/ News, Forschung, People

Two SNF mobility grants for PhD students Jasmine Benhaida and Fares Damien


We are happy to announce two SNF mobility grants for the PhD students Jasmine Benhaida (Stanford University) and Fares Damien (Princeton University), who are members of the SNF-Eccellenza professorship “Ottoman Afterlife” and the Seminar for Near and Middle Eastern Studies.

Jasmine Benhaida and Fares Damien, two PhD students who are part of the SNF-Eccellenza project Ottoman Afterlife in New Arab States have been awarded mobility grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation, in order to spend a semester abroad. Jasmine Benhaida is hosted by the Department of History at Stanford University during Spring semester 2024, and Fares Damien will be hosted at the Department of History at Princeton University in Fall semester 2024. We wish them a successful semester abroad!


PhD student Jasmine Benhaida

Jasmine’s doctoral thesis focuses on the Ottoman legal legacy in Jordan during 1919-1929. She examines handwritten Sharia Court records of Al-Salt, the inaugural capital of Jordan. Her specific interest lies in exploring how women contested and negotiated their social, economic, and political positions through the legal arena. Jasmine is currently a visiting scholar at Stanford University in the History Department and the Center for Digital Humanities, where she is analyzing the collected sources, evaluating the results, engaging in discussions, and presenting her work. Additionally, Jasmine is part of the "Ruqa'a Reader Project" led by Dr. Prof. Nora Barakat, in which she is currently training an AI model to transcribe handwritten Arabic manuscripts.

PhD student Fares Damien

Fares’s doctoral thesis focuses on the formation of South Lebanon, going back to the transition between the collapse of Ottoman administration and the French Mandate until the formation of the Lebanese Republic. His interest lies in understanding the consolidation of the nation-state in a specific borderland beyond sectarian narratives. The thesis seeks to unpack the narrative behind backward peripheries through the reading of the history of Jabal ‘Amil from its own geography(ies). The research focuses on strategies of integration, identity building and adaptation to the new reality of the Lebanese Republic. It tackles notions of border-making and consolidation, nation-building and memory through archival research (published and unpublished material) and oral history. Fares will be a visiting scholar at Princeton University in the History Department where he will be collecting and analyzing material available at the Princeton Firestone Library for the final stage of his work.