The Nahrein Network



Core team

Eleanor Robson

Professor Eleanor Robson, UCL

Principal Investigator


Eleanor is Professor of Ancient Middle Eastern History at UCL, with a particular focus on Iraq. She joined the university in 2013 after ten years teaching in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge (2004-13) and a varied postdoctoral career in and around the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford (1995-2003). Eleanor's research has three main focal points:

  • the social and political contexts of knowledge production in the cuneiform culture of ancient Iraq, five to two thousand years ago;
  • the construction of knowledge about ancient Iraq in Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East over the past two centuries;
  • and use of open, standards-based online resources for democratising access to knowledge about the ancient Middle East.

In her capacity as Principal Investigator on the Nahrein Network project, Eleanor has overall responsibility for the Network, overseeing expansion, ethics, and risk. She also runs the Visiting Scholars programme and mentoring csheme. Eleanor leads on ancient history, languages, and digital humanities, and runs the collaborative hub with the College of Arts at Baghdad.

Paul Collins


Dr Paul Collins, University of Oxford



Paul Collins is Jaleh Hearn Curator of Ancient Near East in the Department of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. He worked previously as a curator in the Middle East Department of the British Museum and the Ancient Near Eastern Art Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

His research interests include the role of visual representation in the origins of the state and kingship in Mesopotamia, the meaning of Assyrian imagery, the history of collecting, and the role of museum displays in shaping disciplinary knowledge.

In his capacity as co-investigator on the Nahrein Network project, Paul manages the Grants Fund programme. He contributes to training workshops, work-in-progress events and working groups. Paul leads on museums, cultural heritage, and community engagement, and runs the collaborative hub with Basrah Museum.


Photo of Dr Jaafar Jotheri

Dr Jaafar Jotheri, University of Al-Qadisiyah



Jaafar Jotheri holds a PhD Geoarchaeology from Durham University. He has over 15 years of experience in conducting archaeological excavations and surveys about the landscape of ancient Iraq and the ancient paths that rivers and canals that followed in the past. He has published more than 15 articles in some of the world's most prestigious journals. 
He is currently an Assistant Professor and Vice-Dean in the Faculty of Archeology, University of Al-Qadissiyah, Iraq where he teaches and supervises both undergraduate and postgraduate students. 
He has been involved in many international archaeological and heritage projects carried out in Iraq, with partners including Manchester University, Durham University,  Sapienza University of Rome, and Tokushima University. He has been awarded research funding from international organizations such as the British Institute for the Study of Iraq (London), the Academic Research Institute in Iraq (USA), and the British Academy, as well as the Nahrein Network.

Photo of Dr Rozhen Mohammed-Amin

Dr Rozhen Kamal Mohammed-Amin, Sulaimania Polytechnic University



Dr Rozhen Kamal Mohammed-Amin is an architect and academic with an interdisciplinary background and research interest in the confluence of digital technology, architecture, and cultural heritage. She is founding head of the Digital Cultural Heritage (DCH) Research Group at the Sulaimani Polytechnic University (SPU) and a lecturer at its City Planning Engineering Department. Rozhen also serves as secretary of RASHID, an international network dedicated to safeguarding the cultural heritage of Iraq with ECOSOC/UN special consultative status, and is a member of UKRI’s International Development Peer Review College. Before the completion of her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Calgary (Canada), she worked at the State Organization of Tourism and the Ministry of Municipality and Tourism in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. After joining SPU in 2016, she founded and directed her university’s Research Center until 2018. 

Her research interests include digital cultural heritage, museum experience design, and the effects of using Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies in public and cultural heritage spaces like museums and historic sites. 

In her capacity as co-investigator on the Nahrein Network project, Rozhen supports some of the ongoing projects, conducts research in digital cultural heritage in Iraq along with her team at DCH, and undertakes and supervises training and community outreach activities at the SPU office of the Nahrein Network. 

Mehiyar Kathem

Dr Mehiyar Kathem, UCL

Research Associate and Network Co-ordinator

Dr Mehiyar Kathem is Research Associate and Nahrein Network Coordinator. As part of his role, Mehiyar works on the Visiting Scholarship Scheme where he assists Iraqi academics and professionals during their stay in the UK. His role includes supporting the Nahrein Network team to develop partnerships and communication with Iraqi Government institutions, domestic NGOs and academics. He is also responsible for the social media affairs of the Nahrein Network. 

Mehiyar completed a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) where he researched peacebuilding interventions and the formation of Iraq's domestic NGO sector after the 2003 War. During this research, he looked at the gradual evolution of Iraq from totalitarian dictatorship through the country's emerging domestic organisations. His research interests include statebuilding, civil society peacebuilding and the ways in which development, politics and money interact at a local level. In 2012 and 2013, Mehiyar conducted field research in Iraq for his PhD programme, spending a year meeting with and interviewing domestic NGO actors, political parties, government officials and international donors. 

Previously, Mehiyar worked on a number of grassroots programmes geared to build the capacity of civil society organisations and continues to advise international donors on the effective design and delivery of projects in Iraq.

He tweets at @mehiyar and blogs on mehiyar.com

photo of Zainab

Zainab Mahdi, UCL

Communications and Social Media Officer

I work as a Communications and Social Media Officer to The Nahrein Network. I look after all the network’s communications, be that the network’s website, newsletters and social media platforms, in addition to organizing events. 

Amani J. Suleiman

Dr Amani Suleiman, University of Kurdistan Hewler

Postdoctoral Research Associate until June 2020

Dr. Amani Suleiman joined the team as a postdoctoral Research Associate at the Nahrein Network. During her time with the Network, she conducted research on promoting sustainable development in Kurdistan Region, with a focus on the tourism sector.

Dr Anwar Anaid

Dr Anwar Anaid

Co-Investigator until 2020

Anwar Anaid holds a PhD from the University of Sydney (Australia) in Government and International Relations and BA (Hons) majoring in Politics & IR with a second major in Economics from the University of New South Wales (Australia).

As co-invesstigator of the Nahrein Network he directed the Research Centre for the Sustainable Development of Cultural Heritage at UKH.