Zahra Babar

ZahraZahra Babar is Associate Director for Research at CIRS at Georgetown University in Qatar. Previously, she has served with the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Development Program. Her current research interests include rural development, migration and labor policies, and citizenship in the Persian Gulf states.








  1. Babar, Zahra, Michael Ewers, and Nabil Khattab. “Im/mobile Highly Skilled Migrants in Qatar.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (June 2018): 1-18.
  2. Babar, Zahra. “The ‘Enemy Within’: Citizenship-Stripping in the Post-Arab Spring GCC.” The Middle East Journal 71, no. 4 (2017): 525-43.
  3. Babar, Zahra. “The ‘Humane Economy’: Migrant Labour and Islam in Qatar and the UAE.” Sociology of Islam 5, no. 2-3 (2017): 200-23.
  4. Babar, Zahra. “Population, Power, and Distributional Politics in Qatar.” Journal of Arabian Studies 5, no. 2 (2015): 138-55.
  5. Babar, Zahra. “The Cost of Belonging: Citizenship Construction in the State of Qatar.” The Middle East Journal 68, no. 3 (2014): 403-20.

Book Chapters

  1. Babar, Zahra. “Enduring Contested Citizenship in the GCC.” In The Middle East in Transition: The Centrality of Citizenship, eds. Nils A. Butenschøn and Roel Meijer, 115-32. UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018.
  2. Babar, Zahra. “Working for the Neighbours: Arab Migrants in Qatar.” In Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC, ed. Zahra Babar. Oxford University Press/Hurst 2017.
  3. Babar, Zahra, and Andrew Gardner. “Circular Migration in the Gulf States.” In Impact of Circular Migration on Human, Political and Civil Rights: A Global Perspective, eds. Carlota Solé, Sonia Parella, Teresa Sordé, and Sonja Nita. Springer International Publishing, 2016.
  4. Babar, Zahra, and Dwaa Osman. “Women, Work, and the Weak State: A Case Study of Pakistan and Sudan.” In Fragile Politics: Weak States in the Greater Middle East, ed. Mehran Kamrava. Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2016.
  5. Babar, Zahra, and Mehran Kamrava. “Food Security and Food Sovereignty in the Middle East.” In Food Security in the Middle East. Hurst/OUP, 2014.
  6. Babar, Zahra. “Migration Policy and Governance in the GCC: A Regional Perspective.” In Labor Mobility: An Enabler for Sustainable Development, Emirates Center for Strategic Studies (ECSSR), Abu Dhabi, 2013.
  7. Kamrava, Mehran, and Zahra Babar. “Situating Labor Migration in the Persian Gulf.” In Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf. Hurst/Columbia University, 2012.

Edited Books/Journals

  1. Babar, Zahra, and Elizabeth Wanucha, guest eds. "Family in the Arabian Peninsula." CIRS Special Issue of Hawwa 16, nos. 1–3 (November 2018).
  2. Babar, Zahra, ed. Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC. Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2017.
  3. Babar, Zahra, and Suzi Mirgani, eds. Food Security in the Middle East. Hurst/Oxford University Press, 2014.
  4. Kamrava, Mehran, and Zahra Babar, eds. Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf. Hurst/Columbia University, 2012.

Conference Papers

  1. Akbar, Fatema, Dr Ingmar Weber, Dwaa Osman, and Zahra Babar. “Politicization Of Migrant Communities In The GCC As Seen On Twitter.” In Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference, no. 1, 2014.


  1. Babar, Zahra. “Mobility and Migration from the Southern Mediterranean States to the GCC.” IEMed MediterraneanYearbook 2014, November 2014.
  2. Babar, Zahra. “Labor Migration in the State of Qatar: Policymaking and Governance.” Center for Migrations and Citizenship, Institut français des relations internationales (Ifri), 2013.
  3. Babar, Zahra. “Free Movement of People within the Gulf.” UNU-CRIS/UNESCO World Report, 2011.
  4. Babar, Zahra. “Free Mobility Within the Gulf Cooperation Council.” CIRS Occasional Paper, 2011.