Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Kufa, Iraq. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Southern Illinois, USA (2019) and an MA from the University of Baghdad, Iraq (2006). His PhD dissertation was "Transnational Identities: Iraqi American Migrants Bridging Home and Host Societies." He has previously worked as a research assistant at the University of Michigan.
The study tries to assesses the extent of Iraqi American ties to Iraqi communities in their home country. How are these relations sustained? How important is it for them to maintain relations with their home communities? How does the Iraqi American community use social media to help new immigrants in their process of adjustment to new ways of life? And what does the Iraqi American community do through social media to challenge, resist, or change the stereotypes about Iraqis in the US? The research employed ethnography, discourse analysis of ethnographic texts, and ethnography of the internet. The study concludes that social media has taken on an increasingly important role in the communicative process between the members of community and in the announcement of social, religious and cultural events. The role of social networking is to sustain cultural momentum within the community through providing the social and educational topics for discussion among members of society through various social media, where it is an object of discussion without the need to adhere to a particular time or place.
PhD candidate in International Relations at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and a fellow at the Center of Syrian Studies. Her working thesis is 'Comparative Study of the Sectarian Rhetoric used by both the Syrian and Bahraini Regimes during the 2011 Uprisings.' She holds an MA in Modern Middle Eastern Studies (2014) from Leiden University, the Netherlands and an undergraduate degree from the Department of International Affairs, Qatar University 2012.
The paper will attempt to answer how and why the Bahraini regime was able to survive the 2011 uprising. The focus is on the period of the regional intervention and the uprising aftermath up to the recent event of the 2017 Gulf crisis effect on the regime's national security rhetoric. This research argues that the Bahraini uprising of 2011 was not a sectarian struggle for power, but rather a result of realpolitik policies. It showcases the diverse voices and demands of the Bahraini streets and political parties during the 2011 protests, that were marginalized by the state media and regime's claims of 'sectarian abyss.' This discourse succeeded in presenting the uprising as a sectarian struggle, which need to be 'omitted' from the citizens memories because of its sectarian 'nature.' The Bahraini regime's sectarian securitization and later the de-securitization process of the uprising as a tool to contain the situation and remain in power is examined through the lenses of historical discourse analysis. Within this is the interaction between the regime and the people in certain complex and conflicted social settings that has allowed the regime to survive thus far.
PhD Student at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. She holds a Master's in Language and Literature from the University of Tahri Mohamed, Bechar, Algeria. She is currently a Student Ambassador at Manchester Metropolitan niversity.
This paper investigates and challenges the stereotypes of Muslim women in Arab/Muslim countries as reproduced in contemporary Western travelogues by women writers. It employ Reina Lewis's representation theory to uncover how the Muslim woman is represented in Jean Sasson's Princess: Stepping Out of the Shadows (2018), the last in a series of six books by the American author. From the covers to the titles, to the narrative shape and content, these texts carry a political agenda, and function within a greater political scheme that goes far beyond merely mesmerizing the Western reader with an exotic faraway kingdom. Besides confirming Western imperial superiority, these books are another ideological tool in US foreign policy and the pursuit of oil. Furthermore, Mary Pratt Lewis' concept of contact zones is used to explore how Sasson locates herself in relation to her texts and characters in confirmation of the West/Orient dichotomy. Jean Sasson's texts prove that literature can be turned into an effective weapon in ideological warfare, mass manipulation, readership and directing public opinion towards a carefully calculated effect.
Assistant Professor of Mamluk History at Kuwait University, Kuwait. She obtained a PhD from Queen Mary University in London, UK, in 2018. In March 2019 she was awarded the first prize of Scientific Poster for Humanities by Kuwait University. With a focus on the social and professional history of the building craft during the Mamluk era, she is currently working on a project that aims to better understand the transmission of building knowledge.
A prevalent argument in Mamluk scholarship states that the Miʿmār had a modest status as a repairman confined to endowed properties (awqāf, s. waqf). Nonetheless, a comparative analysis of their depicted identity in endowment documents, biographical dictionaries, and chronicles reveals that in ninth/fifteenth-century Cairo, the miʿmār was perceived as a professional specialist and authoritative figure representing the building craftsmanship known at the earlier period as muhandis. In the absence of direct material evidence of the daily lives of building practitioners, the research approaches the Mamluk muhandis/miʿmār from different angles to spot his identity elements and traits drawing on surviving history accounts, archival endowment deeds, and literary works. Although these domains differ in the employed language and registers, they correspond in perceiving the Mamluk muhandis as an ultimate representative of the building profession. A chronological order of historiographical references by Waliyy al-Dīn al-ʿIrāqī, al-Maqrīzī, and Ibn Taghrībirdī, just to name examples of specific figures and incidents demonstrates that the term miʿmār emerged in Egypt during the 9th century AH (15th AD) to assign a professional expert known previously as muhandis - closer to the contemporary understanding for the role of an architect.
Lecturer at the National School of Trade and Management at Ibn Zohr University, Agadir. She obtained her PhD in political and social sciences from the University of Liege in Belgium (2020). She has published many articles in Arabic and English.
Since 2008, public accounting has undergone a real revolution and continuous development globally. The International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), adopted by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), mainly aim to improve the principle of transparency, accountability and effectiveness in the public sector, in addition to standardizing procedures among organizations. However, IPSAS standards are still only partially applied in Morocco and Belgium. This study is based on a comparison between the two kingdoms and seeks to determine the extent of IPSAS implementation and the possibility of generalizing them in order to know their efficacy and effectiveness. In order to determine whether international accounting standards should be adopted or used as a reference by the public sector in Morocco, it is important to analyse these standards in light of the social and political context, the geographical situation and development prospects of the country. Accordingly, this study seeks to answer a central question: Has the comprehensive reform of financial information systems, especially the publication of international public sector accounting standards, contributed to the consolidation of this good governance in both Morocco and Belgium?
PhD Student in Political Science at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. He is also a Research Assistant with University of Alberta Future Energy Systems for the project "Assessing Political Pathways for Energy Transition". He holds an MA in International Politics and Security Studies from the University of Bradford. His research interests are international relations of the Third World, critical economics, political economy of development in fragile states, and post-conflict state-building.
What transboundary policies are behind energy transition in Morocco and the United Arab Emirates? Is this energy transition something that flows up from the bottom, politically? Or, is it a top-down project created as a response to the demands of great powers, such as China and Germany? These are the questions driving the current study. Drawing on a comparative analysis, the paper evaluates transnational policies behind the creation of Noor Abu-Dhabi Solar Plant in the UAE and Noor Ouarzazate Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) in Morocco. The national governments of both countries have maintained a visible presence in the grand scheme of energy transition in the MENA region. They have both acknowledged the issue of climate risk mitigation as a legitimate responsibility of the state and have gradually engaged in the process of policymaking to that end. However, there is growing evidence that the framing of renewable energy policies in both countries is influenced by external great powers such as China and Germany. It is against the backdrop of this debate that this paper aims to assesses renewable energy policies in Morocco and the UAE, drawing a comparison between the way Chinese and German sustainable energy policies frame energy transition policies in both countries.
PhD fellow at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Society (BGSMCS) in Germany, currently working on the "Untranslatability of Al-Maqāmāt in Arabic Literature". She holds a Master's Degree in Comparative Literature (Arabic-Western), from the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. Her thesis was on "The Genealogy of Voice - The Book of Those without a Book". She also holds another Master's Degree in Arabic Literature, from the University of Moulay Ismail in Morocco, where she focused on "Metafiction and the Question of Pleasure". Her research interests include translation, world literature, voice, narratology and fiction.
This paper examines two Arab icons: al-Ḥarīrī (1054 - 1122) and Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq (1804 - 1877). Despite coming from different eras, these two Arab scholars used the same genre to express their vision and theoretical framework. They also stand at two opposite ends of what is perceived as "the missing link in Arab History". This missing link, according to Moroccan critic Al-Jabri, lasted for almost six centuries, from the Siege of Baghdad in 1258 until Napoleon's Campaign in 1798. It was also marked by two conquests, the first of which drowned Arabic translations of Greek literature, and the second of which revived the urge to translate European Literary and scientific works. More than just a period of time, this missing link is a territory bearing witness to conflicting powers, languages and translations that prove the need to analyze Arabic Literature (especially al-maqāmāt) using the lenses of both translatability and untranslatability.
PhD Graduate in Law from the University of New South Wales, Australia in 2018. Advocacy Team Leader in the Women's Centre for Legal and Social Counselling in Ramallah, where she leads Palestinian local and international advocacy campaigns. She also works as a consultant for UNOPS to follow up the execution of court decisions. She has several publications addressing human rights, women's rights and constitutional law.
Why and how is the Palestinian legislative process affected by the intersection of specific social divisions? What are the stages of the evolution of the concept of honour as a sign of loyalty in the legislative process? These are the questions asked in this paper and examined using an analytical doctrinal method. This paper highlights the concrete social relations that result from the intersection of the specific social divisions within the co-existing nationalism projects affecting Palestine. The main outcome is the constant evolution of honour as a sign of loyalty that persists in the legislative process. Honour as a sign of loyalty enjoys a high level of versatility. During the era of Jordanian rule in the West Bank, honour had two purposes: balancing between tradition and modernity and reflecting loyalty to the community. However, the value of honour as a sign of loyalty was elevated as part of the Palestinian nationalism project. Moreover, women of poor classes were much more emancipated compared to the women of the bourgeois class until the 1940s. That is, the strict regulation of sexuality was felt mainly by women of the bourgeois class. Nationalism helped to spread bourgeois values to the poorer classes. Nationalism made the strict regulation of sexuality a cross-class phenomenon.
PhD graduate and researcher in social psychology at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Tunis and at the National School of Fine Arts University in Paris. She currently works as a professor at the Higher Institute of Nursing Sciences in Tunis and received the President's Prize in the Humanities in 2011. She has authored a book on self-immolation among unemployed Tunisians, as well as several other publications. She is especially interested in topics related to violence and identity, as well as emerging problems in health psychology.
Amidst recent social and political changes, many areas have seen increasing violence, including the workplace. The health sector is among the most important sectors facing global exposure to violence. This study aims, using a two-fold methodology, to assess the types and causes of violence faced by Tunisian nurses as well as the consequences for their health. A questionnaire in the framework of an exploratory study forms the first step, followed by individual interviews and a set of psychological tests to evaluate variables to complete the research. Three hospitals in Tunis were sampled and the systems approach was employed as a theoretical framework. Among the most important research results, 75% of nurses were found to have experienced violence. Verbal violence was most common, especially by patient families, at 37%. Nurses also suffer from anxiety, from psychological fatigue at work at a rate of 48.3% and anxiety resulting from psychological trauma at 54.6%. The study also shows that there are problems in communication between nurses and patients, especially in emergency departments.
PhD student in political sociology, writing a thesis focusing on Ahwazi cultural identity, at the University of Liege, Belgium. She holds a Master's Degree from the University of Tehran on educational philosophy. Her research interests are centered on feminist, minority, identity and asylum issues, and she has participated in international conferences, as well as published several academic articles in Arabic, French, English and Farsi.
Iran is the most ethnically diverse country in the Middle East. The country has faced difficulties integrating different identities into the dominant discourse within the Iranian identity, which is dominated by the Farsi language. Arabs, who make up about 3% of Iran's total population, reside in - as the Iranians call it – Khuzestan Province, which neighbours Iraq. They have played an important political role throughout history, especially during the Iraq-Iran war, which saw oil related Iraqi desire added to the demand to annex Khuzestan to the Arab world, based on the Arab majority of the richest oil region in Iran. The Ahwazi identity movement, since 1925, the year of the fall of Sheikh Khazal Al-Kaabi, underwent several modernization processes, influenced by Nasserist nationalism and the Baathist, Communist (the Iranian Tudeh Party), and Wahhabi ideologies. This study discusses the mechanisms of building the Arab identity in Iran and sheds light on the process of modernizing the identity movement in Ahwaz. This put the Arab ethnicity in Iran at odds with the national identity, one that looks to adopt intellectual horizons enabling it to penetrate other identities so as not to become passive.
PhD Student in International Relations at Lancaster University, UK. He is also a PhD Fellow at the Sectarianism, Proxies and Desectaranization (SEPAD) project and at the Richardson Institute, UK. He assisted in teaching Politics and International Relations for undergraduate students, and co-taught a graduate course in History, Politics, and Economics of the MENA. He has authored several articles for various academic websites, and is currently co-editing a book on Sectarianism in the Contemporary Middle East.
This paper explores the capacity of religious leaders to engage in effective [de]sectarianization. Sectarianism is constructed by accentuating sectarian identity and exploiting sectarian differences in order to solicit support from one religious group against another, for the benefit of the "sectarianizer". This research seeks to understand the mechanics of sectarianization by exploring methods and approaches employed by the religious establishment to expand its sectarian influence and power. As an "epistemic community," religious leaders have the skills (exegesis), resources (scriptures), and authority (God's agents) to manufacture knowledge that influences civil society and decision makers. In particular, the research focuses on the role of Shi'i religious leaders as [de]sectarianizing agents in Lebanon. The anti-government protests that erupted in Lebanon in October 2019 made several demands, including the abolishment of the sectarian system and the establishment of secular governance. In the face of this swelling desectarianization movement, Hezbollah and Amal supporters stood out for opposing the revolution and openly reasserted their Shi'i identity. On the other hand, non-partisan Shi'i clergy and laity rejected the sectarian regime and advocated for a Lebanese national identity that envelopes sectarian identity. This paper examines the discourse of both groups, using securitization and sectarianization theories, and offers some conclusions about the future of sectarian identity and regime in Lebanon.
PhD student in Public Law at the University of Lyon, France. Her research focuses on the international protection of refugees in particular the protection of women refugees. She holds an LLM in Human Rights from the University of Lyon. She worked as a research and teaching assistant at the Faculty of Law at the University of Jordan. She has two years of legal training at the Jordanian Bar Association while working as a volunteer researcher and translator for the Amman Center of Human Rights Studies (ACHRS).
Protection of refugees in Jordan is a legal issue of utmost concern in local public opinion, despite the "fragile" legal inconsistencies in the internal protection system. Although UNHCR is considered one of the most sophisticated systems at the global level in its protection of refugees and asylum seekers, it struggles to address the challenges facing the most vulnerable people, including women and girls. This is cause for concern considering the higher risks women and girls face in refugee situations. This study discusses the issue of the effectiveness of the international refugee protection system in facing new (and emerging) challenges related to refugee women and girls. The paper begins with the legal framework, defining the protection that refugee women and girls receive under UNHCR jurisdiction. It goes on to discuss how the concept of "vulnerability" provides a strong basis for building additional protections for women in need. This is related to the contemporary challenges for the protection of refugee women and girls in Jordan.
PhD candidate in the Department of Arabic Studies, University of Bamberg, Germany. She holds an MA in Arabic literature from the College of Humanities and Arts, Al-Baath University, Syria. Since 2012, she has been a member of (BaGOS) Bamberg Graduate School of Oriental Studies. Formerly, she worked as a Teaching Assistant at Coburg University, Germany.
This research is a critical study of female discourse in Syria. It is an analytical study on the socio-cultural landscape of female Syrian novels in the 90's within the framework of political circumstances and social changes, which were going on in Syria at that time. The present research is structured to examine female novels from an aesthetic perspective. It aims at studying the aesthetic perception patterns of ugliness in woman's writings. If looked at from a female perspective, is ugliness comprised of the same factors as it would be from a male perspective? Through focusing on the dichotomy of beauty and ugliness, the research examines a counterculture whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream society at that time. Additionally, the present research focuses on women's attitudes, ambitions and aspirations in their writings. The study draws on a variety of feminist theories and benefits mainly from the theoretical endeavors in the field of aesthetics. Ancient philosophy and the aesthetic theory of Kant and Schiller provide the ground for identifying the concept of ugliness.
PhD student in Middle East Politics at the University of Exeter, UK and Assistant Researcher at the Arab Center of Research and Policy Studies. He holds a Master's Degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Doha. He has published many peer-reviewed research papers and a book titled The Virtual Public Sphere in the Syrian Revolution: Features, Orientations, and Mechanisms to Create Public Opinion.
Since the outset of 2013, Islamist factions have been at the center of the armed struggle against both the Syrian regime and its foreign-backed factions (militias). This development has now become one of many shaping the Syrian conflict. The armed conflict thus became, gradually, limited between the regime and its allied militias on the one hand, and the Islamist forces on the other. In light of the dearth of available studies in this regard, the research seeks to provide a deeper understanding of Islamist movements in Syria by examining the experience of three of them, namely, Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam), and Faylaq al-Sham (Sham Legion). It explores their political mechanisms, determinants of their behaviour, and the contextual and structural frameworks in which they operate. Furthermore, it seeks to monitor the key features that form the discursive, behavioural and organisational changes of these movements, and assesses the impact of these changes on their current and future strategies, in light of the various international efforts to integrate them into the political process. The research paper addresses issues of inclusion/exclusion-moderation, deconstruction and explication. It explores the key question of why the Syrian armed Islamist movements transformed their discourses, behaviours and organisational structures during the revolution/war.
PhD Researcher and Associate Lecturer in Media and Communication at Northumbria University, UK. He holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Birzeit University, Palestine. His research interests are the effects of the internet and technology on societies including digital inequalities related to emerging technologies as well as inequalities perpetuated as forms of oppression. His current research projects look at artificial internet limitations and their relation to tangible outcomes of internet use and to weaponization of access, and the blockchain disadvantaged.
This research looks at limiting access to communication technology as a mechanism for maintaining control within colonial practice. It looks at how controlling powers induce and maintain digital inequalities to strengthen their control and manage possibilities of harvesting powers of communication technology, including data, towards emancipation opportunities and acts of resistance, including prospects for participation in the network society. The main case under study is power relations in Palestine. The study describes Israeli de facto and de jure control of communication technology in Palestinian territory, whether through controlling access to infrastructure and media, surveillance and control of online practice, or use of data collected and utilized to oppress people under occupation as a tool to support the security apparatus. These practices are then put into a perspective of power relations to describe it as an act of weaponization of access. The paper also looks at similar practices in other areas of the world, trying to connect them through analyzing common aspects that define the act of weaponization of access, and how it is related to current Internet regulations, particularly the latest weaponization of access through data collection and control for use in security-related decisions about people.
PhD in Political Science from Duisburg-Essen University, Germany. He has taken part in several conferences and published many articles about the Palestinian cause and Islamic movements. Hassan's research currently focuses on Islamic and social movements and their role in democratic transition. He co-authored The Palestinian Refugees in the West Bank: the Sustainability of Life and Determination to Return.
This thesis compares the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist Call, using cross-case analysis techniques including case-ordered effects and causal networks. It considers the time span between 1981 and 2013, which is shaped by the rule of Hosni Mubarak until the Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted on 3 July 2013. The main question in this analysis asks how changes within the regime's power networks affected the ideological transformation of Islamic movements in Egypt. The study examines the effect of the regime's power network on the ideological transformation of the Islamic social movements in Egypt. It argues that the political structure is only partially able to explain that transformation and "single-factor" explanations alone are not sufficient for its interpretation. It stretches our analytical framework and expands it to include ideological, economic, military, and political networks. According to Michael Mann's theory of social power, each of these networks "is centered on a different means of organization and social control". Mann's theoretical framework helps to highlight some of the interconnected networks that contributed to changes within the Egyptian regime. In addition, the thesis will address how such transformations were the basis of the ideological transformation of the Islamic social movements in Egypt.
PhD Candidate in International Development at Clark University, USA, currently working on her dissertation, which focuses on decolonizing knowledge production of gendered violence in the Arab Gulf. Her research and writings aim at amplifying the voices of Muslim women and tackling violence. She has also worked as a journalist in Arab News, and her articles have appeared in Fortune, Yahoo, Bustle, and MuslimGirl. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the Center for Nonviolent Solutions in Massachusetts.
How might a decolonial conceptualization of gender-based violence inform research and knowledge production, as well as antiviolence policy making and intervention efforts, in Muslim-majority countries and communities? Contemporary literature on the Arab Gulf in the English Language: (1) is devoid of nuances, gendered perspectives, relevant local realities, and is predominately produced by white men (the "experts") located in "modern/colonial educational institutions"; (2) is Western centric, with its shallow, xenophobic, and racist depictions of Gulf communities, overshadows discussions on the region, homogenizing the narrative and stigmatizing its people; (3) scarcely uses data and studies on gender-based violence. Consequently, knowledge production and policy making on gender violence remain entangled within two discourses: reductionist views of saving the victimized Arab Gulf woman and patriarchal dogma of protecting the piety of Arab Gulf woman. Utilizing a decolonial feminist lens, I, a Saudi American woman, trace key turning points, including an autoethnographic account of my experience, and people's experiences, conducting doctoral research on gender violence in Kuwait City (2018 - 19). I draw attention to how colonial methods of producing knowledge on the Arab Gulf countries continue to aid and sustain structural and interpersonal violence.
Public Policy PhD Graduate from Walden University, USA. Founder of the Arab Committee for Conflict Resolution and Mediation. He has conducted extensive research in public administration, conflict resolution, and terrorism studies. He is a member of the National Association for Leadership and Success and the American Society for Public Administration.
The purpose of this quantitative cross-sectional study is to obtain a more accurate diagnosis of the factors that incite terrorism through examining the extent to which independent variables (the Group Grievance Index (GGI), the Legitimate State Index (LSI), and the External Intervention Index (EII)) can predict the dependent variable (the level of global terrorism (GTI)) for the period between 2006 and 2017. The study included data from the 162 member states of the United Nations, covering 99.7% of the world's population. Game theory and the political process theory provided the theoretical frameworks for the study. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to assess the effect of the interaction on the relation between GGI, SLI, EII, and GTI. The results of the study demonstrated that the relationship between the level of terrorism and the independent variables varies according to the level of terrorism. Interaction between GGI, SLI, and EII was negatively associated with GTI in countries with low GTI risk with an adjusted odds ratio 0.99, but in the countries with a medium and high level of GTI, the relationship was positive, and the adjusted odds ratio was respectively 1.01 and 1.02.
PhD candidate at the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, UK. She is particularly interested in Arab women's lives and writing that is informed by contemporary political conflicts in the region. She holds a Master's in Anglophone Language, Literature, and Culture from Badji Mokhtar University Annaba, Algeria. Her publications include "Comedic Resilience: Arab Women's Diaries of National Struggles and Dissident Humour" (2019), published in Comedy Studies (10:2).
This paper examines the relationship between digital media, autobiographical writing, and the politics of dissent by contemporary Arab women. It looks at social media platforms as emerging autobiographical sites for the articulation of socio-political dissidence, or what I refer to as resistance 2.0. The paper investigates how digital media has altered critical conventions of autobiographical writing and broadened the available channels for socio-political engagement and activism in the region. It looks at selected examples by contemporary Arab women from Palestine, Iraq, and Syria, and offers a close reading of Tunisian blogger and social activist Lina Ben Mhenni's active trilingual blog A Tunisian Girl and her subsequent monograph Tunisian Girl, Bna'iyya Tunssiyya: Blogueuse pour un printemps arabe (Blogger for an Arab Spring 2011). The aim is to discuss the ways in which digital dissidence enables the mediation between the virtual/personal spaces of autobiographical expression and the physical/public spheres of participation and activism. This shift to social media platforms as sites of self-expression, the paper argues, does not only problematize the literary conventions of autobiographical expressions. It also reworks ways in which women in politically fraught contexts are able to channel and participate in the public domain through digitizing life writing forms.
PhD student at the Geneva Institute for Graduate Studies. His research interests are focused on identity studies, sociology of space and place in colonial-settler reality. He worked as a researcher at the Madar Center for Israeli Studies in Ramallah and as an assistant researcher at the Mada al-Carmel Arab Center for Applied Social Studies. He has published works on several academic and cultural platforms, including a study on the Balfour Declaration in Madar's Israeli Issues journal, and by Madarb Center published paper on military rule in the West Bank.
The study seeks to understand the sociological structure of the sectarian space in Palestinian towns and villages in the Palestinian territories in 1948. It tracks the manifestations of sectarianism within towns at the level of local political organization, spaces and places. These questions were addressed through the perceptions and expressions of the research participants. The study raises the question of people's awareness of sectarian manifestations in 1948-occupied Palestinian villages and towns. How do participants express their self-perceptions of their sectarian identity? What are the local political expressions related to this identity within the town? And what are the spatial manifestations? The study traces these manifestations within the framework of understanding the political context of Palestinian society at home as a colonial-settler reality based on erasure. The study is based on the phenomenological approach, and uses qualitative research tools, such as in-depth interviews in religiously mixed Palestinian towns, with special attention paid to the city of Shefa-'Amr, as well as observation of the daily life in the city.
PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He graduated in 2008 with a BSc in Economics from the Lebanese American University (LAU) before going on to receive three master's degrees from the Lebanese American University (an MBA, an MA in International Affairs, and an MA in Applied Economics). He has previously served as a lecturer at the LAU. His research interests cover foreign policy of states and non-state actors in the Middle East, in addition to the political economy of Lebanon.
This paper studies Hezbollah's foreign policy, concentrating on Hezbollah's intervention in Syria and Iraq. While there has been a growth in the study of Hezbollah's domestic and regional politics recently, its foreign policy in a global systemic context remains understudied within mainstream International Relations. This paper seeks to uncover the motives and drivers of Hezbollah's foreign policy. Although many of Hezbollah's foreign policy actions and tools seem to be power driven and the assumptions of realism are very applicable to the regional context that Hezbollah operates in, this paper challenges the mainstream notion of explaining foreign policies of Middle East states (and actors) from a purely realist perspective. By analyzing Hezbollah's religio-political doctrine, this paper argues that Hezbollah's foreign policy is influenced by its subscription to the ideology of Wilayat al-Faqih. Drawing upon primary material from interviews conducted with main Hezbollah figures among other interviews, in addition to reviewing a wide set of secondary sources; this research introduce a methodological framework of analysis for studying the role of ideology in Hezbollah's foreign policy. I argue that Hezbollah's concern of stability, security and survival that makes the party take pragmatic decisions do not necessarily contradict with its ideological beliefs.
PhD Candidate at the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy - Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. He holds an MA in Economic Change in the Arab Region from Philipps University Marburg, Germany. His research interests include financing reconstruction in conflict-affected countries and informal financing for development. Al Asadi previously worked as an Economic Consultant with the UN-ESCWA and coauthored a report on the ramifications of war in Syria entitled "Syria at War: Five Years On" funded by the UN-ESCWA 2016.
Countries emerging from armed conflict face enormous challenges; peace settlement, institution building, and sustainable economic recovery are prominent among these. Overcoming such challenges requires mobilizing huge funds to support various human, social, and economic interventions during the reconstruction phase. Given the shallow financial resources in war-torn economies, and the volatility and conditionality of aid funds, the need for external borrowing becomes pressing. It becomes crucial however to analyze the fiscal sustainability in post-conflict countries in early stages to avoid an unsustainable fiscal position. Reaching such a position in post-conflict settings can jeopardize -in the medium to long-run- the gains of years of peace and development threatening a relapse into conflict. This research aims to define the determinants affecting fiscal sustainability in post-conflict countries. It uses panel data analysis with a fixed effect model to answer the research question. The preliminary results show that foreign direct investment (FDI), official development assistance (ODA), and natural resources rent have a positive significant impact on fiscal sustainability in conflict-affected countries, while military expenditure was found to have a profound negative effect on fiscal sustainability. Surprisingly however, military expenditure was found to have a positive impact on fiscal sustainability in non-conflict countries, along with exports.
PhD student in political theory at the University of Goethe (Frankfurt). He has published a book titled Constitutional Social Justice in Contemporary Liberal Political Thought (A Treatise on Rawls" Model) in addition to contributing to the forthcoming Contemporary Philosophical Thought in Syria. He worked as an editor and member of the editorial board of the Qalamoun journal and is also a member of the Syrian Society for Social Sciences and the General Union of Palestinian Writers and Journalists.
The study discusses Syria and its sectarian (communitarian- cultural) conflicts in the context of contemporary political theory. It is based on the question: What is the best approach to design a normative and sustainable democratic political model in this case? The answer to this question stems from two hypotheses: the first is a coexistence settlement (a descriptive approach) in which all sectarian components are represented. This would have to guarantee a balance between the majority and minorities (demographically), rather than the competing forces they represent — particularly in light of the dominance of one sectarian minority seen in recent decades—as a transitional settlement based on a consensus about the constitutional principles for this model. The second is represented by a consensus and can be applied in this case (a standardized Rawlsian approach). Here, the study discusses foundational problems in the Rawlsian approach, especially regarding liberal neutrality; society must politically treat its citizens in a neutral manner with respect to their welfare (including their communitarian- cultural welfare). Finally, the study suggests a deeper reading of components of Syrian cultural groups - the majority and minorities - to discover common values in the public mind that might justify, in part or in whole, the possibility of a consensus on the constitutional principles of a normative, sustainable and democratic political model. In this context, the study suggests a new approach regarding Syria related to the consensus, in a manner appropriate to the Syrian context.
PhD student in Business Administration at Mid Sweden University, Sweden, and the Centre for Research on Economic Relations. He also teaches courses for both undergraduates and graduates. His research focuses on banking, financial mobile services, digital finance, and customer relations. He has published in peer-reviewed journals such as International Journal of Euro-Mediterranean Studies and acted as a reviewer for several international journals such as International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management.
The study utilizes the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) and the theory of behavioral finance to investigate young individuals' initial trust in non-sovereign digital currency. It tries to answer the following research question: how do young individuals perceive the relationships between (i) behavioral finance factors (information and decision-making biases), (ii) trust propensity, (iii) factors of UTAUT (hedonic motivation, facilitating condition, social influence, effort expectancy, and performance expectancy), and initial trust? The research process consists of four main parts, including a literature review, focus group interviews and previous studies utilized to design a questionnaire, a sample of young individuals selected due to various criteria and, finally, a factor analysis and structural equation modeling used to test hypotheses. The findings shed light on the relationships between the studied factors, and several implications.
PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary ASPECT Program (Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought) at Virginia Tech, Virginia. She holds an MA in Public and International Affairs from Virginia Tech. Berrada currently teaches Research and Writing in International Studies at Virginia Tech and works as a consultant on grants relevant to research projects concerning youth in Morocco at the Center for International Research, Education, and Development (CIRED).
Following the 2011 uprisings, the discourses of states, media, and international organizations on youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have become polarized; one as a group that presents a threat to the security and fabric of the state, potential denizens of unemployment, delinquency or extremism. The other, as a group that constitutes untapped potential, the hope for addressing the ills and flaws of their societies. In turn, this on the one hand depicts Moroccan and MENA youth as passive victims of circumstances, on the other hand, it glorifies their abilities to contest their life circumstances without taking into account the complex contexts they confront. While the structural realities are surely real and sometimes paralyzing, youth deploy several tactics, strategies and subversive accommodations to get by. This paper explores whether, and how young men and women in Morocco exercise their agency in their everyday lives. The data draws on the findings from a field study focusing on the agential potentials and challenges of young individuals from an underprivileged neighborhood of Sidi Moumen in Casablanca. Focusing on the differences in their expressions of agency across various spaces in accordance with their socio-economic and cultural contexts, this paper analyzes the strategies and tactics they deploy.
PhD student in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Track at the University of Central Florida (UCF). She holds a Master's degree in Linguistics from the College of Education at Diyala University, Iraq. Nagham formerly worked as a Language Instructor with the English Language Institute at the University of Central Florida and has published an article on "Building Vocabulary through Affixes" in the Alustath Journal, Baghdad.
Learning phrasal verbs (PVs) is of vital importance in both written and spoken English, especially for those who speak English as a second language (ESL) in their daily interactions with proficient speakers. This study focuses on two particles (out and in) to explore a more effective model for presenting PVs in an ESL context. The research examines whether there is a significant difference in L2 (second language) students' success rate of learning PVs between a traditional model and container metaphor model of presentation. Using a quasi-experimental design to compare the effect of instruction, image-schematic container illustrations of 16 PVs (supported by the container metaphor model) were used as well as a definition-only illustration of the same 16 PVs (supported by the traditional model of PV instruction). Participants in this experiment consisted of 28 intermediate-level students enrolled in intensive English program (IEP) courses at a Metropolitan College in the southeastern United States in 2019. The students were divided into a control group and an experimental group. Four types of instruments, including one pre-test and three post-tests, were used in this experiment to examine the effectiveness of the container metaphor model compared with the traditional model.
PhD candidate in Political Science at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and a researcher in Peace and Conflict at Uppsala University, Sweden. He holds an MA in International Conflict and Security from the University of Kent, UK. He currently works on the Syria Project at the UCDP and co-authors a project on civil resistance in Jihadi held areas. He published UCDP's Syria Bulletins and participated in publishing "The ENACT Organized Crime Index – Africa".
Scholars traditionally emphasize pro-government militias (PGMs) in civil wars as either indicators or facilitators of regime or state failure. Yet the rapidly increasing prevalence of PGMs worldwide raises the question of why some autocratic regimes opt to employ PGMs over official state militaries in civil wars. Consequently, this project aims to widen our understanding of state function, PGMs and the state's monopoly of violence during civil wars by investigating Syria as a case study. Throughout the Syrian Civil War, the regime has employed PGMs for various purposes. This project will explore what motivated the regime to employ those militias, as well as how they have been used, by analyzing the Syrian regime's strategies of creating, managing and dissolving PGMs in Syria. This analysis will aid an overall effort to learn how PGMs affect a regime's resilience and its ability to maintain governance. I hypothesize that regime resilience increases throughout civil war in response to its outsourcing of power and violence to PGMs. The theories of Schlichte, Foucault, Weber and Eisenstadt will provide a theoretical framework through which the Syrian case will be analyzed. Process tracing will be used to demonstrate a causal chain between the presence of PGMs and the Syrian regime's resilience and ability to maintain governance.
PhD researcher at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and a Visiting Research Fellow at UCL Qatar. His doctoral thesis investigates post-conflict reconstructions of cultural heritage affected by armed conflicts in Syria and Iraq. His research examines the life-cycle of heritage in conflict, by shedding light on attitudes towards heritage destruction and reconstruction in conflict zones, and how they intersect with identity and collective memory.
Since the beginning of the armed conflicts and public uprisings that have accompanied the outbreak of the "Arab Spring" since late 2010, cultural heritage sites have been hit hard and often destroyed by different perpetrators. The Syrian Civil War has resulted in unprecedented damage to cultural heritage sites, monuments, and facilities. This has provoked observers, politicians, and international and national non-government organizations to discuss the impacts of damaging Syria's 'irreplaceable' patrimony and how to safeguard its past from ongoing destructive actions. This research takes a different approach, arguing that heritage is in a constant process of transformation. When seen in this way, the destruction and loss of heritage sites is not endangering Syria's heritage but may, in fact, be seen as creating the future heritage of postwar Syria. This paper explores the semantics and impact of continuous destruction and the ongoing reconstruction plans on the cultural heritage of Syria. It investigates the transformation of the terminology of heritage in Syria, and its uses, before and during the ongoing conflict, and how the internationally renowned term 'heritage' emerged to promote the destruction of Syria's cultural patrimony.
PhD student at Oxford University and a Rhodes Scholar. She worked as a Teaching Assistant at Columbia University and a Lecturer of Economics at Al-Quds Bard College and conducted policy-oriented research with Al-Shabaka think tank. Last year, she published an article with the Institute for Palestine Studies, entitled: "How strategic is the strategic sectorial development plan for Jerusalem?".
The concept of de-development has been used extensively to analyze the impact of Israel's occupation and donors' policies on the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). While this concept offers useful insights, it obscures the development of a native business elite and does not tell us much about how the Oslo agreement shifted relations between Israel and key local economic actors and how the latter responded to shifting opportunities and constraints. This research paper aims to fill part of this lacuna by examining the development of a powerful industrial business elite in Hebron—the industrial basis and trade hub of the OPT. Informed by a political economy approach, the purpose of this research is to explore the mechanisms behind the formation and transformation of Hebron's business elite since 1967, particularly after Oslo. This paper tells a historical story of Hebron's industrial business elite since 1967 by charting its origin and evolving nature, which has been heavily shaped by the form of its business relations with Israel.
PhD candidate in Human Geography at the University of Toronto, Canada. She is a CGS-Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) doctoral fellow. Her work examines place-making and homing practices of Arab migrants in Istanbul after the Arab Spring. Through cognitive mapping, her work bridges the field of affective geographies, geographies of religion, questions of belonging and imperial histories. Her work has been published by The New York Times, The Funambulist, and other outlets.
This paper explores how Arab migrants produce a sense of belonging in Istanbul's Little Syria after the Arab Spring (2011-2013). It investigates this question through a cultural and political ethnography of Little Syria. Little Syria is a neighborhood in Istanbul with a misleading name. Since the Arab Spring of 2011–13, it has become a hub not only for Syrian refugees, but also for a growing number of migrants from other Arab countries, including Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and Iraq. My research examines how Arab migrants in Little Syria create intimate solidarity connections in places that are both near (geographically and culturally) and far (by virtue of different political histories and identities) from their homes. Drawing from geography scholarship on transnationalism and migration, the research is guided by three sets of questions: 1) How do Arab migrants negotiate their own place-making practices and what might impede, interrupt or unsettle this negotiation? 2) How do imperial histories permeate migrants' contemporary experiences of migration and settlement in Little Syria? 3) How does Little Syria specifically, and Istanbul more broadly, play a role as a cultural and political node in the broader transnational identity-making for Arab migrants after Arab Spring?
PhD Graduate in Contemporary History from the University of Granada, Spain. His interests include the management of religion and educational inclusion policies for students of Arab origin in a number of Spanish state institutions and regional governments. He has published two studies: one in Spanish related to the management of Islam in Spain and a second in Arabic concerned with the confrontation and containment of religious extremism in Spain. He is also a Cultural and Social Mediator.
This paper examines the structure of the Spanish Catholic state and how it was able in certain historical circumstances to rule a Muslim-majority region in a way that did not completely clash with their spiritual beliefs and religious institutions. It is a historical anthropological study that defines the nature of the colonial protectorate system as well as the centres of religious influence in Moroccan society and explains how the colonizer managed to domesticate religious institutions politically and socially. This was achieved either through ideological discourse produced by colonial propaganda in that period, or through policies that inspire religious polarization, which ultimately changed the nature of the relationship between society and the state in Morocco. The methodology studied and categorised colonial documents from the Spanish and French archives, drawing a comparative analysis with other historical sources from Morocco itself or other countries competing with Spain.
PhD graduate from the University of Leeds, School of Law, UK, (2019) researching the dehumanization of drone warfare. He was the winner of the University of Leeds Three Minute Thesis. He also holds an MA in History from SOAS, University of London, UK (2015).
This paper introduces the notion of dehumanization, elucidates its relationship with detachment and distance, and demonstrates how technology, in particular drone warfare, has contributed to detachment and dehumanization in armed conflict. Drone warfare is transforming war from defined periods of high-intensity conflict in concentrated geographical locations to continuous and indefinite periods of low-intensity operations without boundaries. This effectively blurs the line between war and peace, creating greater human insecurity towards life. The research concludes that through physical and psychological distancing, drones anonymize the enemy, leading to a partial dehumanization whereby the humanity of a person is masked, blurred, or faded. This in turn leads to a reduced resistance to killing and a greater willingness to engage in low-intensity operations of armed attack. States enjoy the ability to deploy independent drone operations without the responsibility of committing to an official armed conflict. The paper further concludes that while drones are indeed proliferating and technological advancements are inevitable, they should be regulated according to their nature. More specifically, the paper proposes that use of military drones is limited to official and legally recognized armed conflicts.
PhD Student in Public Policy at George Washington University, USA. She also works also as a consultant at the World Bank. Her work consists mainly of legal research and consultations for client governments regarding reforms in favor of legal gender equality. She is a Fulbright alumna and holds an MA in Public Policy with a concentration in Women's Studies from the same university. Her publications cover women's economic participation in the MENA region and women's property rights.
Strong systems of property rights are correlates of economic growth and so is women's participation in the economy. The Middle East and North Africa region records both the lowest female labour participation in the world and the lowest scores on the property rights indicator of the Fraser's Economic Freedom Index. Granting women equal property rights to men would spur economic growth, first by strengthening property rights systems in general, and second by promoting women's economic participation. The present paper explores, from a legal perspective, two major aspects of women's property rights, especially in the MENA: land ownership and self-ownership. Self-ownership is an important component of women's property rights, yet often overlooked. Even when the law guarantees women a certain level of rights to dispose of property, including land, other aspects of it compromise those rights by undermining women's self-ownership. Using a mixed methods approach, the paper first presents a survey of legal restrictions undermining women's land ownership in the MENA region. It then highlights the strong association between women's land rights and self-ownership, as operationalized by women's freedom of movement, freedom to make decisions affecting their own lives and freedom from violence.
Researcher at the Mohammed V University and the University of Grenoble Alpes. He completed his PhD at Grenoble University in 2019, where his doctoral thesis was titled "Mental Health While Working in State Schools: a Study of Organizational and Psychological Determinants of Moroccan Teachers". He has worked as an professor at the same university, where he taught social sciences and employment psychology methods. He has participated in many conferences and published research on mental health and well-being in schools.
The teaching profession in Morocco is difficult. It is both critical to human development and subject to constraints that affect the health of those involved in it. In addition to the long-term challenges of teaching, there are many issues that wear teachers down, including the various types of violence and aggression they face inside and outside educational institutions, which have been exacerbated in recent years. Moreover, many teachers suffer from chronic health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure. Some national reports document the difficult working conditions for teachers, which include managing overcrowded departments, a lack of resources, and lack of discipline in students. This psychological study investigates the impact of job demands on psychological health for teachers working in primary and secondary education in Morocco.
PhD Student in Social and Political Change at the University of Turin and the University of Florence, Italy. She was awarded the best thesis for the Master's Degree course in International Studies for the year 2015/2016 by the University of Turin. She recently published an article drawn from her thesis on "The Gramscian Intellectual in Palestine: An 'Organic' Link between Political and Civil Society" in Gramsciana, Rivista Internazionale di Studi su Antonio Gramsci.
What is the role and function of the intellectual? How does the definition of this figure affect, and interact with, the way in which societies perceive themselves and define knowledge, culture, power, and the relationships among their social groups and classes, and with their "others"? These questions have been investigated not only in academic and intellectual circles but also in wider public debates, especially in times of political and social upheaval and technological changes. The MENA region is no exception to that, and offers an interesting space of research, as its intellectuals (and societies) have been faced with (geo)political, social and economic challenges throughout the last century. The paper suggests that the role and function of the intellectual in the contemporary world can be critically explored and interrogated. Looking specifically at the Palestine context, and inspired by concepts offered by critical thinkers (Fanon, Said and, in particular, Gramsci), it suggests that an 'intellectual function' can be found in (un)conventional milieus: in forms and spaces where people narrate, signify and elaborate their understanding of the world in a constant 'hegemonic-pedagogic' relationship with their surroundings and with the social, political and economic relations that they live in daily.
PhD graduate from the Department of Philosophy, University of Montreal, Canada. She has taught at Birzeit University, Palestine and Concordia University, Canada. Her research deals with the relationship between morality and emancipatory political actions and her areas of interest include political and social philosophy, continental philosophy and ethics. She published an article untitled "What Tools Anarchism Can Offer Us to Understand Current Political Situations? A Conversation with Mohammed Bamyeh." (Assafirarabi, August 23, 2018).
This study explores the process of developing the moral subject and then the surrounding group, in light of political changes directly resulting from the effectiveness of this subject and its activity in its environment, and its involvement in political and social work. The study raises the question of morals in the context of contemporary Arab revolutions. Specifically, the active participation of people in politics, as well as any subject and group with which the question is concerned, and which of those is shaped by the revolutionary act. The context of the Arab revolutions, specifically the initial stages that were characterized by direct and open mobility, coordination and non-hierarchical management, and the absence of traditional leadership, allows a study of the political and moral concepts resulting from a movement of this kind in contrast to traditional institutionalised politics. It also investigates real lived experiences of revolutions. Thus, for example, the idea of giving and self-sacrifice raises questions about the concept of morals: Do individuals in these moments act based on pre-defined moral systems? Or does the moment allow them to build and experiment with different concepts and visions? Can the context of direct and popular political action be considered a distinct component of building a different moral system?
PhD candidate in the Department of History at Georgetown University, Washington. He holds an MA in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from Indiana University, USA, where he was a Fulbright scholar for two years and a BA in Islamic Studies from al-Azhar University, Egypt. Sultan's research interest lies in the area of Islamic law and gender. More specifically, he examines the interplay between Islamic jurisprudence, law and courts in nineteenth-century Egypt.
The paper shows how some early works of Islamic law gendered public space and constructed an ideal virtuous Muslim woman who was largely invisible. "Gendering the space" means two things: first, the process of supporting the seclusion of women in the domestic sphere through a pietistic legal discourse created by some male jurists; and second, the imposition of certain restrictions on women when they are present in the public domain. In order to do that, the paper examines how the process unfolded in Mesopotamia and Medina. This comparative approach aims to highlight the differences between these two cultural milieus when it came to addressing the question of women's visibility in public space. The paper's main goal is to identify some areas in Islamic law that played a role in prescribing the seclusion of women in the domestic domain. The second contribution of the paper is highlighting the possibilities that these early discourses created for women, hence identifying the paths that were not taken. The paper concludes that the eighth and early ninth centuries was a time of flux in opinions. Some of these early legal discourses seem to have been actively seeking to render public space a male arena by making women's presence therein undesirable.
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