Hometown: Kuwait City, Kuwait
Research interests: Politics in Kuwait, freedom of expression in the Gulf, human rights, tribalism, women’s changing roles in the MENA region, civic freedoms, marginalised communities such as the stateless population in Kuwait, the role of education in shaping political agency, the different forms of democratic growth, culture, literature and art’s influence on social and political beliefs, and other subjects.
Abrar Alshammari graduated with a BA in International Relations, and a minor in English Language and Literature from the American University of Kuwait, where she took part in several extracurricular activities and was an assistant to visiting academic scholars. Her IR concentration was in International Organisations and Diplomacy. Abrar is a native Arabic speaker and participated in the Italian MFA program of Women in Diplomacy, and worked for the Lothan Youth Achievement Centre in Kuwait as a part-time writer. She worked with children at the Dar Al Athar Children’s Library, as well as the British Council in Kuwait’s Young Learners program, and volunteered to teach English to stateless children in Kuwait. Alshammari has also participated in the UNDP Young Leaders Program. She was a Political Advisor to the British Embassy in Kuwait for a year before joining the MAAS program. Abrar is a strong advocate of the importance of culture – literature, art, and music in furthering political and social expression and freedom – and an opponent of censorship, and plans to demonstrate examples of this through her research.