Nudzejma

Capture d’écran 2020-05-29 à 14.27.24.

In Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, Nudzejma has found strength, happiness and excitement in sport.

Nudzejma's early life was marked by the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Her father, an imam, was tragically killed during the clashes between the Christians, the Orthodox and the Muslims. Her mother remains deeply scarred by her exodus to Croatia. She met her second husband, also very religious, in a refugee camp. From her parents, Nudzejma received a strict religious education but from which she also learnt the values that today shape her struggle: among other things, access to equality between men and women, in all fields of life, and this in the respect of their religious beliefs.

 

She feels that she has lost enough years of her life, between the war and the refugee camps, to be subjected to a life imposed onto her by others. Overcoming her status of victim, Nudzejma decided to regain control of her destiny and live her life as she decided.

Alongside her job as a proof-reader for Al Jazeera Balkans, Nudzejma discovered running, and by the same token the medium she would use to meet others: sport.

 

In 2017, after only 6 months of training, she entered the Belgrade Marathon and became the first woman to complete the 42.195 Km course in a hijab.

Beyond her impressive physical performance, Nudzejma ran for her values, a commitment to her vision of "doing things together" and equality. The pleasure she got from the effervescence of a sports collective made her want to create her own association.

In 2017, with her distinctive enthusiasm and dynamism, she created her running club, T.I.T.O. (which translates as ‘Running and many other things’). It is open to Serbs, Croats and Bosnians alike, despite the tensions that still persist between these three communities.

 

Her charisma influences those around her. Vedran, a Catholic, used to be afraid of Muslims. As a result of his war traumas, he led an unhealthy life and came close to suicide. Very quickly, thanks to running and Nudzejma, he managed to change his life view and perspective and stopped being afraid. Smiling, at peace and having shed nearly 50 kilos, Vedran has a new taste for life.

 

Building on her leadership skills, Nudzejma impresses, "She's everywhere!  She does everything!”, and pursuing her slogan "Dare to dream", she organised the first ever fast triathlon in Bosnia, that took place August 18th, 2019. It was the first sporting event in Bosnia created by a woman, bringing together 160 men and women of all faiths from 9 different countries.

 

Building on her achievements, Nudzejma keeps going, ever onwards, her head held high.

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