Charlotte Elisabeth Aakerman is a Research Assistant for the Danish component of the project. She is a Master’s student in Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. She obtained her BSc in Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen in 2014, which included a study exchange at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She conducted fieldwork at a private Danish high school primarily for Turkish students in 2012, while focusing on the meaning of religion and ethnicity as part of community-creation for minorities. Her Bachelor thesis concerned American gun enthusiasts and the gun as a key symbol, with further focus on the concepts of fear and freedom.
Muhamad Ali Akhdier is Research Assistant for the UK component of the project. He is studying for a PhD in Translation in the School of Modern Languages at the University of St Andrews. He obtained his BA in English Language and Literature and Diploma of Linguistics from Aleppo University, Syria, before coming to the UK to complete a MSc in Translating and Conference Interpreting at Heriot Watt University. His main field of research is Translation Theories and techniques. His main responsibility is Arabic-English translation for the entire project.
Quinn Coffey is a Research Assistant for the UK component of the project. He is currently a PhD candidate in the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews. He received his Master’s degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in 2011. Quinn’s research focuses on the interplay of identity, religion and politics within the Palestinian Christian communities, in light of the stagnant peace process and current shape of the Palestinian Authority. His research also deals more broadly with theories of nationalism, minorities in the Middle East, the role of education in nation building, minority political participation and the nationalism of stateless groups. Quinn’s previous research projects have focused on the role of education in national identity formation within Middle Eastern states.
Lise Paulsen Galal is Principal Investigator for the Danish component of the project. She is an Associate Professor in Cultural Encounters in the Department of Culture and Identity at Roskilde University in Denmark. She researches on Coptic communities and Christian-Muslim relations (in Egypt and Denmark), migration and transnationality, and religious minorities. Her work is cross-disciplinary, drawing on perspectives from anthropology, religious studies, cultural studies and sociological approaches to migration studies.
Alistair Hunter was the postdoc for the UK component of the project. He is now a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, within the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies subject area. Alistair’s research background combines migration studies with a geographic focus on the Middle East and North Africa. His previous projects have focused on a broad range of migration issues, including the transnational mobility of older Moroccan and Senegalese migrant workers, younger migrants’ access to healthcare in Scotland, and the relationship between policymakers and researchers in the area of migrant integration policy in Europe.
Anne Rosenlund Jørgensen has an internship as a research assistant at the Danish component of the project. She is studying for a Master’s in Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. She studied for two semesters towards a Master’s of Cross-Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen before changing to her present course. She obtained her BA in Arabic and International Business Communication in 2012, which included a study abroad for two semesters in Cairo where she was able to experience the beginning and impact of the Arab Spring in Egypt first-hand. Her BA thesis focused on South Sudanese women refugees in Cairo. Her research interests are on issues relating to minorities, diaspora, integration and migration within a Middle Eastern framework.
Danielle Barsoum Malki is Research Assistant for the Swedish component of the project. She is a Masters student in Human Rights at the University of Uppsala and the Stockholm School of Theology. She took her Bachelor of Social Science with a major in Development Studies at the University of Uppsala. She conducted a 7 months internship at the French Embassy in Damascus, Syria, in 2010 and she manages humanitarian projects in the Middle-East, more specifically Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon, since 2008 for the account of the Swedish aid organisation Assyrians Without Borders.
Fiona McCallum is Project Leader and Principal Investigator for the UK component of the project. She is a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Her research focuses primarily on the political role of Christian communities in the contemporary Middle East. This includes government integration policies towards Christian communities, identity issues, Christian political participation in the region, Muslim-Christian relations, religious leadership and diaspora.
Nora Neaman is research assistant at the Danish component of the project. She holds a Master’s degree in Middle East Studies from University of Southern Denmark and has previously worked with Christian Arabs in Denmark, specifically in her thesis on second-generation Christian Arab’s identification and belonging in Denmark. During an internship at The Danish National Centre for Research, she has also worked with parallel justices of law, mainly focusing on Islamic marriages. Her research interests are identity, religion, and ethnic minorities.
Alexander Colin Parmee is a Research Assistant for the Polish component of the project. He is a Master’s student in International Relations specialising in modern diplomacy at the University of Warsaw. He obtained his BSc in International Relations at the University of Lodz in 2013. His Bachelor thesis focused on Margaret Thatcher’s foreign policy. He is currently the President of the Student Association of Polish Foreign Service and a member of The Polish Forum of Young Diplomats.
Dorota Scislewska is a Research Assistant for the Polish component of the project. She is a PhD candidate in the Department of Middle East and North Africa at the University of Lodz, Poland. Her area of interest includes the foreign policy of the Gulf Cooperation Council states, as well as the relations between the Muslim world and the West, and cultural and pop-cultural codes shaping the perception of Islam and its worshippers. She also focuses on the issue of gender and women’s emancipation movements in Eastern societies. She has completed an internship in the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Doha, Qatar.
Sara Lei Sparre is postdoc at the Danish component of the project. She is an Assistant Professor in Cultural Encounters at the Department of Culture and Identity at Roskilde University in Denmark. Her research focuses on individual and collective processes of identity formation in relation to religion, age, civic engagement and citizenship in Egypt, Syria and Denmark, drawing on sociological and anthropological perspectives on religion, religiosity and activism; practice, ideology and subject formation; and youth, age and generation.
Magdy Aziz Tobia is a research assistant for the UK component of the project. He is studying for a Master’s degree in security studies at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He also holds a degree in Anthropology from Cairo University. His regional expertise is the Middle East and Central Asia. His research focuses on the role of religion in politics and Christians in the Middle East.
Marta Wozniak is Principal Investigator for the Swedish component of the project. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle East and North Africa at the University of Lodz in Poland. Her main research areas are religious and ethnic minorities of the Middle East; Christian-Muslim relations; problems of diasporas, identities, gender and globalization; Arabic culture (literature, new media); domestic and foreign policy of Middle Eastern countries, especially Egypt and Syria.
Non-Academic Associated Partner
The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) is the ecumenical agency on migration and integration, asylum and refugees, and against racism and discrimination in Europe. Members are Anglican, Orthodox and Protestant Churches and Councils of Churches as well as church-related agencies in presently 18 European countries. CCME cooperates with the Conference of European Churches and the World Council of Churches and its headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium.
Dr Anthony O’Mahony, Heythrop College, London
Prof Annika Rabo, Stockholm University
Dr Frederic Volpi, University of St Andrews
Prof Margit Warburg, Copenhagen University