh (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence) and Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) in English at the department of Sharia and Law in English at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, where he obtained the LLB of Sharia and Law in English with honors. In parallel, Hossam has served as a lecturer of Arabic and Islamic Studies in English and Spanish at the renowned Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo and has served as a religious leader in a number of communities in the UK and North America including NYC. Hossam Ed-Deen is a valued member of EDIN because of his expertise in faith-based diplomacy, conflict transformation, and peacebuilding.
Yasemin Bas is a German-based student in education, with a focus on teaching in History and Islamic Religion. Previous to this, Yasemin studied in an Education Program and became a specialist for inclusion (2020) and a dialogue accompanist (2018). Yasemin is participating in the program “Mentoring – AIWG “, where she got a mentor who is supporting her in research on disability and religion, especially Islam. Yasemin is a valued member of EDIN because of her commitment to fostering inclusion and togetherness for people living with disabilities, especially as it relates to their faith.
Hashim is an award-winning councillor, entrepreneur, and international government advisor. He holds a Master’s in PPE and Law alongside a Degree in Politics with International Relations. He is currently the CEO of HB Capital and the Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum in the UK. He founded London’s first Interfaith Summit in 2015 and has previously worked with the OSCE & ODIHR at the European level. Between 2015-2019, he was an elected local government official in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. In 2017, Hashim organised the first ever interfaith fringe reception held at a party conference. In 2018, he was selected as one of a handful of UK representatives for the Commonwealth Youth Forum held in London. In 2019, he was invited to the One Young World Summit as a UK delegate, now Ambassador. He was recently named as one of the 21 young leaders in the 21st century (an initiative supported by 10 Downing Street) for his ground-breaking work in building bridges between faith communities.
Marie Chabbert, PhD, is an interfaith activist and academic affiliated with the Divinity School and French Department of the University of Cambridge. Her research draws on twentieth- and twenty-first-century French thought to interrogate how the postsecular condition affects traditional categories of thought as well as our way of relating to the world and to each other. In 2017, she received the Emerging Scholar Award of the Religion and Spirituality in Society Research Network for her study of French youth Islamist radicalization and its prevention. Alongside this, Marie is an active member of the French interfaith youth network, Coexister, and serves on the Executive Committee of the European Interfaith Youth Network of Religions for Peace, the largest international coalition of interfaith leaders. Marie is a valued member of EDIN because she combines her interfaith activism with a research work that deconstructs the philosophical tenets of religious dogmatism with a view to fostering religious pluralism and peaceful coexistence.
Thaly Eman is a final year Law student at the University of Sheffield. She will start a Public International Law Master focused on Human Rights at the University of Amsterdam in September 2021. She has been involved in her University's Jewish society, first as the treasurer, and then as its president. As such, she facilitated interfaith events in collaboration with other societies representing the Abrahamic religions. She has worked with the Christian society to run a weekly outreach programme and organised a charity event with the Islamic circle devolving the revenue to raise awareness for the Uyghur Muslims detained in Xinjiang. During her time as president, she got her University to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism, and has been a loud advocate against the recent surge in antisemitism especially in Sheffield. She has been nominated for the “Wellbeing Awards” of the University as a testament to her efforts in keeping the society safe.
Thaly is a valued member of EDIN because she is passionate about exploring the multitude of ways that we can collectively foster meaningful interfaith dialogue.
Farah Heiba is an Egyptian journalist, currently working for Arab News, Dubai – Saudi Arabia’s leading English language newspaper. To date, Farah has worked with CNN International (on anchor, Becky Anderson’s show, “Connect the World”), UAE’s state news agency, WAM and Thomson Reuters in Dubai. These experiences only strengthened her passion for video production and content creation, which she channels through her Instagram channel, @farahinfield, where she creates “Explainer videos” about everything from lifestyle to faith.
Farah is a valued member of EDIN because she has a deep passion for videography and social media content creation, and how to use these skills to foster interreligious and intercultural dialogue.
Omar Hussein is an online content creator and media and communications consultant, with over 100 million views across multiple platforms, since 2010. Omar has hosted TV talk shows on major Arab networks (OSN and MBC) and is a member of the first generation of ambassadors of YouTube’s Creators for Change, an initiative seeking to encourage content creators to use their platforms to bridge digital divides through pro-social digital campaigns. Omar has also worked alongside the UNHCR to tackle empathy fatigue towards refugees in the Middle East. He is currently a PhD student of Media and Communications, with a research focus on the efficacy of online influencers attracting donors and donations to non-profit organizations.
Omar is a valued member of EDIN because he is interested in tackling xenophobia and the UNHCR to tackle empathy fatigue towards refugees in the Middle East.
Lauren Keiles is the Communities Manager for The Board of Deputies of British Jews, the national representative body for the UK Jewish Community. She recently graduated with a degree in International Relations from the University of Leeds. Lauren is a Trustee for René Cassin, a Human Rights Charity, and was a fellow with the Anti-Defamation League. She is a member of the Advisory Board for Solutions Not Sides, an educational programme working to tackle Antisemitism and Islamophobia on the issue of Israel-Palestine. Lauren has been recognized both nationally and internationally for her outstanding activism and leadership, including by the Prime Minister as 1 of 21 Faith Leaders for the 21st century. Lauren is a valued member of EDIN because she is experienced and passionate about promoting and safeguard human rights and protecting communities from cyber-hate, terrorism, and bigotry.
Rabbi Hannah joined the Rabbinic Team at Alyth, one of the largest reform Synagogues in the UK, in 2017. Hannah grew up at Southgate Progressive Synagogue and spent many summers at Kutz Camp, a Reform Jewish summer camp in America. It was there, inspired by the rabbis and passionate leaders she met, that Hannah felt that she wanted to share her love for Judaism, inclusivity and social action. Becoming a rabbi seemed the natural way to do that. As part of her rabbinic work, Hannah is a member of the Barnet Forum for Interfaith Matters, and recently was asked to serve on Faiths United, a temporary coalition of faith leaders from across the UK responding to the Covid-19 crisis. She also organized Alyth's virtual interfaith iftar, bringing together Muslims and Jews to study and break fast together during Ramadan.
Hannah is a valued member of EDIN because she is passionate about working with young people and bringing them together across faith boundaries.
Georgia May is a reconciliation practitioner working in the field of interfaith relations and conflict transformation. She is a founding member of the Rose Castle Foundation, a UK-based international organization that is growing a global network of reconcilers to collaborate around issues of conflict and division in their local contexts. Whilst studying Theology at Durham University, Georgia became concerned by the increasingly polarized culture of her learning environment and saw that this was an issue affecting societies worldwide. In response, Georgia set up a “Scriptural Reasoning” community, which welcomed members from diverse communities into conversation. She has since designed programmes through the Rose Castle Foundation that offer creative spaces where people can build relationships across lines of difference and learn to navigate conflict more effectively.
Georgia is a valued member of EDIN because she has passion for interfaith work with a particular energy for engaging those who are rarely or never seen in the typical interfaith environment.
Maryyum Mehmood is an academic, political analyst, speaker and writer with over a decade of experience in interfaith dialogue. She holds a PhD in Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia from the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, and a Masters in South Asia and Global Security, with a focus on sectarianism, from the same Department. Maryyum serves as the Associate Director at the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion, University of Birmingham, where she also lectures on an MPA for faith-based leadership. Alongside this, Maryyum is a Research Associate at St. Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford and a Trustee for the Women’s Interfaith Network. Maryyum is an avid content creator through her YouTube channel, The SHIFT with Maryyum, and is also co-host of a transnational podcast, Diasporastan: a place for the placeless. Maryyum is a valued member of EDIN because she is a firm believer in social harmony and using her social media to increase religious literacy and tackle gender-based violence and racism.
Atif Rashid is an award-winning, multi-skilled journalist and media producer based in London. He has worked with the likes of BBC Radio 4 (on their flagship Today program), Huffington Post and various news outlets throughout the UK. He has also been involved in local peace awareness campaigns, delivered talks at interfaith events and given speeches at religious gatherings.
Atif is a valued member of EDIN because he is passionate about interfaith dialogue, preventing extremism, scriptural reasoning and content creation.
Håkon Rydland is a young media maker and Christain leader. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Intercultural Understanding at the NLA University College. This year he is working with pastoral tasks and preaching in two congregations, with engangement for mission work, apologetics, and intercultural fellowships. He is also a journalist and social media manager for the Christian youth web magazine iTro.no and host for the YouTube-channel INTRO. He has been several times in East Africa, speaks swahili and worked a year as a Bible distributor in Tanzania. In 2019, he experienced a calling to move to Elverum, a small city in Norway with lack of Christian work. Here he initiates relations with Muslims and other immigrants, as well as gathering people in a house fellowship. Håkon is a valued member of EDIN because he is passionate about motivating Christians to build relationships and friendships with the growing immigrant population and break down xenophobia through sermons, seminars, videos and social media.
Maida Šljivić is a student of Political Science, majoring in International Relations and Diplomacy, at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tuzla. She actively represents student interests and rights as a president of the Student Council of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Parallel to her studies, Maida writes for Bosanska Misao (eng: Bosnian Thought) and works as a young correspondent for the Balkan Diskurs, portals devoted for young people to have their voices heard whilst engaging with media and public discourse.
Maida is a valued member of EDIN because she is passionate about creating online portals that offer young people an opportunity to have their voices heard, their opinions respected as well as the opportunity to strengthen and progressively change personal attitudes of each of us.
Andrii Synyshyn is a researcher and advocate from Ukraine, who is currently working with the Libertas Centre for Interconfessional and Interreligious Dialogue. Previous to these roles he has been the head of Svity, an NGO devoted to disability inclusion, and the Association of Ukrainian Catholic Students Obnova, where he successfully organized more than 50 projects devoted to social issues (poverty, education) and interconfessional dialogue. He currently holds a Masters’s degree in Theology from Ukrainian Catholic University and possesses experience in working on several projects around Europe and the Middle East. Andrii is a valued member of EDIN because he has a strong desire to promote an interfaith dialogue in Ukraine and to work on peacebuilding and on the power of working together to make this world better.
Yannis Umlauf is a graduate student in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action at Sciences Po Paris. He focuses on the intersection between SDGs, Human Rights, and diplomacy. As a Communications Consultant for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, he has been promoting sustainable land management and international cooperation.Through the NGO Action Five, he implemented a sustainable farming project in Haiti. From 2018 on, Yannis has been an interfaith activist within Coexister, creating local advocacy groups in Nancy and Berlin. Since 2021, he is the head and founder of Coexister Germany and has been awarded the Cusanus scholarship for young Catholic changemakers. Throughout his personal and professional life, he has used communication as a tool to foment integration and positive change.
Yannis is a valued member of EDIN because he truly believes in the power of change from local to global actions bridging SDGs, interfaith dialogue and diplomacy.
Ahmed Barakat Ahmed is EDIN’s lead facilitator from the Muslim faith. Ahmed is a journalist and lecturer of Journalism and International Media at the School of Mass Communication, Al-Azhar University. He serves as Head of Communications and Media Affairs at Al-Azhar Al-Sharif. Ahmed holds a master’s degree in International Communications and a PhD in Media Bias. His research focused on the stereotyping and mental images of Arab and Muslims in the Western and U.S mainstream media and the representation of minorities and refugees on local and international news platforms. Ahmed is currently involved in different international projects in the area of Interreligious Dialogue between Al-Azhar and different religious institutions, Vatican, Cathedral of Canterbury, Middle East Council of Churches and World Council of Churches.
Amani Alkhiami is EDIN’s project lead from UNOCT/UNCCT. She serves as an Associate Strategic Communications Officer under the Global Programme in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism at United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT). There, she leads and supports on capacity building projects in PVE through Strategic communications, gaming, UNCCT Virtual Expo and EDIN project. Prior to joining UNOCT/UNCCT, Amani worked as a public policy, government affairs, and communications manager and consultant in the privet sector, as well as supporting nonprofit organizations in MENA. Under those role she led regional/global internal, external and digital communications as well as corporate social responsibility initaitives relating to education, women empowerment and environmental sustainability. Amani holds a MA in International Affairs from the Pennsylvania State University, and a BS in International Business from King Abdulaziz University.
Julien Darmon is EDIN’s lead facilitator from the Jewish faith. Julien was born in France and lives and works in Paris. After studying Philosophy at the Sorbonne, he received a PhD in Sociology of Religions at the EHESS. He worked as an editor in the Spiritualités Department of the Albin Michel Publishing house, working with authors from all religious and spiritual backgrounds to produce reference works such as the History of Jewish-Muslim Relationships from the Origins to the Present Day, Jews from Elsewhere – Forgotten Diasporas, Singular Identities, The Jews in the Qur’an and After Jesus – the shaping of Christianity. In parallel, he has been teaching Jewish texts (Midrash, Talmud, Bible commentary, Kabbalah) in various Jewish and non-Jewish contexts for 15 years and holds a rabbinical ordination from Orthodox Rabbis in Israel. He has written several books on those subjects. He is a figure of Jewish-Muslim dialogue in France, having given speeches at the Arab World Institute and helped create a program of Jewish studies for student imams at the Great Mosque of Paris.
Taras Dzyubanskyy is EDIN’s lead facilitator from the Christian faith. Taras holds a PhD in Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and has authored four books. Since October 2012, Taras has been working as an adviser for religious and ecumenical issues to the Mayor of Lviv. In May 2013, he inaugurated the “Libertas” Interfaith Center. Taras has been awarded with several distinctions related to his innovative approach on interfaith dialogue and social issues. An alumnus of the UNAOC Fellowship Program himself, Taras is active in developing workshops for KAICIID Center and for MasterPeace Foundation. He currently teaches at the Ukrainian Catholic University and oversees its Institute of Religion and Society in Lviv, Ukraine, and serves as senior alumni advisor at the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome.
Kosta Lucas is EDIN’s facilitator in the subject of preventing and countering violent extremism and counter-narrative development. Kosta is an independent researcher and civil society professional in the field of preventing and countering violent extremism, with considerable experience in policy, research and grassroots program development roles. He currently serves as the Head of Community Practice at DrawHistory, a design and strategy agency for social change. For almost 10 years, Kosta has worked with a broad range of public and private organizations including Google, YouTube, Facebook, United Nations and various government agencies to help them address the myriad of factors that contribute to extremism and polarization using conflict resolution, communications, community education and creative arts practices. Most recently, in 2020 was appointed to the inaugural Independent Advisory Committee for the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism and was invited to be a member of Facebook Australia’s Combatting Hate Speech Advisory Group.
Anna Pavlyuchenko is EDIN’s project lead from UNAOC. She serves as an Institutional and Member States Relations Advisor, managing the portfolios of the UNAOC Group of Friends, Trust Fund and budget, as well as knowledge management and institutional development. Prior to this post, Anna led a series of capacity-building programmes and initiatives in the areas of youth, peace and security. Before joining UNAOC, she worked in the International Labour Organization as a senior programme support staff, managing projects on child rights protection and prevention and eradication of child labour, advocacy and communications. Anna was a project coordinator of a public policy, communications and research project in Agency for Social Analysis (think tank), Ukraine. She holds a MA in Politics and Political Economy of the Post-Communist Transition from the Central European University (Budapest, Hungary) and a BA in Political Science from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Kyiv, Ukraine).