“My team members and I tried to complicate and enrich the political aims of Project Aladdin by bringing the perspective of Queer Muslim Migrants (QMMs) and the problems of homophobia, transphobia and heteronormativity they face in both their home and asylum countries”, explained Paras. “Critiquing the near absence of sexuality and gender-identity in existing accounts on cultural integration and migration, we tried to turn the policy gaze towards the experience of sexual-emotional loneliness, invisibility and marginalisation within LBGTQ movements experienced by the QMMs”.
The Summer University is an annual programme launched by the Aladdin Project in partnership with 16 prestigious universities in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Africa and under the patronage of the European Parliament and UNESCO. Paras partnered with Cihangir Can of Bogazici University, Gabriela Sawaya from the University of São Paulo and Luke Murphy of Boston College for the project, the final version of which was submitted in October 2019.
“With young researchers from leading universities of the US, EU, and MENA regions all gathered in one place, ISUIL strengthened my hope that a peaceful research collaboration is possible in future to undo the injustices of racism, Islamophobia, and antisemitism”, Paras said.
Previous recipients of the Aladdin Project Youth Award include alumna Giulia Manccini Pinheiro.