I am a research fellow at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg. My work currently focuses on reasons for forced migration in the Middle East. I have done extensive field research on the impact of a prolonged and climate change-related drought period in Syria which immediately preceded the Syrian war. In the past, I have worked extensively on water conflicts on the international, national and local levels, as well as on the Israeli-Palestinian core conflict and its role for Middle Eastern geopolitics. I hold a PhD from the Center for Conflict Studies at Marburg University, and a Master in Peace Research and Security Policy from Hamburg University.
I am particularly interested in non-Western and postcolonial approaches to my topic(s); my goal is to critically assess existing power structures. I do as much field research as my work and family commitments permit. One of my mantras is „stories are just data with a soul“ (Brené Brown); In 2014, I spent several weeks in Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, trying to find out how Syrian farmers experienced what has been termed a „century drought“ immediately prior to the outbreak of the Syrian conflict; in 2016, I spent another six months in Turkey broadening my data base.
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