Hello Kirkland! I am thrilled to be joining the wonderful community of Kirkland House with my husband, Ahmed Ragab, our daughter, Carmen and our cat, Jesse.
I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, where I graduated with a BA in political science from Cairo University. I went on to do my Master’s and PhD in political theory and history in Paris, France at the Paris Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po).
I’ve been at Harvard since 2007 and have been privileged enough to experience multiple facets of this wondrous place: first as a visiting fellow in the Department of Government, then as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and finally as a lecturer in the Department of the History of Science, where I will continue to teach, in addition to my responsibilities as the ABAD of Kirkland House.
My academic work is centered around the question of justice at the intersection of political philosophy, intellectual history and science studies. With a focus on health and medicine, my research addresses the question of health and social justice, biomedical ethics and the links between medicine and politics, with a geographical focus on the Middle East and a special interest in postcolonial and gender studies. In addition to offering courses on health and social justice, as well as medicine and gender, I have also taught courses in European and American intellectual history as well as the intellectual history of the modern and contemporary Middle East. I'm finishing a book manuscript (co-authored with Sherine Hamdy, Brown University) on the role of doctors in the Egyptian revolution, and working on another book project on the question of health and social justice and the social roles of doctors in postcolonial Egypt.
Some fun facts about me:
I love reading novels when I have the time, and exploring new outdoor places on weekends. I’m a huge cinephile, though I no longer have time to watch as many movies as I’d love to. I listen to all music, but my favorite genres are classical music, jazz, Classic Rock and Prog Rock. Crossfit, Zumba and pilates are my go-to physical activities, though I like to shake it up every one in a while and include other routines to my exercise regiment (don’t forget to say hi when you bump into me in the MAC!) Yoga, meditation and "Zen coloring" keep me centered. I love trying out new eating places and going to the theatre, opera and music concerts. I don’t drink coffee (used to!), but really enjoy its smell! I tweet, Instagram and snapchat (not really, but I’m willing to learn if you’ll teach me!)
Ahmed, my husband, is an associate professor of science and religion at Harvard Divinity School, where he directs the Science, Religion and Culture program, and at the History of Science Department. He works on the history of science and medicine in the medieval and early modern Middle East. He is also always up for talking Red Sox, Patriots and Sci-Fi!
Our daughter, Carmen, was born in October 2013. She’s a diligent preschooler (which means she never tires of having her favorite books read to her for the nth time in one setting). Her interests are constantly changing, but, for the time being, they revolve around our cat, Jesse, whom she tirelessly, but without much noticeable success, tries to train to follow orders (“Sit, Jesse, sit!”), but also ponies, dinosaurs, marine life, and The Minions (she speaks fluent Minionese!)
Our cat, Jesse, was born in Cairo, Egypt, and is super friendly!
We are all very excited to join the Kirkland House community and look forward to meeting each and everyone of you over meals in the dining hall and in various events around the house.
Along with Kirkland House’s Academic Coordinator, Linda Matarazzo, I am here to support your academic and personal welfare at Harvard. Among other responsibilities, we oversee Kirkland House advising, the Senior Review, and applications for professional schools and other graduate programs. I also serve as Kirkland's liaison to other offices and committees within the university, and as your official representative on the Administrative Board of Harvard College.
Whether you are facing an academic, personal or professional challenge, Linda and I are here to help in any way we can. You can sign up here for office hours.