This panel, co-organised with the Society for Algerian Studies, will explore the relationship between sports and society in the Maghreb. Panellists from across academia and the media will discuss the historical development of sport in the region, as well as the relationship between gender and sport. With Morocco and Tunisia qualifying for the 2022 Men's World Cup, and Morocco qualifying for the 2023 Women's World Cup, panellists will also chart the contemporary development of football in the region, and how the societies of the Maghreb understand their politics and identities through the sport.
Mahfoud Amara is Associate Professor in Sport Social sciences and Management at Qatar University. Amara has published on sport, business, culture, politics and society in the Arab region. In 2012, he published a book with Palgrave Macmillan titled Sport Politics and Society in the Arab World. He also edited The Olympic Movement and the Middle East and North Africa Region (Routledge, 2020). Amara co-edited with Alberto Testa Sport in Islam and in Muslim Communities (Routledge, 2015); and Sport in the African World with John Nauright (Routledge, 2018).
Maher Mezahi is an independent football journalist based between Marseille and Algiers. He examines the relationship between sport and politics, and his research interests include North African politics and the history of colonial sport in Africa. He covers North African football extensively, and his work has been published by the BBC, The Guardian, ESPN Africa and Al Jazeera English. He covered the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Gabon, the 2019 AFCON in Egypt and the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon. He has an active social media presence on Twitter and YouTube, where he presents on football, sports, and social issues.
Aziza Nait Sibaha is a Senior TV anchor and Executive Editor at France24. She has worked as a journalist in Morocco and France for the last 25 years. Nait Sibaha is also the Founder of Taja Sport, a media platform dedicated to women’s sports in the MENA region. She has also directed the documentary Atlas Lionesses: Hear them Roar! on Morocco's women’s national football team. Nait Sibaha won the Fatima Bint Mubarak Best Sports Media Award 2022 for journalists who have been actively working to promote women sports achievements.
Robert Lowe is Deputy Director of the LSE Middle East Centre and Co-Editor of the Kurdish Studies Series published by I.B. Tauris. His main research interest is Kurdish politics, with particular focus on the Kurdish movements in Syria.
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