Conflict-affected areas; MENA (Middle East and North Africa); Social justice and Development; Higher Education; Symbolic violence; Interdisciplinary/ multidisciplinary studies.
Mona completed her BA in English Language and Literature at Al Azhar University of Gaza in 1998, graduating on the honour list. After that, she worked as teacher and trainer of teacher at Gaza governmental schools (Basic, Preparatory and Secondary). In 2005, Mona won a Saïd Foundation Scholarship to study for an MSc in Higher Education at Oxford University. She graduated from her master’s with distinction and was awarded the Saïd Foundation Second Prize for her distinguished academic and personal achievements. Mona then returned to Gaza for a period of five years where she worked as a lecturer at two of Gaza’s universities. She also co-founded two centres and a scholarship program in Gaza.
In 2012, Mona won a Gates Cambridge scholarship to study for a PhD in Education at Cambridge, as their first scholar ever from the Gaza Strip and the second from Palestine. A lecturer and teacher before then, during her PhD, she studied the impact of conflict on the higher education experience in Gaza, and how this experience may be evolving in the shifting socio-political context in the Arab world. Mona passed her PhD with no corrections, and her research was featured prominently at the University of Cambridge. She has produced four films from her PhD research on Academic Life in Gaza, as well as contributing with articles to academic journals and short pieces to blogs and newspapers such as University World News, Times Higher Education, and Discover Society and others. In 2018, Mona has been invited to join Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy as a member of their Networks of evidence and expertise.
Currently Mona is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Business Research, working as part of the Global Challenge Research Fund project: Research for Health in Conflict. Her contribution focuses on analysing the political economy of health in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, in relation to the Syrian conflict and the humanitarian crisis of refugees in these countries.