Heba is a doctoral candidate in sociology at Princeton University. You can find her C.V. here.
Her dissertation entitled “Refugees Welcome” examines how newly resettled Syrian refugees make new lives in the United States, and how their experiences differ from those of their counterparts in Canada, Germany and Italy. She conducts this research as the world faces its largest refugee crisis since World War II. While each of these countries is responding to the humanitarian crisis of the displacement of over 5.4 million Syrians, each incorporates refugees vis-à-vis combinations of their own immigration and social service systems, which are shaped by that country’s gender, class and racial inequalities. She focuses on the first two years of Syrian refugees’ lives in each country, selecting families from similar backgrounds in Syria. Through ethnographic observation and longitudinal interviews, she examines how policies result in variations in refugee pathways across countries, facilitating entry into the middle class or pushing newcomers downwards into a marginalized minority. She pays specific attention to how the experiences of men and women differ, and the ways in which anti-Muslim sentiment in each country shapes the experiences of these newcomers.
Heba’s dissertation work has won research awards from the National Science Foundation, and the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy. Her work has also been referenced in the New Yorker and has contributed to New York Times coverage on Syrian refugees. Her advocacy work has been covered in local outlets including the New Haven Independent.
Heba’s previous work examined how low income women in Cairo accessed education on behalf of their children and how a poverty alleviation program, a Conditional Cash Transfer that operated on behavioral incentives, intervened in that process. Her work on this project won the Eastern Sociological Society’s Candace Rogers Award for “most outstanding paper by a graduate student” and has been published in Sociological Forum in an article entitled “The Unnecessary Nudge: Education and Poverty Policy in a Cairo Slum.”
Prior to beginning graduate school, Heba was a researcher at the American University in Cairo’s Social Research Center on a Conditional Cash Transfer project. She also consulted for German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GIZ) and CARE International on issues pertaining to gender and development in the Middle East.
Heba is a native Arabic speaker.
contact: gowayed [at] princeton [dot] edu
Photo from March for Refugees New Haven 2/5/2017, Credit: Peter Tinti