Advisory Board

Prof. Nader El-Bizri

Professor Nader El-Bizri is the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Sharjah.  He is also a longstanding Affiliated Scholar with the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and an Associate of King's College Cambridge. He has been a Leverhulme Visiting Professor in History of Science and Philosophy at Durham University, and was a tenured full Professor of Civilization Studies and Philosophy at the American University of Beirut, where he directed the university-wide program in the liberal arts; having previously held other senior roles. Prior to 2012, he taught and conducted research at the universities of Nottingham, Lincoln, Cambridge, Harvard, the London Consortium, the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. His PhD in Philosophy (1999) is from the New School for Social Research in New York, and he holds a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard (1994). His expertise is in Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, Architectural Theory, and Phenomenology. He serves on various boards of academic publishers and institutions internationally, and is General Editor of the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity series (Oxford University Press). He is a referee for various international research bodies, learned societies, and universities, including the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in the UK, the EU Paris-Region Postdoctoral Fellowship Programs, and the Australian Academy of the Humanities (AAH). His also advises and consults for the Science Museum (London), the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (Geneva), the Solomon Guggenheim Museum (Berlin), UNESCO (Paris). He has practiced as an architect in London, Cambridge, New York, and Beirut, and appeared for the BBC, France Culture, Al-Ghad-TV in radio and television programs. He has received various awards and honours, including the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences Prize, and has been elected as a Mellon Global Liberal Arts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College in the USA. 

Ms. Shamma Al Bastaki

 Ms. Shamma Al Bastaki is a poet and artist from Dubai who graduated from Harvard University with an AM in Middle Eastern Studies. She completed her undergraduate studies at NYU Abu Dhabi, where she double majored in literature and creative writing and social research and public policy. In 2021, she completed her postgraduate training in diplomacy and international relations at the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy, prior to which she worked at the Department of Culture and Tourism, setting the education strategy for Qasr Al Hosn. She has served as an ambassador for the Louvre Abu Dhabi since 2015. Shamma is the 2019 winner of the ADMAF Creativity Award for her ethno poetry collection House to House | بیت لبیت, an excerpt of which was published in the Asymptote Journal of global contemporary literature and taught in universities and schools in Japan, the US, and the UAE. She was a member of the sixth cohort of the Salama Bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship in collaboration with the Rhode Island School of Design and served on the curatorial committee of Hekayah: The Story for two years. Shamma is co-founder of JARA Collective, a chapbook press based in the UAE. She is also a founding member of Untitled Chapters, a literary group for women Emirati writers; and an inaugural member of the Cultural Office Women’s Creative Network launched by H.H. Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum.

Dr. Abdulla Galadari

Dr. Abdulla Galadari an Associate Professor at Khalifa University. His field is in Qur’anic hermeneutics and the Qur’an’s possible engagement with Near Eastern traditions in Late Antiquity, such as biblical and rabbinic traditions. He uses a multidisciplinary approach to the Qur’an, such as using cognitive science of religion and philology. He is the author of Qur’anic Hermeneutics: Between Science, History, and the Bible (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), Metaphors of Death and Resurrection in the Qur’an: An Intertextual Approach with Biblical and Rabbinic Literature (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021), and Spiritual Meanings of the Ḥajj Rituals: A Philological Approach (Fons Vitae, 2021).

Dr. Shahd Alshammari

Dr. Shahd Alshammari is a professor of literature and creative writing. She teaches poetry, drama, and literary criticism. Her work has been shortlisted for The Barbellion Award (London) and she has served as a judge for literary prizes internationally. She has taught workshops on narrative and reflective writing and continues to work with emerging writers.

Dr. Michah Robbins

 Dr. Micah Robbins is Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of English at the American University in Dubai. He is a poet and a literary critic whose scholarly work has appeared inIntelligence and National Security,The b20 Review,Protest on the Page: Essays on Print and the Culture of Dissent since 1865, andLanguage and Literature in a Glocal World. Since moving to Dubai in 2014, he has dedicating himself to inspiring young people to explore the world of literature, develop a lifelong love of reading, and express themselves through the written word.

Ms. Shurooq Alsharhan

Ms. Shurooq Alsharhan is the head of government communications at the ruler’s court in Ras Alkhaimah. She attended the Executive Leadership Development and Training Program at the Al Qasimi Foundation and the Hague Academy for Local Governance. In 2020 she became Youth Ambassador to the Arctic as part of the 2041 Climate Force Foundation by Robert Swan. She ran for the Federal National Council elections in 2019, representing Ras Al Khaimah.

Ms. Aisha Alyassi

Aisha Alyassi is a young Emirati researcher who has a strong passion for promoting peace and tolerance among diverse groups worldwide. Aisha has obtained a Bachelor's degree in International Studies from the American University of Sharjah, with double-minors in Arabic Language and Literature and Middle Eastern Studies. Currently, Aisha is pursuing her postgraduate degree at King's College London, with a focus on the rights of marginalized communities. Her research interests center around the history and politics of religious minorities in the MENA region, with a particular emphasis on the Iraqi Jewish religious minority. Aisha actively applies her knowledge and expertise through her participation in the Human Fraternity Education and Leadership for Peace Program, where she engages in discussions on the role of youth in fostering peace among different ethnic and religious groups.