Journalist, writer, producer & community leader
Rema Sherifi trained as an electrical engineer, but radio was her passion and she was one of the first female radio journalists in Kosovo at 17. She lost her job in 1992 as a result of the political persecution of Albanians at the time of
the fall of Yugoslavia. As the war in the Balkans spread, Remzije was forced to flee and was evacuated to Glasgow on medical grounds from a refugee camp in Macedonia.
Remzije has lead the Albscott Albanian Scottish association for more than a decade and runs Maryhill Integration Network (MIN), where three staff and 60 volunteers operate a diverse program of weekly activities in health, learning and creativity to support and improve the lives of people from overseas as well as local Scottish people. Her insight into the traumatic experiences many people have been through and her support and example has inspired others who in turn have made new lives and passed on the lessons they have learned. The long term impact on the lives of hundreds of people who have needed a helping hand at the start of their new life in the UK is hard to underestimate. She believes that the arts and storytelling are a powerful way to reach out and change attitudes, culminating in MIN publications, exhibitions, costume making and fashion displays, international choir, folk dance, theatre production and events at local, city-wide and national levels. She is also the mother of three sons and a grandmother.
Remzije is no stranger to awards, in 2009 she was the Winner of Glasgow Community Champion Public Service Individual Award, in 2010 Winner of Glasgow Community Champion of Champions Award. Remzije also received the prestigious Community Champion Award for Arts and Culture from the Scottish Minority Ethnic Achievement Committee and UK migrant women of the year 2013.
Her book, Shadow Behind the Sun was published in 2007 and was short listed for the Saltire Literary Awards. While in partnership with Barrowland ballet she has produced more than 15 performances and theatre productions exploring refugee plight, journeys of death, settlement and issues faced by new communities in Scotland.