Our team includes partners from NGOs and civil society organisations, Co-Investigators, administrators; MADAR is co-directed by Mariangela Palladino (Principal Investigator) and Laura Jeffery.

Aadel Essaadani

Aadel Essaadani holds a diploma of in-depth studies in urban sociology "Spaces, societies and cities in the Arab world" (University of Tours, France) and a master's degree in urban and country planning (University of Perpignan, France). His doctoral thesis (not defended) was on "Behaviors and attitudes of individuals in the public space of Casablanca" and on self-presentation and the modalities of social interactions between individuals. Aadel is a cultural policy consultant, technical scenographer and educational director of training at the Institut des Métiers du Spectacle (France, Morocco). He led many training and consulting projects for cultural projects and policies in France and Morocco. In November 2014, 2016 and 2018, Aadel organized, with the Racines association, the "General States of Culture in Morocco". Currently, he is the senior researcher for a research project entitled “Arts and Power: Research on the instrumentalization of art and culture in Morocco" funded by The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS). The research team members are Dounia Benslimane (cultural operator) and Mohamed Sammouni (political sociologist and journalist).

Anastasia Valassopoulos

Anastasia Valassopoulos is Senior Lecturer in World Literatures at the University of Manchester. Her research is on the postcolonial literature and culture of the Middle East. She is also very interested in the wider cultural production and reception of Arab film and music. Recent publications include work on the role of cinema in the Palestinian resistance movement, anti-colonial feminism in North Africa, as well as film, revolution and music in the Egyptian context (with Dalia Mostafa). She is currently working on a book-length project entitled 'Palestine in the Popular Imagination'.

Asma Mestour.jpg
Asma Mestour

Asma MESTOUR, an Algerian young woman of 32 years old, she has a double master degree on economic journalism and accountancy: a mixture of two different domains.

After working as a communication manager at a publishing house, she joined the CREAD seven years ago and occupied several positions as an accountant, a tender manager and recently she was designated in head of the department “support of scientific activities”.

Concerning projects on international level; Asma has been an interviewer for three years on World Economic Forum reports; also, she contributes on managing the accountancy and financial chapters of different projects as ERASMUS+ Neo in Algeria, PERCEPTION H2020, MASSIRE and T2GS, she had been selected to participate on a Summer School organized by DAAD on Rabat-Morocco on July 2018, in which students from the MENA and Germany worked and develop ideas about Gender and Migration.

In addition, she has a passion on associative field; she had the chance to be an active member of AIESEC in Algeria; an international association, which aims on developing young people competencies and developing the cultural exchange concept. She had an “Event manager” position, it consists on managing and working on different events and projects organized by the association (internal or external ones); such as Career Days: a fair to help young people to find a job and getting prepared to the professional life, YOU2.0: a personal development program for young people, through it different sessions and group discussion the person discovers the new version of him/her.

Bahija Jamal.
Bahija Jamal

Dr. Bahija Jamal is a Law Professor at Hassan II University of Casablanca, Mohammedia Faculty of Law. She has an extensive expertise on the nexus of migration, anti-human trafficking and countering violent extremism and terrorism.

She led teams in conducting academic researches in the field of human trafficking, forced displacement and new trends of contemporary migration. For more than 10 years, she has worked and advised international organizations on how to deal with organized terrorism through a combined security approach and a human right-based and gender perspectives. She is a key contributor to the United Nations regional events in the Middle East and North Africa, with a specific reference to the role women in preventing and countering violent extremism and terrorism.

She previously worked for the UNHCR as Officer in charge of eligibility of Refugee Status Determination. She also worked for the Ministry in Charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs. In that capacity, she represented the Ministry at the Committee in charge of drafting Morocco’s anti-trafficking law and the one in charge of drafting the Moroccan Immigration Law.

Dr. Bahija Jamal has a Doctorate Degree (PhD) in International Law from Hassan II University in Casablanca – Faculty of Law. Her research focuses on the international protection of women refugees through a gender approach. She is currently teaching transnational organised crimes (smuggling of migrants and human trafficking) and terrorism. She contributes to the development of the academic field by supervising PhD researchers in their thesis on the aforementioned themes.

Kay McEvoy

Kay McEvoy is the MADAR Administrator at Keele University. She was welcomed to Keele in March 2020. She holds an HND in Business and Finance from Manchester Metropolitan University and this led to a long career in Finance and Administration. Previously Kay worked for Manchester Metropolitan University as a Finance assistant, a role she held there for nearly 23 years.

Khaled Menna

Khaled Menna is an economist and director of research at CREAD (Algeria). At the start of his career, Khaled was interested in economy financing issues (bank financing, foreign direct investment and fiscal policy) and its relation to economic growth. Economic policymaking, its interaction with a rentier, mostly budgetary, economy and the impact of institutions and inflation in rentier states have also made up part of his research activities. Other aspects of the economy, mostly relating to unregistered economy and employment, have formed a significant part of his publications. He has been called to lead projects on innovation in the energy sector, on the integration of university graduates and the job market and on questions relating to economic diversification and the public-private partnership. Recently, he has begun to investigate migration issues, in particular the perception of Europe amongst migrants and forced displacement in North Africa. He has published two works on monetary literature and private investment in Algeria, a chapter on unregistered employment and articles on the rentier State, inflation, FDI and attractiveness. Currently, he is the Deputy Director of CREAD.

Khaoula Matri

Khaoula Matri holds a doctorate (PhD) in sociology from the University of Tunis and the University of Paris V-Descartes. She defended her thesis on “Wearing the veil: representations and practices of the body among Tunisian women”. Since 2014, she has been assistant professor at the Center of Anthropology, Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Sousse. She is also an associate researcher at the Institute for Research on the Contemporary Maghreb (IRMC) and Postdoctoral Researcher 'Pilot African Potsgraduate African' (PAPA) Goethe University / Frankfurt / Main Germany / Point Sud Bamako. She is the author of numerous publications on gender-based violence, the status and conditions of women in Tunisia, the body and sexuality, religiosity and social norms.

Laura Jeffery

Laura Jeffery is Professor of Anthropology of Migration at the University of Edinburgh. Her previous research focused on intangible cultural heritage and human-environment relations in the context of protracted displacement. Her relevant publications include a recent coedited special issue of Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture on Creative Engagement with Migration (2019). Since 2016 she has worked in Morocco with Mariangela Palladino and Sébastien Bachelet: firstly on an ESRC-AHRC Forced Displacement grant called Arts for Advocacy: Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco, in collaboration with GADEM (Groupe antiraciste d'accompagnement et de défense des étrangers et migrants) in Rabat, and secondly on an AHRC Knowledge Exchange and Impact grant called MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco, in collaboration with The Minority Globe in Casablanca. Visit to view virtual exhibitions and to download a creative arts, migration, and advocacy toolkit.

Lianna Merner
Lianna Merner

Lianna joined MADAR in December 2020.  Lianna has ten years' experience working in the human rights sector, including at PEN International, a writer’s organisation that promotes literature and defends freedom of expression, where she coordinated the work of the Africa programme, carried out campaigning and case work to support writers at risk, and managed international projects.  She also worked for several years in the Africa division at Human Rights Watch, and has experience working with community organisations in Canada, the UK and Cameroon. Prior to MADAR, she was interim Project Manager with another Network+ project, Changing the Story, at the University of Leeds. 

She has a BA in International Development and History, and an MA in Human Rights from the University of Sussex.

Maria Flood
Maria Flood

Maria Flood is a Senior Lecturer in World Cinema at Liverpool University.
She joined Liverpool as a Lecturer in 2021 and became Senior Lecturer in 2022. She holds degrees from Trinity College Dublin and the University of Cambridge, and she taught in ENS Lyon before being awarded a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Cornell University. She was Programme Director for Film Studies at Keele since January 2020. She is an established scholar of world cinema and political violence, and has published widely on French and Algerian cinemas of conflict, including her 2017 monograph, ‘France, Algeria, and the Moving Image: Screening Histories of Violence’. She has also published articles on cinema and torture, colonial and postcolonial cinema, terrorism and spectator affect, and gender and violence in Maghrebi film. Maria is currently working on a funded project entitled ‘Radical Screens’, that examines the role of emotion in documentary and fiction films that feature face-to-face encounters with extremists, as well as a student-facing monograph on the 2016 film ‘Moonlight’.

Mariangela Palladino

Mariangela Palladino is Professor in Postcolonial and Cultural Studies at the University of Keele. Her fields of expertise include migration and displacement, participatory methods and African literatures. She was Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded project ‘Responding to Crisis: Forced Migration and the Humanities in the Twenty-First Century’; Co-Investigator on the AHRC-ESRC funded project Arts for Advocacy: Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco and an AHRC Knowledge Exchange and Impact project MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco – both led by Laura Jeffery. These projects explored forced displacement, the role of the arts and the use of creative methods. Mariangela is also Principal Investigator for the AHRC-GCRF Development and Inception Awards to support the development and inception of the MADAR Network Plus. Mariangela has published on migration and mobility. Most recently, she co-edited a special issue of Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture on Creative Engagement with Migration (2019) and her work is included in the EUP edited collection Refugee Imaginaries. Research Across the Humanities (2019).

Mehdi Lahlou

Mehdi Lahlou, PhD, is an economist with expertise in the analysis of irregular migration dynamics and in related policies in the Mediterranean and between Europe and Africa. He co-wrote the first report published in 2002 by the Migration Department of the International Labour Organization devoted to irregular migration from Africa. He coordinated the returnees programme, “Returning to New Opportunities”, in Morocco (2018-2020). He has formerly been a professor at INSEA and he is currently senior researcher at Mohamed V University, Rabat. He is a member of the Bureau of the International Association of Migration (AMI), Morocco. He is also a member of the Global Migration Group of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), Brussels.

Marwen Bounab

Marwen Bounab is the MADAR Administrator for Tunisia. He is a Cultural Studies Masters graduate from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities- University of Sousse. His dissertation entitled « Assessing the Legacy of Apartheid in South Africa : Critical Examination on the recent Student Protests » criticized the social, ethnic and economic inequalities and their repercussions on defining access to higher education.

He joined for 10 Months the Tunisian Refugee Council, partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as a Field Assistant.
Prior to this, he took part in two research projects under the supervision of Professor Hassan Boubakri ; Chairman of the Tunisian Center for Migration and Asylum( CETUMA) namely « Migrants in Countries in Crisis » and « Power2Youth : Freedom, Dignity and Justice : A Comprehensive approach to the understanding of youth exclusion and the prospects for inclusion and overall change in the South and East Mediterranean.

Mohamed Benslama

Mohamed Benslama is an entrepreneur, musician, teacher of cinema in the School of Art in Tunisia, and founder of several networks in the cultural field. After studying cinema and psychology, he directed and participated in the production of several Tunisian and international films. Aware of the major challenges of cultural policies, he launched the Tunisian Cultural Observatory in 2015, a platform bringing together cultural actors, promoting a participative and inclusive cultural policy, under the association of Our Culture First. He conducted a study on cultural practices with a focus on the south of Tunisia. In June 2016, he cofounded La Fabrique Art Studio to promote young artists and artistic creations. La Fabrique is a collaborative space dedicated to artists and musicians for rehearsals, live recording and bookings. As executive director for Our Culture First, Mohamed is committed to structuring the cultural sector by mobilizing the key players and by participating in the various initiatives implemented by the government, private sector, and civil society in Tunisia and in the MENA region. Currently, he is contributing to the establishment of an African network on cultural policies and to the publication of the inventory of cultural policies in the MENA Region. He has received an award for cultural expertise from UNESCO Tunisia and he serves as mentor and consultant for EU funded projects.

Olfa Arfaoui

Olfa Arfaoui is an award winner Tunisian film producer, and women’s initiatives expert with more than 10 years’ experience in designing, managing, implementing projects, and building multi-actor partnerships in the MENA region. She has in-depth knowledge of gender diversity in the economy and society; of impact-driven projects using art and culture for social change; and of managing agile and remote teams within complex frameworks. She worked as a country manager for the Women Economic Integration Programme of the German Development Corporation from 2014 to 2019. In 2018, she was nominated as a changemaker as part of the ‘Challenging Norms, Powering Economies’ initiative, organised by Ashoka, the Open Society Foundation, and UN Women, for her efforts in empowering women and girls. She serves as president for the International Human Development, which deals with women, peace, and security projects. Her passion for empowering girls and women, music, and arts led her to cofound La Fabrique Art Studio, based in Tunis, with a flagship programme for women and girls in the electronic music industry.

Rajaa Essaghyry

After completing a Masters in Marketing and Communication at the University of Hassan II in Casablanca, Rajaa aimed for a career in the cultural sector and therefore began a doctoral thesis which dealt with the following problematic: ‘the factors that influence the consumer’s behaviour in the artistic cultural sphere.’ In parallel, she obtained a European Diploma in the administration of cultural projects organised by the Belgian association Marcel Hicter in Northern Ireland, Iceland and Greece. Graduate of ACAM in Venice (Art Cinema = Action + Management)’s 16th training programme on the theme of ‘Re-think your Cinema’, organised by the CICAE (Confédération internationale des cinémas d'art et d'essai), she went on to be the general coordinator of the training programme (operation/distribution) within the Agence Digitale du Film Marocain (Digital Agency of Moroccan Cinema) in Rabat. It is worth noting her participation in the organisation of several cultural events in Morocco, each as impactful as the next. For example, the General States of Culture with the Racines association in 2018, which was a great success. During her free time, Rajaa is co-writing a hybrid web-series, which deals with the arts, human rights, civic education and the economy.

Sébastien Bachelet

Sébastien Bachelet is a Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. He has been engaged in ethnographic research on migration in Morocco and the wider Maghreb region since 2011, exploring issues around uncertainty, illegality, and immobility. He has published on political subjectivity and migrants’ organisations (2018), trust amongst irregular migrants (2019), transit and migrants’ existential mobility (2019), and participation in arts-based projects (2019, with Prof. Jeffery). He is also co-investigator on MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco (GCRF 2019-2020), a collaborative project between the universities of Edinburgh, Manchester and Keele with the Morocco-based cultural association The Minority Globe.


Soumia Bouchouk.
Soumia Bouchouk

Soumia Bouchouk, is a Research Support Engineer at the Center for Research in Applied Economics for Development (CREAD), since 2014.

She is currently a member of the Mobility and Migration Research Team, in the Department of Human Development and Social Economy at CREAD.

She holds a State Engineer Certificate in Statistics in Business Administration and Decision Models from the Higher School of Statistics and Applied Economics. She also holds a Master's degree in "Health and Population" demography, her master's thesis is entitled "Health situation of sub-Saharan women arriving in Algeria"

She has participated in numerous research projects and studies, including “Innovation in the pharmaceutical sector in Algeria”, Study on indicators for measuring research and development at the Center for Research in Applied Economics for Development (CREAD) , the integration of graduates with the ILO, Perception of the Media with the BBC, H2020 project on the perception of migrants, (Leap-Agri (Eu-Au) partnership)....,