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Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme


  Ruby Haji Naif


  Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Lucy Cavendish College

  PhD thesis: TBC



Research interests:

  1. Interfaith relations and their impact on integration and belonging.
  2. Intersection of immigration, displacement, gender equality, and climate change.
  3. NGOs' role in driving political and social change.

My research project explores the role of interfaith interactions in integration processes and a sense of belonging among Syrian fugees in Germany. Employing ethnographic fieldwork as its primary methodology, this study seeks to look at the impact of interfaith relationships on the social, cultural, and economic integration of refugees. Its overarching objective is to contribute to a more nuanced comprehension of integration dynamics and the development of a sense of belonging among refugees and immigrants. This research aspires to yield insights that can inform policymaking and initiatives aimed at fostering successful bidirectional integration within diverse societies such as Germany. Ultimately, the findings may offer valuable guidance for the promotion of positive interfaith relations as a means to enhance the overall integration experience of Syrian refugees in Germany.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your research interests?

What inspired me to pursue my own research interest was my personal experience of displacement, which ignited a deep sense of purpose within me. As a member of the community I study, I've felt a strong connection to the stories of refugees, as they are intertwined with my own narrative. Personal encounters sparked my passion for ethnographic work, revealing its ability to shed light on the lived experiences of those around me. I wanted to share the story of my community and contribute to a deeper understanding of Syria and the Syrian diaspora with authenticity and empathy.