This blog is a collection of individual stories, experiences and reflections along my PhD journey as I conduct field research in Lebanon and Jordan.
My work is centred around the themes of Gender, public space and governance. It examines the experiences and negotiations of public space of urban refugee women living in the cities of Beirut & Amman. Alongside this, I also examine the ways in which local governance affects refugee women’s experience of public space, including their access to judiciary and security in their local neighbourhoods. I interview refugee women, security providers, NGO representatives, activists and political party representatives in order to help me gain a robust understanding of the neighbourhoods in which I’m working.
I work in neighbourhoods that are typically more socio-economically deprived, as this is often where refugee’s settle when arriving in cities. Having few rights (especially lacking the right to work), urban refugees tend to settle alongside the urban poor in order to find affordable places to live and informal places to work.
Methodologically I use a combination of qualitative methods. I predominantly employ one to one interviews, but I also conduct focus groups, employ cognitive mapping techniques and use personal diaries (Refugee women keep diaries for 1-2 weeks reflecting on their experiences in their neighbourhood).
This blog is predominantly made up of narratives from the refugee women I interview. I highlight a few aspects of their stories and publish them on this blog to help ensure that their voices are heard and their experiences known. I do not use any of their real names, nor are any of them pictured here.
I also include some of my learning curves from the research field, alongside other experiences and reflections from my PhD journey.
I’m an ESRC funded PhD Student with the Department of Urban Studies & Planning at the University of Sheffield and an Affiliate Scholar with the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut. If you have any questions about this blog or my work, please do contact me and I’ll be happy to help.