Nebil Kusmallah

Nebil Kusmallah received a BA in History from the University of Asmara in 2002. MSc in Development and Gender Studies at the International Institute for Social Studies Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2008.
Research MSc. in International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in 2014.
He is currently a PhD candidate and research associate at the Department of Sociology and IDI group, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He works as a researcher, policy officer and intercultural mediator at the Nidos Foundation, with special emphasis on conflict resolution in custody, therapy facilitation and mediation in the youth care system.

What do you think is most important within the Refugee Academy, and why?

In December 2019, I joined VU as a visiting researcher. Researchers I met at the Refugee Academy were not only experienced researchers interested in theoretical abstractions but also in how to be practically involved in socially relevant issues. At the Refugee Academy, I found a stimulating environment. I grew in dealing with my own position and epistemological positions as a researcher. In that respect, I found my niche to this day, and I am amazed at the intellectual courage and stimulation I received there, which eventually became the reason to bring my entire PhD research project to VU. During RA meetings, sensitive topics were discussed, ranging from positioning to nostalgic research on the sufferings of exile and “others. In these circles, I found a strong similarity to what I had been doing meaningfully for many years in the world of young refugees and unaccompanied minor refugees (UMVs).

What is your personal ambition within Refugee Academy, and how would you connect this to your work and personal life outside of Refugee Academy?

My involvement with RA has confirmed my conviction that I am not only concerned with researching and caring for vulnerable groups but also with powerful and capable groups. My ambition for RA is to shed light on some key issues within the youth care system – related to negative perception, problematization and “andering” – through critical scientific and experiential engagement, and meaningful linguistic and cultural translations from theory to practice. Personally, I already see a mutual convergence of these issues within RA.

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