In an effort to reach beyond conflicting and confusing media portrayals of Yemen and Pakistan and develop a picture of the situation on the ground in each country, Women without Borders (WwB) in partnership with the US Embassy in Vienna held a panel discussion on 25 Feb. 2010 with representatives from Sana’a and Islamabad. Nadia al-Sakkaf, Chief Editor of the Yemen Times, and Arshia Saleem Hashmi, Senior Research Analyst at the Institute of Regional Studies and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the National Defence University Islamabad, Pakistan, offered insights into the role women play in Pakistan and Yemen and how they can be activated as agents of change in the two nations.


Nadia al-Sakkaf, joined the Yemen Times in July 2000 as a translator and reporter, and was appointed assistant editor two months later. After completing her university studies in Management Information Systems in 2002, al-Sakkaf became Systems Analyst at the Arab Experts Center for Consultancy and Systems while continuing her work at the Yemen Times. In 2003, Ms. Al-Sakkaf joined Oxfam GB and worked in the Humanitarian Program as well as in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, while also acting as the organization’s media spokeswoman in Yemen. In 2005, she was appointed chief editor of the Yemen Times. One year later, she was awarded the Gebran Tueni Award for Professional Media by the World Association of Newspapers and An-Nahar Newspaper in Lebanon.

Arshi Saleem Hashmi, specializes in Religion and Politics of Violent Conflicts with special focus on South Asia. She has received her MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from the School of International Service (SIS), The American University in Washington, DC. Hashmi is currently working on her PhD in International Relations at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad. She works Senior Research Analyst at the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad, and as Adjunct Assistant Professor at the National Defense University (NDU). She has also been teaching at the National Institute of Pakistan Studies (NIPS) and the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. Prior to her work at the Institute of Regional Studies,. Hashimi worked as a researcher with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, and the Middle East Institute in the US. In 2000, she was awarded the Kodikara Research Award by the Regional Center for Strategic Studies (Colombo) in collaboration with the Ford Foundation, which resulted in a book titled ‘Conflict Transformation from Ethnic Movement to Terrorist Movement’.

Christian Ultsch, studied Political Science, International Law, and Macroeconomics at the University of Vienna. He became head of the foreign desk of ‘Die Presse’ in October 2004 and since March 2009 is also leading editor of the Sunday edition, ‘Die Presse am Sonntag’.

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