Team الفريق

Karène Sanchez Summerer

Associate Professor – +31-715272175 –

Karène Sanchez Summerer is Associate Professor at Leiden University. She obtained her PhDs from Leiden University and EPHE (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris Sorbonne). Her research considers the interactions between European linguistic and cultural policies and the Arab communities (1860-1948) in Palestine. She is the PI of the research project CrossRoads (project funded by The Netherlands National Research Agency NWO; 2018-2022). She is investigating the cultural and linguistic institutions like the British Council, the YMCA, the Centre de culture française from a comparative and local voices perspective, as well as the photographic collection of the Ecole biblique et archéologique de Jérusalem.

She is the co-editor of the series Languages and Culture in History with W. Frijhoff, Amsterdam University Press. From 2012 until 2017, she was involved in the research project led by H. Murre van den Berg, funded by NWO ‘Arabic and its alternatives: Religious Minorities in the Formative Years of the Modern Middle East (1920-1950)’, looking into the French language and education policies in interwar Palestine and the language identification of the Arab Catholics.

Since 2017, she is one of the coordinators of the MisSMO research program about Christian Missions and societies in the Middle East since the late 19th century,

Sary Zananiri

Researcher – +31-715272727 –

Sary Zananiri is a practice-based researcher. His interests sit at the intersection of religion, colonialism and visual culture with a focus on the ways in which social and cultural histories can explicate the political.  He completed his PhD at Monash University looking at the confluence of 19th-century Western imaging of the Palestinian landscape and Zionist narrative.  He is working with NINO, through the Frank Scholten fund, and on the NWO project ‘CrossRoads: European Cultural Diplomacy and Arab Christians in Palestine 1918-1948’ led by Dr Karène Sanchez.  He is currently researching the Frank Scholten photographic collection, investigating the impacts of British Mandate on communalism in post-World War I Palestine and also the ways in which Modernist Palestinian art transforms and its confluence with iconography and Orthodox networks.

Konstantinos Papastathis

Researcher –

Konstantinos Papastathis is an assistant professor at the department of Political Science of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh). He is also involved in the research project: ‘CrossRoads: European cultural diplomacy and Arab Christians in Palestine’ at Leiden University, focusing on the study of the Orthodox community during the Interwar period.

Kostas has studied theology, philosophy and political science at AUTh and K.U. Leuven. He has worked as a research fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2011-13), and the University of Luxembourg (2013-2018).

His main research interests involve politics and religion, church history, as well as Middle Eastern studies. He currently works on the interaction between religion and the radical right in Europe, as well as on the modern and contemporary history of Middle East Christianity. He has contributed in peer-reviewed journals (Religion, State and Society; Politics, Religion and Ideology; Middle Eastern Studies; British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies; Journal of Eastern Christian Studies; Jerusalem Quarterly, among others), as well as in collective volumes.

Charbel Nassif

Researcher –

Charbel Nassif is the archivist and the chief librarian at the Greek Melkite Catholic Patriarchate – Raboueh (Lebanon). He obtained his Ph.D. in Art History from the University Paris IV–Sorbonne (2017) and in Theology from the Catholic Institute of Paris (2017). His research interests are focused on liturgical and iconographical heritage of the Melkite Church; correspondences between the Melkite Church and Rome; comparative history of Byzantine Churches in the modern period. His research, in the context of the Crossroads project, is focusing on the Melkite community of Palestine, their close links to the growing Arab nationalism, the French language and culture in ‘Holy Land’ and the Vatican.

Sarah Irving

Researcher (October 2019-January 2020) 

Sarah Irving is a historian of the modern Middle East, focusing especially on Palestine in the Late Ottoman period and the first half of the twentieth century, and has published award-winning research on the lives, work and writings of ordinary Palestinians. Aspasia visiting research fellow on the NWO project ‘CrossRoads: European Cultural Diplomacy and Arab Christians in Palestine 1918-1948’ led by Dr Karène Sanchez, she will look into the non elites sources.

Sarah gained her PhD at the University of Edinburgh, looking at intellectual production by non-elite Palestinians during Mandate rule. Her current research examines the ways in which Palestinian lives have intersected with Euro-American knowledge production, and the potentials for agency and resistance within colonial power dynamics. A former journalist and freelance writer, she has also written widely for academic and popular publications on Arabic literature, and has translated Arabic fiction and poetry into English for several anthologies. 

Clémentine Rubio

Researcher (February-May 2020)

Clémentine Rubio is an Aspasia project fellow at Leiden University, and Research associate at the University of Tours, at Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle University and the French Research Center in Jerusalem. She completed a PhD at Tours University in June 2018, focusing on the history of French language teaching in Palestine. Her research interests include the question of language spread, linguistic diplomacy, and language identity. More recently, she focuses on the question of archives in the study of language spread and on the role of women in the history of language teaching. Her Leiden Aspasia project will explore the intricating ties between language, nation and identity in Arab Christian communities, through the exploration of new archival resources, such as text books, language manuals, in a formative period of reconfiguration: the end of the British Mandate and the creation of Israel. 

Lara van der Hammen

Student Assistant

Lara van der Hammen is working as a student assistant for CrossRoads. Currently finishing her MA Middle Eastern Studies, she has a broad interest, ranging from mandate (political) history to modern-day human rights issues. She has researched the British Cabinet Papers under the Mandate period and her research thesis is focussing on the historical origin of modern-day slave trade and human trafficking in the Sinai Peninsula. She is currently working on her PhD proposal on the life and archival collection (Oosters Instituut) of a German Orientalist, Rudolph Said-Ruete (1869-1946), friend of Christian Snouck Hurgronje.