​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 Date: January 2017
Collaborations: University of Bristol, Kingston University, 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 Title: Transcultural Identities: Solidaristic Action and Contemporary Arab Social Movements 
Lead Principal Investigator: Eid Mohamed 
Project Start Date: October 2016

Collaborations: Columbia University, University of Oklahoma , 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: March 2018
Collaborations: University of Quebec in Montreal (Canada), KU Leuven (Belgium), Columbia University (USA), University of Waterloo (Canada) 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 Title: Role of the Public Sector in Empowering Women in Qatar and the Arab Gulf Countries
Lead Principal Investigator:  Rabia Naguib 
Project Start Date: March 2018
Collaborations: University of Connecticut (USA) 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.  


​Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) - OSRA 

Project Title: Parenting, Social preferences and Forward-looking Behavior in Arab Societies – An Experimental Study 
Lead Principal Investigator: Yousef Daoud  
Project Start Date: January 2017

Collaborations: Kings College London 

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: January 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.



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

Project Title: From Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park: the Arab Spring and the De-centering of American Studies
Lead Principal Investigator: Eid Mohamed 
Project Start Date: October 2017

Collaborations: George 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.