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Nora Nadjarian | BIO

Nora Nadjarian | BIO

Nora Nadjarian is an award-winning Cypriot poet and short story writer. She has published three collections of poetry: The Voice at the Top of the Stairs (2001), Cleft in Twain (2003) and 25 Ways to Kiss a Man (2004). Cleft in Twain was cited by The Guardian in an article on the literature of the new European Union member states in 2004. Her poetry has been translated into German, Czech, Maltese, Arabic and Turkish.

In addition to a book of short stories, Ledra Street (2006), her work has been published online and in journals in the UK, USA, Australia and elsewhere. She has also won prizes and commendations at international competitions, including the Commonwealth Short Story Competition, the Féile Filíochta International Poetry Competition, the Binnacle International Ultra-Short Competition and the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize.

Other publications include a bilingual English-German edition of selected poems (Hochroth) and inclusion in two prestigious anthologies: Best European Fiction (Dalkey Archive Press, 2011) and Being Human (Bloodaxe Books, 2011).

Her second book of short stories Girl, Wolf, Bones was published by Folded Word (USA) in 2011 and the story “Sparrow” appeared in the Irish Times. One of her poems was included in A River of Stories, an anthology of tales and poems from across the Commonwealth, illustrated by Jan Pieńkowski.


Her work was also included in an anthology of poetry in honour of “The International Day of Happiness” distributed on 20 March 2015 at the UN Headquarters in New York. She was selected to represent Cyprus within the framework of EU2016, in the poetry project ‘In European Poetry I want to live’ (Amsterdam).

She wrote and performed Tempus Fugit, a series of Cyprus-based memory monologues at the Sardam Experimental Literature Festival in Limassol and Nicosia, Cyprus (October 2016).

Her latest publication is Selfie, a book of short stories (Roman Books, 2017).

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Ruzen Atakan | BIO

Ruzen Atakan | BIO

Ruzen Atakan was born in Cyprus in 1966 in Louroujina village. Since graduating from Ankara Gazi University Department of Painting she continued her professional artwork. She has joined a large number of bi-communal activities before and after 2003. She was among a number of Cypriot artists who participated in mixed exhibitions in Sweden, Austria, England and France. She has a great interested in the visual expression of Cyprus and Cypriots through her artwork. In addition to her personal and joined exhibitions, she also illustrated a few poetry and storybooks. She is a member of the Culture and Art Technical Committee, formed in 2015 with the initiative of the two Cypriot leaders Mustafa Akıncı and Nikos Anastasiades.

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Antouanetta Katsioloudi | BIO

Antouanetta Katsioloudi | BIO

Antouanetta Katsioloudi was born in Kormakiti in 1951. She graduated the Pedagogical Academy (Teachers Training College) of Cyprus in 1972. She was awarded a scholarship by the British Council and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Preschool Education from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1983 and later, in 1991 she got a scholarship by the University of New York at Albany through the Cyprus Government and got a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology.

She has a life PHD, being the eldest of 12 children of the Joseph’s and Marianna’s Katsioloudi family, with four handicapped members, during the hardest time of the Cyprus History, the occupation of their village and the displacement of the family.

She worked forty years in all levels of Education, from preschool – University and also at the Pedagogical Institute for the In-service training of teachers. She retired in 2011 from the position of General Inspector of Primary Education.

Today she is an active member of the Maronite Community. She is the Chairman of KORMAKITIS TRUST, an Organization for the Preservation of the Cultural Heritage of Kormakitis as well as the National Coordinator of the Cypriot Branch of the Oecumenical Forum of European Christian Women. She is also a volunteer who supports the Day Care Centres for multi-disabled adults and raises funds for the ‘MICHALIS KATSIOLOUDIS’ Model Rehabilitation Centre for adults with hereditary spastic quadriplegia.

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Neşe Yaşın | BIO

Neşe Yaşın | BIO

Neşe Yaşın was born in 1959 in Cyprus. She is a poet well known and read on both sides of divided Cyprus. Her poem called “Which Half?” that she wrote at the age of 17 was composed by the Greek Cypriot composer Marios Tokas and became an icon of identity, an unofficial anthem for a united Cyprus.

She has published eight volumes of poetry, one novel and a research book on literature. Selections from her poetry has been translated to more than 30 languages, published in literary magazines and anthologies in different counties. A selection from her poems have been published in English translation with the title “Rose Falling Into Night”. She has participated in poetry festivals and readings around the world. Among others she has received the Anthias Pierides Award in 1998.

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Rita Severis | BIO

Rita Severis | BIO

Rita C. Severis was born in Nicosia. She studied Philosophy, at University College, London University, (BA Hons); received the Diploma in Journalism from the London School of Journalism and a PhD in History of Art from the University of Bristol.

Her work experience includes two years at the Press and Information Office in Greece with special assignment to the Presidency (1975-77). She subsequently returned to Cyprus where she ran her own antiques business (1977-2000) and was representing Sotheby’s in Cyprus and Greece (1987-1999).

Since 2000 she has been working as a freelance consultant on antiques and works of art and a freelance researcher, writer and lecturer. Her research interests include, travel writing and travel literature through the ages and subjects related to art in Cyprus, art and politics, art and identity and art and travel. She also works with publishing unknown travelogues on Cyprus and bringing to light unknown representations of the island. She firmly believes and works on the reconciliation platform by using culture and art as a tool for bringing the island’s communities together and points to peaceful coexistence from the past for the future.


Rita Severis was awarded a certificate of Special Congressional Recognition by the U. S. House of Representatives, (2001) was decorated by the French Government Chevalier dans l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2007) and by the King of Sweden in 2010. She is also the Honorary Consul for Canada in Cyprus.

She is the co-founder of the Costas and Rita Severis Foundation, a non-profit organisation for the promotion of culture and peaceful coexistence, and executive director of the Centre of Visual Arts and Research, the home of the Foundation. The CVAR has been recognised officially by the government as a museum and has won the Europa Nostra Award 2017 for Education. Training and Awareness-raising, which is the first time this category is won by Cyprus.

Severis served as a member of the Board of various foundations such as the Monagri Foundation, the Cyprus Popular Bank Cultural Foundation, and the Board of Friends of the Leventis Museum. Member of the Selection Committee for the Rescue, Preservation and Promotion of the Archaeological Heritage of Cyprus, 2002 (organised by the Ministry of Communications and Works, awarding individuals and institutions for their work, 2003). She is a member of ASTENE (Association of Study and Travel to Egypt and the Near East), speaker on CyBc in a series of half-hour lectures on the history of the Latin community in Cyprus. She lectures widely on art, art history, travel literature and travelogues pertaining to Cyprus, speaks fluent Greek and English, basic French and is learning Turkish.

Rita Severis organised many cultural events and exhibitions in Cyprus and abroad and is the author and co author of 14 books on Cyprus and a large number of articles on history of art, travel and art and politics pertaining to Cyprus. She has delivered lectures in Cyprus and abroad on her subjects of interest and has participated in many conferences.

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Flora Alexandrou | BIO

Flora Alexandrou | BIO

Flora Alexandrou is coming from Famagusta, Cyprus, and she is a graduate of the University of Perugia (Italy) in Language Mediation Sciences. During her stay in Italy, she studied also foreign languages and journalism. Flora speaks, Italian, Spanish, English and French. Working since 2003 as a Correspondent of Spanish News Agency (EFE), the state news agency of Spain, she covers various aspects of life in Cyprus, including politics, business, technology, energy and sports.

Her interest focuses on social effects of the Cyprus problem. Before journalism, Flora worked as an instructor at the Cyprus Police Academy for the Italian and Spanish languages as well as a translator/interpreter.

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Antonella Mantovani | BIO

Antonella Mantovani | BIO

Antonella Mantovani was born in Limassol in 1971. She was raised a Latin Catholic following the tradition of her father’s Italian family origins, while her mother’s family is Armenian.

She attended the Foley’s Grammar and Junior school in Limassol before gaining her degree from the University of Cambridge and completing her postgraduate studies at the College of Europe in Belgium.

After an internship in the European Commission, she returned in 1996 and has since been working in the family company, A.L Mantovani & Sons Ltd, mainly looking after its Travel & Tourism departments.

She is fluent in Greek and English, comfortable in Italian and competent in French.

In May 2016 she won the seat of Representative of the Latin Community in the parliamentary elections.

She is married with one daughter.

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Salpy Eskidjian | BIO

Salpy Eskidjian | BIO

Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud is one of the two architects of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process under the Auspices of the Embassy of Sweden- (RTCYPP) which is an unprecedented peacebuilding initiative in Cyprus launched in 2009 and currently serves as the main facilitator of the religious leaders’ dialogue for peace in Cyprus. In her capacity as senior consultant for peacebuilding and human rights, Salpy has served as special advisor to a non governmental organization called Viva Rio in Brazil (2006); the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-OHCHR) and facilitator for the Nicosia community leaders’ (mayors) joint meetings, (2014-2015). Since 2013 she has been appointed a member to the Governing Board of the Home for Cooperation and works closely with the civil society and international community in Cyprus.


From 2006-2007, Salpy was Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor for Church of Sweden, Norwegian Church Aid, DanChurchaid. (Focus on Human Rights, Peacebuilding and Security/ based first in Geneva, Switzerland and later in Uppsala, Sweden.) In 2005 she was invited to be the Special Representative of the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches to Jerusalem when initiated and set up the Jerusalem Ecumenical Center, based in Geneva- Switzerland and Jerusalem. From 1995 -2005, Salpy was the Programme Executive on International Affairs, Peace and Security (responsible for Middle East Policy, Disarmament and Peace building), for the World Council of Churches – Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (WCC/CCIA) based in Geneva – Switzerland. During this period she was Founder and Director of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) –The first ecumenical human rights accompaniment programme in Middle East working with Israelis and Palestinians. She headed the Election monitoring team of the WCC under the EU umbrella for the first Palestinian Elections and was one of the leaders of the WCC delegation to Iraq to monitor the Oil for Food programme and its humanitarian effects. Salpy was a founding member of the International Action Network on Small Arms and Light Weapons (IANSA) and initiated and led the Ecumenical Action Network Against Small Arms (ENSA). As the Executive Coordinator of the Programme to Overcome Violence (POV) of the WCC (1995-2000) she led it’s Peace to the City Campaign (1997-1998) and initiated and organized the WCC’s Decade to Overcome Violence: Churches Seeking Reconciliation and Peace (2000-2010). Salpy was the first young woman ever to serve as Programme Executive on Justice, Peace and Human Rights for The Middle East Council of Churches from 1989- 1994 based in Limassol-Cyprus where she set up the first human rights training programme for churches and church related agencies in the Middle East.

Salpy holds a Master’s diploma on Human Rights and Diplomacy from University of New South Wales, Australia, a Post Graduate Diploma on Development and Human Rights from the Graduate Institute in the Hague and a BA (Hons) in Sociology and Criminal Justice from The George Washington University in Washington D.C USA. She is a graduate of The English School, Nicosia – Cyprus.

Salpy speaks, English, Greek, Armenian, basic French & Swedish. She has taken introductory courses in Arabic & Spanish and is currently studying Turkish. Since 2010 Salpy is based in Nicosia – Cyprus.

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Susana Pavlou | BIO

Susana Pavlou | BIO

Susana Pavlou is an outspoken and committed feminist and a women’s rights activist. She started her career at the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS) in 2005 and has served as Director of the Institute since 2008. She has served as gender equality expert on European networks and organisations including the European Women’s Lobby and the European Institute for Gender Equality. Susana is a tireless advocate to end all forms of violence against women and girls and is currently President of the Advisory Committee for the Prevention and Combating of Violence in the Family.

She holds a BA in Political Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MSc in International Relations from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University.

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Sezis Okut | BIO

Sezis Okut | BIO

For the last 12 years, Sezis Okut has been working for non-profit organisations and enterprises in the USA, London in roles ranging from events coordinator, project coordinator and project manager, and for the last five years, she has been part of the civil society in Cyprus working towards reconciliation through youth empowerment. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a Masters Degree in Finance and she is a certified project manager. She managed a project with a budget of 350,000 Euros funded by the UNDP-ACT between January 2012-July 2013.

She is currently co-managing an European Union funded project called, Youthopia, with a budget of 377,000 Euros. She is a true believer in youth empowerment and entrepreneurship, and is founder of a start-up called Mystery Cyprus. She is also a co-founder of the first co-working space in northern part of Cyprus called Hive Cy.

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