Shaden Sabouni

Shaden Sabouni

Shaden Sabouni is a PhD researcher at Fulda University for Applied Sciences at the department of Social and Cultural Science. She is currently working on her PhD about “The Consequences of Losing Home for Syrian refugees in Germany”.

She also works as a freelancer at GIZ as a Cultural and Land analysis Trainer, gives lectures at the University of Koblenz. She also engages in Integrational Structurer for Refugees.

Interview with Shaden Sabouni

Current affiliation
  • Fulda University for Applied Sciences
Hosting institute
Bonn International Center for Conflict Studies (BICC)
Key expertise

Profile according to FFVT taxonomy

Fields of research
Scientific topics

Academic education / CV

M.A Intercultural Communication and European Studies

PhD Social and Cultural Studies. Neither Here, nor There "The Transformative familial Dynamics of flight: An Ethnographic Study of Syrian Refugee Families in Germany”

Relevant publications


Q1. Who are you?

Shaden Sabouni, I arrived in Germany with my family in 2017, initially settling in Fulda for the first three years of our journey. During the first year, I dedicated my efforts on mastering the German language and establishing connections with the local society. I finished a vocational training to support other refugees and was engages in several organisations and activities to integrate refugees in the German society. In the following two years, I successfully completed my master's degree in "Intercultural Communication and European Studies" at Fulda University of Applied Sciences. Simultaneously, I engaged in teaching at the university and undertook various volunteer roles to assist fellow Syrian refugees.

In 2020, I moved to Bonn, a city I hold dear. Following an internship at GIZ, I had a freelance position with them as a cultural, language and land analysis trainer within the Skills for Abroad team. Alongside, I started my Ph.D. studies with Fulda University. My research is centered on the impact of social change on familial dynamics among Syrian refugees in Germany. Titled "Neither Here, Nor There," the study delves into the concepts of social change and belonging, exploring their implications on familial relationships and how these dynamics manifest in family and in broader society.

In addition to these pursuits, I successfully completed a migration and refugee studies course with the Refugee Led Hub Pathways by Oxford University, achieving distinction and recognized for outstanding engagement. Subsequently, I was offered a teaching position within the program.

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

In essence, the FFVT fellowship perfectly aligns with the fundamental themes of my ongoing research and professional interests. This program offers a unique chance to overcome barriers and serves as a bridge for me to integrate into the academic community in Bonn and Germany at large. I am particularly excited about the prospect of immersing myself in the rich academic environment fostered by the FFVT fellowship and BICC. The program, with its specific focus on my expertise, provides an ideal setting for me to deepen my understanding, exchange ideas with fellow scholars, and actively contribute to the academic discourse.

Moving forward, I'm excited to use this fellowship to help me grow academically and professionally. I look forward to making lasting connections, learning valuable insights, and making a meaningful contribution to the academic world in Bonn and Germany.

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

I expect the fellowship will provide a valuable opportunity for me to deepen my understanding of the academic landscape in Bonn. I am eager to identify potential avenues where I can apply the knowledge and skills I've cultivated since my arrival in Germany. As I progress with my research, I aim to align my efforts with the right opportunities for employment, enhancing my skills, and expanding my professional network. In essence, I look forward to using this fellowship as a stepping stone to further contribute to and excel in the academic field.

Q4. What is the focus of your work, and what is innovative about it? / What are your planned outcomes and activities for the fellowship period? And how do they relate to your FFVT hosting institution/ the FFVT cooperation project?

The focus of my work revolves around the impact of social change on familial dynamics for Syrian refugees in Germany, as outlined in my Ph.D. research titled "Neither Here, Nor There." What sets my research apart is its exploration of the concepts of social change and belonging, examining their implications on familial relationships and how these dynamics manifest in broader society.

Additionally, the innovation in my research stems from its unique perspective, as it is conducted from the standpoint of an insider observer. Being a Syrian refugee myself, I have direct experience with the challenges of integration and a sense of belonging in a new society. This distinctive position as a refugee conducting research on refugees provides me with a robust foundation to gather exceptionally rich data that may be challenging for other researchers to access.

My unique position allows for a deep and close examination of the situation I am interested in. This insider perspective has enabled me to establish a profound connection with my participants, as we share a common experiences. Consequently, the data I gather goes beyond surface-level insights, offering a holistic understanding of the dynamics of social change and familial relationships among Syrian refugees in Germany. This aspect of my research contributes to its innovation by providing a perspective that is both authentic and deeply informed.

During the fellowship period, my planned outcomes and activities align closely with the goals of the FFVT hosting institution and cooperation project. I intend to actively participate in the conference led by the program in September. This involvement will not only provide a platform for sharing my research findings but also enable me to engage with fellow scholars, fostering discussions and gaining valuable feedback.

Furthermore, I plan to present my research in the research colloquium with the broader members of the program. This forum offers a unique opportunity for deeper discussions, allowing me to receive constructive feedback on my work. By actively participating in these activities, I aim to contribute to the program's collaborative environment and further integrate my research within the broader academic discourse facilitated by the FFVT hosting institution and cooperation project.