Maria Gayed is a recent MA International Relations graduate and currently works in education and politics. Her interest in conflict, post-conflict societies and peace-building began when she visited Kosovo in the first year of her studies. It prompted her to visit Serbia as well as Kosovo twice more to further understand the developments on the ground. Ever since, she focused on the Balkan region, the Middle East and US foreign policy in her studies. In addition, Maria is passionate about teaching and helping young people reach their potential. While in university, she became the project manager at an NGO that focused on diversity in educational institutions. Her passion for young people also translates in her voluntary work as a teacher at her Coptic Orthodox church in Amsterdam. Now, she is a debate trainer and political guest lecturer for secondary school students, whilst further exploring the world of politics, conflict and peace-building.