ARI announces new 2021 non-resident fellows! – Arab reform initiative

As part of our continued commitment to encourage and support researchers in the region, we are delighted to announce our new cohort of non-resident fellows for 2021.

Our 2021 fellows come from Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen and Libya and have expertise in a wide range of topics including environmental governance, social movements, political economy and the gender equality. The fellows will each have their own research project while contributing to our wider efforts to inform and animate debates about our region.

The non-resident ARI 2021 scholarship holders are:

Reem Awny Abuzaid has an interdisciplinary university education; she holds a master’s degree in sociology from the LSE, a master’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in international and comparative law from the AUC. His previous studies focused on social movement, legal and societal issues and, in particular, the application of strategic litigation as a political tool in the Egyptian context.

At ARI, she will work on: Feminist Legal Activism in Post-2011 Egypt: Advancing Women’s Rights in Restrictive Environments


Sana Benballi is professor of sociology at Hassan II University in Casablanca, Morocco. She is a research fellow at the Research Laboratory on Socio-Anthropological Differences and Social Identities (LADSIS). Her doctoral thesis focuses on the feminization of service jobs and women’s access to the male space of cafes in the city of Casablanca. She also conducts gender studies and has a long history of working on disabilities.

At ARI, she will work on: The presence and absence or invisibility of women in certain forms of social, political and economic mobilization.


Mohamed Gad is an economic journalist and has worked with newspapers such as Masrawy, Al-Shorouk, Al-Shark Al-Awsat and Zawya Arabic. He also supervised the research unit of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights. He has written policy analysis for the Middle East Institute and articles for Jadaliya and the Egyptian Personal Rights Initiative (EIPR). Mohamed is also a regular contributor to the media Mada Masr.

At ARI, he will work on: hospital infrastructures in Egypt


Omar al-Jaffal is an Iraqi poet and journalist. He worked as a researcher on several projects on Iraq as part of the Conflict Research Program (CRP) at the London School of Economics (LSE). He also works as a journalist for several Arab and foreign media. He received the Mostafa al-Hosseiny Prize in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Arab Youth Journalism Prize in the same year.

At ARI he will work on: The “ Tishreen ” parties in Iraq: obstacles to arms, funding, organization and membership Study of new parties that have emerged following the 2019 protests in Iraq


Asma Khalifa is a Libyan activist and researcher who has been working on human rights, women’s rights and youth empowerment since 2011. Since 2014, she has focused on peacebuilding in Libya. Her work in Libya includes improving women’s participation in local government and addressing gender-based violence. In 2015, she co-founded Tamazight Women Movement, a think tank / action group that aims to research and defend women’s rights in Libya and North Africa.

At ARI, she will work on: Young people in Libya


Hisham Nagi is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Environmental Sciences at the Faculty of Petroleum and Natural Resources, University of Sana’a. He is also a member of the Yemeni Observatory for Human Rights (YOHR) and acts as a consultant for several organizations, focusing on environmental studies, coastal and marine environments, coastal zone management, ESIA and environmental management.

At ARI, he will work on: An assessment of current environmental policies and laws in Yemen


Dris Nouri is a researcher and lecturer in sociology at the University of Lamine Dabbaghine (Sétif / Algeria), member of the Arab Council for Social Sciences (Beirut), and researcher at the laboratory of contemporary Algerian society. He is interested in the study of the transformations of Algerian society in particular and the impact of the rentier economy on the democratization process in the Arab region in general. He wrote his doctoral thesis on: “Rentier practices, political patronage and the problematic of civil society in contemporary Algeria” (2016).

At the ARI, he will work on: Civil society in power and the Algerian Hirak – Containment and submission mechanisms


Our Non-Resident Fellowship operates on a 12-month basis and provides fellows the opportunity to conduct new research while engaging in political debates and processes.

The Arab Reform Initiative remains more committed than ever to our goal of fostering and supporting an ecosystem of researchers from the region working on a national agenda for democratic change, social justice and gender equality. In 2021, we expanded our teams in Beirut and Tunis and launched our environmental policy program and the SAWT (Supporting Arab Women at the Table) project.

To contact our fellows, or if you have any questions, please send an email: [email protected]

The views represented in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arab Reform Initiative, its staff, or its board of directors.

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