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 work as an independent consultant and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the New Lines Institute. I'm also an establishing partner at the Observatory of Political and Economic Networks. I was previously a Nonresident Scholar at the Middle East Institute and served as the Research Director of the Operations and Policy Center, a Senior Analyst at the New Zealand Treasury, and a Senior Lecturer on Middle East Politics.
Photo of our house in Aelppo by my brother, Al-Hakam
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.