MPV Research Fellows

MPV welcomes nine Research Fellows to its team. This group of highly talented individuals will be producing policy briefs, reports and research to be shared with policy makers, other civil society organizations and our supporters. They represent various parts of the world, but have one thing in common: their true passion for human rights for all.

Sahar Mediha Al-Naas


Sahar Mediha Al-Naas is a member of WILPF and the founder and director of Libyan Women for Peace and Freedom. She is a UK based independent researcher and human rights defender. She holds an MA in Gender and Identity in the Middle East from the University of Exeter, with the focus on Political Islam as a factor by which Libyan women's political representation and participation in the public sphere have been shaped, constructed and limited in the post Gaddafi era. Born and educated in Libya to university level, Al-Naas moved to the UK in 1995 and has worked with women's organisations in both Libya and UK, becoming a consultant on gender based violence, honour-based violence and FGM. Since 2011, Al-Naas has been travelling between Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and the US to attend and organise conferences, workshops, seminars, and meetings. She has also lobbied, planned and strategised campaigns for human rights issues in general and women's issues in particular. She is a Co-author of: ‘Women’s Bodies in Post-Revolution Libya: Control and Resistance’, in Rethinking Gender in Revolutions and Resistance: Lessons from the Arab World (2015). 

Lina Safa

Originally from Beirut Lebanon, she experienced first hand the hardships, human rights violations, and violence caused by a long civil war and terrorism from various factions and neighbouring countries. Her 400-page thesis was adopted by several Middle Eastern countries and is currently being used as a textbook for international relations, policies, and law in their universities. She has a Masters degree in International Relations and Affairs, and is currently working on her PhD in Political Science. She has taught political science classes in Lebanese universities, has participated in UNESCO conferences, and has business management and election committee experience. Lina is fluent in English, French, and Arabic. As a believer in the Muslim sharia of peace, compassion, and mercy, Lina has a strong passion for human rights and women’s rights, particularly in international policy regarding security and peacekeeping.


Reem Sweid

Reem Sweid is the Director of MPV Australia, a social policy researcher and writer. She has worked collaboratively on numerous projects for the Australian Government in her role as Senior Research Officer at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.  Reem has excelled in producing high quality evaluations and reports for the Department of Social Services, the Department of Human Services and the Department of Education. She has developed excellent research management skills and become highly experienced in qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Reem was awarded a M. Sc. in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B. Sc. degree in International Relations and Economics from Brown University (Rhode Island, USA). She has over ten years experience volunteering with migrant communities initially as an ESL tutor in the United States, followed by six months volunteering with disadvantaged youth in Indonesia. Most recently Reem has volunteered as a business mentor with the Brotherhood of St Laurence Stepping Stones Program, a project assisting humanitarian migrants with business ventures. Reem has recently published opinion pieces in two leading Australian publications (the Age and She currently resides in Melbourne, Australia, with her husband Mike, and their cat Neko.

Fenna ten Berge

Fenna ten Berge is the Director of MPV Nederland, researcher, and textwriter. The focal point of her research is socio-cultural gender-patterns within Islamic societies. She brings to light the very powerful position that women held within early Islamic society, not  by far limited to their possible roles of wives or mothers, and the socio-cultural notions that later overshadowed this understanding. By doing so she hopes to contribute to a society where men and women can fully benefit from the presence of women and femininity in the public sphere and to empower women to overcome societal constraints in the name of Islam. Her work has always been driven by her passion for human rights and dignity, within organisations such as War Child and the Dutch Refugee Council. She was awarded a MA in Gender and Identity in the Middle East from the University of Exeter, with a focus on homosexuality in Islam and Islamic Civilizations, and on the use of internet as a tool for Sudanese women's rights and gender activists to achieve greater participation in the public sphere. Having converted to Islam shortly after receiving her MA, she moved to Sudan, where she experienced first-hand how Islam was used to to limit women's voices, growth, and access to the public sphere. It was then that her passion for human rights and dignity got shaped into a fight for women's rights and for LGBTQI members. As a convert to Islam she wholeheartedly believes in its message of peace, inclusion, human rights and (gender) equality.

Emily Zell

After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in American Social History, Emily’s path diverged to the international. She moved to Uganda to work with a small community-based organization. While there, her field work took her to the remote fishing villages along Lake Victoria to address issues of HIV/AIDS awareness, education, economic advancement, and agricultural sustainability. Needless to say, the experience was varied, which led her to then pursue her masters in the wide reaching field of human rights. She chose the American University in Cairo to gain exposure to a part of the world that was foreign to her; Egypt now feels like home as much as anywhere. Emily is an AUC Merit fellow, represented AUC at the African Human Rights Moot Court, and helped host the 2015 Third World Approaches to International Law conference, the first TWAIL conference to be held in the developing world. Currently, she is writing her thesis on failed states within international law. The opportunity to work with MPV is one she does not take lightly, as a particular passion is to combat the misconceptions and prejudices Muslims face in the U.S. and other non-Islamic majority states. Just a few areas of interest in her work include migration and refugee rights, women’s rights, disability rights, and the rights of detainees. She firmly believes that education and exposure are the keys to leading a tolerant, fascinating, and full life.

Former MPV Research Fellows

  • Monica Islam - June-October 2015
  • Kayla Jones - June-October 2015
  • Aynur Jafar - June-October 2015
  • Tania Reza - May-August 2015
  • Chaka Bachmann - June-July 2015