Our Team

Principal investigator and researcher in charge – Québec/Canada site

Roxane Caron

Roxane Caron is a social worker by training and is now an associate professor at the School of Social Work of the Université de Montréal. She has extensive experience in practice and research, both in Quebec and Lebanon, as well as theoretical expertise on issues surrounding refugees and migration from a transnational perspective. Her work focuses primarily on the realities of refugee women, life in refugee camps, and protracted exile. She has led several research projects involving Canada and Lebanon that aim to understand – from a transnational and intersectional perspective – the migration pathways of refugees from Syria settled in Canada (Quebec) and Lebanon.

Keywords: woman, transnational feminism, decolonial feminism, intersectionality, prolonged exile, refugee camp.

Researcher in charge – Lebanon site

Lina Abou-Habib

Lina Abou-Habib is the Director of the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University of Beirut as well as the Gender Project Director of the MEPI-TLS program at AUB. She is a feminist activist and researcher with a long career working with local, regional, and international institutions on gender mainstreaming and feminist activism. She has designed, implemented, and led multi-year gender equality initiatives including training, research, and community actions, and served on many local and international boards including AWID where she served as the Board Secretary and Chair from 2008 to 2012. Abou-Habib is a member of the editorial committee of the Gender and Development Journal and serves on the Board of Haven for Artists.  She also designs and teaches a number of undergraduate gender courses at AUB.

Keywords: active citizenship; women’s political participation; invisible care work; migrant women and refugees’ women in post-war Lebanon


Project coordinator and local coordinator – Québec/Canada site

Sonya Ben Yahmed

Sonya Ben Yahmed is a researcher and a Ph.D. student at the University of Montreal, whose multidisciplinary work, which is as much in sociology, and gender studies as in communication, touches on issues of gender, violence, bodies, language, and mobility. She is also a long-time activist, within the feminist movement in Tunisia, her country of origin, and more broadly in social movements in Tunisia and Quebec, particularly those related to immigrants and without status persons. She defines herself as a researcher-activist and tries to build bridges between research and activism.

Keywords: women, decolonial feminism, violence, bodies, intersectionality, social justice.

Local coordinator – Lebanon site

Carla Akil

Carla Akil is a researcher and project coordinator at the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University of Beirut. She has extensive experience in advocacy for gender equality, including developing and implementing social media campaigns as well as organizing and moderating webinars. Her research work is focused on women’s rights and gender equality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including prejudice and feminist funding narratives. Carla has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the American University of Beirut.

Keywords: gender; feminism; women empowerment; sexual and gender-based violence

Co-researchers and collaborators

Ahmed Hamila (Québec/Canada)
Ahmed Hamila is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the Université de Montréal. A specialist in international migration and gender/sexuality, his current research focuses on asylum policies related to sexual orientation and gender identity, access to health care for vulnerable migrant populations, and transnational solidarities. He has been a visiting scholar at several universities including the University of Victoria, Sciences Po Paris, and the University of Warwick, as well as a Queen Elisabeth Scholar and Wiener-Anspach fellow at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. His work has been published in Politique et sociétés, Gouvernement et action publique, Alterstice, Intervention and in several edited volumes. 

Keywords: Public action; Gender relations; Political sociology; Immigration; State/civil society relations; Sexualities; Social inequalities in health; Nationalisms and sexualities.

Myriam Richard – co-researcher (Québec/Canada)
Myriam is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Social Work at Université de Montréal. She is trained in history, urban studies, geography, and social work. For the last 12 years, she has been involved in the field of immigration and refuge as a researcher, trainer, as well as social/community worker. Her work aims to defend the rights of migrant and refugee people by better understanding the experiences of refugee families’ lives across borders, as well as social and community workers supporting them. It tries to create bridges between research and social/community intervention by mobilizing critical family, transnational and feminist studies through narrative and collaborative methods. Her personal and professional experiences have led her to be anchored transnationally across the borders of Québec/Canada, the United States, Russia, and Lebanon.

Keywords: transnational refugee families; family separation and reunification; social and community intervention; critical family and feminist studies; narrative and collaborative methods.

Amal Damien – co-researcher (Lebanon)

Amal M. Damien is a lecturer at the Lebanese School of Social Education at St. Joseph University in Beirut and has been working on refugee women’s issues in Lebanon for many years. She was the coordinator of a training program with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) on psychosocial support for violence against refugee women. Dr. Damien works closely with L. Abou Habib at the Collective for Research and Training on Development Action (CRTDA) – where she is a member of the Board of Directors – on the design and implementation of social development projects in Lebanon and training programs for Lebanese and Syrian/Palestinian refugee women. In addition, A. Damien conducted research in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the role of informal networks in the lives of Syrian refugees in Lebanon (2018-2020). Dr. Damien brings to the project her grounded knowledge of women’s community organizing in Lebanon, including migrant and refugee women, including those living in rural areas. She is also familiar with the Quebec context of community intervention, having completed a doctoral stay at the School of Social Work of the University of Montreal in 2010, where she taught on the subject.

Keywords: women empowerment; poverty; socioeconomic development; refugees and migrants; gender issues

Jill Hanley – co-researcher (Québec/Canada)

Jill Hanley is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work of McGill University and Scientific Director of the SHERPA University Institute, a research center that aims to advance knowledge and develop best practices for intervention in a multi-ethnic context. Dr. Hanley’s research focuses on access to housing, health services and labour rights for migrants with precarious status, particularly temporary foreign workers, asylum seekers and undocumented persons. Her research focuses on documenting the challenges faced by these individuals so that the results can both inform policy development and benefit community groups in their development and pursuit of their mission. In addition, she works closely with many community organizations (including the partner organizations in this project, PINAY and MCVI) and is the co-founder of the Immigrant Workers’ Centre in Montreal, which is an undeniable contribution to this project as well as her expertise with migrant women domestic workers.

Emmanuelle Khoury – co-researcher (Québec/Canada)

Emmanuelle’s experience and expertise are primarily in the field of mental health, more recently with a focus on youth mental health practices to youth mental health practices. That said, mental health is a very broad field that includes knowledge and knowledge and interests around: mental health intervention in institutional and community settings, processes of marginalization, stigmatization, and discrimination; and issues related to the reproduction of power relations.

Keywords: mental health; social intervention; contemplative pedagogy; social services organization

Edward Ou Jin Lee – co-researcher (Québec/Canada)

Edward Ou Jin Lee is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Montreal and his expertise is in the links between processes of racialization, migratory pathways, gender and sexuality, particularly as they relate to the intersectional experiences of racialized and migrant LGBTQ people. He is involved in several research projects, including some with Dr. Caron, where he uses a transnational and decolonial feminist theoretical approach and critical methodologies. He is part of several research teams and is already collaborating with members of the present project, including the Clinique Mauve and the Centre InterActions. He is also a co-founder of AGIR Montreal (Action LGBTQ avec les ImmigrantEs et RéfugiéÉs) and his knowledge of the issues of racialized and migrant LGBTQI+ people is an important contribution to this project.

Mireille Paquet – collaborator (Québec/Canada)

Dr. Paquet is the Research Chair in Immigration Policy and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University. She is also Director of the Centre for the Study of Politics and Immigration (CSPI) and co-director of the Équipe de recherche sur l’immigration dans le Québec actuel (ÉRIQA). Her research interests include immigration policy in Canada, bureaucratic policy-making in the immigration sector, and innovation in immigration policy. His expertise in the field of citizenship and migration policy in Canada/Quebec and internationally is recognized. The question of (non) citizenship being at the heart of the issues faced by migrant women in precarious situations in Canada and Lebanon (see Project Description), her collaboration will allow us to have an expert in the political dimension inherent to migration issues; a dimension at the intersection of the realities of the women concerned (e.g., issues of injustice, inequality and inclusion or exclusion). 

Partner organizations

CRTD.A (Lebanon)
CRTD.A is a feminist organization based in Beirut Lebanon and works in Lebanon and with sister organizations in Arab countries in the MENA region. It is a non-governmental organization registered in 2003 based in Beirut, Lebanon. Whether working in Lebanon or across the Arab countries in collaboration with partners in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Syria, and Tunisia, CRTD.A seeks to contribute to citizenship, social justice, and gender equality.

Clinique Mauve (Québec/Canada)

The first of its kind in Quebec, Clinique Mauve was launched in Montreal in 2020 with an original grant from the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s Foundation for the Advancement of Family Medicine. Launched in close collaboration with the community organization AGIR, Clinique Mauve offers integrated medical care and psychosocial services that take anti-oppressive, intersectional and trauma-sensitive approaches.

PINAY (Québec/Canada)
PINAY is a non-profit organization of Filipino migrants/immigrant women workers created in 1991 to organize and empower Filipino women in Quebec. Since then, it has played a vital role in the fight for the rights and welfare of Filipinos working as domestic workers under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP). PINAY is part of a network of women-focused advocacy organizations in Canada that lobbies the federal and provincial governments for the protection of migrant workers and their families. Its current membership counts 250 Filipino domestic workers and professionals in Quebec/Canada.

MCVI (Québec/Canada)
MCVI emerges from a feminist consciousness of women from diverse backgrounds who recognize the different forms of oppression against women. Our mission is to counter all forms of violence experienced by women as a result of the unequal power relations and domination existing in society, which stem from different sources of oppression. Over the years, it has developed expertise in the intervention and support of migrant women and asylum seekers who have experienced sexual and gender-based violence. MCVI has three components: direct assistance, awareness and prevention, and advocacy. Our feminist and intersectional approach is transversal in all our actions at MCVI.

Centre Interactions du CIUSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
Since 2001, Centre Interactions, in partnership with the Université de Montréal, has been studying the configuration and evolution of family, community, and public support networks in order to respond to complex health and social problems from an intersectoral perspective. Bringing together university research and practice has always been one of its priorities, with the objective of improving access, continuity, and adequacy of health and social services to the needs of the population.

Student partners

Mireille Malaket – Master’s Student (Québec/Canada)
Mireille Malaket holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental geography with a specialization in human environment and a diploma in specialized studies in social work. She is currently a master’s student in social work at the University of Montreal. Her thesis is centered on examining the challenges and opportunities in the start-up of the project “Femmes, genre, (im)mobilités et vies précaires” (Women, gender, (im)mobilities and precarious lives), for which she is currently working as a research assistant. With multiple experiences in social intervention in community and institutional settings in Quebec, including with migrant families and youth in schools and in socio-professional reintegration, her research interests include the experiences of migrant women in precarious situations in Quebec and Lebanon, transnational feminist solidarity, the plural identities of children of mixed couples, and nature and adventure-centered practices in social work.

Keywords: migrant women; transnational solidarity; feminist approaches; plural identities; psychosocial intervention through nature and adventure

Marilena Liguori – Master’s Student (Québec/Canada)

Other partners

Jacques Lahoud (Lebanon)
Jacques is a psychoanalyst. Working in the field since 2002 in various countries (Egypt, France, Lebanon, Mali, Syria), his research interests include various themes such as life projects, refugees, the dignity of the human person (especially the one receiving aid), psychosocial support to social workers. Having an interdisciplinary approach, I am interested in the process of reconstruction (with dignity and freedom) of the human person who has experienced adversity/trauma in life.