Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - MERGE - Migration and the Middle East

People

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Dr. Nader Talebi (Co-founder and Project Leader)

is a Berlin-based researcher at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He studied software engineering and sociology and finished his PhD at Lancaster University on state power and revolution in Iran. As a researcher at the Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research (BIM) and before at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) at the University of Mannheim, he is interested in studying states, social movements, nationalism and migration in the Middle East. He is currently working on refugees and migrants in the countries of origin, transit, and destination along the migration routes from the ME to Europe. In particular, he explores regimes of mobility and their relations with narratives of migration and citizenship in the ME.


Prof. Dr. Asef Bayat

is an Associate Member of Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research (BIM) at Humboldt University of Berlin. He is a Professor of Sociology, and Catherine & Bruce Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. Asef taught at the American University in Cairo for many years; and served as the director of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) where he held the Chair of Society and Culture of the Modern Middle East at Leiden University, The Netherlands. His research areas range from social movements and social change, to religion and public life, urban space and politics, and contemporary Middle Eastern societies. His latest books include Global Middle East: Into the 21st Century (ed. With Linda Herrera) (University of California Press, 2021), and Revolutionary Life: The Everyday of the Arab Spring (Harvard University Press, 2021).

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Dr. Firoozeh Farvardin

is a researcher and guest lecturer at Humboldt University of Berlin where she also defended her doctoral thesis on the state and social and sexual politics in Iran. Born in Iran, she studied software engineering and sociology before starting her second master program in Berlin. She has worked as a researcher in several projects on migration, racism, and urban sociology, focusing on Middle Eastern migrants in Germany and Afghan refugees in Iran. She also used to be a guest lecturer (2015-2018) mainly on transnational migration at BIM. Her research interest includes sexual politics, social politics, transnational migration and racism, social movements, and decolonization of knowledge productions on these issues, particularly in the contexts of the Middle East and Iran

 

Prof. Dr. Naika Foroutan 

is Professor of Social Sciences at the Humboldt-University in Berlin. She specializes in integration and migration research with a particular focus on countries of immigration, their shifting identities as well as their prevalent attitudes towards minorities. She has been appointed Director of the Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research (BIM) – a research institute based at Humboldt University aimed at providing empirical analysis for migration and integration debates in Europe. Naika Foroutan also serves as an adviser and consultant to German political parties and other national and international institutions.

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Prof. Dr. Serhat Karakayali (Co-founder)

is a sociologist and works as a researcher at the Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research (BIM) at the Humboldt University of Berlin. His research has recently focused on volunteering for migrants and refugees in Germany and Europe, migrant advocacy and cosmopolitan concepts of solidarity. He currently leads two research projects on the transformative impact of migration on civil society organisations and the trade unions in Germany. He is one of the founding members of the research group “Transit Migration” and the “Research Network Critical Migration Studies“.


Dr. Özge Yaka

is currently an Alexander von Humboldt PSI Fellow at the Centre for Citizenship, Religious Diversity and Social Pluralism, Universität Potsdam. She is also an associate member of the Einstein Research Group at BIM, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. She has received her PhD in Sociology from Lancaster University. Since then, she has held positions as Einstein Postdoctoral Fellow and as a Visiting Professor at Graduate School of North American Studies – JFKI, Freie Universität Berlin; and as a Gerda Henkel Research Fellow at Collège d'études mondiales – FMSH Paris. Her research interests include critical social theory, theories of justice, social and environmental movements in the contemporary Middle East, migration, gender, body and subjectivity. She is currently running parallel projects focuses respectively on gender and grassroots environmental activism in Turkey and the new wave of migration from Turkey to Berlin.

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Dr. Ramona Rischke

is an empirical migration and poverty researcher. After studying international economics, she obtained her doctorate in development economics at the University of Göttingen. Since then she has been working as a post-doctoral researcher on social cohesion in the context of migration and forced displacement, and on multi-dimensional poverty and inequality in developing countries. One focus of her work is the evaluation of projects and policy measures.

 

Dana Abdel Fatah

holds a Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern Politics from Phillips-Universität Marburg in Germany and a Master degree in Public Policy from Hertie School of Governance and Sabanci University in Istanbul. Though currently focusing on critical and migration research in Germany, Dana Abdel Fatah’s previous research and work experience had a regional focus on Palestine, Yemen and Iran.

 

 

Soraya Hassoun

is a research associate and doctoral candidate at the Department of Diversity and Social Conflict of Prof. Dr. Gökce Yurdakul at the Institute for Social Sciences at the Humboldt University of Berlin.

She holds a Master of Arts in Gender Studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Prior to that she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies at the Free University of Berlin.

Her research interests include Muslim women in Germany and Europe, feminist theories and racism theory/criticism, especially anti-Muslim racism.

 

Bahar Oghalai

iis a social scientist focusing on intersections of racism and sexism. She is doing her PhD at the University of Koblenz-Landau on Perspectives of Iranian and Turkish Migrant Women in Germany. She is particularly interested in feminist movements in and from the Middle East and regularly publishes texts on this topic for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. She is currently a research associate at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences.

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Raana Ghazanfarpour

studied sociology at the University of Potsdam in Germany. She has worked as a guest lecturer at the Humboldt University of Berlin. She is currently working as a social worker with refugees from Afghanistan and Iran, often with women travelling alone who are affected by some form of violence. She is interested in gender studies, migration, new social movements and research on violence in the Middle East.

 

Dr. Latife Akyüz

received her PhD from Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara in 2013, with the dissertation titled `“Ethnicity and Gender Dynamics of Living in Borderlands: The Case of Hopa-Turkey”. She has held positions as a visiting scholar at Indiana University (2010), Binghamton University (2011–12) and the Center for Ethnic and Migration Studies, Liege University (2014). She worked as an Assistant Professor at Duzce University from March 2014 until 2016, when she, like many other Academics for Peace, was dismissed from her position. As a result, Dr. Akyuz was forced to flee Turkey and started to work as Philipp Schwartz Fellow at Goethe University (2016-2019). Her research interests are border regions, migration, ethnicity, and gender.

 

 

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Y. Emre Küçükkaya

was a visiting researcher at the Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research (BIM) at Humboldt University, Berlin and is currently a PhD researcher at  Middle East Technical University, Ankara. After earning his master degree in European and Eurasian Studies from the George Washington University, he served as a public diplomacy and communications officer in Ankara. Before coming to Berlin, Emre was a visiting researcher at Glasgow Caledonian University and taught a seminar class “International Economic Issues and Challenges”.

 

Dr. Nassim Mehran

is a Berlin-based architect and urban sociologist. Currently, she is finalizing her doctoral research on Space of Urban Refuge and Social Stress at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Since 2015, she has been an associate researcher and lecturer at Humboldt and Charité university. Her general area of focus lies in the intersection of Urban Health, Urban Migration, Middle Eastern Urban Studies, and Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies.  In her primary research, she was involved in studies related to the correlation between urban disadvantages, gender-based violence, and urban space, the socio-political struggles over public space and housing (informal settlements, refugee settlements, and social housing) and civic engagement and the urban social movements. In particular, she works on the notion of spatial justice and the sustainable and participatory urban alternatives in a time of socio-economic or ecological crisis, state of war and armed conflicts in the Middle Eastern context.

 

 

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Jinan Abi Jumaa

is a researcher at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.  She has a master’s degree in Public Health (MPH) from the American University of Beirut (AUB) and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Charité on self-help/ empowerment-based services and Primary Health Care (PHC) for refugees. Since joining the Charité, Jinan has been involved in conducting research on public/mental health and on cultural differences refugees’ experiences during their settlement in Europe to ensure positive health outcomes for this population. In addition, she has previously worked on the experiences of violence refugee women go through during their journey routes from the Middle East. She is active in the field of women rights. Her research interests are refugee studies, public and mental health, healthcare disparities, integration and migration, in addition to Violence Against Women (VAW).

 

Ali Niroumand

born into a working class family in an industrial area in Iran moved to Germany in 2009 for higher education studies. His bachelor and master studies were funded by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. Currently, he is a PhD candidate at the Humboldt University of Berlin studying the significant yet under-researched phenomenon of Iranian diaspora nationalism. He works as an interpreter and cultural mediator in pedagogical contexts for children and parents with migration/refugee background. He also provides critical commentary about Middle East affairs for socio-politically engaged cyber-media. His main fields of interest are nationalism, migration, global capitalism, and critical transnationalism in the context of the Middle East.

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Dr. Irene Tuzi

is a sociologist of migration with a particular expertise in ethnography, refugee studies, gender studies and the Middle East. Born in Italy, she holds a double PhD in Social Sciences from Sapienza University of Rome and Humboldt University (2021). She was a visiting PhD researcher at the Lebanese American University (Beirut) and at the Institute of Mediterranean Europe History at the Italian National Research Council (Rome). She is currently a lecturer at Humboldt University, Department of Social Sciences, where she teaches qualitative methodologies. Her research interests include intersectional gender studies, transnational migrations, and refugees’ integration with a special focus on the role of transnational connections between countries of origin, transit, and arrival on the process of integration.

 

Salam Alhaj Hasan

is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE), Ruhr University. Salam is interested in conflict studies, development economics and forced migration studies with a focus on the Middle East. Her PhD project examines the Syrian refugees’ economies in Jordan and the effects of different institutional and spatial settings on livelihoods and social outcomes. Salam holds a MSc in Economics from Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. She is a member of the German-Arab joint Research, Training and Networking program and lives in Berlin.

 

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