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Von Hügel Institute

for Critical Catholic Inquiry


Dr Zeina M. Barakat is a Jerusalem-born Palestinian scholar who holds a doctorate in reconciliation, peace, and conflict resolution studies from Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany. She received her B. A. from Bethlehem University and her M. A. from al-Quds University in Palestine. She taught at al-Quds University in Jerusalem, Al-Istiqlal University in Jericho, Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, and Europa-University in Flensburg, Germany. She is the author of several academic books and articles including, Sexual Harassment (2012), one of the few books in Arabic dealing with this taboo topic in Arab society. Her book, From Heart of Stone to Heart of Flesh: Evolutionary Journey from Extremism to Moderation, published in 2017, has been well-received in the academic community.

Zeina's teaching courses included 'Gender in the Islam', 'Gender and Women’s Rights in the Middle East and in the Western World', 'Meditation in Conflict, Contested Narratives', 'Prospects of Reconciliation and Peace in Israel /Palestine, and Reconciliation and Culture in Palestinian Society', 'Learning from South African Experience: Reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians', 'Forced Migration and the Refugee Problem – Why people move?', 'Conflict Resolution, Game Theory and Negotiations'.


Zeina’s research interest includes topics dealing with gender, narratives, reconciliation, identity empathy, forgiveness, victimhood, collective memory in both interreligious and political perspectives. She joined the VHI as a Research Associate in October 2019, having previously collaborated with the institute to organise an international research seminar.

Her upcoming research focus will explore women education and gender equality in the Holy Quran as compared to actual traditions in Muslim and Christian societies.        


Key publications: 


  • From Heart of Stone to Heart of Flesh: Evolutionary Journey from Extremism to Moderation, Munich: Herbert Utz Verlag GmbH, 2017

Edited Books

  • Barakat, Zeina, et al. (eds), Reconciliation in the Middle East and Northern Africa,  Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2020 [forthcoming]
  • Barakat, Zeina,  et al. (eds), Readings in American Democratic Culture, Jerusalem: Al-Quds University Publishing Press, 2010.
  • Barakat, Zeina,  et al. (eds), Jerusalem From the Lens of Wasatia, Jerusalem: Wasatia, 2010.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • (with Ralf Wüstenberg), The urge for an “Empathetic Dialogue:An Exploration of the Political and Religious Dimension of Empathy, in Reconciliation in the Middle East and Northern Africa, RIPAR Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2020 [forthcoming];
  • (with Mohammed Dajani), Israel and Palestine: Occupation Not Apartheid, in Aaron J. Hahn and Mira Sucharov (eds), Social Justice and Israel/ Palestine: Foundational and Contemporary Debates, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019: 188-200.
  •  Reconciliation in Midst of Strive, in Björn Krondorfer (ed.), Reconciliation in Global Context: Why It Is Needed and How It Works, New York: Sunny Press, 2018:129-150
  • Outsiders Among their Own: Silencing Voices of Moderation in Palestine, in Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi, Munther Dajani Daoudi, Martin Leiner, and Zeina Barakat (eds), Teaching the Holocaust in Palestine: Reconciliation in Midst of Conflict, Jerusalem & Jena: Wasatia, 2016: 113-116.
  • (with Mohammed Dajani), Israeli/Palestinian Narratives: Challenges and Opportunities, in Gabriela Rosenthal (ed.), Ertablierte und Aussenseiter zugleich: Selbst und Fremdbilder in den paelestinensischen Communities im Westjordanland und Israel, Campus Verlag: Frankfurt am Main, 2015. pp. 295-312.
  • (with Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi), Israelis and Palestinians: Contested Narratives, Israeli Studies, Volume 18, Number 2 (Summer 2013): 53-69.
  • (with Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi), The Globalization of America and the Poverty of Arab Knowledge, in Robert Myers (ed.), Connections and Ruptures: America and the Middle East, Beirut: American University of Beirut, 2011: 447 - 460.
  • Diverging Narratives as part of the Conflict: Converging Narratives as Part of the Solution, in Religious Narratives on Jerusalem and their Role in Peace Building, Jerusalem: Conrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2009: 29-39.


  • al-Taharush al-Jinsi [Sexual Harassment]. Jerusalem: American Studies Center, al-Quds University, 2012. (In Arabic)
  • (with Mohammed Dajani and Martin Rau), Holocaust: Human Agony. Is There a Wat out of Violence?, Jerusalem: Wasatia Publishing, 2012. (In Arabic)
  • War, Peace, and Reconciliation: A Theological Enquiry, Reviews in Religion & Theology, 26:3 (2019).
  • The Making of a Salafi Muslim Woman: Paths to Conversion, Reviews in Religion & Theology, 26:2 (2019): 257-259.
  • Trajectories of Justice: What the Bible Says about Slaves, Women, and Homosexuality, Reviews in Religion & Theology, 26:1 (2019): 74-76.
  • Religion, and Extremism: Rejecting Diversity, Reviews in Religion & Theology, 25:3 (2018): 543-546.

Online Articles

Research Associate
Post-Doc Researcher, Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies (JCRS), Faculty of Theology, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany

Contact Details

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