American Univesity of Beirut

  • ​​Our MA students​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    ​Abdallah El Ayach

    Start date: Spring 2016-2017
    Abdallah graduated with a BA in Business Administration in Spring 2012 from AUB, and worked for more than four years in the finance services sector. He plans to pursue PhD studies after finishing his MA in Anthropology.
    R​esearch interests: identity, ideology, mobilization, and cultural production.

    Marwa Bakabas
    Start Date: Fall 2016-2017
    Marwa is an Arab-American holding a BA in Global Affairs. Her fieldwork and research has been held in refugee camps in both Greece and Lebanon. Her current fieldwork is being conducted in the Beqaa Valley to provide a framework for assessing and addressing the needs of refugee populations living in haphazardly constructed dwellings, as well as identifying challenges of access and consistency of care.

    Research Interests: dwellings, comparing needs as a social practice through ethnographic research, humanitarian aid, applied anthropology, medical anthropology, exile, the aging population.​​​

    Nora Ali Bakhsh
    Start date: Fall 2017-2018
    Nora holds a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from the American University of Sharjah. She has previously worked at the Columbia University Middle East Research Center in Amman, and at the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).
    Research interests: marriage, anthropology ​​of affect, feminism, construction of masculinity/femininity.​

    Noor Daher

    Start date: Spring 2015
    Noor has a BA in Social Work from Haigazian University. Directly after receiving her undergraduate degree, she applied to the Anthropology program at AUB, and has been a graduate student since. She is currently working on her thesis, which is prospected to be an ethnography of women students at a religious Hawza in Beirut.
    Research interests: women and gender studies, feminism, Islamic studies, religion and globalization.

    Rabih Hajaig​
    Start date: Fall 2018-2019
    Rabih is currently pursuing his MA in Anthropology at AUB. He has spent over ten years working in development and humanitarian relief with local and international organizations, mainly around issues related to gender justice and migrant workers’ rights. He currently works in engaging youth to lead projects serving their own communities across Lebanon.
    Research interests: Anthropology of the future, gender and sexuality studies, identity and politics, ethnomusicology.

    Batoul Al Hajj
    Start date: Fall 2018-2019
    Batoul graduated with a dual degree from AUB: BS in Biology and a BA in Sociology-Anthropology.
    Research interests: Anthropology of Islam, public and private space, studies on piety, religion.

    Ziad Ki​blawi
    Start date: Fall 2016-2017
    Ziad earned a BA in Sociology and Anthropology and is currently pursuing his MA in Anthropology at AUB. He has worked as an archivist and researcher for several art institutions in Beirut and is currently researching modern art and intellectual history from Lebanon from the 1960s to the 90s.
    Research interests: modernity and capitalist modernization, ​structuralism and post-structuralism,  historiography, militant thought, intellectual history, continental philosophy, philosophy of anthropology.

    Zhixi Liu
    Start date: Fall 2017-2018
    Zhixi holds a BA in Philosophy from Shandong University (PRC), with an emphasis on the heritage of dialogues between Islam and Confucianism. She has conducted a research about Muslim widows’ lands donations to masjids in a Muslim community in Jinan, China. She is interested in studying how Muslim women in China’s central plain struggle between self-perceived volition and ascribed nationalistic-roles.

    Research interests: Islam in China; Islamic feminism; chronic disease; lingual de-colonialism; visual anthropology.​

    Shantanu Mehra

    Start date: Spring 2015-2016
    Before joining AUB, Shantanu completed his MA in Islamic studies from the University of Melbourne.
    Research interests: Anthropology of Islam, Islamic feminism, secularism and public space.

    Haya Mortada
    Start date: Fall 2018 - 2019
    Haya holds a BE in Electrical and Computer Engineering and an MSc in International Business Management. She has worked for more than 5 years in the fields of public policy, public management and development. She plans to pursue PhD studies after finishing her MA in Anthropology.​
    Research interests: anthropology of work, political economy, migration, social movements, infrastructure 

    Mariana Nakfour

    Start date: Fall 2017-2018
     Mariana holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from AUB with a concentration in marketing. She is now pursuing her MA in anthropology in AUB, hoping to merge it with architectural theory in the future.
    Research interests: material culture, senses, aesthetics, emotions, memory, architecture.​

    Rayane Al Rammal

    Start date: Fall 2017-2018
    Before joining AUB, Rayane earned her BA in linguistics from the Lebanese University- Beirut. She is currently pursuing her MA in Sociolinguistics at the Lebanese University and Anthropology at AUB. She works as a freelance researcher.
    Research interests: Gender, sexuality, power, religion, violence, social suffering, semiotics, language, sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, Global politics, colonization and the Palestinian case.

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    Ramy Shukr

    Start date: Fall 2016-2017
    Ramy is currently pursuing his MA in Anthropology at AUB. He has been working on community-building projects with migrant domestic workers in Beirut since 2012. Ramy works on the intersection of transgender studies, political economy, social relations, and area studies. He is currently conducting fieldwork for his thesis project "Transgender Attachments, Space, and Political Economy in Beirut".​
    Research interests: transgender studies, social bonds, political economy, area studies, psychoanalysis.​

    Rita Jarrous
    Start Date: Spring 2017-2018
    Rita is currently pursuing her MA in Anthropology at AUB. After earning a BA in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of Balamand, Rita worked as a researcher at the Palestine Unit at UN-ESCWA. Rita has been working for two years as a researcher at Qperspective; a regional firm providing a comprehensive range of consulting services focused on the development of local communities.

    Research interests: informal economy, labor organizations, gender in the workplace, social relations, forced migration, development programmes, and Palestine and the question of Apartheid.
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    Hussein Shami

    Hussein has a Bachelor's degree in social sciences and a Master's degree in economic development. He is currently a graduate student in anthropology at AUB. 

    Research interests: anthropology of religion, anthropology of development, political economy, semiotics, and rituals.


    ​Mohamad Alawiyeh
    Mohamad is currently studying sociology at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and his thesis involves conducting a study about sociopolitical discourse in Friday sermons.

    Research interest: Islamic knowledge production, Serious mental illness (SMI), 

    Nader Ahmad
    Nader has a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from the Lebanese University. He worked on various qualitative and quantitative research projects with the Centre for Lebanese Studies, the International Centre for Transitional Justice, and Forum Ziviler Friedensdienst. 

    Research interests: work conditions, migration, and war

    Yara El Moussaoui


    Yara has a bachelor of Translation and Interpretation and is currently working as senior regional Communications and Advocacy Officer at International Alert. Yara also worked in communications with UNICEF Lebanon, supporting its emergency response to the protracted Syrian crisis and highlighting issues facing vulnerable children. She has also volunteered extensively with the Lebanese Red Cross for seven years.

    Research interests: migration, identity, emergency communications and humanitarian reporting.

    ​Allison Finn

    Start Date: Fall 2016-2017
    Alli holds a BA in International Studies and Theatre from Northwestern University, and worked for 5 years in community mediation, non-discrimination, and intercultural dialogue programs in the US and Middle East before joining AUB. She is the Graduate Assistant for AUB's Equity & Title Program.

    Research interests: feminist activism and community organizing, social justice movements, decolonial feminisms, gender-based violence and discrimination, sexual harassment, western military imperialism and discursive violence.

    Rayan Jaber
    Email: ​
    Start date: Spring 2017-2018
    Rayan graduated from Haigazian University with a BA in English Linguistics. Currently, she is pursuing her graduate studies at AUB in Sociology.​
    Research interests: sociolinguistics, identity, and language.

    ​Rima Jodeh​

    Email:  ​
    Start date: Fall 2017-2018
    Rima has a BA in Psychology from AUB. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Sociology and she is looking for ways to connect her background in psychology with sociology together in future studies.

    Research interests: identity, statelessness, social inclusion, political sociology, social psychology, conflicts, colonialism. 

    Alaa Khaled
    Start date: Spring 2015-2016
    Alaa received a BA in Sociology from AUB, with a minor in Human Rights and Transitional Justice. She has done an internship with International Relief and Development. She has also planned, organized, and implemented a waste management project with a group in coordination with Mercy Corps, USAID, and CCECS.

    Research interests: political sociology, social media.

    Immaculate Namakula 
    Immaculate did a BA in Adult and Community Education and g raduated in 2015 from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
    She worked as a Child Sponsorship and Development Officer with World Vision Uganda for almost 4 years before coming to Lebanon. 

    Research interests: domestic violence, migration, street life, gender, sexuality and inequality.

    ​Salma Nizam

    Start date: Fall 2016-2017
    Salma Nizam holds a Bachelor in Social Work from the University of Utah. She currently works as a case worker at Arcenciel while she pursues her master's degree in Sociology at AUB.

    Research interests: identity, migration, family, women and gender studies.

    Saly El Wazze

    Start date: Spring 2015-2016
    Saly has a Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing and management from AUB. She currently works as a research intern with the Asfari Institute and as a graduate assistant to Dr. Rima Majed and Dr. Nada Ghandour-Demiri.
    Research interests: social movements, social change, and the advertising industry.

    Yasser Al Zaiat
    Start date: Spring 2017-2018
    Yasser was studying IT engineering in Damascus University when he received in late 2010 a life-changing admission into AUB’s sociology and anthropology department. A blogger and a staunch lover of good Arabic, he has worked as editor and translator for many Syrian websites and online magazines, before he graduated and founded a startup collective of freelance linguists.

    ​​Research interests: somewhere between society, technology, language and cultural history.

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