|Research Student in the School of Education|
Anas Almassri, from the Gaza Strip, is a PGCert student in the Department of Sociology and a PhD student in the School of Education at Durham University. Anas holds a BEd in Teaching English Language from the Islamic University of Gaza, an MSc in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding from Durham University's School of Government and International Affairs, and an MA in Arab Studies with a focus on development from Georgetown University's Welsh School of Foreign Service. Anas' career record includes six years of professional service in leadership, consulting, and communication roles at international education and human rights NGOs as well as of regular voluntary service to various student associations and youth development initiatives in Palestine.
Anas works on education and peace, particularly on their interplay in such contexts of protracted crisis as that of Palestine. Previously, at Durham’s SGIA, he completed his MSc dissertation on peace practitioner education, exploring how curriculum, assessment, and pedagogy in postgraduate peace studies programs may better contribute to preparing critical peacebuilding professionals. At Georgetown, he completed several original research papers on Palestinian students—their entrepreneurial self-reliance of learning for employability, their voluntary engagement in service-based learning, their political socialization as influenced through their undergraduate study in the U.S., and the structural challenges they face in trying to become successful entrepreneurs. He also researched the use of international scholarships to advance Saudi-American relations and the contribution of American exchange diplomacy to conflict resolution in Palestine.
In his PhD, Anas builds on his previous research, career, and education abroad experiences by turning to an original study of international education and peace in Palestine. He is investigating the contributions to peace that Palestinian recipients of international higher education scholarships go on to deliver after completing their academic training abroad. Synthesizing the Capability Approach (Nussbaum, 2003; Robeyns, 2006; Sen, 2003) and the Everyday Peace Approach (Mac Ginty, 2021), he is building and piloting a context-specific analytical framework that helps identify, describe, and analyze contributions to peace that are broader and deeper than commonly (prescriptively) associated with neoliberal and institutionalist conceptions of peace. Such a framework is meant to be a starting point to offer a critical alternative to detached and reductionist application of human capital theory in designing and evaluating scholarship impact for people from contexts of protracted crisis.