Charity in Saudi Arabia: Civil Society under Authoritarianism

29.12.2022 I Dr. Nora Derbal, former member of our Research Collegium, presented her research on civil society in Saudi Arabia in October 2022

In October 2022, Dr. Nora Derbal, a former member of our Research Collegium, introduced her book ‘Charity in Saudi Arabia: Civil Society under Authoritarianism’ at the Leibnitz-Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin.

Dr. Derbal analyses commmunity activism in Jeddah, expanding on existing research that predominantly focuses on Riyadh. Her research  adopts a ‘bottom-up’ approach to look at the work of grassroots civil society movements. The book’s themes include the first women’s welfare association in Jeddah, as well as citizenship and belonging and civil society and every day Islam in Saudi Arabia. On the whole, ‘Charity in Saudi Arabia’ contributes to the literature on civil society in the Gulf nations by revealing how Saudis and non-Saudis view civil society and inequality in the country.

Dr. Nora Derbal is a scholar of Islam and the Middle East. She is a completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was a research associate in Cairo at the Orient Institute Beirut. Dr. Derbal has a PHD in Islamic Studies from Freie Universität Berlin.

Our Research Collegium is a project of the Maecenata Institute for Philanthropy and Civil Society.  Since it was founded in 2001, it has contacted researchers from all disciplines who are writing their thesis on themes related to civil society. It offers them a place for exchange and reflection, for conversations about academic questions and privileged access to information. A further goal is for members of the Collegium to exchange ideas outside of the meetings and to support each other in the different stages of their research.

>> Buy the book here

>> Watch the event recording here