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Founding Director


Dr. Abdullah M. Awad is a faculty member at the Institute, where he convenes seminars and research programs at the intersection of Arab and Western thought, and a Fellow at Harvard University, where his work traversed history, literature, and religion. He has undertaken ethnographic work in the US, India, and Brazil, and lectures internationally on education and the humanities. A board member of Change, he was a Herchel Smith Fellow at the University of Cambridge.

Professor of Poetics


Dr. Sanabel O. Saleem is a faculty member at the Institute, where she convenes seminars on comparative literature and poetics. She holds doctoral degrees in Arabic literature and criticism, and her research spans the history, theory, and practice of classical and contemporary Arabic writing. A celebrated teacher, Saleem has taught language, literature, and criticism for ten years, cultivating a pedagogy of intimacy and intellectual agility. Elsewhere, she is a practitioner of unpublished fiction.

Professor of Science and Society


Dr. Rana B. Dajani is a research professor of Science and Society at the Institute, and a professor of biology and biotechnology at the Hashemite University in Jordan. She is an authority on the genetics of the Circassian and Chechen populations in Jordan. Her biological research focuses on genome-wide association studies concerning diabetes and cancer and on stem cells, while her civil society and grassroots initiatives have transformed stem cell research laws, female empowerment, and literacy in Jordan and internationally. She was formerly a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University.

Senior Associate in the Environmental Sciences


Dr. Hussam Hussein is a senior associate in the Environmental Sciences at the Institute and a research associate in Water Diplomacy at the University of Oxford, having previously lectured at St Antony's College. His research focuses on the role of discourses in shaping water policies in the Middle East, transboundary water governance and critical hydropolitics, and issues related to the political economy of water. He was previously the executive director of Partnerships for Development at the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan.

Junior Associate in the Library Sciences


Sarah Aeshan is a junior associate at the Institute, where she tends to the library and manages the daily operations of the programs in Arabic and English. Having studied anthropology and political science at Harvard and the American University of Beirut, she now undertakes research at the intersection of state formation and the arts. Sarah's previous work in journalism and the legal sector informs her current directorship at the Institute.

Faris Ahmad is the administrative manager of the Institute's research projects through Taghyeer.

Sadee Arafat is the space manager of the Institute, and a psychosomatic practitioner and researcher.

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