Additional Academic Training

I undertook the following further academic training:

  • 2019 Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM) Summer Institute at the Hobby School of Public Affairs, University of Houston, USA
  • Scientific Programming with Python at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute (HPE DSI), University of Houston, USA



  • Text as Data: Computational Text Analysis
    Course Convener
    Department of Politics and International Relations
    University of Oxford
    Trinity Term (Spring Term) 2021

  • Applied Statistics for Political Scientists
    Coding Sessions for the Lecture Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences
    by Prof. Robin Harding and Prof. Nelson A. Ruiz
    Department of Politics and International Relations
    University of Oxford
    Michaelmas Term (Fall Term) 2020&2021

  • Computational Text Analysis for Political Science
    Department of Political Science
    University of Houston


  • 211: Politics of the Middle East
    PPE (Politics, Philosophy, Economics) Degree
    Pembroke, St. Hilda’s, and Somerville Colleges
    University of Oxford
    Trinity Term - April - June 2020

  • 201: Comparative Government
    PPE (Politics, Philosophy, Economics) Degree
    University of Oxford
    Trinity Term Revisions- April - June 2020

  • Tutorial: Empirical Political Research in Political Science
    Lecture by: Dr. Sean Carey
    University of Mannheim, Germany
    Winter Semester 2017 & 2018 - October 2017 - January 2018

Academic Positions


Research Assistant to Prof. Ben Ansell/Editorial Assistant Comparative Political Studies Journal

Nuffield College, University of Oxford

Jun 2020 – Present Oxford, UK

Visiting Scholar/Pre-doc

University of Houston

Jan 2019 – Jun 2019 Houston, USA

Research Associate

Mannheim Center for European Social Research (MZES), University of Mannheim

Aug 2018 – Sep 2019 Mannheim, Germany

Teaching Assistant

Chair of Quantitative Methods Prof. Thomas Gschwend, University of Mannheim

Oct 2017 – Jan 2018 Mannheim, Germany
Tutorial: Empirical Political Research in Political Science (for the lecture by: Dr. Sean Carey).

Research Assistant

Chair of Empirical Democracy Research Prof. Nikolay Marinov, University of Mannheim

Jan 2017 – Jul 2018 Mannheim, Germany

Student Editorial Assistant

American Political Science Review, University of Mannheim Editorial Team

Oct 2016 – Jan 2018 Mannheim, Germany

Research Assistant

Mannheim Center for European Social Research (MZES), University of Mannheim

May 2015 – Jun 2016 Mannheim, Germany
Research Project: Mediated Contestation in Comparative Perspective

Research Assistant

Gesis Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences

Apr 2014 – Sep 2016 Mannheim, Germany
Division: International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)

My Dissertation Project

More information on my dissertation project will be updated soon.

Photo: Alexandria Map - Bibliothèque nationale de France

Photo: Archival Photo - صوره ارشيفيه

Published Work

Accepted Perspective on Politics.
Populist discourse - which tends to benefit anti-systemic parties - has been on the rise in the world’s democratic states. Powerful non-democratic states have both the means and the incentive to spread such discourse to democratic states. We clarify the incentives illiberal states have to produce such communication, and delineate how this type of political communication fuses traditional state-to-state propaganda with election interventions. We draw on the case of Kremlin- sponsored communication on the issue of refugees in Germany to illustrate the mechanisms though which the discourse operates in target countries. We create a corpus of over a million news stories to identify the prevalence of illiberal discourse and its timing relative to Germany’s elections. We show that the Kremlin intervened in the 2017 Federal elections by promoting refugee stories over and above the rate at which German outlets did. We discuss the broader implications for the use of directed political communication as a form of election intervention.

Historical maps contain a wealth of information. They enable us to access rare data and reveal information that would have been otherwise lost in the archives. Access to historical maps can equip scholars of the politics of the Middle East with new data sources and a toolkit that allows them to address many unique research questions, ranging from implications of historical conflict to the roots of political and economic determinants of development in the Middle East. Historical maps can also help us understand the infrastructure that historically helped social movements develop and the implications of different repression methods on the fabric of the city. Recovering municipal and national boundaries and changes thereof (see Clark’s contribution in this symposium) can prove extremely helpful to understanding movement and migration across time and space and their implications. Historical maps can further be highly beneficial for research in the field of Historical Political Economy when researchers face the issue of missing or incomplete data sources such as censuses

Working Papers

International relations research is animated by the notion that leaders matter. Existing approaches rely on proxies such as regime type to infer the importance of individuals. We propose a new measure, one based on leader mentions relative to country mentions in the relevant text. We construct the measure by scraping speeches made on the floor of U.S. Congress. We demonstrate the promise of our proposal by testing propositions developed in the study of election interventions. We show that policy divergence between the positions of candidates running in elections abroad gets them more noticed by Congress. We also show that leader mentions contain words associated with candidate interventions and concern with democracy. We demonstrate that as democracy matures, individual leader salience dims and opposition leaders catch up on visibility with incumbents. We make our software available to be used by researchers. Our method and measure can help advance research on the importance of leaders - and individuals - in politics more broadly.

Though centralized enforcement of global human rights standards is weak, powerful states can act unilaterally to punish rights violations. Focusing on the United States, which is the most frequent ‘sender’ of sanctions for human rights, we theorize how the incentives for sanctions differ across the legislative and executive branches of government, as well as how the legal foundation for sanctions vary across issue area. Employing a new fine-grained dataset of US economic coercion, we examine the conditions under which and the consistency with which the United States employs sanctions for human rights. We show that certain human rights issues, characterized by interbranch agreement and domestic policy externalities, give rise to systems of ‘dedicated’ enforcement where violations are systematically monitored and punishment is more likely. In other more politically-contentious areas, US human rights enforcement is more ad hoc, but nevertheless responds at the margins to international legal commitments: when countries ratify certain certain global human rights treaties, they are more likely to be targeted by US sanctions in the event of rights violations.

In this paper, we study how Congress makes its voice heard in American foreign policy in the area of economic statecraft. Unlike the President, who can alter sanctions policy with the stroke of a pen, Congress cannot change legislation easily in the face of difficulty to anticipate future contingencies. Congress may be able to craft detailed legislation. Congress can also try to allow the President more discretion on the final decision on sanctions. We would predict that when legislation involves more future uncertainty, Congress is more likely to build-in clauses allowing the President flexibility. We also predict that in cases Congress wants to deter future challenges to policy, and to send a signal to governments contemplating some behavior, it will be less likely to offer discretion to the President. Finally, where undermining Presidential bargaining powers can have grave consequences, such as in issues of terrorism, Congress is more likely to defer to the President. We use web-scraping and text-analysis techniques to identify cases where the U.S. Congress or President discussed or imposed sanctions on foreign nations or entities. We use this dataset to study how Congress designs economic sanctions.

We use web-scraping and text-analysis techniques to identify cases in which the U.S. government discussed democratization in other states, as well as considered or imposed foreign policy measures to affect liberalism abroad. We focus our search around periods surrounding foreign elections. Elections are important for democratization, and attract intense international scrutiny. We comb through more than 1.2 million documents contained in the Congressional Record and all congressional legislation, as well as the American Presidency Project. We utilize Natural Language Processing (NLP) approaches to extract all instances related to our search. The documents we retrieve represent the first measure of attention by U.S. Congress and the President to democratization and electoral practices abroad. Our approach improves considerably the precision, coverage and granularity of existing data. Democratization has been a prominent U.S. foreign policy goal yet researchers have been hampered by lack of appropriate tools to study the topic. Our data can be used as is, or further processed, to relate U.S. policy commitments to policy outcomes. We provide some examples. We utilize a set of best practices that, together with the data and code we supply, can be used by scholars in a wide variety of settings, to collect information on any policy response by a bureaucratic entity.

Ongoing Data Collection Projects

Data Collection Project of US Sanctions using Text-Analysis and Machine Learning Techniques

My personal blog

Take a look at my personal blog. The main emphasis of my blog is to make academia more accessabile for Arab Researchers. I will post here about opportunities that I learn about as I navigate the academic world. Other than that, I will be posting about fascinating things I learn through my travel and in my home country. Expect some movie and book reviews.

Featured Post:

My first post discusses my personal motivation for starting this blog. “Growing up in the Middle East, where economic inequality is a pressing problem, I have always wondered about the way to becoming an academic and get a top-class education. Academia seemed inaccessible, especially for Arab women.
نشأت في الشرق الأوسط، حيث تمثل عدم المساواة الاقتصادية مشكلة ملحة. لطالما تساءلت كيف يمكن للمرء أن يصبح أكاديميًا ويحصل على تعليم عالي المستوى. بدت الأوساط الأكاديمية بعيدة المنال، خاصة بالنسبة للمرأة العربية.Read more

I am honored, to have said a few words recently about the importance of opportunities for refugees to access higher education, also to introduce our great speakers Natasha Kaplinsky OBE and Lord Dubs to the event “Stepping up for Refugees” organized by Somerville College and Mansfield College of the University of Oxford. Read more and access the video

Other posts include: Andalusia, Art and Architecture - الأندلس، الفن والعمارة

Alexandria, the pearl of the Mediterranean - taken by me

Recent and Upcoming Conferences and Presentations

International relations research is animated by the notion that leaders matter. Existing approaches rely on proxies such as regime type …

We use this the crisis set off by the arrival of asylum-seekers in Germany to test a theory of the use of propaganda as a strategy by a …

We use web-scraping and text-analysis techniques to identify cases in which the U.S. gov- ernment discussed democratization in other …