Lajeh Seminar, November, 7th, 2017 l Everyday Life in the Middle East

Everyday Life in the Middle East: A multidisciplinary study of urban integration and change in two neighborhoods: Herrgården in Malmö, Sweden and Al-Thawra al-Arabiyya in al-Zarqa, Jordan.



This interdisciplinary research project aims to investigate everyday life in the neighbourhoods of Herrgården, located within the district of Rosengård, in the city of Malmö, Sweden, and Al-Thawra al-Arabiyya, in the city of al-Zarqa, northeast of Amman, Jordan. Although these two localities seem at odds with one another, upon closer inspection they share a number of commonalities. They are both “host communities” to multi-ethnic, primarily Muslim, immigrant populations, and they are both excluded spaces, both physically and socially, from mainstream society.

The purpose is to scientifically study the two areas with regards to language, religion, urban planning, historical backgrounds, the digital layer and everyday entrepreneurship in order to produce knowledge on the meaning and prerequisites for social cohesion and integration. Research activities include planning and progress workshops involving sharing knowledge and experiences with academic representatives, authorities/ municipalities/districts, representatives of civil society, dissemination workshops, and two periods of fieldwork in Sweden and Jordan respectively.

The project is led by Professor Leif Stenberg at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University and includes a total of 6 senior researchers with expertise within the fields of Islamology, History, Spatial Planning, Sociology and Geographic Information System.


CMES delegation members

Stefan Larsson, Associate Professor of Technology and Social Change, holds both a PhD in Sociology of Law (Larsson, 2011) with a focus on digital and normative issues, as well as a PhD in Spatial Planning (2014) with a focus on the role of law in spatial planning of technological infrastructure. He has been attached to CMES as a part-time researcher since 2017 and has held the position of Head of the Lund University Internet Institute at USV since 2014.

Vittorio Felci is a historian and researcher of international relations and has been attached to the Center for Middle Eastern Studies since 2014. His research focuses on US and UK foreign policy towards the Middle East during the Cold War period. He has particularly studied American foreign policy towards Iran and the so-called Iran–Saudi Arabia conflict. Vittorio is currently involved in an ongoing research project concerning the development of Iran’s nuclear arms program.

Darcy Thompson, in his role as a political scientist, studies democratisation in the Middle East and the impact that international aid has on processes of change and development. In particular, Darcy studies how aid policies, including the promotion of democracy and food aid programmes, are implemented in practice by governmental actors as well as international and domestic actors in civil society in the Middle East. She is currently completing her PhD thesis.