Hania Bekdash is a doctoral student in the PhD program in International Conflict Management Program at Kennesaw State University where she intends to focus her research on the nexus between conflict, development, and youth in the Arab world. She has an MA in International Affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University where she specialized in conflict resolution and human security. Her Master’s thesis, based on original field research, explored the role of civil society in shaping transitional justice and reconciliation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Bekdash received her BA from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied Theatre Arts and French. Afterward she moved to Lebanon to volunteer with Palestinian refugees while taking courses at the American University of Beirut in Economics and Political Science. During that time, she also worked as a research assistant in the Department of Economics and co-published research related to regime transitions and democratization in the Arab world.
Once she completed her MA, Bekdash moved back to the Middle East and gained significant experience working with private and non-profit institutions. Most recently, she was based in Oman working for a non-profit with youth in search of higher education opportunities. Previous to that, she worked in Yemen for a private strategic communications firm managing multi-stakeholder projects aimed at informing the public on several topics related to the transition process. Many of her Yemen projects also involved building capacities of youth. Before Yemen, Bekdash was based in the UAE working for a strategic communications firm for which she facilitated communications between high level international public and private sector stakeholders in the energy sector.
Bekdash has worked as the lead researcher and project manager for a regional project seeking to assess the impact assessment of think tanks in the GCC for an Omani think tank. She was involved in organizing capacity building for youth in Oman during that time. Prior to moving to the Arab Gulf Region, she spent two years in Lebanon working at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut where she led regional projects on human rights and public policy.
She speaks fluent English, Spanish, and French, with reading, writing, and speaking competencies in Arabic.