Mira Al Hussein

Mira Al Hussein

Research Topic
Domestic workers’ abuse in Gulf States

Mira Al Hussein is a sociologist and a social commentator from the United Arab Emirates. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge. Her research traces the intersection of politics, culture, and pedagogy, and the ways in which social norms and cultural practices are reproduced and rehearsed within higher education. Additionally, Mira holds an MSc in International Relations from the University of Bristol, UK. Mira is also the founder and organiser of a budding webinar series, ‘Ta’shirat Dukhool’, which hosts young academics and social activists from the Gulf region to discuss topics relevant to the ‘Gulf street’. 

Mira’s research interests include Gulf migration and labour; post-oil socio-political transitions; and Gulf women’s agency and power-negotiation.

Mira’s research at Columbia Global Centers | Amman examines the ways through which female domestic workers can negotiate and redefine their non-unionised jobs, and develop their personal and professional agencies under the restrictive kafala system in the contexts of different Gulf states. The aim of Mira’s project is to provide platform and create horizontal networks of solidarity that could help domestic workers in the Gulf exit the tripartite violence of kafala, patriarchy, and the gatekeeping of elite women.


Selected Publications:   

  • 2021. The Misadventures of Gulf Education Reforms. Gulf International Forum. https://gulfif.org/the-misadventures-of-gulf-education-reforms/
  • 2021. Citizenship in the Gulf. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. https://www.kas.de/en/web/rpg/detail/-/content/citizenship-in-the-gulf
  • 2021. The UAE’s ‘Foreign Talent’ Dilemma. LSE Blog. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mec/2021/09/15/the-uaes-foreign-talent-dilemma/
  • 2021. The Social Contract and Post-Oil Dilemma in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Carnegie Middle East Center. https://carnegie-mec.org/sada/85110