Meet the team!

Maha Shuayb has been the director of the Centre for Lebanese Studies since 2012. Prior to that she was a Senior Fellow at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Maha has a PhD in education from the University of Cambridge. Maha’s research focuses on the sociology and politics of education particularly equity and equality in education and the implications of the politicization of education on marginalized groups. Over the past five years, Maha has been occupied with the education response to the Syrian Refugee crisis in Lebanon.

Bill Merrifield completed his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from George Fox University. He holds an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the American University of Beirut and an MA in Religious Studies from Trinity International University. Merrifield’s research interests focus on the role of social, cultural, political, and linguistic contexts in the development of critical thinking.

Cyrine Saab has a BS in Pure Mathematics from Haigazian University. She also earned a Teaching Diploma and an MA in Educational Psychology, School Guidance and Counselling from the American University of Beirut. She has worked as an elementary, middle and high school teacher in different schools in Beirut and as a researcher at the Department of Education at the American University of Beirut. She is passionate about topics related to motivation, guidance, and finding purpose in learning.

Hamza Saleh holds a BA in English Language and Its Literature and a MA in Education from the Lebanese American University. Hamza has nine years of experience as an English language teacher. His passion for education is what inspired him to become a researcher in the field.

Oroub El Abed is the principal investigator on the Jordan team. She has a PhD in Political economy of Development Studies from SOAS. Her research work has been focused on refugees and vulnerable communities in the Middle East. She has taught several courses on development, livelihoods and forced Migration issues at AUC/Egypt, SOAS/London and CIEE/Amman. She has consulted for several UN and international NGOs and written in the area of development (education and employment) and forced migration in the Middle East.

Dina Batshon is a field researcher in the Jordan team. She is a practitioner focusing on education, refugees and migrants, and youth and community development. She has an MA in Education and International Development from the Institute of Education at University College London. She has experience working with local NGOs and CBOs in Jordan, as well as conducting multiple consultancies, project management, and research work with INGOs and universities.

Israa Sadder is a field researcher with the Jordan team. She has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Jordan. She has volunteered and worked with local and international NGOs in Jordan working on education for Syrian refugees. She has also worked on several research projects with refugees in urban areas.

Nasr Qandeel has a PhD in Statistics.  He is in charge of the quantitative methodology for Jordan and the sampling in the district of Amman.

Cathrine Brun is Director of the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University. She has worked for 20 years on forced migration as a result of conflict and disasters. Currently she is working particularly on humanitarianism in protracted displacement and chronic crises. As a human geographer, she is interested in how, in chronic crises and displacement, the relationships between people and places change due to displacement. Her work often emphasises how people who experience crises deal with adversity – especially how they strategise and manoeuvre in the course of encounters with institutions and regimes.

Hala Abou Zaki has several years of experience in studying conflicts, forced migration and refugee camps in the Middle East. She got a PhD in Social Anthropology and Ethnology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in France. Her doctoral research focused on the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp in the southern suburb of Beirut, in Lebanon. In parallel, she worked on the entry and dwelling of refugees from Syria in Palestinian camps in Lebanon after 2011. In 2018, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies in Beirut during which she developed her work on Palestinian families’ dispersal in conflicts context.

Zoe Jordan is completing her PhD at CENDEP, and holds an MSc in Public Policy and Human Development (UNU-MERIT/Maastricht). Her research focuses on forced migration and humanitarianism, particularly humanitarian practice in protracted contexts and urban environments, refugees’ and other forced migrants’ strategies in relation to changing humanitarian and government policy and practice, and the response of humanitarian actors to mixed migrations in terms of refugee status, nationality, and gender. She has experience working with NGOs on humanitarian response to urban displacement, working on livelihoods, shelter and community-based responses to displacement.

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