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Laila al-Zwaini

Laila Zwaini
Laila Zwaini

studied Arabic language and cultures (MA), and Dutch law (LL.M) at Leiden University. Between 2007 and 2009, she headed the Rule of Law Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). From 2001-2005 she co-directed the action-research project Rights at Home for the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM, Leiden). Al-Zwaini works as an independent scholar and lecturer, and advises national and international organisations and governments. In 2013, she established Re:Orient, a bureau for applied research on shari'a, rule of law, tribes, and social change in the Arab and Muslim World. She currently develops a project to advance the discourse on civilism (madaniya) and the civil state in the Arab world.


Archive available for: Laila al-Zwaini

  • Science Series

    Syria, What's Next?

    With: David Van Reybrouck, Ghayath Almadhoun, Ghayath Almadhoun, Laila al-Zwaini, Lieve Joris, Nihad Siries

    Watch the video-registration of this programme. What will the future of Syria look like once the war has come to an end? Moderator and writer David Van Reybrouck discussed this question with the Syrian novelist Nihad Siries and the Palestine/Syrian poet Ghayath Almadhoun. Both are in exile. They read from their work, and met Laila Zwaini, a researcher on shari'a, rule of law, tribes, and social change in the Arab and Muslim World. They were joined by the Belgium writer Lieve Joris, who wrote a book about Syria. Will Syria go the same way as Iraq, where the attempt to establish a democracy has failed completely? Will it, in all its religious and ethnic diversity, ever become a stable state? Could it ever become the home that the Syrian authors in exile dream of?

    This evening is in English. A programme of B Unlimited, organised by Writers Unlimited in co-operation with The Hague Central Library, and with support of the Municipality of The Hague, PEN Netherlands and Theatre of Wrong Decisions. Curated by Tom Dommisse.