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GilessmProfessor
Anthropology and Faculty Research Associate, Centre for Refugee Studies

Many years ago, after living, studying and working in Iran (my birthplace), as well as the UK (first citizenship), Canada (second citizenship), France, Italy, the USA, Niger, and Burkina Faso, I was drawn to social anthropology as a scholarly discipline that I thought might be able to ask and possibly begin to answer questions about the poverty and other social inequalities that I had witnessed in Africa and the Middle East; the tenacious neo-colonial and unequal gender relations that persisted in international aid & development organizations; and the politics of migration in Europe and Canada. These early questions led me to subsequent research on the gender relations of militarized violence; and most recently to studies of long-term exile in refugee camps in the global South.