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Barcelona Summer School of the Mediterranean and the Middle East

Javier Albarracin
Consultant specialised in the MENA economies and affairs with more than 25 years of job experience in the region.

He has been for 9 years the Director of Socioeconomic Development at the think tank European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed). He was for 10 years the responsible for the Middle East and North African at the Consortium for Foreign Trade Promotion of Catalonia (COPCA), belonging to the Catalan Ministry of Innovation, Universities and Enterprise, with direct responsibility on the offices in Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Iran and with operations in the rest of the countries of the MENA region. 1998-99 he worked for the Spanish Foreign Trade Institute (ICEX) in the Spanish Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy in Istanbul (Turkey). He is professor of International Relations and International Economy at the Blanquerna University of Barcelona and collaborates with several others (University of Girona, UAB…). He has a Degree in Political Science and Public Administration and Master in International Relations by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). He works with companies, institutions, research centers and other economic stakeholders with interests in the MENA region as well as the Muslim world at large.

Katerina Dalacoura
Associate Professor in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Katerina Dalacoura has been awarded a Major Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust  for three years starting September 2021. Her project, entitled "The International Thought of Turkish Islamists: History, Civilisation and Nation" will be a work of intellectual history that engages with the concept of a ‘global IR’. In 2015-16, she was British Academy Mid-Career Fellow and in 2016-19 she participated in a project on the ‘Middle East and North Africa Regional Architecture’, sponsored by the European Commission under the auspices of Horizon 2020 (2016-19). She previously worked at the University of Essex and at the International Institute of Strategic Studies. Dr Dalacoura’s work has centered on the intersection of Islamism and international human rights norms. She has worked on human rights, democracy and democracy promotion, in the Middle East, particularly in the context of Western policies in the region. Her latest research focuses on the role of culture and civilization in International Relations with special reference to Turkey. She has a continuing interest in questions of secularity and secularization in the Middle East.

Dr. Nimrod Goren
President and Founder of Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, Co-Founder of Diplomeds - The Council for Mediterranean Diplomacy, and Co-Chair of a regional initiative at President Isaac Herzog's Israeli Climate Forum.

He is also the Senior Fellow for Israeli Affairs at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.  He holds a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He was a Teaching Fellow on Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University, and has also worked at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies and the Nehemia Levtzion Center for Islamic Studies. Nimrod is a past recipient of the Victor J. Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East and the Centennial Medal of the Institute of International Education, and was selected as a Vamik Volkan Scholar by the International Dialogue Initiative. He serves on the steering committees of the Geneva Initiative and the Turkish-Israeli Civil Society Forum, and is a member of the Global Diplomacy Lab. Nimrod's fields of expertise include Israel’s foreign policy and regional relations, as well as the Middle East peace process. 

Suad Joseph
Distinguished Research Professor at the University of California, Davis.

Suad Joseph is the founder and founding president of the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association), founder and founding president of the Association for Middle East Women's Studies (AMEWS) and founder/director of the Arab Families Working Group. She founded and directed the University of California Davis Arab Region Consortium. She was president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America in 2010-2011.  She is co-founder and founding president of the Arab American Studies Association and co-founder of the Association for Middle East Anthropology and the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies. She is General Editor of the prize-winning Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. She has edited or co-edited 12 books, and published over 100 articles in journals and books, most recently Reporting Islam: Muslim Women in the New York Times, 1979-2011 (2023); Handbook of Middle East Women (2023); The Politics of Engaged Gender Research in the Arab Region: Feminist Fieldwork and the Production of Knowledge (2021); the award-winning Arab American Women: Representation and Refusal (2021). She is the founder and founding director of the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program at UC Davis; co-founder of the UCD Feminist Research Institute. She was awarded the UC Davis Prize – the largest undergraduate teaching and research prize in the United States; the Middle East Studies Association Jere L. Bacharach Lifetime Service Award in 2019; the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies and the Arab American Studies Association lifetime service awards. Her research on her native Lebanon focuses on gender and citizenship, the state, family, children and youth, trauma, and the cultural politics of selfhood. She currently PI’s multi-university collaborative projects on gendering STEM education, refugee mental health, and mapping the production of knowledge on women and gender in the Arab region.

Aurèlia Mañe Estrada
Senior Lecturer at the UB, where she teaches subjects related to economic policy, international energy systems and Political Economy of Energy, and the economies of the Arab world

Doctor in Economic and Business Sciences from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and Master in International Relations from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). She has been an associate professor at the University of Denver (Colorado, USA) and she is an honorary researcher at the School of History at the University of East Anglia (UK). She also teaches several postgraduate and doctorate courses at several Spanish and foreign universities, and is a visiting professor of the Master's Degree in Arab and Contemporary Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and of the ERASMUS+ Master, GLOCAL at the University of Göttingen. In the field of university management, she has been coordinator of the Tutorial Action Plan, Academic Secretary and Responsible for international relations at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Barcelona and, currently, she is the Rector's Delegate for mobility and international programs at the same university.

Eduard Soler
Lecturer of International Relations at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Associate Senior Researcher at CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs), and Affiliated Faculty member at IBEI.

Between 2016 and 2019, he was the scientific coordinator of MENARA, a European project on geopolitical shifts in the Middle East and North Africa. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Dr. Soler i Lecha is a political scientist and a part-time lecturer in International Relations at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals and at Ramon Llull-Blanquerna University. From 2013 to 2017 he lead the El Hiwar project on Euro-Arab diplomacy at the College of Europe (Bruges) and in 2010 he was seconded to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an advisor in the Direction General for the Mediterranean, the Maghreb and the Middle East. He has also advised in several occasions the Catalan government and the Barcelona local governments on Euro-Mediterranean affairs. His main areas of expertise are: Euro-Mediterranean relations, Turkey’s foreign and domestic politics, North African and Middle Eastern political dynamics, Spain's Mediterranean policy and security cooperation in the Mediterranean. He is a member of the Observatory of European Foreign Policy, FIMAM (the Spanish network of researchers working on Arab and Muslim studies), EuroMeSCo and the advisory boards of Mediterranean Politics and IEMed’s Mediterranean Yearbook.

Torunn Tryggestad
Expert on gender, conflict and peacebuilding. Deputy Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, and head of PRIO’s Centre on Gender, Peace and Security since 2015.

Her expertise in UN peacebuilding, peace operations institutions and implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security was recognized when the UN Secretary General appointed her to the Advisory Group of the UN Peacebuilding Fund. She has extensive experience from teaching, training and providing policy advice to Norwegian ministries, the Armed Forces and the justice sector. She had a central role in High-Level Seminars on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Processes, with the UN Department of Political Affairs and the Crisis Management Initiative. She has worked as a researcher and project leader at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, working on UN peacekeeping and peacekeeping capacity-building in Africa. For a year she was an advisor with the UN Section at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Dr. Harry Tzimitras
Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo - PRIO Cyprus Centre.

In this capacity, he coordinates research and dialogue activities on the search for a political settlement to the island’s division. He is also Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C. (Global Energy Center). He is Professor of International Law and International Relations, specializing in conflict resolution, energy security & geopolitics, the law of the sea, foreign policy, and the Eastern Mediterranean and has published extensively on these subjects. Previously, he held full-time teaching & research positions at Istanbul Bilgi University, Koç University (Istanbul), the University of Cambridge and the Institute of International Relations, Athens, and visiting professorships at a number of universities internationally. He is a member of various Advisory Boards, including the London Energy Club and the Charles University of Prague Centre for Violence, Trauma and Justice. He holds a BSc (Econ.) with Honours in International Relations from the London School of Economics, a PhD summa cum laude in International Law from the Panteion University of Athens and two post-docs from the University of Cambridge and the Institute of International Relations, Athens. 

Lurdes Vidal
Director of the Arab and Islamic World Department at IEMed until 2022. She lectures on Mediterranean, Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI) and at Blanquerna-Ramon Llull University.

Having held various positions at the IEMed since 2003, Lurdes was Editor-in-Chief of the journal afkar/idees, Sientific Coordinator of MAGIC (Muslim women and communities Against Gendered Islamophobia in soCiety), and Sientific Coordinator of CONNEKT, H2020 research project, which studies the drivers of radicalisation and violent extremism among youth in MENA and the Balkans. Graduated in Translation and Interpreting from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, she lived in Damascus before studying International Relations and becoming a translator for migrant-related and development cooperation organisations. Passionate about the Arab world, researching into political Islam since 1998, Lurdes is a regular contributor to different media outlets.

Dr. Phil. Carsten Wieland
German diplomat, former senior UN consultant, Middle East, and conflict expert with high-ranking mediation experience. Associate Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and associate of the Middle East Center at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). 

From 2014 till 2019, he served with three UN Special Envoys for Syria as Senior Expert for Intra-Syrian Talks and senior political advisor. Wieland also worked in the Syria team of the Foreign Office in Berlin and as director of the German Information Center for the Arab World in Cairo. Currently, he works as a Senior Policy Adviser for the Middle East in the Green Party Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag. Wieland has published articles and books on Syria, nationalism, ethnic conflicts in the Balkans and in South Asia, on Islamism and secularism. His latest book “Syria and the Neutrality Trap: The Dilemmas of Delivering Humanitarian Aid through Violent Regimes” was published in July 2021. Wieland also taught conflict and conflict resolution at New York University (NYU) Berlin campus. In 2006 he was a fellow at the Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Wieland was also guest professor at the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá after having worked as the country representative of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Colombia between 2006 and 2008. Wieland studied history, political science and philosophy at Humboldt University in Berlin, Duke University in North Carolina and at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He lived in Damascus 2003-2004 where he also learned Arabic.