I am a social anthropologist with regional expertise in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with a focus on Egypt. I grew up in San Francisco, lived 17 years in Cairo, seven years in the Netherlands, and six years in Illinois. My research deals with questions around cultures and communities of learning, critical democracy, global generations and citizenship, critical ethnography, the history of ideas, and youth learning and political participation in the digital age. I teach in online and on-campus programs. My work in education is motivated by the idea of praxis, of the relationship between ideas and action. Education at is best provides the environment, ethics, and intellectual and social tools for understanding, observing and intervening in the world. I believe in, and will continue to explore, the power of ideas and the value of building learning communities to shape our lives and societies for the better.
MAIN ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (2011-present)
Professor, Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership
Director, Global Studies in Education program; Affiliate, Center for South Asia and Middle East Studies, Center for Global Studies, Center for African Studies, European Union Center.
International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam (2005-2010)
Senior Lecturer, International Development Studies; Convenor, Children and Youth Studies MA Specialization (CYS).
PhD Columbia University in Comparative and International Education
MA The American University in Cairo in Anthropology/Sociology
BA University of California at Berkeley in Middle East Studies
OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2018-2021 Member Advisory Board, “Skills and Integration of Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Applicants in European Labour Markets.” Funded by European Commission, Horizon 2020-Research and Innovation Framework Program. Coordinated by Glasgow Caledonian University.
2013-2017 Member Advisory Board, “Power2Youth.” Funded by the European Commission, CORDIS, coordinated by Istituto Affari Internazionali, University of Rome.
2010-Present Consulting Editor, International Review of Education
2011-2013 Co-editor, Jadaliyya, On Media and Reporting Page
2009 Consultant, UNICEF Cairo- Assisted in developing a Tempus proposal for a post-graduate diploma on Public Policy and Child Rights
2008-2010 Member, International Board of Editors, Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies (MJES)
2008-2010 Member, International Board of Editors, Malta Review of Educational Research
2008-2009 Member of Academic Committee Research programme, “Enhancement of Knowledge and Dialogue with the Islamic/Arab World” of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM), Commissioned by Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
2007 Advisory role: Save the Children UK, UNICEF and UNESCO initiative to promote qualitative research for educational reform in the Arab states.
2006 Member of the Advisory board of the International Dialogues Foundation– Youth and Metropolis conference, The Hague.
2004-2005 Visiting Research Fellow, Leiden University, Department of Languages and Cultures of the Middle East
2003 Member, International Academic Scientific Board of the Mid-Term Conference of the Research Committee, Sociology of Education, International Sociological Association.
2001-2003 Member of Board of Editors, Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies
2002 Research Fellow, School of Education, University of California at Berkeley
2001-2003 Research Fellow, Gender and Women’s Studies, American University in Cairo
2000-2001 Senior Associate Member, St. Antony’s College, Centre for Middle East Studies, University of Oxford