Anna Cervi is an Italian national with almost 15 years overseas experience with International Organisations in leading humanitarian interventions in Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Darfur. She negotiated and managed anumber of programs in support to peace and reconciliationpromoting the use of ADRs with particular focus on humanitarian access, gender, inclusion and transitional justice. In Syria since 2015, she just ended her assignment as Country Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council, where she was a spokesperson with the Government of Syria and in a number of high-level events in European capitals on behalf of the aid community. She became a member of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network in 2019 to step up her efforts in support of women, peace and security. She is an associate of the School of Development Innovation and Change (SDIC), carrying out research on war and inequality. Anna is a qualified mediator by the International Mediation Institute (IMI), registering as a mediator with the Italian Ministry of Justice. She is currently studying to become a Certified Global Sanctions Specialist with ACAMS and doing research on women leadership in mediation and negotiations in humanitarian action and their contribution to peace. Anna holds two degrees in Development and Cooperation Studies from the University of Bologna and a Master of Science in Forced Migration from the University of Oxford. She further strengthened her mediation expertise by taking the Swiss FDFA’s Peace Mediation Course and other specialised courses on negotiations, women leadership and empowerment.
Ayat Mohamed is a Gender Analyst at the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Syria. She had previously worked on women and civil society inclusion in the Syrian political process with the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF). She is a strong proponent of women’s inclusion in political processes, mediation efforts and on all levels. Ms. Mohamed has experience in mediation support, social dialogue, inclusive peace processes. She has written on hybrid mediation and women in peace processes. She has experience working on Middle East contexts. Ms. Mohamed has an MA degree in political science, and speaks Arabic, English, and intermediate French.
Bochra Belhaj Hmida
Bochra Bel Haj Hmida is an attorney at the Court of Cassation and a member of the Assembly of People’s Representatives since 2014. She is a feminist activist who has contributed to the creation of several associations and has participated in human rights campaigns. She was the President of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women and then appointed General Secretary from 2003 to 2005. She is a member of the first network of Arab women. Additionally, she is also the co-founder and member of The Caucus for Women Politicians in the Arab Region, working with women in conflict zones on UNSC Resolution 1325 related issues. She was appointed President of the Committee on Rights and Freedoms of the People’s Assembly, is President of the Committee on Individual Freedoms and Equality and a member of the G7 Advisory Council for Gender Equality. She has given several conferences internationally. She was awarded honors by several Arab and Western organizations and women’s magazines additionally to being given the medal of the Type 2 Order of the Republic, the Anna Lindh Civil Society Award in 2015, the Hero award of the Global Campaign against Extremism and Intolerance from the International Coalition of Hope and the Fatima El Fehri award from the Muslims for Progressive Values Association. She has always been involved in mediation, as a lawyer practicing family mediation, as an activist when attending international trials and investigation on human rights violations including sexual violence in conflict zones and as a member of parliament negotiating between parties including for the introduction of a law on violence again women.
Dalal Iriqat is the Vice President for International Relations and Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy and Strategic Planning at the Arab American University in Palestine since 2015. Since 2016, she has been a weekly columnist at AlQuds Newspaper. She has served as advisor of Strategic Communications at the PMO in 2017 and 2018, and as the senior policy consultant for writing the Human Development Report UNDP for Palestine in 2015. Prior to joining the Arab American University in Palestine, she taught at the faculty of law and Public Administration at Birzeit University. Throughout her academic career she has always been engaged being elected President of the Diplomatic Academy of London Students’ Association and a member of the students’ council at the University of Jordan. She is passionate about bringing change into the Palestinian society through education, and about improving Palestinian Diplomacy and better brand Palestine. She holds a PhD in Public Administration from Paris I Sorbonne 2011, a Masters degree in Diplomatic Studies from Westminster University in London 2004 and a Bachelor Degree in Political Science from the University of Jordan 2003. Being a strong believer in the individual role in bringing change and being very passionate about bringing change through education and especially through her background in conflict resolution, mediation and diplomacy, she joined the MWMN.
Farida Jaidi, a career diplomat, has worked for 38 years at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation as Head of Department, Head of Division, Director of Multilateral Cooperation, as Consul General in Montreal, as Ambassador to Sweden, Brazil, Paraguay and Suriname, and as Diplomatic Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. She has participated in numerous Conferences and Summit at the international level (UN, MNA, UNDP, UNEP, FAO). Advisor to the Prime Minister at the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), she was part of the OIF delegation that oversaw the elections in Mauritania and chaired the delegation of OIF that oversaw the elections in Niger. Currently, she is a trainer and master coach in personal and professional development as well as a diplomatic coach, practicing in the Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is very active at the national level participating in seminars on numerous gender-related issues ranging from health to economics to entrepreneurship to development. Over the years she has also received numerous honors and has been decorated by His Majesty the King of Morocco. She is a member of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network, which she joined to contribute to the achievement of peace in the world. She believes women have an important responsibility in this regard but need the autonomy and the political and economic rights. She is a member of FemWise and since 2016, she is the President of the Environmental Women Association (EWA).
Hafida Benchehida, Senator of Algeria, is an active member of several networks. She is a founding member of the Arab Women Parliamentarian for Parity and Equality for which she is in charge of international relations; and of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network. She is also a member of the International Civil Action Network for women rights, peace and security (ICAN) and of the Women Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL). As a Parliamentarian, she was deputy chair of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Senate, and also member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and of the political Committee of the Parliamentarian Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, in charge of Human Rights and security issues. Additionally, during her career as an international interpreter she attended major international conferences including the Non Aligned Summit, G77 or G8 summits, OPEC or AU, IMF or UNEP/UNIDO focusing on numerous international issues. Her engagement in mediation stems from her participation in the UNWomen mission in Libya to meet local women parliamentarians; where she further acknowledged the need for dialogue and acceptance of a different position, opinions, approaches. She has also attended 2 mediation trainings with CITPAX Toledo Center in Spain for which she is now also an advisor. Her main interest is the role of women in preventing violent extremism and de-radicalization, especially in the Maghreb and Sahel and women Morchidates with special religious training to offer a counter narrative to potential radicalized youth.
Justine Abi Saad
Justine Abi Saad is a Programs advisor for Civil Peace Program at GIZ –ZFD Lebanon, where she manages and deals with different partners working on different projects in Lebanon on local conflicts as well as conflicts with Palestinians and Syrian refugees. She is also a Trainer and Facilitator on Peace-building and Conflict Transformation for National and International organizations as well as representative for SALTO youth Euromed.
Ms. Abi Saad has been training with them since 2012, on different intercultural topics as well as on EVS program in order to prepare local organizations in applying for the program. In addition, she is a certified mediator with Saint Joseph University, CPM (Centre Professionel de mediation) besides the theory and practicing mediation throughout an academic year, she has participated as jury for the past 2 years. She has also delivered trainings in different regions in Lebanon for Lebanese and Palestinians with World Vision, Search for Common Ground, OTI and the Arab Network for Human Rights & Citizenship Education. Internationally, she has provided trainings, coaching and mentoring for UNDP, UNFPA, YMCA- Ireland, Ministry of Youth- Tunisia, EU Delegation-Tunisia, Pax Christi- Holland.
Furthermore, Justine Abi Saad has created tools on minority rights and conflict transformation, one of the tools is called “let’s talk” a board game on conflict and non-violent communication on which 4 players can roll a dice and play real life scenarios and negotiate their interests, needs and express their feelings and currently she is working to transform the elements this board game into a university course.
Karima Megtef is a doctoral student, teacher, researcher, and gender and radicalization expert. Her commitment to the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network is to raise her voice to promote peace and women’s empowerment. As a victim of Terrorism (the Black Decade when 10 members of her family were killed) it is a question of honouring the memory of her 6 sisters kidnapped by terrorists and those of all the victims by bringing their stories to life and share her experience of reconstruction and mourning.
She is a founding member of the OAF (Algerian Observatory for Women) and a member of the ONVT (national organization of victims of terrorism). Former executive in charge of study and synthesis, she held the position of central director in charge of the status of women. As a member of ANMJA (National Association of Algerian Judicial Mediators) she is in charge of communication and cooperation. Ms. Megtef is an active member of many networks and commissions on peace promotion, fight against violence, extremism, and radicalisation at both national and regional level. She provides consultancy for the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). As a gender equality and women’s rights activist, she has attended the Seminar of Panafrican Network of the Wise in Algeria on the occasion of the establishment of the African Network of Women Mediators FemWise-Africa.
Karma Ekmekji is a Mediation Advisor with UN Women. She is also a Senior Policy Fellow at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut and the Lead Advisor on their Women, Peace and Security initiative. Prior to this, she was the International Affairs and Relations Advisor to former Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri, where she served as the focal point for all international dossiers for eleven years. Before joining PM Hariri’s office in 2009, Karma was the National Political Officer at the United Nations Special Coordinator’s office in Lebanon where she briefed the Special Coordinator on political
developments and strengthened the office’s network base with Lebanese political parties. She had also served at the UN Secretariat’s Department of Political Affairs in New York.
Karma worked as a policy analyst for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) tasked with conducting extensive research on electoral systems and reforms and with providing technical assistance to various regional Government agencies. She was present at the Doha Agreement in May 2008 to lobby Lebanese political parties to introduce reforms to the electoral law.
Stemming from a strong interest in empowering women in the field of diplomacy, peacemaking, mediation and negotiation, Karma founded the #Diplowomen initiative to share knowledge, develop mentorship opportunities and strengthen networking in this field. She is also the host of “The #Diplowomen Podcast”. She is a member of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network and a member of the Global Alliance of Regional Women Mediator Networks, which she participated in launching during the 74th UN General Assembly in New York.
Karma, a lecturer in International Affairs and Women Peace and Security, was selected as a Munich
Young Leader in 2020. She was also selected to take part in the European Union Visitor’s Program in
2019 and is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She is an advisor and member of the
Executive Board of the Intisar Foundation.
Karma is also a member of the British Government’s International Leaders Program and a “Personalité
d’avenir” – selected by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2012, Karma was named one of the top
99 foreign policy leaders under 33 years of age by the Diplomatic Courier.