Sheniz Tan, CEO
Sheniz Tan is Asfar’s CEO and Director.
Sheniz is responsible for all of Asfar's international programmes, strategy and overall organisational development.
Sheniz holds an MA in Reconciliation and Peacebuilding from the University of Winchester, has a BA (Hons) in Politics and History of the Middle East with Turkish from the University of Durham and is a Level 7 qualified Strategic Manager and current Chartered Fellow of the UK Chartered Management Institute.
Sheniz has worked in the Youth, NGO & Charities, Welfare to Work, Social Entrepreneurship & International Development sectors since 2007, for a variety of different organisations over the past 13 years, including: the British Youth Council; House of Commons; Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq; Liberal Democrats Party; yesMinister; Serco; Westminster Forum Projects; and LITC.
From 2015 to 2018, Sheniz, alongside her role at Asfar, acted as a Project Development Consultant at Rinova, responsible for monitoring its EU portfolio (23+ large scale EU programmes) and project managed and supported a cross ranges of programmes including: Erasmus+; EU Justice; Interreg; Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programmes.
Since 2018, Sheniz has focused strictly on Asfar and its partnership network, developing a series of new dynamic learning, employment, skills and social entrepreneurship programmes, including RESOLVE, a reconciliation for development learning programme and the RESOLVE: Network.
Publications, Lectures & Research
In 2016, Sheniz provided key advice to the House of Lords' International Relations Committee in support of developing the UK Government policy on young people in the Middle East. The final policy, the Middle East: Time for New Realism was published in May 2017.
Sheniz has published several articles on the Yörük, tribal communities in Anatolia, Turkey including for the British Association of Turkish Area Studies (from Middlesbrough to the Yayla), and a lecture for the Turkish-Anglo Society (16th February 2010 lecture).
Caravans, Yörük and the Balkan Mountains article in the Asfar e-Journal.
A profile of child marriage in the Caucasus, Asfar e-Journal, December 2017.
Erasmus+ European Partnership for Apprenticeships project.
Erasmus+ Euro-IVET: Enhancing the quality of initial vocational and education training for young people in urban and multicultural settings.
Erasmus+ Interculturality Mobility
Erasmus+ REVaLUE: Refugees Empowerment through VET in an inclusive Europe.
Talking Peace, Exploring Conflict, University of Winchester.
Emina Hasanagic, International Project Manager
Emina Hasanagić, is Asfar's International Project Manager and is responsible for co-ordinating all key international and Erasmus+/European Solidarity Corps RESOLVE programmes. Emina has been involved with Asfar since the beginning of 2018, when the idea of Resolve began, while working with Asfar's Bosnian partner and organised the first Erasmus+ youth exchange under RESOLVE: East in November 2018.
Emina continued her involvement with RESOLVE, by acting as the Bosnian Team Leader for youth exchanges organised in Tbilisi and London in 2019.
Emina obtained a MA in Management and Organisation from the University of Sarajevo in 2014; she is also an alumni of the Young Women's Peace Academy. From 2014, Emina has been active in the NGO sector as a Administrative Department Manager and Erasmus+ Coordinator for the Bosnian Foundation Krila nade in Sarajevo. Emina participated in different initiatives including IPA, Erasmus+ projects, European Solidarity Corps etc. Emina has diverse experience in administrative and financial management of projects, monitoring of project implementation, partnership management, and also in volunteer management, diversity, peacebuilding and reconciliation.
Emina is the author of the Buildpeace Toolkit for Educators, co-author of the Mapping report about Formal, Non-formal education and Online learning in Peace-building and supported the creation of the Buildpeace Handbook for Learners and Policy recommendations. She contributed to the “Report on violence against children (2018) Monitoring results of non-governmental organisations on the state of violence against children and local level community resources in BiH” by Zdravo da ste and UNICEF; The “Volunteering in countries of the Western Balkans: Guidelines for obtaining residence permits for volunteers within Erasmus+: Youth in Action and European Solidarity Corps” by SALTO and Recommendations for Erasmus+ for Western Balkan Countries by Environment Engineering group in 2019.
Special focus of her work is in providing opportunities for young people to engage in activities that build mutual understanding and reconciliation in the civic, social, educational, cultural and sports domain. Emina was member of the working group of the Peacebuilding Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2 years where she engaged in preparations of numerous activities (e.g. Weeks of Building Peace, Week of Human Rights, Week of Building Peace, Solidarity and Women Rights). Emina is also one of the founders of the Network of ESC accredited organisations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia for over 3 years.
Luke Scott, International Project Officer
Luke has been Asfar's International Project Officer since March 2021, having previously got to know Asfar through his volunteer placement as a European Solidarity Corps Volunteer on the RESOLVE: Volunteer 4 Peace programme in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2020.
During his time in Sarajevo on his RESOLVE volunteer placement, Luke was involved with the developing the RESOLVE: Network and its youth wing during the Covid-19 pandemic, including establishing the Digital Talks held regularly with the support of RESOLVE ESC Volunteers, and the design and co-ordination of the RESOLVE: Network's first Youth Conference, held online in December 2020.
Luke graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in History and Politics, before completing the European Regional Masters in Human Rights and Democracy in South East Europe at the Universities of Sarajevo and Bologna, focusing in particular in these studies on the role of international actors on peace and democracy building, and the European path of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Luke's interests still lie in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the European future of the country and peace- and democracy-building and international actors' roles in these processes.
Steven Aiello, Project Officer & Dialogue Expert
Steven Aiello is Asfar's Project Officer & Dialogue Expert focusing on our International Dialogue programmes including Erasmus+ RESOLVE: New Youth Order and our wider strategic partnerships.
Steven is also an experienced NGO strategic leader and founded Debate for Peace 4 years ago to connect and empower young Jewish and Palestinian leaders in Israel. He has a BA in Economics (NYU), MA in Diplomacy and Conflict Studies (IDC), and an MA in Islamic Studies (Tel Aviv University). He has been involved in Jewish-Arab Model United Nations work in Israel since 2011.
Steven is Jewish and Italian-American, from New York, currently living in Tel Aviv. He has run dozens of conferences and more than 15 international youth delegations. More information about Steven's wider work visit: Debateforpeace.org
Jade Sullivan, RESOLVE: Network Chair
Jade has been an European Solidarity Corps volunteer in Sarajevo from September 2020 to March 2021.
Jade is the current RESOLVE: Network youth chairperson.
In 2019 she graduated with an BA in History & Politics from Lancaster University and in 2020 she graduated with an MA in Conflict, Development & Security from Lancaster University - with a particular focus on humanitarian migration.
During her time at University she was the President of the Liberal Democrats and volunteered weekly at RAIS Lancaster, a small refugee charity in the North West. Whilst at RAIS she was introduced to humanitarian law & became passionate about improving the situation for refugees and asylum seekers globally. She has recently started an Instagram page, @humanitarianmigrationfacts, to share unbiased facts concerning migration, that are often not found in traditional media outlets.
Jade is also an avid proponent of women’s rights and was a member of the Feminist society during her time at university. She has published multiple articles concerning women in politics on the United Politics blog and during her high-school period wrote for the Political Rooster.
Jade has continued her passion by creating a new campaign for Asfar & the RESOLVE: Network called ‘Woman of the Week’, where she celebrates inspiring women throughout history that have often been overlooked.
Jade looks forward to continuing her passions, chairing the RESOLVE: Network & promoting social action during her European Solidarity Corps volunteer placement in Sarajevo and beyond.
Rida Jan, Digital Volunteer (RESOLVE Projects, Marketing & Digital Talks)
Rida Jan is our Digital Volunteer focusing on the RESOLVE: Network & projects, Marketing & Social Media and our Digital Talks project. Rida joined Asfar in July 2020.
Rida graduated with a degree in International Relations and Development from the University of Westminster.
During her studies she was part of DEN, a student-led organisation raising awareness on local, refugee and global issues. Due to her enthusiasm for the media she was involved in writing blogs, planning and taking photographs at events for DEN.
Rida is excited to be involved in Asfar, especially the RESOLVE projects and Digital Talks.
Angelina Avricevic, Asfar e-Journal Senior Editor
Angelina is the e-Journal's Senior Editor, and has been involved in Asfar’s work since February 2019.
Having first started as an organisation’s Finance Officer, she has recently moved into the literary realm hoping to facilitate broader coverage of diverse, highly topical yet often overlooked themes characterising the Middle East and North Africa.
Angelina holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Exeter and an MSc in Middle Eastern Politics from Birkbeck College, University of London. Her area of academic specialisation is Jordanian domestic politics with a focus on Islamist discourse as well as broader regional developments in the domain of political Islam.
A keen advocate of transnational knowledge exchange and inter-cultural dialogue, Angelina has participated in various educational initiatives aiming to nurture young people’s social and political engagement while encouraging informed debate, be it promoting Politics studies to college finalists; facilitating events on cultural sharing and understanding for international students; or assisting with youth conference organisation at the heart of the EU in Brussels. Angelina’s professional journey has so far been dedicated to project management in the higher education sector, both in the UK and internationally.
Leo Zbanke, Trainer & Facilitator
Leo Zbanke, is one of Asfar's Trainers/Facilitators specialising in Creative and Cultural learning.
Born in Moldova, Leo studied social psychology and later turned to film studies graduating from the All Russian State University of Cinematography with a degree in film directing. Since 2015, he has run a production company called Dis Donc Production which creates audio-visual content for governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Since 2016, Leo has been a trainer and facilitates workshops/ training courses on digital storytelling, media literacy, and audio-visual tools, all over Europe.
Leo speaks six languages and his biggest dream is to travel all over the world and create opportunities for young people, making innovative educational and cultural projects.
Leo is a non-binary person who uses he/him or they/ them pronouns, he is involved in LGBTQ activism, writes scripts, and hopes one day to direct/ produce his own movies.