Ermira Babamusta honored as Woman of Courage on International Women’s Day

By Ilir Berisha

Ermira Babamusta, Ph.D., Photo  by Ilir Rizaj

Ermira Babamusta, Ph.D., Photo by Ilir Rizaj

March 8 is celebrated as the international day of women around the world. On 8 March 2005, Kessel Peace Institute honored Ermira Babamusta with the International Woman of Courage Award.  Ermira was recognized as one of the extraordinary women around the globe who contributed to peace, promotion of women’s rights, and cultural values for US, Albania and Kosovo. She has given several lectures, cultural presentations and seminars regarding these issues and has trained British diplomats and cultural attachés who deployed in Kosovo, via the Ministry of Defense and Culture in UK. Currently Ermira is finishing up her doctoral work in political science at West Virginia University under the supervision of adviser Dr. Scott Crichlow, regarding politics and diplomacy of Kosovo.

Kessel Peace Institute is founded by Abbas Kessel, a peace activist and political science professor at Minnesota State University, where Ermira Babamusta completed her first master’s degree. Ermira is the winner of Dr. John Scherzer Scholarship (2003, Washington DC) – awarded to honor political science students who distinguish themselves through meaningful enrichment opportunities and seeks to develop into intellectual leaders and global citizens. Additionally, Ermira Babamusta is the winner of Hanson Award (2003, IA)a distinguished service award given to women for outstanding academic achievement, given to recipient on Honors Day by Waldorf College. She is also the winner of ‘Peace Scholarship’ – Sponberg Peace Scholarship in History and Political Science (2004-06, MN) – awarded to highly successful women active in the promotion of peace, prevention of violence and abuse by Kessel Peace Institute, Minnesota State University ($16,000 plus a waiver of tuition).

I wish all women around the world happy Women’s International Day! On this day I remember my lovely mother, whom I have much love and respect for. She is such an inspiration to me. I am especially thankful to Albanian women in Albania and Kosovo who have significant achievements from politics to being strong figures in family and have been the driving force of economic development and progress in both countries. I will continue to use my voice for the Albanian cause, peace, diplomacy and women empowerment,” said Ermira Babamusta.

Ermira has obtained two masters degree in Political Science and Public Administration and an advanced graduate degree in United Nations Diplomacy from Long Island University. Ermira has worked at the Peacekeeping Department at the UN headquarters in New York.

In 2010 Ermira was the recipient of Judy Mossburg scholarship, awarded by the WVU Center of Women and Gender Studies to fund professional and academic students committed to women rights and social justice. Additionally, Ermira was the winner of Enrichment Graduate Fellowship (2009-10) – awarded to academically excellent Ph.D. students based on academic merit and contribution to broadening the diversity in cultural, ethnic, academic, or artistic diversification ($16,000 plus a waiver of tuition).

 As an extension of WVU Political Science Department Ermira completed Strasbourg Summer Program in European Law and Institutions via Strassbourg University in France, headed by Dr. John Kilwein. The course included seminars and site visits at the European Parliament, Council of Europe, EuroCorps, Court of Human Rights, EU institutions located in Strasbourg (France), Brussels (Belgium) and Netherland, the Foreign Ministry in Luxembourg, police headquarters and regional courts in Offenburg and Karlsruhe (Germany), etc.

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