I was born in Bolzano, a small town in Northern Italy, in 1973. I come from a bicultural and bilingual family where from childhood I have understood the importance of multilingualism, multiculturalism, music, art, and cultural exchange and dialogue. Of course, I experienced both sides of multiculturalism: the positive ones related to mutual understanding, empathy, and dialogue, and the negative forms like discrimination, racism, and lack of empathy. Living on the border is exciting, but you need to work hard on yourself to manage all the difference you experience.
In Bolzano I attended a German elementary school and then the Conservatory where I played the violin and the piano in a multicultural environment. There I understood the importance of linking language and music, art and poetry, to live in peaceful and meaningful world. After the secondary leaving exam at the college of education “J. Gasser” in Bressanone, I studied Catholic Theology at the Theological Faculty of Bolzano-Bressanone (with a thesis on J.G. Herder and his philosophy of history), Educational Sciences at the State University in Verona (with a thesis about the Jewish philosopher Karl Löwith), and taught foreign languages and worked as social worker for addicted people and immigrants. I looked for knowledge, beauty, and harmony by helping others. And in the relationship with the Other I found that exactly this reciprocity was the way and the key to strengthen my own personality and self-consciousness as a woman of this colourful and so various world.
After the conclusion of my two first masters in 1994-95, I got in touch with the Islamic world, first as teacher for Bosnian refugee children in Pula (Croatia) and then in Mals (Italy) at the elementary school for Bosnian refugees, and again during my third master in philosophy where I wrote my thesis about the French philosopher René Guénon who converted to sufi Islam and I had a stay in Tunis to learn Arabic.
After various journeys to Muslim countries where I taught languages and wrote my books, I decided to start my forth mater at the University of Venice at the Faculty for Arabic and Islamic Studies. As matter for my thesis I chose the dynamic, historical subject related to the Pirate states in Northern Africa in the 16th century, a real example of multiculturalism, and encounter of all kind among peoples and cultures. During my university studies I worked as language teacher and translator. In 2000 I converted to Islam by adopting the Muslim name Azize. 2002 I worked in Sanaa, Yemen, as German and English teacher and improved my Arabic knowledge.
From 2003 to 2005, I worked for the association for international cooperation Mondo Sud / Südwelt in Bolzano and taught foreign languages at different languages schools, amongst them Dar Loughat in Tetouan, Morocco and IRPA in Vienna.
In 2004 I had the wonderful opportunity to start my PhD thesis about the intercultural Arabic Quran didactics in the Germany speaking countries with Prof. Rüdiger Lohlker at the University of Vienna.
2006 I married a German national of Turkish origin. Together we founded and managed the international translation office Sprachenmax with different branch offices in Germany and abroad. It was a very intensive time where I was teacher, translator, manager, and mother, without interrupting my pedagogical studies, because I was given a wonderful chance to do the online post-master studies at the University of Toronto in the field of Islamic Pedagogy and had also the chance to participate to different advanced trainings for German and English teachers.
In 2014, from Leverkusen in Germany, I moved to Istanbul Fatih with my husband and my three small children. In Germany, before leaving, I founded the association ProMosaik for intercultural and interreligious dialogue. Since 2014, I have been working as editor-in-chief for the ProMosaik blog (www.promosaik.blogspot.com) and as translator for ProMosaik Trans I continued my studies for German didactics at the Goethe Institute and completed them in 2016. At the moment I study journalism, write and publish books, and since 2017 I have been engaged in the project ProMosaik Poetry focussing on the presentation and translation of poetry from all over the world.
I am firmly convinced that languages can essentially contribute to the success of intercultural and interreligious dialogue and that book translations can contribute to build bridges between cultures and religions.
In my books, I focus on the dialogue with the Islamic world and on human rights as I am sure that without human rights and intercultural and interreligious empathy there cannot be lasting peace and justice. Intercultural understanding is not enough. You need an authentic empathy to change the world. I struggle for a society without right-wing violence and discrimination, without anti-Semitism and racism, and without islamophobia and discrimination of religious minorities. I stand for international understanding and social justice. In my books I also fights slavery in Muslim countries and engages for socio-political rights for women in Muslim societies.