Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

Other Pages

Fellows


Also available in العربية فارسی

Download High-Resolution Photograph

Oula A. Alrifai

Fellow

Biography

Oula A. Alrifai a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Geduld Program on Arab Politics. A master's student in Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies, she graduated in 2019. Her thesis, The Self-Flagellation of a Nation: Assad, Iran, and Regime Survival in Syria, focuses on the development of the Iranian-Syrian relationship in the 1970s and 1980s through the lens of religio-political dynamics.

Alrifai was a political asylee from Damascus, Syria, in 2005, and received her American citizenship in 2016. In 2011, she received her B.A. with honors from the University of Maryland. While at Maryland, Alrifai worked at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. Following her graduation she co-founded the independent NGO the Syrian-American Network for Aid and Development (SANAD) to help provide education and support for Syrian refugees. Professionally, her experience includes work at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, New York Times Magazine, and Navanti Group. She was a 2014-15 research assistant at The Washington Institute. Her articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, National Interest, CTC Sentinel, Huffington Post, the Daily Star, NOW Lebanon, and The Hill. She is a native Arabic speaker and speaks Persian at an advanced level. Alrifai is the executive producer of the award-winning documentary Tomorrow’s Children, which explores Syrian refugees forced into child labor in Turkey. The documentary is available to stream on Amazon Prime. Most recently, Alrifai was a Student Intern at the Middle East Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School.

Back to Top


Most Recent Analysis

What Is Iran Up To in Deir al-Zour?

October 10, 2019

The ‘Rebuild Syria’ Exhibition: Iranian Influence and U.S. Sanctions

September 17, 2019

To Save Syria, Assad Must Step Down

December 26, 2017

The Islamic State in Southern Syria

December 15, 2015

Hezbollah's Victory in Qalamoun: Winning the Battle, Losing the War

May 20, 2015

Growing Rebel Capabilities Press the Syrian Regime

April 27, 2015

Assad Plays America the Fool...Again

March 23, 2015

Not Alright With Syria's Alawites

December 4, 2014

Hamas Is Going Through a Rough Patch, So What Is It Singing About?

October 15, 2014

Partner with the Syrian Rebels

September 12, 2014

See all analysis by this author