Research Staff



Michael C Hudson | ميشال هدسون


Michael Hudson is Professor of the Middle East Institute and Professor of Political Science at the National University of Singapore. He is also Professor Emeritus at Georgetown University, where he served as Director of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies for many years. He has edited and contributed to numerous books, including Middle East Dilemma: The Politics and Economics of Arab Integration (Columbia University Press/CCAS, 1999), The Palestinians: New Directions (CCAS, 1990), and Alternative Approaches to the Arab-Israeli Conflict (CCAS, 1984). His other works include The Precarious Republic: Political Modernization in Lebanon (Random House, 1968, 1985) and Arab Politics: The Search for Legitimacy (Yale University Press, 1977), numerous chapters, and articles appearing in Middle East Journal, Middle East Policy, International Affairs, Comparative Politics, Al-Mustaqbil al-‘Arabi, and other scholarly journals. Hudson was awarded the 2011 Jere L. Bacharach Service Award from the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), of which he is a past president.


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Nezar Alsayyad | نزار الصياد

Visiting Professor (joint appointment with Dept of Architecture)

Dr. Nezar AlSayyad is an architect, planner, historian, and public intellectual. He is a Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Urban History at the University of California at Berkeley where he currently serves as Chair of the University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies CMES) and the Director of the International and Area Studies Graduate Program.

AlSayyad holds a B.S. in Architectural Engineering and Diploma in Town Planning from Cairo University, an M.S. in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Architectural History from UC Berkeley. In 1988, AlSayyad co-founded the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE). Today, he serves as the Association’s President and Editor of its highly acclaimed peerreviewed journal, Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review. He has consulted for many public agencies around the Arab world. AlSayyad is the recipient of many grants and awards for his research, books, films, and projects. In 2008, the University of California recognized his work with the Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest
recognition given to a faculty member on the Berkeley campus. AlSayyad is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of many books, among them Streets of Islamic Cairo (1981); The Design and Planning of Housing (1984); Dwellings, Settlements and Tradition (1989); Cities and Caliphs (1991); Forms and Dominance (1992); Al Mudun Fi Sadr Al-Islam (in Arabic) (1996); Consuming Tradition,
Manufacturing Heritage (2001); Hybrid Urbanism (2001); Muslim Europe or Euro-Islam (translated into Arabic, Spanish, and Turkish) (2002); The End of Tradition (2004); Making Cairo Medieval (2005); Cinematic Urbanism (2006); The Fundamentalist City? Religiosity and the Remaking of Urban Space (2010); and Cairo: Histories of a City (2011), and Traditions: The Real, the Hyper, and the Virtual in the Built Environment (2014). Additionally, he has written, co-produced and co-directed two NEA-funded public television documentaries, “Virtual Cairo” and “At Home with Mother Earth.”



 Lilia Labidi | ليليا العبيدي

Visiting Research Professor

An anthropologist and psychologist by profession, Lilia Labidi holds a doctorate in psychology and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Paris. Labidi was a professor of clinical psychology at the Faculty of Human Sciences at the University of Tunis, where from 1997-2001 she directed a program on The Construction of Public Morality in the Arab World and Africa (Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, and Egypt). She has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (1995-1996), fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC (2001-2002), visiting professor of psychology at the American University in Cairo (2004-2005) and Yale University (2008-2009), and co-founder and active member of the Association of Tunisian Women for Research and Development and the Tunisian Association for Health Psychology. She is the author of several books and numerous articles on the Arab world, treating subjects such as the history of the feminist movement, psychology and sexuality, the construction of identity, attitudes towards death, among others, and has also organized many national and international conferences and exhibitions in Tunisia. Lilia Labidi was Minister of Woman Affairs in the new Tunisian government of National Unity (January-December 2011), following the overthrow of the old regime.


Peter Sluglett | بيتر سلغليت

Visiting Research Professor


Peter Sluglett is Director of the Middle East Institute of the National University of Singapore. He has taught Middle Eastern History at the University of Durham (1974-1994) and at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City (1994-2011), where he was Director of the University’s Middle East Center. He has published widely on the modern history of Iraq, including Iraq since 1958: from Revolution to Dictatorship, 3rd edn., (2001, with Marion Farouk-Sluglett), and Britain in Iraq: Contriving King and Country (2007). He has also edited and contributed to The Urban Social History of the Middle East 1750-1950 (2008),  Syria and Bilad al-Sham under Ottoman Rule: Essays in Honour of Abdul-Karim Rafeq, (2010, with Stefan Weber), and Writing the Modern History of Iraq: Historiographical and Political Challenges (2012). He is currently co-authoring a book on the modern history of Syria.

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Susanne Dahlgren | سوزان دهلجرن

Visiting Research Associate Professor

Susanne Dahlgren is anthropologist interested in moral questions, law and politics. She studied anthropology in the University of Edinburgh, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and University of Helsinki where she took her PhD in 2004. She has acted as a fellow in the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies and at the Academy of Finland. Her PhD project was published in Contesting Realities. The Public Sphere and Morality in Southern Yemen. Syracuse University Press (2010). Her recent work has involved theorizing the Arab Spring revolutions as part of Geographies of Gender in the Arab Revolutions –project, convened by Frances Hasso and Zakia Salime. A recent photo essay was published in on Rebels without Shoes: A Visit to South Yemen’s Revolution Squares  . She joined the MEI with the project Post-Socialism in the Arabian Peninsula. Politics of Islam and Modernisation in South Yemen.



Ali Kadri | علي القادري

Senior Research Fellow

Prior to joining the Middle East Institute, Ali Kadri was visiting fellow at the Department of International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and head of the Economic Analysis Section at the United Nations regional office for Western Asia. Kadri is presently in the process of conducting research on the political economy of development in the Arab World. During his work at the United Nations, he was the lead author of the UN flagship publication dealing with the economic and social conditions of Arab Western Asia. Kadri has published on issues of the labour process in the Arab world. His forthcoming work, entitled “Arab development denied,” looks into the formidable obstacles facing development in the Arab world.



Jeremy Kingsley | جيرمي كينجسلي

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Kingsley is a legal and political anthropologist. As a formally-trained lawyer he brings an interdisciplinary academic background to his studies. Jeremy’s received his LLM and PhD degrees in Law at the University of Melbourne and his BA and LLB from Deakin University. His research focuses primarily upon religious and political authority in Indonesia and how this affects local governance. He is now looking at this notion of authority and the interconnections between Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Jeremy has completed a two-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (NUS), as well as having lectured at Tembusu College, also at NUS. Jeremy has undertaken extensive field research primarily on the eastern Indonesian island of Lombok. His work has been published in academic and public affairs journals. While at MEI, Jeremy is undertaking a research project entitled: “Networks and Interconnection: Contemporary educational encounters between Southeast Asian Muslims and the Middle East”.



Charlotte Schriwer | شارلت شريفر

Senior Research Fellow
Deputy Director

Charlotte Schriwer’s research has focused mainly on various historical studies of the Levant region (Jordan, Syria, Lebanon), in particular on agricultural history from the 12th century to the 1800s. She has also explored the question of ethnic identity in the Ottoman architecture of the Levant, and continues research into the Islamic arts of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Since joining MEI in 2011, she has started a project documenting the history of protest art in the Arab world, with a focus on the Arab Uprisings. She holds a PhD in History and an MA in Middle East Studies from the University of St Andrews, Scotland, and an MA in Islamic Art and Archaeology from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.


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Gwenn Okruhlik | جوين أكرولِك

Visiting Senior Research Fellow

Gwenn Okruhlik specializes in the politics of the Arabian Peninsula. She has worked in Egypt, Lebanon, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and, primarily, in Saudi Arabia. She is the recipient of two Fulbright Awards to Saudi Arabia and served as the Brookings Doha Fellow in 2011-2012 when she taught at Qatar University on labor migration and citizenship in the Gulf. Her research is largely at the intersection of political economy and socio-politics. It covers a wide array of issues such as networks of Islamist dissent; oil wealth and opposition; labor migration and cultural (in)security; regional border disputes; tourism and global opening, and struggles over the rights of citizenship. Her current research projects are on the relationship between ideas of “belonging to the nation” and dependence on foreign labor, as well how to re-think the politics of distributive states in light of the uprisings. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is President of the Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies (AGAPS).



Nele Lenze | نيلي لنزا

Research Fellow and Editor

Nele Lenze’s research focuses on the cultural online sphere in the Gulf. Her main research interests include literature published in social media, through micro blogging tools, on blogs and in e-publishing houses. She holds a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and Media Studies from the University of Oslo where she lectured on the Arab online sphere. She obtained her master’s in Arabic literature from Freie University Berlin.


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Fanar Haddad | فنر حداد

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Fanar Haddad (BSc LSE, MPhil Cantab, DPhil Exon) previously lectured in modern Middle Eastern history at the University of Exeter and, most recently, at Queen Mary, University of London. Prior to obtaining his DPhil, Haddad was a Research Analyst at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he worked on North Africa. He has since published widely on issues relating to historic and contemporary Iraq. His main research topics are identity, historical memory, nationalism, communal conflict and minority politics. He is the author of Sectarianism in Iraq: Antagonistic Visions of Unity (London/New York: Hurst/Columbia University Press, 2011). His research at the MEI will focus on historical memory and narratives of state in the Middle East.



Linda Matar | لندا مطر

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Dr Matar’s research involves the political economy and economic development of the Arab Near East with particular emphasis on Syria. She obtained her Ph.D. in Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her research at MEI will focus on the political economy of the Arab Spring. Her recent publication is entitled “Twilight of ‘state capitalism’ in formerly ‘socialist’ Arab states” (The Journal of North African Studies, 2013).


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Nassima Neggaz | نسيمة نجاز

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Nassima Neggaz’s work is at the junction between Political Science, Islamic History, and Arabic language. She is currently working on turning her PhD dissertation into a book, entitled: “The Falls of Baghdad in 1258 and 2003: A Study in Sunni-Shi‘i Clashing Memories.” The work explores the polemics, both modern and historical, about the role of the Shi‘a in the falls of Baghdad during the Mongol invasion of Baghdad (1258) and the US-led invasion of Iraq (2003). A Fulbright Fellow from France, Nassima holds an MA in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris, an MA in Arab Studies from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, and a PhD in Islamic Studies from Georgetown University. She previously taught courses in Arabic and Sociology at Georgetown University in Washington DC, the Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Doha, Qatar, as well as the American University in Washington DC.

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Katayoun Shafiee | كتايون شفيعي

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Katayoun Shafiee received her PhD in Middle East Studies and History from New York University. Her dissertation, Cracking Petroleum with Politics: Anglo-Persian Oil and the Socio-Technical Transformation of Iran, brings together histories of the Middle East with histories of technology informed by new interdisciplinary thinking in science and technology studies (STS) to rethink the politics of the Middle East, through a study of the British-controlled oil industry in Iran from 1901 to 1954. Her recent publications have looked at the role of formulas as actors in the history of Anglo-Iranian oil, the politics of standardization and energy, and the role of oil workers in shaping the Iranian oil industry. At MEI she will work on turning her dissertation into a book by thinking through the broader implications of her work for political and historical analysis. She will also expand her research on the political economy of oil in the Middle East by extending its scope from Iran to adjacent Arab countries while continuing to consider the centrality of technologies of energy development in shaping political disputes in the twentieth century.


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Zoltan Pall |زولتان بال

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Zoltan Pall is an anthropologist specialized on transnational Islamic movements in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. His main research topics include social movement theory, the structure and function of transnational networks, religious authority and sectarianism. His current research in MEI focuses on Salafism in Lebanon and its networking in the Arabian Gulf and Europe. Prior to obtaining his PhD at Utrecht University he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) and a Research Fellow at Utrecht University. He published articles on Salafism in Kuwait and Lebanon, and he is the author of Lebanese Salafis between the Gulf and Europe: Development, Fractionalization and Transnational Networks of Salafism in Lebanon (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press – Forum Publications, 2013).

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Joshua Rickard | جشوا ريكارد

Visiting Research Fellow

Joshua Rickard’s research has explored the social implications of the division of Palestinian communities through long-term imposed isolation, as well as community sustainability and resilience. He holds a PhD is social anthropology from the University of Kent at Canterbury where he carried out research on social cohesion in communities in the Nablus region of West Bank, Palestine . His research at MEI critically examines the roles of foreign aid and international NGOs in Palestinian communities, and their relationships to external as well as local actors.


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Retna Devi | رتنا ديفي

Research Assistant

Retna Devi holds a BA in History from National University of Singapore. Her research interests include gender relations and the cultural history of the Middle East.


Administration Staff

Helen Yeo-Lee Chiew Guat | هلن يو

Assistant to Director


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Norizan Selamat | نوريزن سلامت

Associate Director



Sharifah Noor Huda Aljunied | الشريفة نور الهدى الجنيد

Senior Events Executive



Zubaidah Abdul Jalil | زبيدة عبد الجليل

Executive (Events and Publicity)



Rozita Bte Ahmad | روزيتا أحمد

Management Assistant Officer


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Sutini Bte Suratman | سوتيني سورتمن

Management Assistant Officer


Rommel Hernando | رمل هرناندو

IT Specialist Associate





Danielle Sim |دانيال سم

Casual Management Support Staff


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Edison Yap | إديسون ياب

Casual Management Support Staff