Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Lebanon - COI

Dr Shaul Gabbay

Email: gabbayatmuslimworldexpert [dot] com

Dr Shaul Gabbay acts as a resource for immigration attorneys seeking advice, counsel and expert testimony in asylum cases. Formerly the Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Israel in the Middle East at the University of Denver, he has published extensively on cultures and customs in all Muslim countries, persecution issues based on family dishonour, gender and homosexuality, and sociology and politics of the Muslim world. Professor Gabbay’s expertise helps immigration attorneys and judges understand key societal issues and trends in the Muslim world that have life-threatening repercussions for Muslim immigrants throughout the U.S. at risk of deportation. His oral testimony and written analysis draw on his extensive knowledge and examination of cultural practices in Muslim countries as well as his life experience growing up in the Middle East. More information is on his website  www.muslimworldexpert.com.

Dr Alan George

Email: arg1atcompuserve [dot] com

Dr George is a consultant, writer and journalist, with extensive knowledge of the Middle East. Since 1984 he has worked as a freelance journalist, researcher and expert witness in political asylum cases involving the Middle East. He frequently commentates on Middle Eastern affairs for radio and television and contributes to the Observer, the Independent and the Guardian. He is a former Head of Research at the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce and a former Assistant Director of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CAABU). Since 2003, Dr George has acted as an Expert Witness for UK, US and European asylum and immigration tribunals, dealing with cases involving Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories and has produced some 4,000 reports.

Riad al Khouri, MLitt (Oxon)

Email: ralkhouriatgmail [dot] com
Tel: +962 77 99 95 000
Skype: riad.al.khouri

A Jordanian economist specializing in the Middle East & North Africa, Riad has for over forty years trained, lectured, advised, and researched on a wide variety of socio-economic and other topics such as good governance, migration (including refugees), foreign aid, human rights, post-crisis economies, strategic planning, cultural familiarization, conflict resolution, NGOs, and sustainable development. His mother tongue is Arabic, and he is also fluent in English, with a strong working knowledge of French. Riad lives in Jordan and is a leading expert on the country and MENA generally, working locally and around the region at all levels with numerous Jordanian and international organizations, and writing and publishing widely on the country as well as regionally.

Dr Rebwar Fatah

Email: rebwaratmideastconsultancy [dot] com or infoatmideastconsultancy [dot] com

Dr Rebwar Fatah is the Director of the Middle East Consultancy Services. Dr Fatah has produced thousands of COI reports since he began working as an expert witness in 2000. In the past four years alone, Dr Fatah has produced 1,136 Expert Reports on the Middle East. These include:
706 Country Expert Reports
340 Document Authentication Reports
90 Nationality Reports

Dr Fatah’s reports have been commissioned for and cited in a number of immigration appeals, as well as family and criminal cases.  Moreover, he has assessed a large number of people from the Middle East whose nationality, native language, ethnicity, place of residence has been disputed, and has examined thousands of documents from the MENA region. In addition to a deep knowledge of the region’s administrative and bureaucratic cultures, Dr Fatah’s multilingual proficiencies enable him to understand, interpret and evaluate official documents in the Middle East. As a part of this work, Dr Fatah has produced his own methodology for document authentications and nationality examinations.

Dr Fatah has also provided written and oral evidence in court; among them are five Country Guidance Cases, two Turkish extradition orders and many other cases. Moreover, Dr Fatah has also reviewed and provided guidance on Home Office CPIN reports

Dr Fatah regularly visits the Middle East, conducting fact-finding missions to ensure that his knowledge is up to date and based on reliable information. Dr Fatah speaks most of the Middle Eastern languages as well as their various dialects. Dr Fatah’s Country Expert Reports cover a wide range of issues, including the general security situation, sufficiency of protection, crimes of honour, healthcare, corruption, and at-risk groups of different sexual, religious, political and cultural profiles.

Dr Filippo Dionigi

Email:  f [dot] dionigiatbristol [dot] ac [dot] uk

Dr Filippo Dionigi is a Lecturer of Politics and International Relations at the University of Bristol. His main research interests are international relations theories applied to the Middle Eastern regional context, state-refugee relations, and international politics and religion. Dionigi has carried out extensive fieldwork in several Arab countries including Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq (especially KR-I), Egypt, and Tunisia. His current main research project concerns the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq.

Dr Guita Hourani

Email: guitaghouraniatgmail [dot] com

Dr. Guita G. Hourani is the Director of the Lebanese Center for Migration and Diaspora Studies (LERC) and an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law and Political Science of Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU)-Lebanon. She has a PhD from the Graduate School of Global Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS), Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Hourani provides expert opinion and verifies country information related to citizenship, asylum-seeking, and refugee rights and conditions in Lebanon to governmental and non-governmental institutions. She is an Expert on Citizenship in Lebanon to the European Union Democracy Observatory on Citizenship (EUDO), Fiesole, Italy. She served as a member of the Migration Expert Committee of the Directorate of Migrants at the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a member of the UNDP National Academic Working Group on Migration in Lebanon among others.

Some of her publications on migration and refugees include: State Security and Refugees: Operationalizing the ‘Ladder of Options’ by the Government of Lebanon, Middle East Journal Of Refugee Studies, 2018; An Integrated Approach to Syrian Refugees’ Healthcare in Lebanon, with  J. Diab, Journal of Health Science, New York City, 2018; Understanding Socioeconomic and Political Mobility of Naturalized Kurds in Lebanon, Grin Verlag, 2018; Migrant Support Measures From An Employment And Skills Perspective (MISMES): Lebanon, report with Francesca Rosso and Ruth Ferrero-Turrion, European Training Foundation (ETF), The European Union, 2017;  Bilateral Relations, Security, and Migration: Lebanese Expatriates in the Gulf States, European Scientific Journal (ESJ), Special Edition, 2014; The Global Financial Crisis: Impact on Lebanese Expatriates in The Gulf, The Center for Migration and Refugee Studies  (CMRS), American University of Cairo, 2009, Rapid Assessment of the Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Employment Profile and Implications on the Labour Markets, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Carthage Center for Research and Information (CCRI), Lebanon, 2013; Refugees of the Arab Spring: The Syrian Refugees in Lebanon with S. van Vliet, the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies, the American University of Cairo, Egypt, 2012; Naturalized Citizens: Political Participation, Voting Behavior, and Impact on Elections in Lebanon (1996-2007), with E. Sensenig, Journal of International Migration and Integration (JIMI), 2011; Transit Migration of Iraqi Refugees in Lebanon and Migration Intentions of Iraqi Refugees in Lebanon with K. Abou Chedid and E. Sensenig-Dabbous, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 2010; Effect of Migration Policies on Human Rights in the European Neigbourhood: The Cases of Georgia, Kosovo and Lebanon with E. Sensenig-Dabbous, the Directorate-General for External Policies, The European Parliament, 2011; Insecurity, Migration and Return: the Case of Lebanon Following the Summer 2006 War with E. Sensenig-Dabbous, CARIM, Italy, 2007; Managing Human Resources as an Approach to Curbing Brain Drain and the Migration of Qualified Persons in Lebanon (in Arabic), National Defense Magazine, 2007; Lebanese Diaspora and Homeland Relations, Center For Migration and Refugees Studies, the American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt, 2007; Gender Mainstreaming Forced Migration Research with E. Sensenig-Dabbous, Al-Raida, the Lebanese American University (LAU) Press, 2007; and The Impact of the Summer 2006 War on Migration in Lebanon: Emigration, Re-Migration, Evacuation, and Returning, NDU Press, 2006.

Dr Suzanne Menhem

Email: suzanne [dot] menhematgmail [dot] com

Dr Suzanne Menhem holds a PhD in Social Sciences with sub-speciality in migration studies from the University of Poitiers (Migrinter) in France, as well as at the Department of Social Sciences at the Lebanese University in Lebanon. Her doctoral research project is entitled: “The New Migrants in Lebanon: Toward an Ethnicization of the Labor Market” which encompassed extensive stakeholders and expert interviews, as well as field survey and observation of immigrant labors from Sri Lanka, India, Philippines, Ethiopia and Syria among others. She is currently Professor at the Lebanese University Lebanon. She is a member of Migrinter.  Dr. Menhem is an expert in field survey management and implementation. She has managed several projects & field surveys concerning refugees.

Dr Maya Mikdashi (LGBTI)

Email: mtmikdasatgmail [dot] com  

Dr. Mikdashi is an Assistant Professor at Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She completed her PhD in Anthropology from the Columbia University, 2014. Her current research/manuscript focuses on the law, archives, citizenship, secularity, religious conversion, sexual difference, war on terror in Lebanon. She has been a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow from 2014-2016 at the Rutgers University, and a Faculty Fellow/Director of Graduate Studies, Center for Near Eastern Studies, New York University (2012-2014). She has published widely in journals including International Journal of Middle East Studies, Comparative Study of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, and the American Indian Culture and Research Journal. Maya has also contributed to several edited volumes.  She is a co-founding editor of Jadaliyya.com and co-founding member of filmmaking cooperative Quilting Point Productions.

Dr George Joffé

Tel: +44 20 76 04 30 27
Email: emailatgeorgejoffe [dot] com / Skype: george.joffe

Professor Joffé is prepared to provide country of origin experts witness statements for Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morroco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. He is now retired but is still affiliated to the London Middle East Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Until 2017, Professor Joffé was an affiliated lecturer at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) in the University of Cambridge, where he also ran the Centre for North African Studies. From 2005 to 2010, he was a research fellow at the Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford. From 1997 to 2000, Professor Joffé was the deputy director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London. He regularly addresses professional audiences at the NATO Defence College in Rome, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy in Geneva, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and NOREF in Oslo and the Royal College of Defence Studies in London. He has also advised the European Commission (DG Relex), EuropeAid and the new External Action Service.

Dr Jasmin Lilian Diab

Email: diabjasminatgmail [dot] com (diabjasminatgmail [dot] com )
Website: https://lau.academia.edu/JasminLilianDiab/ ; https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasminldiab/

Dr. Jasmin Lilian Diab (she/her) is a Canadian-Lebanese writer, researcher, university professor, editor and consultant in the areas of Migration, Gender and Conflict Studies. Dr. Diab is an Assistant Professor of Migration Studies at the Lebanese American University (LAU)’s Department of Social Sciences. In previous roles, she served as the Refugee Health Program Coordinator at the American University of Beirut (AUB)'s Global Health Institute (GHI) and a Research Associate under GHI's Political Economy of Health in Conflict Workstream. Prior to assuming her roles at AUB and LAU, she served as the Research and Project Manager of the Lebanese Research Center for Migration and Diaspora Studies at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU)’s Faculty of Law and Political Science, as well as the MENA Regional Focal Point on Migration of the UN General Assembly-mandated UN Major Group for Children and Youth.

She is a Senior Consultant on Refugee and Gender Studies at Cambridge Consulting Services, a Peace Responsiveness Expert at Interpeace, a Research Affiliate at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, a Junior Scholar in Forced Displacement at University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre, and a Junior Fellow and Program Lead at the Global Research Network’s 'War, Conflict and Global Migration' Think Tank. Dr. Diab is a Founding Member of the 'Migration and International Law in Africa, Middle East and Turkey International Network' (MILAMET), and has served as a Research, Evaluation and Policy Consultant to UN Agencies, INGOs and local NGOs across Lebanon and the MENA region. She has been a Reviewer to the Journal of Internal Displacement, a Reviewer and Copy-Editor to the journal 'Refugee Review', and an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Applied Professional Studies at Marywood University since 2020. She holds a PhD in International Relations and Diplomacy with an emphasis on Asylum, Refugees and Security from the esteemed Center for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies (CEDS) of the School of Advanced International and Political Studies at INSEEC U. in Paris, and is the recipient of the CLS 2021 Bursary Award to complete her Postdoctoral research on 'Bridging the Gap between Social Protection and the Humanitarian Response in Times of COVID-19: The Case of Lebanon's Refugees and Good Practices' at LAU-University of Oxford’s Centre for Lebanese Studies.