American University of Beirut

Core Team


​​​Dr. ​Rami Zurayk

Interim Director

​​​​Dr. Rami Zurayk is Professor in (and former chairperson of) the Department of Landscape Design and Ecosystem Management at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. He currently serves ​as Coordinator of the Ecosystem Management Track in the Interfaculty Graduate Environmental Sciences Program. Dr. Zurayk’s research interests center on landscape and agrarian transformation, as well as on political ecology of the Arab world. He has published on food security in Gaza, on ‘Farming Palestine for Freedom” as well as extensively on issues pertaining to land use, food security and sovereignty, sustainable agriculture, and water and food systems during conflict. For two years, he was the lead researcher on a UN-HABITAT program on Land and Conflict in the Arab Region. He is a fo​unding member of the Arab Food Sovereignty Network, which focuses on issues of food sovereignty in the Arab World, and is a contributor to Al Shabaka, the Palestine Policy Network. A long-term activist on Palestinian issues and former advisor of the AUB Palestinian Cultural Club, he has been serving as the co-chair of the PLSC Steering Committee and highly engaged in the center’s activities since its inception.​​

Current Affiliated Researchers

Hanine She​hadeh,​​​​​ Research Affiliate​



As a fellow at the PLSC, Dr. Shehadeh will further her research on the fusion between religious claims and nationalism and its political manifestations. She will also contribute to an on-going project with the Center for Advanced Mathematical Sciences at AUB on the dynamics of settler colonialism. In addition, Dr. Shehadeh will take part of the PLSC Lecture Series and engage with students at both graduate and undergraduate levels through mentoring and guest lecturing.

Dr. Shehadeh completed her Ph.D. in Intellectual History at the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University in New York City. Her dissertation, which provided a history of the constructed social, political, religious, and cultural phenomenon of the dishonorable Jew in European Christian antisemitic Zionism, and later Jewish Zionism, was nominated for Columbia University's Salo and Jeanette Baron Prize in Jewish Studies. Her work on affect formation in settler-colonial societies was granted Columbia University's Humanities War and Peace Initiative award (HWPI). Her new research tentatively focuses on the social intersections of settler-colonialism and climate change, more specifically on deconstructing the global framing of climate change and environmental justice in relation to settler-colonialism in Palestine. 

​Read latest publication.​

Previous Affiliated Researchers​

Eli Powelso​n
​Eli Powelson is an American historian based in Lebanon. He holds a BA in History from San Francisco State University, an MA in Arab and Middle Eastern History from the American University of Beirut, and will soon begin a PhD program in Middle East History. His research has focused on Palestine in the early British Mandate era with a special concentration on media analysis.  

Moné Ma​​kkawi

Moné Makkawi is a Ph.D. candidate at NYU's department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Her research focuses on the intersections between refugeehood, migration, culture, and urbanism in southern Lebanon. She is currently working on her dissertation, which examines how refugees and migrant workers generate, contribute to, and sustain the urban development, economic flows, and socio-political contexts of Tyre, Lebanon. ​​


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