Director and Executive Board President
Gita's exhaustive credentials
include a Master's degree in French and German secondary
education and two Bachelor's degrees, in political science/business,
and theatre science with a minor in social anthropology.
She holds the title CMA, (Certified Movement Analyst)
from LIMS Institute in New York. She is a certified
guide for Stockholm, and a very experienced international
In Gita's professional
career, she is a journalist and photographer with photo
expositions in five countries to date. She is a language
teacher and a dance consultant. Gita is also a poet
and a writer - an author of various publications and
co-author of an international best-selling book, translated
into four languages. She is an experienced international
conference organiser in Sweden and abroad.
Gita is a co-founder of
the NGOs Film Women International and the International
Dance Council, both UNESCO affiliated. She is Founder
and Director of IDRA, the Intercultural Dance Research
Archives, Folklore Film, and most recently, Academia
Gita has travelled extensively
worldwide. She speaks Swedish, English, French, German,
Spanish, and has some basic knowledge of 14 other languages.
Advisory Board Member
Houssine's ancestors were
Berber nomads - no wonder he became a desert guide!
Today, he's the director of Tamounte
Trekking, an agency which specialises in organising
tours in the desert, the mountains, and the coast. He
began his career as a desert guide driving camels and
cooking for excursions while putting himself through
Houssine has also been
a driving instructor for the participants in the annual
Trophie des Gazelles (AICHA), an international
desert 4x4 driving competition in Morocco for women.
Houssine has co-directed
university and other group programmes in the Moroccan
Sahara and in the High Atlas Mountains with Academia
Arabesca. He has also travelled extensively in Europe,
and his understanding of the West as well as his native
country is a vital asset to the Foundation's Executive
Board. In addition to his native Berber language Tachelheit,
he also speaks Arabic, French, and English, as well
as some Spanish.
Executive Board Member
Johanna was born in Göteborg,
Sweden but she spent most of her childhood in the Middle
East. Years later, while studying North African literature
in the United States, she decided it was time to learn
Arabic. She made plans to study in Morocco and in the
process found that she had a relative living in the
Johanna and Gita crossed
paths for the first time in the summer and fall of 2000.
After spending a few months studying in Rabat, Johanna
met her long-lost relative and joined her for a celebration
in her beautiful Riad. Johanna became actively involved
with Academia Arabesca in the summer and fall of 2003
when she worked with Gita in Stockholm and in Marrakech.
As well as working actively
with Academia Arabesca, Johanna is currently a graduate
student at the University of Texas at Austin in the
of Middle Eastern Studies. She speaks Swedish,
English, French, Spanish, Standard Arabic and some Darija