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Leadership Network members

Shaymaa Arif

Shaymaa Arif is a second generation Arab New Zealander. She considers herself a third culture kid, being Iraqi/Syrian, growing up partially in the UAE and partially in Aotearoa.

Shaymaa has a strong passion for human rights, which was a catalyst to pursuing a Bachelor of Laws and Social Sciences.

Shaymaa previously practised as a refugee and human rights barrister. She provided community advocacy and support following the 15 March Terrorist Attacks and later worked as a human rights advisor with the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.

Shaymaa was also the first hijabi selected to represent Aotearoa New Zealand for the prestigious Japanese government-run Ship for World Youth Programme.

Today, Shaymaa continues to lead her organisation House of Peace and is completing her postgraduate studies in international security and counterterrorism.