You will be lost and unlost. over and over again. relax love. you were meant to be this glorious. epic. story.

Nayyirah Waheed



My name is Nida and  I was born in the beautiful state of Colorado, however, I have traveled and lived overseas. I am what you call a Third Culture Kid (TCK). A great thing about being a TCK is being able to recognize a space which exists between the culture I am from and the cultures I have lived in and experienced.

I use my passion for sports, fitness and women empowerment to create a space for cross-cultural understanding. Currently, I am using this space to blog about my PhD journey and topics that are important to me and weave in some aspects of my research. I received my PhD from the Faculty of Health, Sport and Human Performance at the University of Waikato in Aotearoa New Zealand. My BA is in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and MA in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University. Before commencing my graduate studies at Georgetown University, I worked as an Associate Program Officer for World Learning a non-governmental organization (NGO) that facilitates international educational, professional, and sports exchange programs for the U.S. Department of State and embassies.

I worked as a consultant for various think tanks and NGOs in Washington DC and New York. As a Consultant for Human Rights Watch, I updated the HRW report addressing the inclusion of women and girls in sports initiatives in Saudi Arabia. I have provided guidance on implementing sports exchange programs, researched, identified and developed stories to raise awareness of Muslim female sports participation and to help improve Muslim women’s representation in sports media.

My research examined the digital lives of Muslim sportswomen and how they are using social media to represent aspects of their identities. I presented “The Rise of Peripheral Sports within Marginalized Populations” at the Innovations in Sport for Development and Peace research conference in 2016; and co-published the “Youth Sport in the Middle East” chapter in Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport (2016), and “Youth, Action Sports and Political Agency in the Middle East: Lessons from Grassroots Parkour Group in Gaza” (2013) in the International Journal of the Sociology of Sport and “Transnational families in Armenia and information communication technology use” (2013) in the International Journal of Communication. In 2017, I was invited by the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar to participate in a Working Group, focusing on Sports, Society, and the State in the Middle East. I have written about emerging and current trends of sports initiativesinterviewed by NPR about Nike’s new advert. and shared some of my research findings with Radio NZ.

I am an executive board member for Muslim Women and Sports Network which amplifies the voices of Muslim women in sport.  I also work with Professor Holly Thorpe on Action Sports for Development and Peace (ASDP) website. In relation to ASDP initiative, I have worked closely with Professor Holly Thorpe, Dr. Megan Chawansky and the staff of Skateistan in Johannesburg, South Africa to develop and implement a 10-day Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) training program in the winter of 2016.

I am an endurance and outdoor sports enthusiast, whose heart belongs to the mountains and when I moved to Aotearoa NZ I took up surfing, CrossFit and longboarding. Coffee & street art runs through my blood, don’t be surprised if my final 300+ page dissertation appears on a wall and/or canvas somewhere.