Professor Karima Laachir

Director, Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies
ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Professor Karima Laachir has been the Director of the ANU Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies CAIS (The Middle East and Central Asia) since January 2020. Prior to that, she held tenured positions at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and the University of Birmingham in the UK; she also worked at the University of Leeds (UK).

Karima's broader research interests encompass the interface between Humanities and Social Sciences, exploring culture, arts and activism under authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and North Africa. Her research is also engaged with culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Australia.

She is currently the co-lead of the ANU Africa and Middle East Regional Plan. She can bring to the ANU Council her rich experience from the UK academic sector, her long engagement with the region of the Middle East and North Africa, and her passion to work collaboratively with colleagues across ANU. Karima perceives the role of CAIS and ANU as fundamental in informing and influencing the government policy on the Middle East and Central Asia as well as on Australian Muslim communities. She values the opportunity to promote a better understanding of Islam and Muslim societies and their rich and complex cultures. Karima is proud to be a Muslim Arab woman academic aspiring to bring more diversity to ANU.