Photo of Yasmeen Shahzadeh

Yasmeen Shahzadeh

Student Researcher

Degrees:B.A. (McGill)

I am a second year Master’s student in Education & Society, with a concentration in Gender & Women’s Studies at McGill University. I previously completed my BA from McGill University in International Development Studies, minoring in Communications and Social Studies of Medicine. My research and work interests lie at the intersection of education, gender, and development focusing in particular on the Middle East. My master’s research looks at the representation of women in Civic Education textbooks in Jordan, and whether women and men are taught differently about what it means to be a citizen. I am interested in feminist theory, gender studies, and refugee policy and rights within the context of the Middle East.

I was drawn to working with LERRN due to the nature of the partnership. LERRN amplifies the voices of researchers, refugees, and community-based organisations from the field and from the regions that have experienced refugee crises firsthand. LERRN emphasizes the research interests and needs of its partners in the Global South. Importantly, I valued the opportunity to strengthen my research and writing skills by working in the field and learning with our international partners.

In the summer of 2019, I embarked on my fieldwork with LERRN in Jordan, working alongside Dr. Oroub El Abed on the From Education to Employment research project, in cooperation with several stakeholders including the Center for Lebanese Studies. The project explores the transitions of Syrian, Jordanian, and Palestinian youth in Jordan from education to employment while identifying the challenges they experience, the opportunities they have available to them, and their aspirations for the future. I supported a mapping activity, identifying all the actors in the Jordanian capital, Amman, that work on youth education, employment, or both. I assisted with piloting the quantitative survey and qualitative interviews that the project used to gather data in the field. I was able to develop my research and writing skills, but also work on data collection. It has been an amazing experience working alongside the research teams in both Canada and Jordan!