Dr Miriyam Aouragh

 Dr Miriyam Aouragh

Miriyam Aouragh has interests in mobility, interactivity, empowerment, grassroots activism and the construction of (imagined) online communities. She is studying the implications of new generation/Internet 2.0 for Palestinian and Lebanese activists.


Trained as an anthropologist at the Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam), Goldsmiths University (London) and Birzeit University (Palestine), focusing on Race and Racism and Palestinian political movements, Miriyam Aouragh continued as a PhD student at the University of Amsterdam where she embarked on a study of the Palestinian Internet. She also taught on anthropology, sociology and ethnic and racial studies at the University of Amsterdam.

During her MA fieldwork she noticed the mushrooming of Internet cafes and wondered what the effect would be on Palestinians reaching out to the world, and for those 'outside' in exile to link up with those 'inside' the Occupied Territories. She observed and interviewed the Internet actors themselves: the Palestinian producers and consumers of the Internet. In order to grasp the complexities of 'a nation in multiple states' she employed a multi-sited approach by including Jordan and Lebanon in her general approach and fieldwork, which took place between 2001 and 2005.

During her time as a PhD researcher, Miriyam observed the development of the Internet in terms of new possibilities for overcoming immobility and in motivating interactivity, and how these social effects have enabled social movements to target broader audiences. After her PhD, the nature, style and political economies of what she termed 'Cyber Intifada', became her main research focus. Miriyam was awarded a Rubicon (NWO) grant to embark on this research at the Oxford Internet Institute. She currently studies the everyday political implications of Web 2.0 for Palestinian and Lebanese activist groups, the role of the Internet during the ongoing Arab revolutions, and teaches Cyber Politics of the Middle East at Oxford University's Middle East Centre. Her Book "Palestine Online: Transnationalism, the Internet and the Construction of Identity" has been published by IB Tauris (2011).

Email: firstname.lastname at oii.ox.ac.uk

Research interests

virtual mobility, online empowerment, grassroots activism, Internet and Arab revolutions, construction of online exiled communities

Positions held at the OII

  • Rubicon Postdoctoral Fellow, January 2009 - December 2011





  • Aouragh, M. (2011) Intolerance in the name of Tolerance: Resisting - while Experiencing - Islamophobia. In: P.Essed and I.Hoving (Eds) Dutch Racism. Amsterdam and New York: Thamyris, Rodopi.
  • Aouragh, M (forthcoming) Virtual Activism vs. Virtual Imperialism: Impediments of Palestinian online engagement. In: L.Jayyushi (Ed.) New Media in the Middle East. Muwatin Press.
  • Aouragh, M. (2011) Gender Dynamics in Palestinian Internet Cafes. In: S.Joseph (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures.
  • Aouragh, M. (2010) Palestinian Diaspora: Virtual spaces - Territorial places. In: J.Husseini and A.Signoles (Eds) Institut des Hautes Etudes.

Conference papers

  • Aouragh, M. (2011) Palestinian Identity and New Technologies. The Euro-Arab Foundation of Higher Studies: New Technologies of Information and Communication, New tools for Democracy in Arabic Countries? March 2011, Granada, Spain.
  • Aouragh, M. (2010) Online Hasbara and Cyber warfare: The blessings and curses of grassroots politics in cyberspace. Muwatin's 16th Annual Conference: New Modalities of Struggle for Palestinian Rights, October 2010, Ramallah, Palestine.
  • Aouragh, M. (2010) Cyber Intifada 2.0: Palestinian and pro-Palestinian activism on the internet. World Congress of Middle East Studies (Wocmes), July 2010, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain.
  • Aouragh, M. (2010) Palestine Online: Constructing an imagined community in Cyberspace. May 2010, Institut d'├ętudes de l'Islam et des Sciences du Monde Musulman, EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales), Paris, France.
  • Aouragh, M. (2009) Virtual space - Territorial place: The internet, Palestinian Diaspora, and the construction of an imagined community. December 2009, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, UK.
  • Aouragh, M. (2009) Gender and Palestinian Internet Utilisation. Women Studies Institute Annual Conference, October 2009, Birzeit University, Palestine.
  • Aouragh, M. (2009) Virtual Intifada 2.0, chances and challenges. October 2009, Faculty of Computer and Technology Science, Birzeit University, Palestine.


  • Aouragh, M. (2011) Media in Conflict and Peace building. Ox Peace Media Conference, May 2011, St John's College, University of Oxford, UK.
  • Aouragh, M. (2011) What can Social work learn from the Arab Revolutions? Annual SWAN conference, April 2011, Birmingham University, UK.
  • Aouragh, M. (2011) Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Right to Self Determination in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. April 2011, Lancaster University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Aouragh, M. (2011) Assessing implication of Web 2.0 during the Arab Revolutions. Children's and Young People's Media in Africa, March 2011, CAMRI University of Westminster, London, UK.
  • Aouragh, M. (2011) Blogs & Bullets: Social Media and the Struggle for Political Change. Expert Roundtable, February 2011, Stanford University.

Working papers

  • Aouragh, M. (2011) The making of Palestine in Cyberspace: 'Glocal' Representations.
  • Aouragh, M. (2011) Internet activism in Palestine: Beyond Facebook Intifada.
  • Aouragh, M. and Faulkner, M. (2011) Visual Rhetoric as Virtual Resistance: Palestinian representations on-offline.
  • Aouragh, M. (2011) Cyber-Cide: the war on terror and the crackdown of (pro) Palestinian online activism.
  • Aouragh, M. and Al Azza, A. (2011) The Online through the Prism of the Online, or: Use and Useless benefits of the internet for grassroots political activism in Palestine.