Soon after I finished my undergraduate studies in classical music, my focus shifted from opera performance to education during times of conflict. In 2013, I completed a Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship in Jordan, where I researched and implemented music education programming for displaced children and youth. In the three years that followed, I worked throughout the Middle East primarily as a consultant for government, UN and international organizations on projects to support youth education, gender equality and economic engagement. These experiences solidified my commitment to advancing outcomes for young people in the region, while also raising difficult questions about the potential for humanitarian efforts to unintentionally harm those they aim to help. This dilemma is at the heart of my doctoral research on education and conflict in Syria, which will examine how wartime politics both shape and are shaped by education and international aid. By addressing these fissures, my hope is that research of this kind will contribute to bringing about safer, more meaningful and just educational opportunities for young people affected by conflict in Syria and beyond.
University of Rochester
University of Cambridge