The Nahrein Network


Core Team

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.


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

    Amani J. Suleiman

    Dr Amani Suleiman, University of Kurdistan Hewler


    Dr. Amani Suleiman is currently a postdoctoral Research Associate at the Nahrein Network conducting a research on promoting sustainable development in Kurdistan Region focusing on tourism sector.

    She also served as a faculty member of Economics and Business Administration at the Lebanese French University-Erbil, and the University of Jordan-Amman.

    She received her Ph.D in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Jordan, Masters of Business Administration in Economics and BA in Business Administration from Mutah University in Jordan. She also holds a professional certificate in University Teaching and Learning (Teaching Methods).

    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.