Pascal Buresi is Research Professor (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CIHAM-UMR 5648, Lyon) and Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris). A historian specialist of the medieval Islamic West, Buresi was first interested in the border between Christianity and Islam in the Iberian Peninsula in the Middle Ages, then turned to the study of the Maghreb in the Almohad period (11th-13th century). In 2005, he published Géo-histoire de l’Islam  (Geo-history of Islam), reprinted in 2018, Governing the Empire, with Hicham El Aallaoui (Brill, 2013), Histoire du Maghreb médiéval (Xe-XVe siècle) (History of Medieval Maghreb, Xth-XVth c.), with Mehdi Ghouirgate (Armand Colin, 2013). In 2018, he edited Histoire des pays d’Islam: de la conquête de Constantinople à l’âge des révolutions, Armand Colin, Paris, 2018 (History of the Islamic countries: from the conquest of Constantinople to the age of revolutions). He was Principal Investigator of the ERC StG 263361 IGAMWI, Imperial Government and Authority in Medieval Western Islam (2010-2016), and of ANR-MRSEI, Les études islamiques à l’âge du numérique (Islamic studies in the digital age). 

He is  leader of Work Package 6 (Management), 9 (Open Research Data) and 10 (Ethics Requirements). 




Project Manager of the ITN-MIDA and PhD Candidate in Social and Political Sciences of the Middle East at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Her research focuses on the war of narratives during the Syrian conflict, analysing the different processes of contextualisation, categorisation and objectivation of user generated contents as well as images in international mainstream press. With an academic background on Middle East Studies (Arabic Philology) and Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, she has worked for several media (Afkar/Idées; Arablit; Radio24) and institutions such as the “Università di Roma La Sapienza”, the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) in Barcelona, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Since 2016 she has been assisting professors and researchers in setting up and monitoring European projects (ERC, ITN - Horizon 2020 / Cost Action). She currently works in Paris for the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the Institut d’études de l’Islam et des sociétés du monde musulman (IISMM-UMS 2000).




Dr. habil. Pénélope Larzillière is a social scientist, senior research fellow at the Institute for Research on Development (Centre Population and Development - Université Paris Descartes/IRD). Her research focuses thematically on political commitment and activism, including extreme forms, and the circulation of narratives and ideologies. She also works on artistic engagement and protest art, and currently leads the research program Art global? Circulations et engagements artistiques at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. She has carried out extensive field research in the Middle East (Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Lebanon), and has been associate fellow at the French Institute of the Near East (IFPO Amman) and visiting fellow at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Her books include Activism in Jordan (Zed Books, 2016) and To Be Young in Palestine (Balland, 2004). She has also co-edited the journal issues Révolutions, contestations, indignations (Socio, 2013), and Faut-il désoccidentaliser l’humanitaire (Humanitaire, 2010). Her work has appeared in International Review of Sociology, International Journal of Conflict and Violence, Development Policy Review and Science, Technology & Society, amongst others. She sits on the steering committee of the Institut d’études de l’Islam et des sociétés du monde musulman (IISMM-UMS 2000), the editorial board of the review Socio and the editorial council of Monde commun.




Coordination team

Work Package Leaders

Dr. Petra de Bruijn obtained her PhD at Leiden University (1997) and she works at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) for the department of Middle Eastern Studies. She combines in her scholarly work research in the field of modern Turkish prose literature with research in the field of performing arts, especially modern Turkish theatre and Turkish film and television drama. Her current research concentrates primarily on the use of Islamic and nationalistic politics in Turkish television series. She combines her scholarly work with a position as executive secretary of Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society LUCIS). From 2010 to 2018 she has been involved in the Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies (NISIS) as executive secretary and from 2015-2018 as director ad interim. She has published on topics as diverse as the plays and novels of the Turkish author Adalet Ağaoğlu, the use of miniature painting as a post-modern technique in My name is red by Orhan Pamuk, the depiction of Islam in Turkish cinema and the use of politics in the television series of the Gülen Movement. In addition, she regularly contributes to the Encyclopaedia of Islam III, published by Brill. Moreover, she writes on topical issues for the Leiden Islam Blog and


Coordinator of WP 2 / Languages and translations


Maribel Fierro studied at the University Complutense of Madrid and at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Today she is Research Professor at the Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean (CSIC – Spain). Her research deals with the political, religious and intellectual history of al-Andalus and the Islamic West, Islamic law, the construction of orthodoxy and the persecution of heresies, and violence and its representation in Medieval Arabic sources. Although she concentrates on the pre-modern Islamic West, her interest in the Islamic world covers other regions and different periods, as she understands better the developments in the Maghreb when learning about the rest. At the moment she is leading with M. Penelas the project ‘Local contexts and global dynamics: al-Andalus and the Maghreb in the Islamic East’ (financed by the Spanish Ministry of Education) in which they explore the intellectual impact and cultural influence of the Maghrib in the Mashriq. Since 2009, she teaches a course on Religious and political authority in Islamic societies in the Master of Contemporary Arabic and Islamic studies at the University Autónoma of Madrid.


Coordinator of WP 5 / Mobility and mobilisation beyond borders



Albrecht Fuess studied History and Islamic Studies at the University of Cologne and Cairo University. He obtained his PhD in Cologne in 2000 with a dissertation on the history of the Syro-Palestinian coast in the Mamluk era (1250-1517). In 2002, he became an Assistant Professor for Islamic Studies at the University of Erfurt. From 2007 to 2009, he stayed as Le Studium – Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Tours (France), where he worked on a project comparing the system of governance of Mamluks, Safavids, and Ottomans in the 15th and 16th centuries. Since 2010, he is a Professor of Islamic Studies at the Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS) at the Philipps-University Marburg. He specialises in the Social, Political and Economic History of the Middle East (13th-16th centuries) in a transcultural perspective and the contemporary Muslim presence in Europe, where his research interests deal mainly with the institutionalisation of Islam into European Societies and Popular Culture of young Muslims in Europe. Among his recent publications are, together with Bernard Heyberger La frontière méditerranéenne (15e – 17e s.). Échanges, circulations, et affrontements (Études Renaissantes 12, ed. by Philipp Vendrix), Turnhout, Brepols, 2014. “Islam in Europa und Amerika”, in Einführung in den Islam, hrsg. von Rainer Brunner, Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 550-574, 2016. “‘The War of First Names’. Music and Islam in France”, in Recontextualizing Resistance, hrsg. von Loubna Youssef and Emily Golson, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 312-325, 2017. Together with Stefan Rohdewald and Stephan Conermann, Transottomanica: Osteuropäisch-osmanisch-persische Mobilitätsdynamiken. Perspektiven und Forschungsstand, Göttingen, V&R Unipress, 2019.


Coordinator of WP 7 / Training


Jens Heibach is a postdoctoral research fellow at the GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies in Hamburg and a PhD graduate of Philipps-University of Marburg. His research focuses on political Islam, regime-opposition relations in authoritarian regimes, and the international relations of the Persian Gulf. From 2009 until 2015, he was a lecturer of Middle East politics at the Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies in Marburg. Prior to his academic career, he served as acting cultural attaché at the German Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, 2008–2009. In September 2017, he was awarded the dissertation prize of the German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation for his dissertation “Opposition Cooperation under Authoritarianism: The Case of the Joint Meeting Parties.”


Coordinator of WP 4 / Contested authority and knowledge production


Karin van Nieuwkerk is an anthropologist and received her PhD from the University of Amsterdam (1991). Currently, she is professor of contemporary Islam in Europe and the Middle East at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands (chair Islam studies) at the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies. She is a board member of NISIS (Netherlands Interuniversity School for the Study of Islam), and Research Director of the Faculty Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies. She directed the NWO project Islam and Performing Arts (2007-2013) and is presently engaged in the Understanding Unbelief Programme (University of Kent) with a study on Egyptian nonbelievers. Most of her work has dealt with gender, cultural politics, performing arts, and religious transformation processes -moving in and out of religion-, mainly pertaining to Islam in Europe and the Middle East. She is the author of 'A Trade like any Other’: Female Singers and Dancers in Egypt (1995) Performing Piety, Singers and Actor in Egypt’s Islamic Revival (2013) and Manhood is not Easy: Egyptian Masculinities through the Life of Sayyid Henkish (forthcoming). She is also editor of Women Embracing Islam: Gender and Conversion in the West (2006), Muslim Rap, Halal Soaps, and Revolutionary Theatre: Artistic Developments in the Muslim World (2011); and of Moving in and out of Islam (2018). She co-edited Islam and Popular Culture (2016) with Mark LeVine and Martin Stokes and Enjoying Religion (2018) with Frans Jespers and Paul van der Velde.


Coordinator of WP 1 / Narratives of the self



Umar Ryad is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Leuven and member of the Young Academy of Belgium. (2018-2023) Prior he has worked as assistant professor at the University of Leiden (2008-2014) and as associate professor at Utrecht University (2014-2017). He earned a BA in Islamic Studies in English from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, followed by an MA degree in Islamic Studies (Cum Laude) and a PhD degree, both from Leiden University. He also taught at the universities of Bern and Oslo; and was a research fellow at the University of Bonn, the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (Free University of Berlin), the Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in Berlin and the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) in Mainz. He is a board member of the Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies (NISIS). He leads a European Research Council (ERC) project which focuses on the “History of Muslims in Interwar Europe” (2014-2019). His current research also includes the dynamics of the networks of pan-Islamist movements, Arab reception of Orientalism, Muslim polemics on Christianity, and transnational Islam in the modern world.


Co-coordinator of WP 2 / Languages and translations


Thijl Sunier, professor of cultural anthropology, holds the chair of ‘Islam in European Societies’ (VU Amsterdam). He conducts a research project on Islamic authority, religious critique, leadership and knowledge production in Europe. Currently he is involved in a European (EU funded) research project ‘Mediating Islam in the Digital Age’ (MIDA). His latest English books: Transnational Turkish Islam (2015) (with Nico Landman), Palgrave Macmillan; Islam and Society, Critical Concepts in Sociology (4 edited volumes) (2018), Routledge. He has written several reports on Islam in the Netherlands commissioned by the Dutch government. He is chairman of the board of the Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies (NISIS) and executive editor of the Journal of Muslims in Europe (JOME/Brill). 


Coordinator of WP 8 / Communication, dissemination and outreach



Mercedes Volait is CNRS Research professor at InVisu, a research unit on visual and material culture in the digital age, based at INHA (Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris). 

Her education has been in architecture, Middle Eastern studies and Art history. Her research focuses on the cultural connections between Egypt and Europe in the field of 19th century architecture, with particular interest in Islamic style design, Islamicate aesthetic interiors, art collecting and topographical photography. As an associate fellow to the Victoria and Albert Museum Research Department since 2015, she currently works, with Moya Carey, on a book on 19th Century collecting of Islamic art in Egypt and Syria. She held Visiting Professorships at Leiden University in 2017 (lectures on « Thinking about things: Patterns of art consumption and trade across the Modern Mediterranean »), Cairo University in 2015 and Geneva University in 2012. She was awarded a Senior Visiting fellowship at CASVA (Washington, DC) in 2010 and a fellowship of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic architecture at Harvard University in 2009. Among her institutional responsibilities, she chaired from 2010 to 2014 the European network: “European architecture beyond Europe: Sharing Research and Knowledge on Dissemination Processes, Historical Data and Material Legacy (19th-20th centuries) (COST Action IS0904), and was nominated in 2016 at The National Committee for Scientific Research (CoNRS), section on modern and contemporary History. She has authored 5 monographs on the history of architecture and heritage in modern Egypt and edited 8 collections of essays on related topics. Her latest publications include Ahmad Zaki, L’Univers à Paris, un lettré égyptien à l’Exposition universelle de 1900 à Paris (2015), the first French translation of the account in Arabic of an Egyptian visit to the Universal exhibition of 1900 in Paris, a catalogue exhibition on topographical photography in Cairo in 1875-95 and Dialogues artistiques avec les passés de l’Égypte : une perspective transnationale et transmédiale (2017). She is the current chief editor of the multilingual peer-reviewed and full Open Access journal ABE- Architecture beyond Europe.


Coordinator of WP 3 /Images and materiality in Islam


CNRS / InVisu


Dr. Ahmet Alibašić is Deputy Dean for Academic affairs and Associate Professor in Islamic Civilisation Studies at the Faculty of Islamic Studies of the University of Sarajevo. Ahmet Alibašić is assistant professor in the Faculty of Islamic Studies at the University of Sarejevo, where he teaches Islamic culture and civilisation courses. His doctorate, completed at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Sarajevo, focused on Islamic opposition in the Arab world. He is the director of the Center for Advanced Studies, Sarajevo, a senior associate of the Democratisation Policy Council, and chairman of Gazi Husrev-bey Library. He is one of the editors of Yearbook of Muslims in Europe (2009–2013) and Journal of Muslims in Europe. From 2003 to 2007 he served as deputy president of the Association of Islamic Scholars in Bosnia and Herzegovina.




Araceli González Vázquez (PhD University of Cantabria 2010) holds a permanent research position as “Científica titular” at the CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, the Spanish research high council), and she works at the Institución Milà i Fontanals (IMF), in Barcelona. She is a Social Anthropologist and Historian, specialised in the study of religious and social practices in Morocco. She has previously worked as a Postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale (LAS) of the Collège de France, in Paris; at the Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV-EHU), in Vitoria-Gasteiz; and at the Instituto de Lenguas y Culturas del Mediterráneo y Oriente Próximo (ILC) of the CSIC, in Madrid. Her main research interests include the anthropological study of Islam, Sufism, and Gender relations in Morocco, and the study of Human-Nonhuman relations from both an anthropological and historical perspective, particularly those relations that involve humans, jnûn, and animals. She has also published on the European interest in Moroccan Arabic and Berber in Early and Late Modern Europe (16th to 18th centuries); and on the colonial and postcolonial discourses on linguistic variation within Berber in Northern Morocco (Ghomara and Senhaja de Sraïr varieties). In the last twenty years, she has done extensive fieldwork both in Jbala and Ghomara, mainly in Northern Moroccan rural and urban areas of the provinces of Chefchaouen, Ouezzane and Tetouan, and also in the North African city of Ceuta. She is the author of the book Mujeres, Islam y alteridades en el norte de Marruecos (Barcelona: Édicions Bellaterra, 2015), and she has recently been the Principal Investigator of the project ‘Ethnographies and ontographies of humans, animals, and jnûn: Towards an anthropology of alterity and interspecific relations in Morocco’ (Proyecto intramural de referencia 201710I045-CSIC, 2017-18).




Konrad Hirschler has been Professor of Islamic Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin since 2016 and was previously Professor of Middle Eastern History at SOAS (University of London). His research focuses on Egypt and Syria in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods (c. 1200-1500) with a focus on social and cultural history. Over the last years, he has primarily worked on the history of reading, of the book and of libraries in the Syrian lands. His main current project is concerned with the materiality of Arabic manuscript cultures. This includes the digital reconstruction of Damascene legal documents during the Mamluk period. Scribes regularly cut such documents into pieces to produce new manuscripts. Research on such reuse practices allows entirely new insights into legal practices and manuscript cultures. Konrad Hirschler is the author of A Monument to Medieval Syrian Book Culture – The Library of Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī (2019), Medieval Damascus: Plurality and Diversity in an Arabic Library (2016; awarded the Best Book on the Medieval Middle East Prize), The Written Word in the Medieval Arabic Lands: A Social and Cultural History of Reading Practices (2012; awarded the BRISMES Book Prize, Italian translation 2017) and Medieval Arabic Historiography: Authors as Actors (2006; awarded the Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize). Among his co-edited volumes are Alliances and Treaties between Frankish and Muslim Rulers in the Middle East (2013) and Manuscript Notes as Documentary Sources (2011).




Mayte Penelas is Tenured Scientist at the School of Arabic Studies (Escuela de Estudios Árabes, EEA). Currently she is also the director of this research institute that belongs to the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC). She has participated in six national research projects, and is currently co-director of the research project ‘Local contexts and global dynamics: al-Andalus and the Maghreb in the Islamic East’ (AMOI). She is involved in the elaboration of the PUA database (, and participates in the Brill series ‘Bibliotheca Maqriziana’ ( with the edition and translation of the chapter of al-Maqrīzī’s al-Ḫabar ʿan al-bašar devoted to the descendants of Japheth (expected to be published in late 2019). Her main lines of research are: Arabic philology, textual criticism, Arabic manuscripts, biographical literature. 




Gerard Wiegers (PhD Leiden University 1991, cum laude) is Full Professor of Comparative Religious Studies at in the Department of History, European Studies and Religious Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and a specialist in the Academic Study of Islam and the history of the Muslim West and Islam in Europe. Previously he was full professor of Religious Studies, in particular Islam, at Radboud University Nijmegen and associate professor and Research Fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and Arts (KNAW) at Leiden University. His research concentrates on the relations between Islam and other religions in Europe and the Muslim West and the history of Islamic and Jewish minorities in Europe and the Middle East. He is supervisor of eight PhD students at the Universiteit van Amsterdam and one at Radboud University Nijmegen. Gerard Wiegers held visiting research fellowships at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas in Madrid and the Centre for Religious Studies at the Ruhr University Bochum. He is a member of the editorial board of a number of books series in the field and has directed research projects funded by private and public funding organisations, most recently as Principal Investigator in the HERA funded project Encounters with the Orient in Early Modern European Scholarship (2013-2016) and as Project Leader of the NWO funded project ‘Delicate Relations. Muslims and Jews in London and Amsterdam’ (2014-present). His projects have led to publications in major peer-reviewed journals and book series.




External Tutors and co-Supervisors

Erdogan Aykaç is a curator working on the Turkey collection and with the Middle East and North Africa collections more widely at the Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen (NMVW) in The Netherlands. He worked from 2012 to 2018 as a lecturer at the department of International Relations and International Organisation of the University of Groningen and he remains affiliated to the University through his PhD research. His research interests include identity formation processes, Turkey’s relations with the EU and the Middle East, discursive practices of political elites, and the Turkish diaspora. In his PhD research he focuses on the constitution of Turkey’s identity and geopolitical role in relation to Europe and the Middle East and how Turkish political elites use Turkey’s historical and cultural legacy in these processes. Moreover, he is part of the network KINPOL Observatory on Kin-State Policies of the University of Glasgow and gives lectures and training for various organisations.




Simone Brannahl is responsible for the public relation work and the distribution of MIDA. Simone Brannahl graduated in Literature, Anglistic and German Philology at the University of Bielefeld in Nordrhein Westfalen (Germany) in 2003. Since more than 15 years Simone Brannahl works as a director for documentary films which are shown in German television and other European Countries such as France, Austria and Switzerland. In her films, she focuses on social topics, for example particularly on phenomena like poverty or everyday racism. Furthermore she is interested in interreligious and cultural dialogues. Her short documentary film about Muslim and Jewish flatmates in Berlin won the Alternative Media Award in 2016. Simone Brannahl also directed and realised films about various European scientific projects. For MIDA, she organises and holds a workshop in film making and storytelling, together with her colleague Philipp Rückriem. During the MIDA project, she will direct and edit a documentary film about the development of the program and its participants.




Catherine David is deputy director of the Musée national d’art moderne (MNAM) - Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, where she is the head of the Research and Globalisation department since 2014. From 1982 to 1990, David was curator at the MNAM and from 1990 to 1994 at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris. From 1994 to 1997, David served as artistic director for documenta X in Kassel, Germany (1997). Since 1998 she has been director of the long-term project ‘Contemporary Arab Representations, which began at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies’, Barcelona. Between 2002 and 2004, David was director of the Witte de With Centre of Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. David also curated the ADACH Platform for Visual Arts at the 53rd Venice Arts Biennale (2011); the ‘Hassan Sharif retrospective Experiments & Objects / 1979 – 2011’ presented at Qasr Al Hosn in Abu Dhabi (2011); ‘MARWAN: Early Works 1962 – 1972’ at the Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut (2013) and Serralves Foundation, Porto (2014); Unedited History. Iran 1960-2014 at the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris and at MAXXI in Rome (2014); and ‘Dia al-Azzawi: A Retrospective (From 1963 until Tomorrow)’ at Mathaf and Al Riwaq in Doha (2017). As deputy director of the MNAM, Catherine David recently curated several projects among which : ‘Wifredo Lam’ (2015); ‘Memories from the futures. Indian modernities’ (2017); and ‘Latiff Mohidin: Pago Pago (1960-1969)’ (2018).




Adisa Džino Šuta is head of CHwB BiH (Bosnia and Herzegovina), she studied architecture at the University of Sarajevo. Since 2005, she has been engaged in various aspects of the post-war rehabilitation of cultural heritage in BiH, including practices of education for cultural heritage and developing participatory tools in community engagement. She has been Project manager of several EU-funded projects: 1. From historical integration to contemporary active participation (preventive restoration projects in Jajce, Kruja and Vushtri; Reconstruction of 4 water mills in Jajce; RRC); 2. Bridges to the Future: Conservation, Science, Technology and Education in Stolac (inclusive participatory and mapping); 3. Make it Yours! (educational heritage platform). Projects: B+CARE, 2nd phase; Restoration and conservation of wall paintings in Ferhadija mosque in Sarajevo; Fragments documentation and identification of Ferhad paša mosque (Ferhadija) in Banja Luka; Documentation of Aladza mosque Mehmed-pasa Kukavica mosque and Prijeka čaršija (the old economical quarter) in Foca.




Communications professional with extensive experience in transitional justice, human rights, culture, and cultural heritage fields. As a journalist, Aida has worked for various regional and international media outlets. She is awarded winning journalist, producer of television reportages, author and editor of various publications related to transitional justice. She lectures about transitional justice, war crimes trials, cultural heritage and various aspects of communication. She leads communication and outreach activities of the Foundation Cultural Heritage without Borders BiH, where she is currently employed. Aida designs programmes and activities aimed to involve various age groups in the process of safeguarding valuable heritage. She is specifically focused on educating future leaders in cultural heritage protection and preservation, and the importance of understanding the value of inherited wealth. Aida explores the role of education and culture in rebuilding broken society and creating new ways of presenting the diverse and rich cultural heritage of BiH. Aida runs a private storytelling project aimed to question existing prejudice and bring back the human side of each individual. Aida is a national consultant for UNDP BiH.




Curator of Oriental Manuscripts at the Gotha Research Library at the University of Erfurt. 




Pierre Hecker is director of the Mercator-funded research group ‘Ne mutlu ateistim diyene - Atheism & The Politics of Culture in Contemporary Turkey’. In addition to his focus on contemporary Turkish studies, he focuses on cultural and sociological approaches to Islamic studies in research and teaching. In the summer semester 2016 he taught Visiting Lecturer at the Institute of Sociology of the Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul. He also leads the Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS) at the Philipps-University Marburg working group on contemporary Turkish studies. Before moving to Marburg in the winter semester 2010, he taught as a guest lecturer at the Oriental Institute of the University of Leipzig. In 2009, he also completed his PhD in Leipzig on Heavy Metal in a Muslim Context, which focused on the cultural representation of the metal scene in Istanbul and its perception in the Turkish public. Between 2006 and 2008, he worked as a research assistant at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig, where he worked on the subject of Islamophobia in German textbooks and on the development of new teaching materials. He received his master's degree in 2001 as part of the major field of study Modern Oriental Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.


Philipps-University Marburg


In early 2014, the New Yorker magazine published a piece about Montaser Marai’s experience in the Arab Spring ’Journalism Becomes a Crime in Egypt’. In February 2011, Montaser was Al-Jazeera Channel’s lead reporter covering the Egyptian revolution at the Al Tahrir square. Montaser joined Al Jazeera’s newsroom in 2002 as a journalist, and became the Head of Production for Al-Jazeera Documentary Channel in 2008. He has produced & directed many documentary films on Arab youth and revolution and biographies on well-known figures, such as Paulo Coelho, Noam Chomsky and Robert Fisk. In 2013, Montaser Marai became a Head of Media Consulting at the Al-Jazeera Media Training and Development Centre, where he carries out projects and designs training courses within Al-Jazeera’s strategy for digital transformation. Montaser Marai now works as a Manager of Media Development at Al-Jazeera Media Institute.




Maike Neufend is Research Fellow at the CNMS, the Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies at University Marburg. Her background is in Islamic Studies, Sociology and Philosophy (MA, University Hamburg) and in the field of library work (CNMS, Marburg). In her PhD research, she explores thesocial dimension of affect and emotion by looking at social practices of the Self in relation to experiences of crisis and uncertainty in Beirut‘s middle class, with a focus on Sufism as aesthetic and social imaginary. In 2012 she co-founded the peer-reviewed OA-Journal: Middle East - Topics & Arguments, As editorial board member she has organized and facilitated debates and workshops on scholarly communication and knowlege production. Here, she is interested in strategies of postcolonial and radical Open Access. Since 2017 she is leading projects on open review and hybrid publishing. 




Dr. Orozco is specialised in the economics and development of Arab countries, Islamic economics and banking, and economic thought in the Mediterranean. She is the main editor of Casa Árabe’s publications on economic issues, from finance, to business, industrial policy, water, migration, development and the economic consequences of conflicts. Doctor in History and Civilisation from the European University Institute of Florence (EUI, 2008), she holds a Master’s degree in Contemporary Arab Studies from the University of Georgetown (MAAS, 2003) and a Bachelor's degree in Economic Sciences from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM, 1998). She co-authored the first book in Spanish about Islamic Economics and Banking (AECID, 1998) and has published articles on this topic, as well as on the history of economic thought in the Mediterranean and today’s Arab world economies.




Javier Rosón is an expert on Islamic religious education, Islamic movements and Muslim communities in Spain and Europe, as well as Islam on the Internet, Dr. Rosón is the editor of Awraq: Journal for analysis and thought on the contemporary Arab and Islamic world. With a degree in Education and a doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Granada, since 1996 he has worked on various European research projects related with the study of Islamic movements and Islamic religion, religious education, associationism, interculturalism and intangible wealth. Since 2009, he has been a researcher/analyst at Casa Árabe, specialising in the field of Islamic movements and national and European Muslim communities. Amongst his publications one can find: “Teaching About Minority Religions in School: Analysis of the case of Andalusia”, Ilu. Revista de ciencias de las religion; “Spanish Youth Facing Religious Diversity at School: Findings from a Quantitative Study”; and “Islam and Education in Spain”, Münster - New York: Waxmann; “Confessional Homogeneity in Times of Religious Pluralism”, CPU-e, Revista de Investigación Educativa, 13; “Discrepancies Around the Use of the Term Islamophobi”; “Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge” VIII (2); “Sheik Abdalqadir al-Murabit and the Islamic Community in Spain”, in the book Transnational Islamic Movements and the Emergence of a European Islam.




Philipp Rückriem is an documentary film maker and researcher from Berlin. He works with Simone Brannahl in “PS”, where they create all kind of media products for television and companies. Philipp Rückriem studied Religious Studies and History at the University of Erfurt (Germany) from 2005 to 2008, where he specialised in ‘Islam in Europe’ and the ‘Israel Arab Conflict’.  Later he worked as an intern for the Goethe Institute in Cairo (Egypt), in a German Cultural Centre in Sanaa and Aden (Yemen), for the TV show Menschen bei Maischberger in Berlin (Germany) and participated in the Cinema Jenin project (Westbank). In 2012, he graduated his M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies at the Philipps University of Marburg (Germany) where he was specialised on International Relations, Transitional Justice and Peace Journalism. The Master Thesis dealt with ‘Resistance and Art of the so called ‘Cultural Intifada’ in the Palestinian Territories’. Philipp Rückriem works on a PhD thesis about ‘Stereotyping the Israeli Arab Conflict – An Analysis of German documentary films’. In 2016 he initiated and organised the International Workshop Images of the Middle East – Reception and Responsibility at the Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies (Philipps-University Marburg, Germany). Since 2014 Philipp Rückriem works as a film maker and journalist for German television, where he directs documentary films and reports. In cooperation with the director Simone Brannahl, he created the brand, PS - Media and Consulting. Together they realise project and image films, organise workshops and consult companies about campaigns and web presence.




Within the Centre for Digital Scholarship at Leiden University Libraries, Fieke is coordinating the data management support for researchers from Leiden University. The Centre for Digital Scholarship helps researchers in the transition to Open Science by providing support for Open Access, Research Data Management and copyright. The CDS is also building capacity and expertise to use digital data by helping researchers organise and model their data, annotate images and apply text and data mining techniques. Fieke has set up services to help with data management planning, train researchers in responsible data management and work towards FAIR data. She is involved in the university’s data management implementation programme and is chair of the Dutch university libraries’ working group on Research Data. Before being a digital scholarship librarian, she has worked as a subject librarian in the humanities. Fieke’s first experience in digital scholarship avant la lettre dates back to the 90’s when she built a database for her PhD research on French literature. Unfortunately, at that time, there was little awareness on the transiency of digital information and both the database and the digital text of the thesis are lost in digital space. This is a strong motivation to work on sound services that enable researchers to open up their work and make valuable research data available for future generations.




Laurents studied history at Utrecht University and historical information science (Digital Humanities) at Leiden University. At the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Laurents was involved in open access, data management, digital longevity, Digital Humanities, Research Infrastructures (DARIAH and CESSDA) and EC funded projects to foster data management, develop interoperability standards for scholarly communication and build technical infrastructures to enable Data Science. Laurents has a broad background in the area of Open Science and is at the moment head of the Centre for Digital Scholarship (CDS) at Leiden University Libraries. The central objective of CDS is to support and to facilitate digital scholarship within Leiden University, in close collaboration with other centres of expertise, with research institutes and with national and international research support organisations. Researchers can contact the Centre for Digital Scholarship for questions, consultancy, training and workshops on Research Data Management, Open Access and Data Science.




Nicolette van der Hoek is one of Brill’s acquisitions editors in the field of Middle East and Islamic Studies. She holds an M.A. in English Language & Culture and Book History from Leiden University. Her portfolio at Brill focuses on publications on Islamic Law, Contemporary Islam, Gender Studies, Qur’anic Studies, and Sufism. A large part of Brill’s Contemporary Islam portfolio is dedicated to research on Muslims in Europe, including the Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, the Muslim Minorities book series, the Journal of Muslims in Europe, and a series of Annotated Legal Documents on Islam in Europe.

Founded in 1683, Brill is a publishing house with a rich history and a strong international focus. The company’s head office is in Leiden, (The Netherlands) with offices in Boston (USA), Paderborn (GER), Singapore (SG) and Beijing (CN). Brill is one of the leading publishers in the world in Middle East and Islamic Studies.




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