Laila Prager

AGYA Alumni Jointly building bridges into the future

 Laila Prager
  • Anthropology

Areas of Expertise:
Arab health; Heritage in the Gulf Region; Gender & matrifocality; Bedouins; Alawites (Nusairy)

2016 - 2021


University of Hamburg, Germany

Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1, West (ESA W)
20146 Hamburg

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About me

I am Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Hamburg (Germany). During the last decade I have undertaken ethnographic fieldwork among Bedouin societies (Jordan, Syria), among Kuwaiti-Palestinian refugees, and among Alawites (Nusairy) in Turkey and Germany.

Currently my research focuses on the upsurge of heritage related discourses and performances in the Middle East (UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Syria, and Jordan). In this context, I am particularly interested in the various ways in which ‘heritage’ is utilized to frame and legitimize cultural identities at local, national, and transnational levels. Among other research themes, I am examining the phenomenon that such heritage discourses and enactments are accompanied by a remarkable revitalization of imageries relating to ‘Bedouinity’, ‘Tribalism’, and ‘Auto-Orientalism’. Moreover, in the framework of my specialization in Medical Anthropology, I have started to conduct research on the societal transformations emerging from the increase of major diseases in the Middle East, such as diabetes type 2, thalassemia, and other genetically induced illnesses.

AGYA is unique in its vision and scope of bringing together Arab and German scholars and promoting innovative researches situated at the intersection between Sciences and Humanities.