RUB Research School

Associate Doctoral Candidate Mais Masadeh

Institute for international Law of Peace and Conflict (IFHV)

Coping and Resilience of Female Yazidi Survivors in the Post Conflict of the Islamic State

Coping and resilience with current relevance of minority groups in forced migration include (re)negotiation with oneself, social network as well as with the broader societal and cultural context of the new environment. This process of navigating experiences is likely to be prevalent among refugees and émigrés. My research focuses on examining the lives of female Yazidi survivors of the so-called Islamic State. It is estimated that more than 35,000 Yazidi women and children were held captive by the Islamic State between 2014-2017. Those survivors had been subjects to sexual violence, torture, human trafficking and other different types of abuse by the organizations military fighters including recruiting their children in military ammunition and as suicide bombers. In a setting of imposed deep ruptures in the female Yazidi life course and based on biographical narratives, this research investigates what types of surviving and coping strategies can be identified in their life course? Additionally, which factors (ex. Social, cultural, biographical, organizational, political…etc) influence the attachment of female Yazidis to the identified types of coping and surviving?

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ludger Pries

About Mais Masadeh

  • Forced migration
  • human trafficking
  • migrant smuggling
  • arrival and resilience in post conflict
July 2017 Research Consultant on child labor in Baghdad, a project funded by the Swedish
International Development Cooperation Agency
2015 - 2016 Project Manager for Combating Trafficking in Persons, Heartland Alliance
International, Kurdistan Region of Iraq
2013 - 2015 Capacity Building Programme Officer, International Organization for Migration
(IOM), Jordan: IOM Republic of Iraq
2012 - 2013 Senior Assistant for Combating Human Trafficking, IOM Jordan; IOM Tanzania
2011 - 2012 Programme Coordinator, Jordan Institute of Diplomacy, Jordan
2010 - 2011 Researcher, Research Foundation of California State University, Chico, CA ,USA
2009 - 2011 M.A. in International Relations and Comparative Politics.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA; California State
University of Chico, CA, USA
2001 - 2005 B.A. in English, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan
Sep 2018 The Right Livelihood Junior Scientist Fellowship at the Zentrum für
Entwicklungsforschung, Right Livelihood College (RLC) at University of Bonn
June 2018 The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School
Fellowship, researching on human security and modern day slavery.

2016 - 2019
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Award for Doctoral Research
2008 - 2009 Fulbright Award, Wellesley College, USA
  • “The Arrival: The Migration of Female Yazidi Survivors of the Islamic State to Germany”, in the conference of “Belongings and Borders – Biographies, Mobilities, and the Politics of Migration”, European Sociology Association (ESA) Conference, January 24-25, 2019. University of Strasbourg, France.
  • “Coping beyond the Camp(s): Examining the lives of survivors enslaved by the Islamic State”, September 10, 2018. Right Livelihood College – Campus Bonn.
  • “Documenting the narration of refugees in forced migration contexts”, May 30, 2018. Aarhus University, Denmark.
January 2019 “Introduction to Humanitarian Aid: Women Peace and Security”, Ruhr
University Bochum
December 2018 “Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling” and “Migration and Refugee
Law”, the European Inter-University Center for Human Rights and Democratization, Venice,
January 2018 “Gender, Peace and Security in Humanitarian Action”, Ruhr University Bochum
August 2017 “Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and Humanitarian Action”, IFHV
August 2017 “Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and Humanitarian Action”, IFHV
May 2017 “Project Cycle Management: Programs to Combating Human Trafficking”, IFHV
February 2017 “Irregular Migration: Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling”, IFHV


  • European Sociological Association (ESA) Research Network (RN35) Sociology of Migration
  • Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (ZEF) and the Right Livelihood College (RLC) at University of Bonn.
  • Netzwerk Flucht und Migration at Ruhr University Bochum.
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