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In today’s academic environment, two watchwords that crop up on most project target lists are interdisciplinarity and impact. Both are being brought to bear on new research in the outlying tribal regions of Yemen. As a Senior Research Fellow and Arabic specialist I have been working in Egypt and Yemen in the years following the outbreak of the Arab Spring in 2010.  My research started in Egypt with a survey of media, culture and public opinion in the aftermath of the revolution, together with political scientists from Oxford’s DPIR and Cairo University. At the same time, my study of the use of poetry in Yemen’s jihadist journals brought me to a new political interest in how Yemen’s transition to a federal system is playing out in Yemen’s eastern regions. Together with local tribesmen, I sought to gather popular opinion on the range of social, economic and political challenges facing them, which in turn precipitated the formation of an elected cross-tribal council.  I’m continuing to talk to governments and the UN about problems faced by the tribes in eastern Yemen and the associated political instability.

A full feature on my work is available in the 31st July edition of THE Magazine. Click here to read it.

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