Thu 26 November 2015 | WHAT's NEW?! | The differential application of family law in the sharia courts of Gaza and Damascus | Nahda Shehada

On Thursday 26 November, Nahda Shehada will give a lecture on family law in the sharia courts of Gaza and Damascus in the lecture series "WHAT's NEW?! Current Research on Islam and the Middle East." The lecture takes place in Lipsius 228 at 17.15 hrs and will be followed by drinks at de Grote Beer.

About the lecture

Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the sharia courts of Gaza (Palestine) and Damascus (Syria), this paper compares the operations, mode of communication, and administration of the two courts. The paper argues that with the emergence of nation-states, Islamic family law has been codified in almost everywhere in the Muslim-majority countries. However, the way it is implemented and administered is squarely dependent on the socio-economic development in each context specifically the extent to which modernisation, urbanisation and institutionalisation are intensified.

Nahda Shehada

Nahda Shehada is a senior lecturer of Gender, Culture and Development at the International Institute of Social Studies/ Erasmus University in The Netherlands where she teaches advanced sociology, qualitative methodologies, comparative epistemologies, feminist theories and gender & development. Shehada is interested in the anthropology of Islamic Law both in the Middle East and Europe. She has finished coordinating a research project entitled ‘Islamic Family Law in Palestine: Text and Context’ in cooperation with Zurich and Bern Universities/ Switzerland. Currently, she is working on the following project: Statelessness Among Syrian Refugees:
A Policy-oriented Analysis of Exile and Measures for Legal Security” in cooperation with Fribourg university, Milan and Pavia university as well as JCLA and CAREP in Jordan and Libya respectively. Between 2005 and 2006, she was a researcher at the Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) in Leiden and in 2005, she worked as a researcher at Bern University.


WHAT's NEW?! is a lecture series organised by LUCIS and the department of Middle Eastern Studies. The lecture series focuses on current research on Islam and the Middle East.

Last Modified: 20-11-2015