What is it about?
Jasmine is an initiative within Gazete Mendimi (“Newspaper of Thought”) to counter violent extremist ideology through publishing articles and training journalists on how to effectively report on issues pertaining to radicalization and extremism. Jasmine is publishing a series of articles and opinion pieces on the motivations of extremist groups, what happens to them, how they mistreat and manipulate people, and how to separate their ideology from Islamic doctrine. The articles also cover topics such as the work of imams and civil society to counter violent extremism and promote values of diversity and tolerance. The goal of the Jasmine project is to raise awareness in the fight against violent extremism, especially among the youth and in vulnerable areas.
How it all started – Idea pitch
Florenc Manari began his studies at the journalism branch at Elbasan's "Aleksandër Xhuvani" University in 2004. During this period he began to write as correspondent of the newspaper Panorama Sport, for which he has been working for almost 11 years. In 2009 he worked as a correspondent for the Elbasan district on the shows "Ora News" and "Egnatia TV." In 2010 he defended his master's degree in journalism. From 2012-2015 he worked as a press spokesman in the Municipality of Cërrik. During 2014-2017 he was engaged on the radio program "Albania FM" as the leader of the "Albania Sport" program. He is recognized as a media and civil society activist and engages in several projects.
Jona Koprencka is the director of the Jasmine project. She has been the deputy editor-in-chief and a journalist at the online website and newspaper Gazeta Mendimi since October 2014. She is also a Professor of French in the Department of Foreign Languages at Aleksander Xhuvani University. She has a Bachelor's Degree and a Professional Master's Degree in French Language and Civilization, both form Aleksander Xhuvani University.
Rudina Çollaku is the executive director of the Women's Center for Development and Culture, a non-profit organization in Elbasan operating since 2011. She earned her Master of Science in Counselling Psychology and Pedagogy from Beder University, Tirana (Albania), as well as her Professional Master in Technology Economics from Aleksandër Xhuvani University. She has led several initiatives and projects against violent extremism with local and international organizations.