Staff at the Kenyon Institute

Dr Mandy TurnerDr Mandy Turner
Director of the Kenyon Institute (

Mandy Turner is an International Relations scholar who works on the political economy of peacebuilding and development in war-torn societies with a country focus on the occupied Palestinian territory, but also comparatively with other conflicts. Before joining the CBRL as director of the Kenyon Institute in 2012, Mandy was a lecturer in conflict resolution in the Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford. She is currently a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Middle East Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science ( Her research has been funded by the ESRC, the British Academy, the CBRL and the Leverhulme Trust, and she has conducted policy-based research for the UN and governments. From 2006-2015, Mandy co-edited the Taylor and Francis-published journal International Peacekeeping, and was a founding member of the Brill-published journal Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory. She holds a BSc, MSc and PhD from the LSE. Mandy retains her Scottish accent, as she was born and raised in a mining village near Edinburgh.


Dr Elian WeizmanDr Elian Weizman
Deputy Director of the Kenyon Institute (

Elian's research interests are the intersection between hegemony, law and resistance in the Israeli context. Elian's PhD (SOAS, 2013) examines these concepts in relations to resistance to Zionism in the State of Israel: it focuses on the work of legal organisations and political parties in their attempt to utilise the law in order to resist hegemonic conceptions and political discrimination. It also discusses extra-legal resistance strategies in the attempt to evaluate their efficacy in countering Zionist hegemonic practices and conceptions. Her current research investigates the intersections of resistance and violence in contemporary Israel. She examines anti-Zionist left wing patterns of resistance and the absence of violence from them in light of the rising tide of violence in resistance practices of radical right wing activists, in contemporary times as well as in historical perspective. She is also interested in settler colonialism, Zionism, conflict and resistance and law and/in society.


Maida SmeirMaida Smeir
KI Administrator (

On your arrival at the Kenyon, it is likely that you will have the good fortune of being greeted by Maida Smeir, the Administrator. A spirited daughter of Beit Hanina, Maida is as formidable in her business dealings as she is charming in the hospitality she conveys towards guests. After obtaining a BA from Bethlehem University in Hotel Management, Maida has enjoyed working for the British Council, a year sojourn in the US and the birth of her (now nine year-old) daughter, Daniella. Since joining the Kenyon Institute in 2005, Maida has remained a precious figure of stability in the dynamic landscape of an international research centre. In her limited free time, Maida expertly engages in the art of traditional Palestinian embroidery and on occasion, indulges her fondness for Chinese cuisine.


Hussein GhaithHussein Ghaith
KI Librarian (

Hussein Ghaith (Abu Hani) was born in Jerusalem in 1942. After studying Commerce in Kalandia and Alexandria, he was soon poached by the UN and British Council to be sent on library training courses in Alexandria, Beirut, Amman and universities across England. In free afternoons between 1975 and 1980, Hussein completed a BA in English, and Diploma in Education at Bethlehem University; and is currently working on a PhD based at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. In 1989, he was made supervisor of all the UN school libraries in the West Bank - responsible for over 100 collections. He has written nine books of Palestinian bibliographies, and has translated relevant parts of the Dewey Decimal classification system into Arabic for local librarians. Hussein, who joined the Kenyon Institute in 2003, is married to a retired English teacher and has four children. He is an expert basketball player.


Sami SalahSami Salah
KI Caretaker

Sami Salah (Abu Saif) is a true Sheikh Jarrah man, having been born just down the hill from the Kenyon Institute in 1960. He briefly studied in Egypt, before returning to Jerusalem to complete a course in technical drawing. After the first Intifada, Sami began to work with metal - and his skills soon became known across the city. Sami came to the Kenyon Institute in 2002 to build a door; the end product would not look out of place in a Bank of England vault. He now looks after all aspects of the Kenyon Institute's infrastructure, from plumbing to computer networking. He also cooks a fantastic barbeque.



Josephine Abu Sa'daJosephine Abu Sa'da
KI Housekeeper

Renowned for her energetic daily injection of order into the occasionally eccentric workings of a 90 year old institution, Josephine is also highly prized for the exquisite coffee she makes for guests and colleagues every morning, heralded by the ringing of a small brass bell. Born and raised in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, the current Housekeeper at the Kenyon Institute has enjoyed a varied career since obtaining a Diploma in Secretarial Skills from the YWCA, having worked as a secretary, taught at St Joseph's School and been a housekeeper at the Austrian Hospice, among other leading Jerusalem institutions. Josephine devotes most of her spare time to her husband, a prominent olive wood craftsman, and their three children. She also has a little-known passion for the music of Fadel Shaker.