1. Could you please describe your academic/ professional career in a few words?
I am Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Birmingham. I research the dynamics and trajectories of gender in Islam within the context of contemporary diasporic and transnational Muslim women’s spaces. Currently, I am working on a project which explores women’s narratives of transnational marriage practices performed by Iraqi and Syrian women who have settled in Europe or other countries in the Middle East since the 1980s. It focuses on the historical developments and contemporary understandings and approaches of marriage practices among displaced Iraqi and Syrian Muslim women and foregrounds questions of identity, home and belonging of women constituted through local, national and transnational scales of migration experiences. I have published several articles on gender and Islam and migrant identities in Europe and their marriage practices such as: ‘Shia Marriage Practices: Karbala as lieux de mémoire in London’ Social Sciences. Special issue: Understanding Muslim Mobilities and Gender, 6 (3): Accessible via: http://www.mdpi.com/2076-0760/6/3/100. The marriage project can be accessed here: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/ptr/departments/theologyandreligion/research/projects/reconsidering-muslim-marriage/index.asp
In a globalized world, cultural, academic and economic exchange is essential. Alumni serves here very well as it provides participants with a platform to network and connect with one another. Alumni could also help academics to find research synergies and eventually apply for research fundings for collaborative projects. It also provides a feeling of belonging.