Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) - National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) 

Project Title: School Experience, Educational Aspirations and Scholastic Achievement 

Lead Principal Investigator: Nabil Khattab 
Project Start DateJanuary 2017

Collaborations: University of Bristol, Kingston University and Qatar University 

This 3-year study will employ a longitudinal and comparative approach to study the relationship between school experiences, students’ aspirations and educational achievement in Qatar. The study will investigate the development of aspirations over time and their relationship to school experience on the one hand and students’ educational performance on the other hand. Moreover, the study will examine the impact of family backgrounds, parents expectations and involvement, out-of-school and ex-curricular activities on the way students develop their aspirations and their future orientations including career aspirations and beyond. The study will utilize the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) and the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) for comparison purposes and in order to provide a broad context for the study of aspirations and achievement. The study will inform educationalists, policy makers, families and schools of suitable interventions to improve school achievement amongst students in Qatar. 

Project TitleTranscultural Identities: Solidaristic Action and Contemporary Arab Social Movements 

Lead Principal Investigator: Eid Mohamed 
Project Start DateOctober 2016

Collaborations: Columbia University, University of Oklahoma and Jordan University 

The central research questions for this project are: How do new media, film and literary or artistic forms of expression inform and echo currents of transformation in the Arab world? Moreover, how do such forms theorize “transcultural identity” as a form of citizen engagement at the center of transformation politics in the Arab world? This 3-year project presents a unique attempt to investigate these forms of cultural productions as new modes of knowledge that shed light on the nature of social movements with the aim of expanding the critical reach of the disciplinary methods of political discourse and social theory. The project will seek to articulate systemically the ways in which the Arab scene can contribute to the understanding of the rise of new social movements worldwide by exploring the methodological gaps in the dominant Western discourse and theories. As theorists such as Alain Badiou, Judith Butler, Jacques Rancière and Slavoj Žižek have confirmed, such methodological gaps became very clear in the failure to understand the irreducible heterogeneity of the crowds, the subsequent transformations in the public sphere and the modes of social mobilization. The research employs multi-methods including narrative interviews, participant observations, archival work and content analysis (including text and visual materials). 

For more information, please visit the project's website.

Project Title: Computational Study of Culture: Cultural Analytics for Arab-Muslim Modern Socio-historical Moment 

Lead Principal Investigator: Eid Mohamed   

Project Start Date: April 2018

Collaborations: KU Leuven, University of Wolverhampton , University of Waterloo and Qatar Museums

The overall vision of this project is to harness state-of-the-art Cultural Analytics approaches and technologies to make pioneering analytical forays into the vast corpus of machine-readable Arabic texts that has become available in the last two decades. It also aims to digitize and annotate a set of early Arabic media material from the late 19th century until the present. The project has the potential to be beneficial for Qatar as well as for Arab countries interested in examining cultural, social and historical trends and movements. 

Project TitleLocalizing Entrepreneurship Education in Qatar: QNV 2030 and Beyond

Principal InvestigatorRabia Naguib 

Project Start Date: June 2018

Submitting Institution: Hamad Bin Khalifah University (HBKU)

This project will develop and deliver a local entrepreneurship platform, based on local needs, strengths and traditions, to train and grow start-up entrepreneurs in Qatar. The project will harness the financial and in-kind resources of its partners to build supportive environments and capacity building tools to nurture and challenge entrepreneurship. It will explore the modalities, scope and gaps of entrepreneurship education within the Qatari ecosystem. It also aims to incorporate local social, moral, traditional, cultural and sustainability aspects of entrepreneurship in growing the next generation of entrepreneurs. The growing interest in entrepreneurship and its impact will be analyzed in a locally sensitive and informed manner by highlighting the characteristics of entrepreneurial qualities and formations that work best in the Qatari and the Gulf context. By studying these qualities, we will be able to offer localized versions of entrepreneurship education that are provided in tandem with traditional/conventional ways, to help stakeholders deepen their cooperation and create a true eco-system of training and learning institutions, break new ground in linking private entrepreneurship to public purpose, and provide a unique and innovative model for the GCC region.

Project TitleRole of the Public Sector in Empowering Women in Qatar and the Arab Gulf Countries

Lead Principal InvestigatorRabia Naguib 

Project Start DateAugust 2018

CollaborationsUniversity of Connecticut  and Qatar Ministry of Administrative Development Labor and Social Affairs

The empowerment of Qatari women is listed under Qatar's National Vision 2030 and the public sector is by far their largest employer. This project will take stock of the status of women in the Qatari public service to consider the extent of women’s representation in different ministries, different occupations, and different levels of employment. A detailed empirical study on the effectiveness of human resources policies in the public sector on women's career progression in Qatar will also be conducted. The scope of the research will also be expanded to include a comparative study with neighboring countries. The project will aim to provide policy makers with insightful information and recommendations on how to further the empowerment of women in line with national goals and to assist with realizing the full potential of their human capital.   

Project TitleQatari Social Attitudes and Well-Being: A Longitudinal Survey

Lead Principal Investigator: Diala Hawi 

Project Start DateJune 2019

CollaborationsSidra Medicine, University of Canterbury, Hamad Medical Corporation and Al Quds University

For decades, social scientific work has been compartmentalized and segregated, whereby knowledge in one area fails to reach practitioners and experts in other areas. There have been however recent calls for a more comprehensive and integrative understanding of human experience, stemming from a growing appreciation of the interconnectedness of various and perhaps seemingly unrelated processes. For example, research on social identity, intergroup relations, and group disparities have been linked to psychological stress, mental and physical health, as well as access to healthcare. Personality factors have been linked to mental health, interpersonal relations, national identity, prejudice, and even pro-environmental behavior. Beliefs in social structures and hierarchy are also related to personality, social identity, intergroup experiences, and environmental behavior. To test these relations rigorously, this project proposes a longitudinal nationally representative survey that will collect and track self- reported data on subjective well-being, social relations, attitudes, values, and personality traits among Qatari nationals and residents. This study will target people from various ages and ethnic to track how and when changes occur over their life span. The study will leverage multidisciplinary expertise to develop an inclusive model situated within specific socio-cultural contexts for explaining human experiences and to develop evidence-based recommendations for practical interventions that enhance individual and social welfare in Qatar. Through this project, we expect to learn how psychology manifests itself in Qatar. We will go beyond mere descriptions and prevalence reports, by focusing on the nature and predictors of psychological issues, social attitudes and behavior. The first longitudinal study of this scope in the Arab world will provide novel insight into aspects of human attitudes, values, and beliefs that will inform practitioners and policy makers in Qatar, thus enabling more efficient deployment of resources and the honing of operational and strategic priorities.

Project TitleThe challenges to national identity in the context of the blockade crisis among the Qatari youth 

Lead Principal InvestigatorAzzam Amin 

Project Start DateJune 2019

CollaborationsQatar University, Ministry of Culture and Sports (Qatar) and Youth Hobbies Center (Qatar)

The Gulf region witnessed serious political and social transformations caused by the Gulf crisis, after imposing a blockade on Qatar since the fifth of June 2017. The blockade was enforced by three Gulf States (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates) and Egypt. The scholarly literature holds that in contexts of conflict and struggle, national projects of belonging can be either strengthened or weakened (Coser 1956). Our research hypothesis here is that the blockade of Qatar has consolidated the sense of Qatari national identity and belonging and resulted in a strong form of social solidarity. The central point of the project is to understand the ways in which the perceived threat represented by the blockade and the shared social representations about the blockade of Qatar affect the collective self-esteem and national attachment, and how these effects transform the focus of the concept of identity on the personal, familial, tribal, social, and collective levels. It also examines these changes on the psychological, social, and linguistic levels as well as its evolution over time. The project has the following set of objectives: 1. Assess the effects of the Gulf crisis on the national identity of Qatari youth. 2. Identify the scale of the transformations effected by the blockade and how they are reflected in the socio-political system of values of the Qatari youth. 3. Inspect the ways in which social solidarity is symbolically manifested in the observed social space. 4. Characterize the reactions, feelings and attitudes of Qatari youth towards the blockade crisis. We aim to answer the following research questions: 1. How do Qatari youth perceive the blockade crisis? 2. What are the attitudes of the Qatari youth towards Gulf identity, Arab identity and Qatari national identity? 3. How can the educational process play an important and effective role in developing constructive attitudes in the Qatari national identity? We hope to influence the cultural and educational policies through the above-sketched outcomes and output. More concretely, we intend to contribute to the shaping of the formal cultural policy of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to foster an education system oriented towards the promotion of national identity and citizen responsibilities. This social project of belonging, whether to the nation (as in the case of the Qatari citizens) or to the state (as in the case of the residents and the Qataris) is promoted through a complex of social norms and ethics, and one of the aims of this project to inspect this normative system as it is related to the question of Qatari national identity in the context of the blockade.

Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) - OSRA 

Project Title: Parenting, Social preferences and Forward-looking Behavior in Arab Societies – An Experimental Study 

Lead Principal InvestigatorYousef Daoud  
Project Start DateJanuary 2017

Collaborations: Kings College London and University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Children’s social preferences (such as their ability to cooperate, solving social dilemmas and reciprocate others) and forward-looking behavior (such as their aspirations, expectations about the future and their ability to make trade-offs over time) are key determinants of their investments in education, career-enhancing choices, entrepreneurial activities, which eventually drive economic and social development. Yet, there is very little evidence on how these preferences form and are influenced by parental practices and by severe life experiences, such as conflict. This project empirically analyses the inter-generational transmission of social preferences and forward-looking behavior from parents to children, the mechanisms of this transmission, how children and parents preferences are influenced by conflict experience and how these preferences help explain economic choices, such as children schooling decisions. It uses field experiments and primary survey data from the West Bank region of Palestine, a country that offers a unique ‘natural experiment’ to study the causal impact of conflict on parents and children preferences. Using a mix of state-of-the-art experimental games and survey questionnaires on expectations, aspirations and parental practices in pairs of parents and children, the project develops a novel dataset to fill significant gaps in the current literature and it contributes to inform family and educational policies in the Arab region. 

Project Title: Unfamiliar Families: Syrian Refugees’ Transnational Solidarity and Kinship Networks

Lead Principal Investigator: Sophie Richter-Devroe 

Project Start Date: March 2018

Collaborations: American University of Beirut 

The Syrian war and ongoing migration crisis have brought about profound transformations to the family, a core social, political and economic institution in the Arab world. Syrian families have been fragmented, destroyed, dispersed and rebuilt in different - sometimes unfamiliar - ways. In this project, the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on the family and family-making practices is studied. The researchers trace Syrian refugees' solidarity and kinship networks in and beyond Greece and Italy, and ask how policy-making and development practice might benefit from a better understanding of the structures and strategies of the transnational refugee family.

Project Title: Family Characteristics, Parenting Styles, and Youth Mental Health in Qatar 

Lead Principal Investigator: Livia Gilstrap  

Project Start Date: October 2019

Collaborations: Sidra Medicine  

Through their lifelong disabling influence, mental health issues and especially those of youth, have devastating effects on families and measurable impact on entire societies and economies. Despite these impacts and the centrality of childhood in mental health models, child and youth mental health is underrepresented in research, and particularly underrepresented in research conducted in Arab countries. Psychiatric assessment tools and prevalence estimates of child and adolescent mental health have been developed mostly in Western societies and there is evidence to suggest a potential misfit between international models of mental health derived from this research and their application to Arab families. Through measuring youth mental health, family characteristics and parenting styles in representative samples, the project aims to  achieve the following; a) Examine the empirical relationship between family characteristics, parenting styles and youth mental health in Qatar in clinical and community contexts; b) Collect and disseminate to the research world and regional and international stakeholders of critical psychiatric data on youth in Qatar; c) To support future research efforts within Qatar and the Arab region by testing and validating Arabic versions of international youth mental health and parenting scales. It is expected that the results of this research will help policy makers and practitioners in making evidence-based policy and practice decisions that are relevant to the Arab world and will provide models, scales and data that are valid in this region. 

Project TitleDelivering Multiple Perspectives: First-time Fathers’ Involvement in Pregnancy & Childbirth in Qatar

Lead Principal InvestigatorMahasin Saleh

Project Start DateJune 2021

CollaborationsHoward University   

This study will explore and describe first-time fathers’ involvement in pregnancy and childbirth in Qatar in order to increase knowledge about their lived experience during this period, their support to and influence upon their wives and the unborn child, and to provide foundations for future research in this understudied area. Utilizing a multi-perspective approach, five groups of study participants will be recruited, including a) Qatari first-time fathers; b) a comparison group of Arab first-time fathers; c) an unrelated group of Qatari first-time mothers; d) an unrelated group Arab first-time mothers; and e) Maternal Health Professionals such as OBGYN’s and nurses. The research findings will provide substantial insights from various perspectives about men’s involvement during pregnancy and childbirth in Qatar. It will also advance understanding of Qatari and other Arab men’s identity and their roles in the transition to parenthood. This could have important implications because international research has shown that men can contribute to the prevention of maternal and infant mortality and support other positive health and mental health outcomes for women and children (WHO, 2007). The findings will also include recommendations to inform a) State policies such as maternity and paternity leave; b) further implementation of the Qatar National Health Strategy 2018-2022 which includes a priority population focus of “Healthy Women Leading to Healthy Pregnancies”; and c) the additional design and delivery of culturally appropriate and family centered maternal and child health services along with other new and existing community services.

Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) - Conference and Workshop Sponsorship Program (CWSP)

Project TitleFrom Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park: the Arab Spring and the De-centering of American Studies

Lead Principal Investigator: Eid Mohamed 
Project Start DateOctober 2017

CollaborationsGeorge Washington University 

This conference grounded in the Arab world will help internationalize the study of America to enable critical consideration of where and what is America – particularly in relation to the Arab uprisings and developments in the global map of power. It aims to turn the field of American Studies upside down and consider what might be gained from global analysis, beginning from spaces of rebellion, exposed by the Arab Spring and sites like Tahrir Square and Zuccotti Park. Bringing together leading scholars from around the world who work in American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies or closely related fields, the conference assays a truly global ambit of analysis to acknowledge the interconnectedness of global developments and provide the means to extend and deepen critique of the myth of American exceptionalism.

For more information, please visit the project's website.

Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) - Rapid Response Call (RRC) Covid-19: Lessons Learned and Road to Recovery

Project TitleAnxiety and Coping in HMC and PHCC Frontline Health Care Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lead Principal Investigator: Amber Haque

Project Start DateMay 2020

CollaborationsHamad Medical Corporation

This research aims to explore the effects of coronavirus pandemic on frontline healthcare workers who are at a greater risk of contracting the infection than the general public. The study compares the level of anxieties and coping between frontline workers and other health care professionals at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and within the front liners. The study also explores differences between the doctors, nurses, volunteers, etc. and the effects of variables like gender, age, education, and years of experience in health care settings on anxiety and coping. The data and statistics obtained will be scientific evidence for the nature and levels of anxieties and coping skills among workers that will enable us to develop more well-informed research and treatment plans in the future.