Sheniz Tan, CEO

Sheniz Tan is Asfar’s CEO and established our organisation in 2011-12. Between 2012 to 2015, Sheniz also acted as Senior Editor for the e-Journal. Sheniz is responsible for all of Asfar's international programmes, strategy and development consultancy.

Sheniz graduated from the University of Durham having read Politics and History of the Middle East with Turkish at the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Sheniz specialised in change amongst tribal communities, particularly the Yörüks, in Anatolia, Turkey and also studied Turkish at Ankara University and later Advanced Turkish and Persian at SOAS Language School. Sheniz, studied Law at BPP Law school for a year, before deciding to develop a career in the NGO sector instead.

Sheniz's previous experience/responsibilities have included being a member of the British Association for Turkish Area Studies ((BATAS –www.batas.org.uk) and sat on Council between 2012 to 2015. Sheniz was also a member of the Institute for Fundraising and the British Institute at Ankara. Sheniz is a former Junior Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Sheniz holds business management qualifications including: a Level 5 qualification in Management and Leadership with PwC and  completed her Level 7 qualification in Strategic Management in 2017 and has recently been awarded Chartered Fellow status through the UK's Chartered Management Institute.

In September 2017, Sheniz started her Masters in Reconciliation and Peacebuilding at the University of Winchester. Currently, particular research interest areas include: Community conflict resolution education, with particular focus on the Refugee Crisis; Child Marriage in the Caucasus; and Peacebuilding in the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans.

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 worked, volunteered and acted as a consultant for a variety of different organisations over the past 11 years, including: the British Youth Council; House of Commons; Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq; Liberal Democrats Party; yesMinister; Serco; Westminster Forum Projects; and LITC.

In most recent years, Sheniz has focused more on international development, youth and sport for peace organisations, and acted as a Project Development Consultant for Rinova. Between 2015-2018, on behalf of Rinova, Sheniz managed a range of strategic EU funded programmes including in relation to Refugees, specifically Women Refugees, Apprenticeships and Intercultural Mobilities.

Sheniz is an experienced Bid Writer, Project Manager, Quality Assurance and Evaluation professional.

Sheniz has project managed key government, EU-funded and corporate programmes, including: European Social Fund; Skills Funding Agency; Youth Volunteering projects; Youth in Action; Erasmus+; Sporteducate; EU Justice; Interreg and Sportivate.

George Beaumont, International Project Development Officer & Erasmus+ Team Leader

George has been involved with Asfar since participating in his first ever Erasmus+ International youth exchange (RESOLVE: EAST) in Tbilisi at the beginning of 2019. He has since become a Team Leader and an International Project Development Officer with Asfar, leading UK participants on International youth exchange projects and playing a supporting role for other international projects. At the same time, George is completing his masters degree in Risk Analysis at King's College London (KCL).

Recently (July 2018), George completed a BSc International Management (Japan and Korea) degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, where he was able to gain specialist knowledge of business and management in Japan and Korea including modules in finance, managerial economics, corporate governance and social enterprise, as well as a deep understanding and love of Japanese and Korean history and culture. As part of this undergraduate degree, he also took a Japanese language module where he achieved a 2:1 and modules such as "Development and conflict", "Issues with borders and development" and "African and Asian cultures in the diaspora" as his optional modules. It was these optional modules, that inspired George to develop his understanding of peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

Prior to his undergraduate degree, George graduated from the Peter Jones Enterprise and Entrepreneurship academy with Distinction, Distinction. As part of this course, George was taught how to develop enterprises from the ground up, how to finance them, how to manage them and how to market them. He hopes to use this knowledge to assist others in starting their own enterprises, particularly refugees and those within developing countries.

George loves to travel and volunteer and has so far travelled to thirty-one countries, volunteering in several of them. He is also learning Portuguese whilst continuing to improve his Japanese language skills in his spare time. George is a keen aquarium hobbyist and has seven aquariums.

Ella Nuttall, International Project Development Officer

 

Ella got involved with Asfar through its International Project Development internship scheme, beginning in June 2019 in Sarajevo.

Ella read Arabic and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Manchester, focusing on gender in the Middle East, and Arabic literature. Whilst living in Jordan, Ella studied at both the Jordan Language Academy and the Qasid Institute studying standard Arabic and the Jordanian dialect. Whilst in Jordan, Ella volunteered with NGOs in Amman to provide refugees with English lessons. When back in Manchester, Ella, as a member of Enactus UK, worked with a team to start building a social enterprise to support refugee women in Manchester through the creation of a product of their design.

Mehvash Ahmad, International Project Development Officer

Mehvash graduated from the University of East Anglia and studied International Development with Politics with Overseas Experience. Her dissertation on community level peacebuilding in Bosnian society was inspired by her research in Sarajevo during summer 2018 where she also volunteered for Wings of Hope. Together, her placement and her dissertation fuelled her passion for peacebuilding.

Recognising she needs to gain more practical experience in conflict management and reconciliation, Mehvash got involved with Asfar when she represented Team GB in the first RESOLVE: East youth exchange in Sarajevo in November 2018. From then on, she participated in the youth exchange is Istanbul, assisted with the delivery of the youth exchange in London and has been appointed Team Leader for the RESOLVE: Sport youth exchange in Uppsala. Currently she is interning with Asfar as an International Project Development Officer.

Prior to university, she worked for UK Youth as a Youth Voice Facilitator and coordinated the activities of the youth board of 25 young people aged 16-25 who came from all over the UK from diverse backgrounds. Her work included organising and delivering youth consultations, 4 residentials in London, York, Southampton and Cardiff, a Youth Voice conference and accompanied young people to events to support their wellbeing and confidence.

In her spare time, Mehvash loves to travel and has been to 33 countries across Europe, North America, the Middle East and South Asia. She is also a yoga enthusiast, a dancer, specialising in Cuban Salsa and Bollywood styles and enjoys reading fantasy fiction.

Keti Tsutskiridze, Project Developer

Keti Tsutskiridze is a young freelance project developer for Asfar. Since 2010, Keti has been a Trainer/Facilitator of European-based training activities, study sessions & seminars.

Keti spent one voluntary year in Berlin, Germany, where she worked for Asfar partner CRISP, as the coordinator of Social Leader forums, cross border programmes in Eastern Europe and South Caucasus. Keti's  main training specialism include: Conflict transformation; Communications; Presentation skills; Human Rights including rights of internally displaced people; Gender Equality.

Keti's interests and expertise focus on the effective use of innovative methods of non-formal education such as Simulation Games and Labyrinth Theater as a peace building tool between divided individuals and groups.

Haidar Hawilo, International Project Development Officer

Haidar got involved with Asfar through its International Project Development scheme, beginning in June 2019 in Sarajevo.

Haidar read a BS in Nursing and Health Sciences, and a diploma in Gender development and Sexuality at Beirut University. Having a background in health and development, he worked with different international NGOs on health and gender Advocacy. In addition, Haidar is a strong advocate of LGBTIQ+ rights in Lebanon and gender equality in community development. Shedding the light on the inequalities happening in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East region.

Shahbaz Kamran, International Project Development Officer

Shahbaz began his journey with Asfar with an International Project Officer internship, volunteering in Sarajevo, Bosnia from July 2019.

At the University of Surrey, he completed an undergraduate degree in BSc Biomedical Sciences (2018) and then went on to pursue an MSc in International Relations with a core focus on international interventions (2019).

During his time at Surrey he was also part of the University rowing team, serving as Vice-President and organising volunteer projects to support a local charity called Oakleaf, which provides mental-health and wellbeing support to young people.

Always an avid student of politics, his passionate appreciation for the theories behind post-conflict peacebuilding and its implementation along with NGO functionality and development, make this role an exciting place to develop his understanding and hone his skills further.