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Welcome Ibtissam!

We’re so excited to have Ibtissam as part of the amazing team at City of Sanctuary Sheffield.  Below we learn a bit more about her and her new role: 

Ibtissam is the Experts by Experience (EbE) Coordinator at CoSS. The aim of EbE is to increase the participation and agency of people with lived experience of seeking sanctuary in decision making and leadership of the organisation, and develop transferable skills and knowledge to enable them to take up leadership opportunities in the organisation, sector or elsewhere. Ibtissam’s role includes facilitating the EbE team; ensuring that it is successfully established, is sustainable and becomes an integral part of the CoSS. 

Ibtissam is a community development specialist, researcher, educator and peace activist and has extensive experience in training, policy and practice, building knowledge and capacity in community groups and sectors.

She is one of the people who has been working hard to build her new life in Sheffield since she arrived in the UK. She started her education journey from ESOL Entry level to HE and obtained her MA and PhD degrees from the School of Education, The University of Sheffield.  Before coming to the UK, Ibtissam worked in Yemen in senior positions for the Government, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, and as a professional trainer with CARE International-Yemen. 

Alongside her role at CoSS Ibtissam is one of the Cofounders and the Directors of DEWA, one of a few organisations funded and run by lived experience women working with asylum seeking and refugee women (DEWA project – Sisters Not Strangers coalition). She led DEWA project to win the ‘Women’s Empowerment Company of the Year’, the Yorkshire Prestige Awards 2021-2022.  She has been a member of the Advisory Group for Live Projects (Smart Urban Future), School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield, a trustee of South Yorkshire Refugee Law and Justice and one of the Board of Directors of Sheffield Community Media Ltd.  

In her spare time Ibtissam loves to travel, take photographs and write her diary.