Photo of my family home in Aleppo taken by my brother, alHakam.
I'm an Economist, with a BA from the University of Aleppo, an MSc from University Putra Malaysia, and a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington. I'm currently a Senior Analyst with the New Zealand Treasury's Forecasting, Modelling and Research team and a Non-Resident Scholar at the Middle East Institute. I also work as an independent author and consultant on Syria's political economy.
I'm particularly drawn to understanding how we depart from rationality in our thinking and decision-making, and how this drift affects policy design. My favourite books are Nudge by Richard Thaler and Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.
I've never felt like a stranger in my new home in New Zealand, where I sought asylum in 2016. I'm lucky to have two countries I can wholeheartedly call home—one in the Middle East and the other in Middle Earth.
Before coming to New Zealand, I lived in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia. I grew up in a gorgeous house from the Ottoman era in Aleppo, Syria. As the uprising began in 2011, I took an active role in the civil movement against the Assad regime. Years later, our family home was destroyed, my family and I fled to five different countries, while al-Assad remains in business. Yet, I can't be more optimistic about Syria's future—change is inevitable. Perhaps that’s why Cast Away is, by far, my favourite film.
We see the world through the lens of our experiences. I invite you to take a look through mine.