I am an independent researcher (PhD, Leiden University), affiliated to the Law Faculty of Maastricht University (the Netherlands), where I am involved in research related to religious marriage and divorce practices in the Netherlands. Four days a week I work as a project development & policy officer at a Dutch NGO (SIPI) in Amsterdam. I have completed degrees in international law and Arabic languages and cultures, before finishing my PhD on Syrian family law at Leiden University.
I am the author of Family Law in Syria: Patriarchy, Pluralism and Personal Status Laws (London: I.B. Tauris, 2016). This study is based on extensive, ethnographic fieldwork in Damascus (Syria), consisting of interviews and court observations in three (Muslim, Catholic and Greek-Orthodox) personal status courts. My work has also appeared in the books Sharia Incorporated: A Comparative Overview of the Legal Systems of Twelve Muslim Countries in the Past and Present (2010) and Family Law in Islam: Divorce, Marriage and Women in the Muslim World (2012). I am a Board Member and Secretary of the Dutch Association for the Study of the Law of Islam and the Middle East.
My research interests and expertise include Middle Eastern law (including Eastern Catholic marriage law), religious marriage and divorce, migration, gender and human rights issues, both in the academia and beyond.