People

Syrian Artisan Entrepreneurship project team

Dr Haya Al-Dajani is an Associate Professor (Reader) in Entrepreneurship and leads the Responsible Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Group at Plymouth University where she also co-chairs the Displacement Studies Research Network. Haya also co-chairs the Gender and Enterprise Network (Special Interest Group of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship). Her overall research focuses upon the intersectionality of gender, entrepreneurship and empowerment, and their collective impact on sustainable development. She has secured over one million GBPs in research funding from EU, UK and other funding bodies, and currently is the Principal Investigator of two RCUK funded projects (ESRC – DfID and ESRC – AHRC). Her research is published in leading international entrepreneurship journals and books, and she is a member of the Editorial Boards of the International Small Business Journal and the International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship.

Dr Marta Hawkins is the Director of the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre at Plymouth University, and a researcher in Creative Industries and Cultural Studies. She specialises in social entrepreneurship, creativity and social ethnography. Being a practising filmmaker and a community activist, she has published in the field of visual and consumer culture, urban communities, diasporic studies, and post-communist transformation (The Everyday of Memory, 2013 Peter Lang). With Matthew Hawkins she runs a community film festival: Edge of the City, based in Plumstead, Greenwich Borough. Her collaborative project on wellbeing among immigrants in South East London was funded by the Leverhulme Trust in 2010 and resulted with an educational film. She is a recipient of research grants from the AHRC, British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust, among others.

Professor Geoff Wilson is a professor in Human Geography at Plymouth University. He has written ten books and over 60 journal articles. His current research interests are in understanding the resilience of communities in different geographical and cultural settings. Recent research projects include analysing the resilience of communities threatened by land degradation in China, Morocco, Spain, Italy and Greece (as part of the €3.2M EU-funded LEDDRA project) and in Tanzania (as part of a £200,000 GCRF-funded project). He is also currently investigating how communities in Norway are affected by the transition away from an oil export-dependent economic pathway (as part of a £3M project funded by the Norwegian Research Council), and, in collaboration with Innsbruck University (Austria), how remote communities in the European Alps are coping with climate change, economic fluctuations and over-dependency on tourism.

Hoayda Darkal is a research assistant in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, within the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Plymouth University. She is undertaking her doctoral studies on the Resilience of Syrian Refugees in adapting to their new lives in the UK. Hoayda has a ResM in Human Geography from the Plymouth University (2013) and a BSc in Agricultural Engineering from Damascus University (2008). Her research interests span over multiple fields from household economics, childcare, and families to resilience, migrant families, and Arab refugees. Hoayda uses both quantitative and qualitative research methods in her work.


IRCKHF Directed by our project partner Dr Aida Essaid, the centre serves as a catalyst for socio-economic transformation through research, information and dissemination of knowledge. The IRCKHF was launched in 1996 and promotes the welfare of children, youth, women, families, communities, and vulnerable groups by providing objective, multidisciplinary research and analysis to practitioners and policymakers in Jordan and the Middle East, enabling effective socio-economic planning and decision-making.

Through cooperation with national and international partners and the creation of an online platform for knowledge sharing, the IRCKHF advocates for positive change by disseminating research findings on critical issues falling under the pillars of social cohesion, equality and justice, and civil society empowerment. The IRCKHF provides access to information using quality research, education and awareness, and advocacy.

Tiraz is a Jordan-based non-profit cultural foundation and textile research centre dedicated to promoting and preserving the disappearing Arab Textile Heritage. It is home to the Widad Kawar collection - the world’s largest and most complete collection of Palestinian, Jordanian and Arab traditional dress with over 2000 costumes and weavings. Widad Kawar and her family have invested 50 years of passionate work and care to create the collection that has helped save Palestinian and Arab heritage from the threat of extinction. Widad’s vision is to keep this heritage alive, not only as a source of beauty and cultural identity, but as the basis of sustainable livelihoods for current and future generation of artisans.