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. 

Sadia Agsous

Researcher (January-May 2021)

Sadia Agsous is a Doctor in Literatures and Civilizations (INALCO-Paris), and a researcher in the field of languages and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa. Hework examines the Palestinian cultural space in Israel and the Palestinian and Israeli cultures with a focus on Hebrew and Arabic and their encounters in the cultural field (novel, translation, theatre, cinema…). Her current research examines the pre-1948 archives and Palestinian cultural agents who gave meaning to a flourishing culture in historical Palestine and Khalil Sakakini’s volumes. Her book “J’écris l’hébreu mais en arabe » : Histoire littéraire arabe-palestinienne en Israël et la pratique littéraire en hébreu (1966 – 2017)” – (Classiques Garnier) is expected beginning 2021. 

Özge Calafato

Researcher (September 2021-July 2022)

Özge Calafato’s research focuses on the relationship between vernacular photography, gender, memory, nation-building and cultural identity. She completed her PhD at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), University of Amsterdam in 2020, exploring photographic representations of the urban middle classes in Turkey in the 1920s and the 1930s. Her book Making the Modern Turkish Citizen: Vernacular Photography in the Early Republican Era is forthcoming with I.B. Tauris in early 2022. Between 2014 and 2020, she worked as Assistant Director for the Akkasah Center for Photography at the New York University Abu Dhabi. She is currently working on the research project “Snapshots by the Seaside: Connected Histories of the Mediterranean in the 1920s and 1930s” focusing on photographic representations of an emerging seaside culture across the Eastern Mediterranean region in the 1920s and 1930s.

Stelios Irakleous

Researcher (September 2021-June 2022)

Stelios Irakleous obtained his PhD from Leiden University. His research is focused on the linguistic and cultural interactions in the Eastern Mediterranean. He was previously involved in the research projects “An Electronic Corpus of Karamanlidika Texts” and “Migrations: Identity Preservation and Identity Transformation: Asia Minor and Cyprus, Past and Present” funded by the University of Cyprus. He is currently working on the J. Reddaway personal archive researching the diplomat’s formative years, his role as the Director of the Arab-British Center and Deputy Commissioner General of the UNRWA. Stelios also looks into migration modalities of Greek communities from Palestine via Cyprus.

Annalaura Turiano

Researcher (September 2021-June 2022)

Annalaura Turiano is research associate at IREMAM and member of the research programme MisSMO and the research network EGY-Class led by Marie Vannetzel (CNRS). She currently co-coordinates the project “Philanthropic action and development in the Middle East: actors, practices and expertise (20th -21st centuries)”, funded by the Institut Français d’archeologie orientale (2021). Her research interests include missionary education, trans-Mediterranean migrations, gender, and philanthropy.  In 2019, she coordinated a project co-funded by the NWO aiming to preserve the archives of the ANSMI held in Rome.  Her first book will be published in 2022 by EFR/IFAO under the title Missionnaires italiens en Égypte: de la pastorale migratoire à la cooperation technique (1890-1970). Among her publications: “Masculinity, Industrial Education and Fascism in Egypt. The construction of gender in the schools of the Salesian mission in Egypt (1900-1939), special issue P. Bourmaud and K. Sanchez Summerer, ‘Missions, Powers, Arabisation’, Social Sciences and missions, 24/2021, p.1-32.

Within Crossroads, her subproject ‘Gender, philanthropy, and Empire: the Italian ANSMI in Ottoman and Mandate Levant’ focuses on a philanthropic association (ANSMI) which ran schools and hospitals in Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine with a focus on the gender dimension of the association’s educational and sanitary initiatives. 

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.