Valeria holds a BA in International and Diplomatic Relations (Asia & Africa) from “L’Orientale”, University of Naples, an MA in International Relations from the University of Cagliari, and an MA in Middle East Politics from the University of Exeter. She completed with honour her Doctorate in History, Cultural Heritage and International Studies at the University of Cagliari, Italy, in April 2017, with a thesis titled: “State and Society between links and disconnections: Identity, Power and Tribal Dynamics in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”. Valeria worked as the Director of the Near East and North Africa Programme for the Institute of Higher Studies in Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences (IsAG, Rome) from 2015 until 2017. She has experience of traineeships in Jordan at the Center for Strategic Studies (2011), at the Italian Embassy (2011), and at the Al-Hayat Center for Civil Society Development (2014). She is a Contracted Lecturer of Cultural Anthropology of the Islamic Civilisation at University Niccolò Cusano, Rome, since 2016. She published various contributions in peer-reviewed journals, online publications, and articles in edited volumes. Valeria conducted extensive fieldwork in Jordan using Universities as focus model of broader dynamics regarding both Democratisation and Tribalism. Her research interests include Tribalism, Border studies, Politics of Identity and State-Formation in the MENA region, focusing in particular on the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Mauro Saccol holds a PhD in Democracy and Human Rights at the Department of Political Sciences, University of Genoa, Italy. His project focused on the human rights situation during the Mubarak presidency in Egypt, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood theory on human rights and its activities in this field. Moreover, he holds an MA in Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa from the Department of Oriental Studies, University of Bologna, and a BA in Foreign Languages and Literatures from the University of Bologna. He carried out research at the University of Jordan, Amman, during the Fall semester 2014-2015 (Hermes-Mundus scholarship.) Moreover, he carried out fieldwork in Egypt in April-May 2014 while volunteering for AIESEC Cairo University on two projects focused on children’s rights. He is also a Board Member of FIMAM’s (Foro de Investigación sobre el Mundo Árabe-Musulman), a Spanish association of researchers and scholars on the Arab-Islamic world. He has worked as an Italian language teacher for Arabic-speaking students and a cultural linguistic mediator with asylum-seekers in Italy. His main research interests are democracy and human rights in Middle East, human rights in Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and in Europe, Islamic fundamentalism, Arabic literature, terrorism, migrants and refugees.