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Waleed A

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at SOAS, University of London


Politics; politics of the middle east; politics and religion; religion; politics and Islam; colonialism


I was born in Sudan, and have lived in many countries from Saudi Arabia to the UK and Canada, and now the US. I did my B.A in Cairo and then my M.A and Ph.D in SOAS in London. I studied politics and did my research in how liberal ideas during colonialism interacted with Islamic political philosophy. To do that I needed to look at education, and obviously I fell in love with it and decided to become a teacher. When I'm not teaching, I love martial arts. I train seriously in BJJ and Taiji, and play around with sword fighting, because why wouldn't I — it's extremely cool. I also keep getting better at playing the guitar, and then forgetting to practice and getting worse again. This is fine, because music is fun to do even when you do it badly. I enjoy creative non-fiction (reading it, writing it, and teaching it).

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

The Politics of Now

I am always interested in exploring how a particular political event works. This can be some crisis of the moment, or some act of political resistance (a good example is the protests that happened after the killing of George Floyd in the summer of 2020). It may also be a longer term problem such as Islamphobia or the struggles of minorities in various fields. I would be very interested in finding a lens through which to view this issue (music, political theory, creative non-fiction). Once we have found this lens we can use it to break down how people have experienced and understood this political moment. That way we can understand things in a deeper way, and in a way more personal to us.

Solving the World

One thing I have noticed is that it is easier to point to a problem than to solve it. A lot of academic work seems to be geared that way. I have also noticed from working with young people that they often have great ideas for solving those problems. For this reason, I enjoy giving students space to come up with creative ideas, to propose a solution to an issue they find to be important. Here I usually see my role as someone who provides some tools: methodologies for research, or theories, or historical information that can act as inspiration. The problem, the solution, and the presentation of that solution come en

Languages I know


Teaching experience

I teach high school students for a living. I have taught at private schools, as well as tutored students and taught everything from history and politics to religion and philosophy, as well as martial arts to students of all ages.


Work experience

Averroes High School (2020 - Current)
Humanities Instructor
The Bay School of San Francisco (2017 - 2020)
Humanities Instructor


American University in Cairo
BA Bachelor of Arts
Political Science
SOAS, University of London
MA Master of Arts
Middle East Studies
SOAS, University of London
PhD Doctor of Philosophy

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