CURA Research Assistants

Past Assistants


Ngoc Nguyen

Ngoc Nguyen is a student majoring in Culture and Politics and minoring in Economics at GU-Q. As a research assistant, she assisted the center with research about the region. As part of the Certificate of Media and Politics program, she is exploring the social media usage of social movements in urban Vietnam. She is passionate about journalism and is the co-founder of the publication The Georgetown Gazette. Her research interests pertain to sexual and religious minorities, along with law and theology.


Irene Promodh

Irene Ann Promodh (class of 2021) is a junior at GU-Q majoring in International Politics and is originally from South India. She worked as a CURA Research Assistant and assisted Mehran Kamrava and Zahra Babar with their research centered on the region. As part of the Certificate in Media and Politics (CMAP) program, she is currently engaged in research to explore the role of traditional media in sustaining circular migration flows from South India to the Gulf. She is also the President of the Hoya Empowerment and Learning Program (H.E.L.P.), a student-led linguistic and professional development program for service providers on campus. She is also the Vice President of GU-Q’s Annual Undergraduate Research Conference (AURC). Her personal research interests are rooted in exploring migration trends from South Asia to the Gulf and corresponding patterns of diasporic activity both in and between the Gulf and home countries.


Bilal Tahir

Bilal Tahir (class of 2022) is a sophomore at GU-Q majoring in International Economics. As a Research Assistant, he assisted Dr. Mehran Kamrava and Dr. Zahra Babar in their ongoing research. Bilal is an active member of the HELP program, and is also President of the Georgetown Cricket Club. His personal research interests include the economic development of the GCC and the socio-economic policies of South Asia.



Yasmine Fade

Yasmine Fade (class of 2020) is a Research Assistant at CIRS and a student at GU-Q, majoring in Culture and Politics. She is also a candidate in the Certificate in Media and Politics program in collaboration with Northwestern Medill School of Journalism in Qatar. As a Research Fellow, she assists CIRS Director Dr. Kamrava and Assistant Director Dr. Babar in their ongoing research, largely centering on the sociopolitical and economic development of the GCC. Yasmine’s research interests lie in American media culture, particularly as it relates to race, religion, and ethnicity.


Abdul Rehmaan Qayyum

Abdul Rehmaan Qayyum (class of 2021) is a sophomore at GU-Q majoring in International Economics. He is from Pakistan and is working as a Research Assistant with CIRS Associate Director Zahra Babar on projects focusing on migration patterns within the Gulf states. He is personally interested in researching the workforce conditions within Qatar, as well as the mechanism of the international stock market.




Asma Al-Adawi

Asma Al-Adawi was a member of the inaugural class of GU-Q, graduating in 2009. She majored in International Politics and was an active member of the Georgetown community in addition to being one of the first CIRS student assistants. She co-founded HELP, a student-led initiative that focuses on educational enrichment of service providers on campus. Asma currently works as a Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist at Bunduq Oil Producing Company. Al-Adawi worked at CIRS from 2008 to 2009.




Supporting Social Science Research in a Turbulent Middle East

Ameena Almeer

Ameena Almeer (class of 2020) is a junior at GU-Q majoring in International Politics with a minor in Arabic. She is particularly interested in issues relating to the global political economy and social justice in the Gulf states, and is currently working on her Honors Thesis to explore the impacts of the ongoing blockade on the political economy of Qatar. Previous to joining CIRS, she has interned at the Brookings Institute’s Doha center and at the office of former Qatari Minister of Justice Najeeb Al Nauimi. Almeer worked for CIRS from 2018 to 2019.


Eman Al Asfoor

Eman Al Asfoor (class of 2013) graduated with a major in international economics. Eman continued her studies by pursuing a master’s degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University. She is currently working at the Bahrain Economic Development Board. Al Asfoor worked at CIRS from 2012 to 2013.




Tamim Al-Nuweiri

Tamim Al-Nuweiri (class of 2016) graduated from GU-Q with a major in International Economics. After graduating, Tamim pursued a career as a writer and has written on various topics including music, beauty, fashion, and wellness. Tamim is a regular contributor to several notable publications including Fashionista, Nylon, Into the Gloss, and others. Al-Nuweiri worked at CIRS from 2014 to 2015.




Yasmine Al-Sayyad

Yasmine Al-Sayyad is an Egyptian freelance journalist living in New York City. She is a dual MA student in journalism and Middle Eastern studies at New York University. She graduated from GU-Q with a BSc in Foreign Service. Yasmine previously worked as a Corporate Affairs Coordinator in the Microsoft Middle East and Africa headquarters before pursuing further studies. Al-Sayyad worked at CIRS from 2009 to 2010.



Supporting Social Science Research in a Turbulent Middle East

Noof Hamad Al-Thani (2016-2017)





Safa Babikir

Safa Babikir graduated from GU-Q as a member of the class of 2017. At CIRS, she helped Dr. Mehran Kamrava by conducting research on an array of Gulf and Middle East projects. During her time at Georgetown, Safa also interned at Education Above All and participated in the student-led HELP program that focuses on teaching English language skills to the service providers in the university. Babikir worked at CIRS from 2016 to 2017.



Sarah Elzeini

Sarah Elzeini currently is serving as Executive Director of Gabr Foundation, a nonprofit foundation in Washington, DC, which aims to enhance critical understanding and cooperation among young, emerging leaders in the Arab world and the West. Her regional focus is US- Middle East affairs, and her research interests include the foreign policy of the United States, Arab cultural politics, conflict resolution, and counter-terrorism. Elzeini worked at CIRS from 2013 to 2014.




Irakli Gobejishvili

Irakli Gobejishvili (class of 2021) is a BS in Foreign Service student at GU-Q. He is from Tbilisi, Georgia. He worked with Mehran Kamrava and Zahra Babar on research projects that are related to the Middle East and it’s relation to the global world. He also assisted Islam Hassan on other CIRS research projects. Apart from CIRS, Irakli has interned at various executive branches of the Government of Georgia. His personal interests revolve around the Russian foreign policy and the significance of various political ideologies that include Islamic fundamentalism, absolutism and Trotskyism.



Amie Victoria Hewka

Amie Victoria Hewka (class of 2019) was a student in International Affairs at GU-Q. In addition to pursing her major in Culture and Politics, she also worked at CIRS as a Research Assistant, focusing primarily on contemporary politics in the Middle East. Originally from England, the majority of Amie’s past work experience is in ESL teaching, where she has taught in China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Qatar. Her main research interests are in migration and conflict studies, as well as transnational understandings of feminism. Hewka worked at CIRS from 2017 to 2018.



Sana Jamal 

Sana Jamal is a former Associate Editor (Central and South Asia) at Fair Observer. She has previously worked as a Research Assistant at CIRS. At GU-Q, she majored in International Politics with a concentration in International Security. Jamal worked at CIRS from 2012 to 2013.





Aminah Ali Kandar

Aminah Ali Kandar graduated from GU-Q as a member of the class of 2013. She pursued a major in International Politics and has remained an active member of the GU-Q and Education City communities. After graduation, she worked for Al Jazeera and for the Doha International Family Institute (DIFI). Currently, she a senior communications specialist at the University of Calgary in Qatar. Kandar worked at CIRS from 2012 to 2013.



Aiza Khan

Aiza Khan (class of 2020) is a junior at GU-Q majoring in Culture and Politics. She is a Research Assistant at CIRS for the CIRS Undergraduate Research Advancement (CURA) program. Her key research interests include forced migration and its interactions with race and gender identity. During her time at Georgetown, she has participated in many extracurricular activities including the Zones of Conflict/Zones of Peace trip to Japan to study the impact of the atomic bombings and the Community Engagement Program in Greece to understand the ongoing refugee crisis. Aiza worked at CIRS from 2018 to 2019.



Mehaira Mahgoub

Mehaira Mahgoub (class of 2019) is a senior at GU-Q majoring in International Economics. Originally from Sudan, Mehaira was born and raised in Qatar. She is working as a Research Assistant with CIRS Director and Professor Mehran Kamrava and CIRS Associate Director Zahra Babar on several projects relating to Middle Eastern politics. She was driven to join CURA’s research efforts in hopes of developing her academic research skills and knowledge on the region’s political climate. Mahgoub worked at CIRS from 2018 to 2019.



Dianna Manalastas

Dianna Manalastas graduated with a degree in Culture and Politics from GU-Q as a member of the class of 2012. After graduating, Dianna worked with the organization Teach for America and currently works as the Recruitment Manager at Harlem Village Academies. Manalastas worked at CIRS from 2011 to 2012.





Emma Mogensen 

Emma Mogensen (class of 2018) majored in International History at GU-Q. Originally from Denmark, she has lived in Qatar since 2009. She worked as a Research Assistant at CIRS, conducting research on labor migration and citizenship in the GCC countries, among other topics concerning international migration. Her research interests revolve around migration and transnational activist networks, as well as global understandings of citizenship and feminism. Mogensen worked at CIRS from 2016 to 2017.



Dwaa Osman 

Dwaa Osman (class of 2011) graduated from GU-Q with a major in International Politics. After graduating, she joined CIRS as a research analyst. Later, she continued her education and studied local economic development at London School of Economics. She currently works as a Senior Knowledge Analyst at the Boston Consulting Group. Osman worked at CIRS from 2010 to 2011.




Fatima Ramadan Sanz 

Fatima Ramadan Sanz (class of 2013) graduated from GU-Q with a major in International Politics. She helped conduct research the various projects and initiatives at CIRS. After graduating from GU-Q, Fatima joined Teach for Qatar as a Talent Acquisition and Development Specialist. Sanz worked at CIRS from 2012 to 2013.




CURA Summer Fellows


Tessa Martin

Tessa Martin pursued her undergraduate studies at McGill University where she studied Middle East Studies. She later enrolled at the London School of Economics to pursue her a master’s degree in International Relations. Tessa currently works as recruiter at Chemonics International. Martin worked at CIRS during the summer of 2014.




Sahar Naqvi

Sahar Naqvi graduated from McGill University with the class of 2018. She assisted Dr. Mehran Kamrava and Zahra Babar with their research projects during her time at CIRS, on various topics including migrant labor in the Gulf. Naqvi worked at CIRS during the summer of 2017.





Erika Nguyen (2016)

Erika Nguyen was a summer intern at CIRS in 2016. Presently, Erika is working as a coordinator for Human Rights Watch, focusing on development and outreach in Silicon Valley. Previously, she lived and worked in Jordan and Qatar, where she organized conferences with the American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford, and worked at organizations such as Participant Media, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and the Center for International Security and Cooperation. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Erika completed her BA at Stanford University in 2017, where she majored in International Relations,and graduated with honors from the Graduate School of Education. Nguyen worked at CIRS during the summer of 2016.


Neil Udassi

Neil Udassi is a first year undergraduate student pursuing a BS degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University. He worked as a Research Assistant at CIRS, developing his academic research capabilities in literature review and article authorship through projects currently under the administration of the CIRS Director  and Associate Director. Neil has extensive research experience in the realms of social and natural sciences, having engaged in work at Weill Cornell-Qatar’s Department of Oncology and the University of Florida’s Department of Surgery. Udassi worked at CIRS during the summer of 2018.


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Noor Shahzad

Noor Shahzad is a student at the University of Toronto majoring in History. She was a summer research assistant assisting CIRS Director Mehran Kamrava and Associate Director Zahra Babar with work on Middle Eastern politics and projects on migrant worker patterns in the Gulf region. Her personal interests include researching international intervention is South Asia and the Middle East as well as the effects of the Cold War on the Third World. Shahzad worked at CIRS during the summer of 2019.

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Suhile Darwish

Suhile Darwish is a student at Ohio State University majoring in Political Science. He was a summer research assistant assisting CIRS Director Mehran Kamrava and Associate Director Zahra Babar. Darwish worked at CIRS during the summer of 2019.