Abdullah Yegin graduated with a B.A. in Art History from the Istanbul University. Between the years of 2000 and 2005, he conducted research on Shia theo-politics in Iran and the Middle East. He is currently completing his graduate work in Middle Eastern Political History and International Relations at the Middle East Research Institute in the Marmara University. Previously, he was a researcher at the foreign policy desk at the SETA Foundation. He has translated several works and published articles. He currently focuses his research on Iran and the Middle East region.
Amjad Atallah is the CEO of Vortex International and was a legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team from 2000 to 2003. He was most recently the Editor-in-Chief for Al Jazeera America and the former Bureau Chief for Al Jazeera English in the Americas.
Dr. Ammar Kahf is the Executive Director of Omran for Strategic Studies, a policy think-tank center based in Istanbul and focusing on Syria and the region politically, economically and administratively. Dr. Kahf received his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies/Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. His work focuses on political transition, Middle Eastern politics, and Syria studies.
Antonios Alexandridis is a Ph.D. researcher at Vrije University Amsterdam. He is currently carrying out his participatory research together with refugees on the border zones between Greece and Turkey. He has studied Political Science and Anthropology at the University of Iceland and postgraduate studies in Social Anthropology in the University of Copenhagen. He has worked within NGOs in the refugee and asylum seeker sector for several years in different European countries. Additionally, he has worked as a consultant and field researcher for the University of York and Goldsmiths, University of London, on issues related to the ongoing refugee crisis in Greece and Turkey. He is the author of many papers on critical refugee studies.
Ayman Aldassouky is a researcher at Omran for Strategic Studies. He is currently a Master student in International Relations at Gazi university. His research is concentrated on governance and local councils, Jihadi Movements, and the relations between states in the Middle East. He previously worked as an executive researcher at Orient Center for International Studies between ‘’2009-2010’’, and a researcher at Sham Center for Research and Studies since its establishment in 2012 until 2014.
Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Forum and Senior Research Fellow at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies. He writes weekly columns for Middle East eye. Research Interests: Egypt, Iraq, Political Islam, and Middle Eastern Politics in General.
Chris Doyle is the Director of the Council for Arab- British Understand, an NGO based in London. He is an expert on the Middle East and a frequent commentator on British and Middle Eastern politics in the media.
Clayton Swisher is an award-winning investigative journalist based in Qatar and author of two books on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Dalal Bajes received her B.A. in Arabic Literature from Birzeit University in 2007 and her M.A. in International relations in 2010 from the same institution. She is now in the final process of completing her PhD in Islamic and Cultural Studies at the University of Cologne. She received many awards and research grants like MERC Grant in 2012 for the best summary of a PhD Dissertation on the Middle East, and Muwatin & Chr. Michelsen Institute Research Grant in 2013 for her research on “the role of music in the political socialization in the Islamic movements”, which was later published as a monograph. For a short period in 2010 she worked as a research assistant in Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies. She is currently the coordinator of the “Palestine Hub” within Al Sharq Youth Forum. Bajes is the author of five books including: The Role of Women in the Muslim Civilization (2015), The Role of Music in Political Socialization for Islamic Movements. (2014), Islamist Women in the Arab World: from Reaction to New Reality (2013), Islamic Student Movement in Palestine (2012), and Palestinian Public Diplomacy after Second Legislative Elections (2011).
Deniz was born in 1992. He is currently a research and teaching assistant at International Law Research Center (UHAM) which is affiliated to Fatih Sultan Mehmet University and a research fellow at Al Sharq Forum. His research field is non-state actors and the elements of state. He is also lawyer. He graduated from Cagaloglu Anatolian High School and Istanbul University with a degree in law. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in public international law. During his university years, he took part in numerous international projects and events in different countries as the chair of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Youth Assembly in 2012. He was the director of the first Turk & Arab Youth Congress in 2012. He took part in the Y20 Summit Turkey in 2015 as a moderator, then in 2016 he was a delegate to the Y20 Summit China in 2016. He is still the deputy chair Youth Commission of Diplomacy and Colloboration (YCDC), the organization running the Y20 affairs of Turkey. With a keen interest in press and media, he has taken up writing articles for various media outlets.
Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Forum. Dimitar particularly focuses on Russian foreign policy towards the Middle East and North Africa region. He is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for European Studies, Harvard University, and is also the director of the European Policy Institute, a think-tanked institute based in Sofia. Former positions filled by Dimitar include Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Dr Bechev has published widely on EU external relations, the politics and modern history of South East Europe including Turkey and Greece, and Russian foreign policy. He is the author of Constructing South East Europe: The Politics of Balkan Regional Cooperation (2011) and editor of a number of collective volumes such as What Does Turkey Think (ECFR, 2011). His scholarly articles have appeared in leading periodicals such as the Journal of Common Market Studies and East European Politics and Societies. Dr Bechev is also a regular contributor to Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera, openDemocracy, Politico, EUObserver and others. Research Interests: Russia’s Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East and North Africa, EU External relations, and Politics of South East Europe.
Elaaf Hadi is a First Secretary at the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was posted to Rome during the period 2009–2013. He obtained his PhD in political theory from Luiss Guido Carli in November 2016. He graduated with Magna Cum Laude in his Master’s in Strategic Studies at Al-Nahrain University in Baghdad. His PhD thesis is entitled The Impact of Neo American Orientalism on the Future of the Nation State in Iraq in the Light of the ISIS Crisis. He has been the head of Iraq’s Political Planning and Research Section since May 2017.
Emre Erşen is an associate professor at Marmara University’s Department of Political Science and International Relations. He completed his PhD at the same department. He has also conducted research at the Higher School of Economics (Russia), University of Kent (UK) and Jagiellonian University (Poland) as a visiting scholar. His research interests include Russian foreign policy, Turkish-Russian relations, Eurasianism and geopolitics. He has contributed papers at international conferences and published articles in journals including Geopolitics, Turkish Studies, Insight Turkey and Journal of Eurasian Studies.
Dr. Farhad Rezaei received his Ph.D. in International Relations from University of Malaya in 2015. He is currently a research fellow at Middle East Institute, Sakarya University, Turkey. He is the author of Iran's Nuclear Program: A Study in Nuclear Proliferation and Rollback, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2016). He has numerous articles published in international journals namely the Middle East Policy, the National Interest, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies with a focus on nuclear weapons proliferation, nuclear and radiological terrorism, Iran’s nuclear program, Iran’s foreign policy and sanctions theory and international sanctions regimes (with a special application for nuclear proliferation
Executive Secretary at Al Sharq Forum. She completed her undergraduate program in History department at Istanbul Sehir University. Firdaous has been actively working in many NGO's in Turkey and was member of Istanbul Cosmopolitan Municipality Youth Assembly. She took part in organizing several youth conferences and social activities, Turk Arab Youth Congress (TAYC) and Ramadan Tent 2014 and 2015.
Research director at Al Sharq Forum and senior associate fellow on Turkey and Kurdish Affairs at Al Jazeera Center for Studies. He previously worked as a visiting fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin and as a political researcher at SETA Foundation in Ankara. He is a regular contributor to German Marshall Fund of the United States' on Turkey policy brief series, and a columnist for Middle East Eye. Research Interests: Turkish Politics, Turkish Foreign Policy, Regional Kurdish politics, Political Islam, and Radical Movements.
Hugh Lovatt is the Israel/Palestine Project Coordinator for ECFR's Middle East and North Africa Programme. Prior to this, he worked as a researcher for International Crisis Group and as a Schuman Fellow in the European Parliament focusing on Middle-East policy. He also worked for the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations as an Arabic translator, specialising in Muslim cultures and Islamic law
Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Forum. Imraan has a specific focus on the Geopolitics of Energy. As energy resources are not evenly distributed amongst the various countries of the Al Sharq region, differences in the political economy of each country contributes towards the complex interrelationships between them. The region is also a key exporter of energy to global markets and hence of critical importance to a stable international system. Imraan has completed a Global Energy MBA from the University of Warwick. The program has focused on the geopolitical, regulatory, technological and financial trends that are driving the transformation of the global energy industry. His dissertation has analysed the role of the IMF and energy wealthy GCC states within an international system of global governance. He has previously worked as a Business Lead Negotiator at a multinational energy and chemicals company.
Intissar Kherigi is a co-founder and programmes director of the Jasmine Foundation, a ‘think and do tank’ in Tunisia specializing in citizen participation in decision-making and youth empowerment, and the application of social science research to create innovative social solutions. She has worked as a researcher at the House of Lords in London, the UN Security Council in New York, and the European parliament in Brussels, and is currently a PhD student in Comparative Political Sociology at Sciences Po in Paris. Her academic research focuses on decentralisation, regional inequality and local governance reforms in post-revolution Tunisia.
Jamal Abdullah is currently an Academic Visitor at the Middle East Centre, Saint Antony’s College, University of Oxford in the UK. Before joining the University of Oxford in October 2016, he worked for five years (from May 2011 to May 2016) as Researcher and Head of Gulf Studies Unit at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, part of Al Jazeera Media Network in Doha, Qatar
Head of Programme, Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Policy Studies, German Council on Foreign Relations
Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Forum. He is also Professor at Mohammed 1st University, Oujda/ Morocco. He was a Member of Islam Konferenz (2011-2012 and 2012-2013) in Germany.He is among the Founding members of Al Jazeera Research Center (Doha, Qatar: 2006-2008). He has published dozens of Articles in various venues. Co-Editor of Almunaataf (Quarterly scientific Arabic Magazine). His books include Lawrence d´Arabie ou l´Arabie de Lawrence: geographie, politique, poetique, sagesse. (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2001), (From the Narrowness of Modernity towards a New Space of Islamo–Arabic Creativity) Arabic. (2005).He Received his PhD. in Anglo–American studies at Paris-Sorbonne in 1994. His thesis covered Thomas Edward Lawrence (Alias Lawrence of Arabia) and the Experience of the Desert. Research Interests: Islam & Muslims in Europe, West-Muslim Relations, Geopolitics and Geo-poetics
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen Is Fellow For The Middle East At Rice University’s Baker Institute For Public Policy In Houston, Texas. He Is The Author Of Four Books On The International Relations And Political Economy Of The Gulf, Including Qatar And The Arab Spring And The United Arab Emirates: Power, Politics,And Policymaking.
Leonid M. Issaev earned his PhD in 2014 from the Institute for African Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is currently a senior lecturer at the Department for Political Science at the National Research University Higher School of Economics. He is the Deputy Chair of the Laboratory for Sociopolitical Destabilization Risk Monitoring at the National Research University Higher School of Economics and senior research fellow at the Institute for African Studies at the Center for Civilization and Regional Studies, which is part of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). He is a member of the Scientific Council of the Russian Political Sciences Association (RPSA) and the Russian Sociological Society. He is also an expert on the Middle East and Northern Africa at the “Valdai” Club and the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC). Together with Askar Akayev, Andrey Korotaev and Sergey Malkov, he is a manager at the Russian Academy of Sciences program “The Mathematical Modeling of Global and Regional Dynamics Within the Context of the Modernization of Science and Education”. He teaches courses in Islamic political philosophy and political systems and political processes in the Arab world.
Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations (2006), and Co-Chair, International Crisis Group
Madawi Al-Rasheed is Visiting Professor at the LSE Middle East Centre. Al-Rasheed has published several articles in academic journals and edited volumes on Saudi Arabia’s political development since the Arab uprisings, gender policies and current affairs. She regularly contributes to international television and print media. She appeared on the BBC's Newshour and Radio 4's documentary on Saudi Arabia, Sand of Time, and was interviewed by CNN, BBC World Service, CCTV, and al-Hura Arabic television. Her op-eds appeared in Al-Monitor, The Guardian, Politico, Foreign Policy, Middle East Eye, New Internationalist, La Vanguardia, and Foreign Affairs.
Mariya Petkova is a Bulgarian journalist covering the Middle East and the Balkans. She holds an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from Oxford University.
Mehmet Emin Cengiz is an intern at Al Sharq Forum. He received his B.A. in Sociology Department from Ege University in 2016. During his B.A. he attended to Erasmus+ Programme and studied at Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf as an international exchange student in Germany. Currently he is pursuing his M.A. in Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the Middle East at Marmara University. His research interests are: Non-state actors and specifically Radical Islamist Movements, Turkish Foreign Policy, and Political Islam.
Merve Keskin is a research intern at Al Sharq Forum. She received her B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Boğaziçi University in 2017. Currently, she is pursuing her M.A. in International Relations at Koç University. Research interests: Post-conflict reconciliation, peace-building, nationalism, Turkish Foreign Policy, Iraq
Senior associate fellow, Ozcan received his B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Marmara University in 2000 and his M.A. in 2002 from the same institution. He completed his PhD at Boğaziçi University in 2007. He studied at St. Antony’s College, and Oxford University with the Jean Monnet Master Scholarship for one year in 2005-2006. For a short period of time in 2009 Özcan was a visiting scholar at Kuwait University’s Department of Political Science. He continues to teach at Istanbul Sehir University on a part-time basis. Dr. Özcan served at the Center for Strategic Research (SAM) as the Deputy Chairman between 2011 - 2013 and as the Acting Chairman between 2013 and May 2014. He is currently the Director of Diplomacy Academy at MFA. Özcan is the author of three books including: Harmonizing Foreign Policy: Turkey, the EU and the Middle East. He also works on the editorial boards of Insight Turkey, Divan, and Perceptions journals. Research Interests: Turkish Foreign Policy, Middle Eastern Politics and Iraq.
Training Director at Al-Sharq Forum. He holds a post-graduate Diploma of “Civil Society and Human Rights”, Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences at Cairo University (2010), A diploma of Political Research and Studies from Institute of Arab Research and Studies, Arab League (2012), and a diploma in Islamic Studies from The Higher Institute for Islamic Studies (2012).(MA) degree of political sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences at American University of Cairo (2015). Has published a book titled: “Wahhabism and the Brotherhood: the conflict on the concept of the state and the legitimacy of power”. Research Interests: Islamism, State-theory, and Comparative MENA studies.
Mona Alami is a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Trends Research and Advisory as well as the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. She follows political and economic issues in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, and the Gulf. She writes extensively on Lebanese and Syrian politics, Hezbollah, the ISIS and Salafism. Alami is a regular contributor to a number of American and Arab publications including USA Today, Asharq Al-Awsat, and the Daily Star (Lebanon). She has produced several documentaries for Al Aan TV on Jihadism, Hezbollah and arms smuggling to Syria. She is currently completing her PhD thesis on non-state armed actors in Syria.
Muge Dalkıran is an Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Forum. She is currently working as Istanbul-based researcher of the Global Political Trends Center in collaboration with the University of Toronto in “SSHRC Partnership Development Grant Project – Migrants, Refugees, and the International State System”. Additionally, she has been volunteering in Refugee Rights Commission of Human Rights Association in Istanbul. Previously, she worked as a research assistant in the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Kultur University. Muge holds a degree in International Relations from Galatasaray University and an MA in Human Rights Law from Bilgi University. Research Interests: Human Rights, Activism and Forced Migration Studies.
Muhanad Seloom is an independent analyst and academic researcher into ethno-sectarian conflicts. He is also the co-founder of the Iraqi Research Network (IRN), a non-profit research centre based in London. From 2007 to date, his research has focused on ethno-sectarian conflicts in the Middle East, including the Kurdish issue and the Shia-Sunni schism.
Omar Kadkoy is a Research Associate at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey’s (TEPAV) Area Studies Programme. Born and raised in Damascus, Omar migrated to Turkey in 2012 as internal conflict escalated. At TEPAV, his work focuses on the economic and social integration of Syrian refugees, especially in areas of education, housing and labour market. You can follow him @OmarKadkoy.
Executive Vice President and Director, Italian Institute for International Political Studies
Senior Fellow at the Center of European Studies, Harvard University and Foreign Minister, Poland (2007-14)
Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Forum, Reader at Leeds University’s Sociology Department (UK), and editor-in-chief of ReOrient magazine. Research interests: Poststructuralist Theory, Decolonial Thought, Critical Muslim Studies, and Multiculturalism.
Head, Center for International Research and Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iran
Sinan Hatahet is a Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Forum. He is currently a consultant working with a number of think tanks on Syria. His research is concentrated on governance and local councils, anti-radicalization, Islamism, the Kurdish National Movement, and the new regional order in the Middle East. He previously worked as the executive director of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) media office since its establishment in late 2012 until September 2014.
Tamer Badawi is a Research Fellow at Al Sharq Forum. He received an M.A. in International Relations (with a major in International Political Economy) from Central European University in 2016 and a B.A. in Oriental Studies from Alexandria University in 2013. He is a regular contributor to Sada, an online publication managed by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He also contributes reports to the Doha-based Aljazeera Center for Studies. Research interests: The political economy of the Middle East, economic development in post-JCPOA Iran, and global energy market trends.
Timur Kaymaz is a Project Manager at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey’s (TEPAV) Area Studies Programme and its Innovation Studies Programme. His work focuses on regional development and economic integration issues, both within Turkey and in the wider neighborhood. Timur also coordinates TEPAV’s project portfolio and policy initiatives on the economic integration of Syrian refugees. You can follow him @tmrkymz.
President of Al Sharq Forum & Former Director-General of the Al Jazeera Network. He is a board member of the International Crisis Group and Global Editors Network (GEN). Khanfar has been named as one of Foreign Policy's Top 100 global thinkers of 2011 as well as one of Fast Company's 'Most Creative People in Business' of the year.
Dr. Walter Posch is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Defence Academy in Vienna, Dr. Posch holds a PHD in Iranian Studies and a MA in Turkish studies, he focusses on modern Iran, modern Turkey and the Kurdish issue. Previously, he was posted at the European institute of Security Studies EUISS in Paris and at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).
Professor of Economic Theory, University of Athens and Minister of Finance, Greece (2015)
Senior Advisor at Al Sharq Forum. He previously served as the president of “the Association of Human Rights & Solidarity for Oppressed People” (MAZLUMDER) 1996-2004, and director of Law and Human Rights Department of SETA Foundation. Yilmaz is still a member of MAZLUMDER, Human Rights Agenda Association (İHGD) and Human Rights Research Association (İHAD). He is the author of the book entitled “Tamamlanmamış Bir Değer: İnsan Hakları.” He has authored many articles in various books, journals and newspapers on issues of human rights, civil society, democratization, security sector reform, civil-military relations, coup d’états, freedom of religion, secularism, Kurdish question, and hate crimes among others. Research Interests: Conflict & Peace Studies, Reconciliation, and Human Rights.
Yury Barmin is a risk consultant whose work focuses on issues related to the Middle East and Russia’s positioning there. He is an Expert at the Russian International Affairs Council, covering the Middle East and North Africa and Moscow’s policy towards the region as well as the conflict in Syria. Mr Barmin holds an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge; his dissertation looked into the failed Arab Spring protests in Bahrain and Kuwait. He is interested in the politics of the Gulf and the ties that exist between Russia’s North Caucasus and the GCC monarchies.
Zeynep Coskun is a Researcher at Al Sharq Forum. Prior to joining Al Sharq, she was a Dr. Herchel Smith Fellow at the University of Cambridge conducting Economic and Anthropological research about the Middle East. Zeynep has an MPhil in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. from Williams College in Economics and Arabic Studies. Research Interests: Regional Kurdish Politics, Iraq, Counterinsurgency & Nationalism