MAPs’ Research Center is community-based and participatory, bridging the gaps between the daily lives and perspectives of refugees and academic research. Our aim is to strengthen local research skills as a means to support refugees’ full participation in research projects. The Research Center is designed to inspire Syrian youth, encouraging local dialogue and fostering refugee-led safe spaces to critically reflect on societal challenges and pathways towards collective solutions. Through strategic partnerships with academic institutions and beyond, our Center strengthens local research capacity through research trainings, workshops, lectures and paid internships. 


Empower Syrian refugees to engage in high level research & advocacy in meaningful ways through research training, academic mentorship and employment

Apply research findings to strengthen MAPs’ projects for improving health, well-being and quality of life across marginalized communities

Collaborate with academic institutions to co-create community-based and participatory research methodologies which present in-depth and nuanced understandings of the refugee context

Present a new and replicable approach to community-based participatory research in protracted crisis contexts.


Research Training 

Through various trainings, we introduce community-based participatory research as an approach for addressing societal challenges. Learning material and assignments engage refugee youth in critical discussions around local challenges and collective solutions, as well as strengthen knowledge of the research process. We discuss topics such as designing research questions, conducting literature reviews, participatory methodologies, ethics, storytelling and advocacy. 

In addition, we run UCL’s Community-Based Participatory Research MOOC, which MAPs is a partner in developing.


Research Collaborations

Our Research Center includes a range of collaborations with academics and institutions. Since 2016, members of our research team have participated in various research commissions, including the Lancet-AUB Commission on Syria, as well as in a range of research projects and presentations listed below:

Ghebriel S.H., Telnes S.A., AlHalabi, MF., Louis B., Issa, T., & Raknes S. “Adolescents’ Perspectives on Well-Being and Mental Health in the Flight Phase: A Mixed Methods Study With Syrian Adolescent Refugees in Lebanon.” December 2019. 

Alawa, J., Alhalabi, MF. & Khoshnood, K. “Breast Cancer Management Among Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Populations: A Call to Action.” Curr Breast Cancer Rep 11, 129–135 (2019).

Khan Y, Albache N, Almasri I, Gabbay RA. August 2019. “The Management of Diabetes in Conflict Settings: Focus on the Syrian Crisis.” Diabetes Spectrum. 

AlMasri I, Sekkarie M. July 2018. “Cases of thallium intoxication in Syria: A diagnostic and a therapeutic challenge.” Avicenna J Med. doi: 10.4103/ajm.AJM_17_18. 

Ismail S, Coutts P, Rayes D, Roborgh S, Abbara A, Orcutt M, Fouad F, Honein G, El Arnaout N, Noubani A, Nimer H, Rutherford S. “Urban environments Refugees, healthcare and crises: informal Syrian health workers in Lebanon.” March 2018.

Fouad FM, Sparrow A, Tarakji A, Alameddine M, El-Jardali F, Coutts AP, El Arnaout N, Karroum LB, Jawad M, Roborgh S, Abbara A, Alhalabi F, AlMasri I, Jabbour S. March 2017. “Health Workers and the Weaponisation of Health Care in Syria: a Preliminary Inquiry for The Lancet–American University of Beirut Commission on Syria.” The Lancet. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30741-9. 

Garland, N.  Louis B, Nesreen Shukur. “Women’s Empowerment Agency Through Visual Expression & Dialogue (WEAVED): Using PhotoVoice in a Syrian Refugee and Low-Income Lebanese Community.” December 2019. Fifteenth International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. Athens, Greece. 

AlMasri I, Kennedy I, Orenstein S, Thomas M. “Health Status Profile of Syrian Refugee Patients with Type II Diabetes.” December 2019. Biostatistics Micro Conference, University of Calgary, Canada.

Alhalabi M, Almasri I, Dalati W, AlKabbani H, Awad F, Meiber M, Aldalati O, Atassi MB. June 2019. “The Outcomes of a Breast Cancer Awareness and Screening Program Among Syrian Women Refugees in Lebanon.” [Presented at North America Refugee Health Conference, Toronto, Canada; Research for Health in the Syrian Conflict Conference, King’s College London, UK; the Humanitarian Congress, Berlin Germany; The 9th International Symposium on Breast Cancer Prevention: From Genes to Nutrition and Lifestyle. American University of Beirut, Lebanon].

Alhalabi MF, AlMasri I, Albache N, AlKabbani, Abbara A, Meiber M. October 2019. “Outcomes of the Diabetes Care Program for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon.” [Presented at North America Refugee Health Conference, Toronto, Canada; Research for Health in the Syrian Conflict Conference, King’s College London, UK; the Humanitarian Congress, Berlin Germany; Diabetes and Refugee Conference, Beirut, Lebanon].

AlMasri I, Albache N, Tarakji A, Alhalabi MF, AlKabbani, Abbara A, Meiber M. June 2019. “Developing and Implementing a Diabetes Care Program for Urban and Peri-Urban Syrian Refugees in Lebanon.” Oral Presentation, North America Refugee Health Conference. Toronto, Canada. 

AlMasri. “Outcomes of the Rapid Assessment of Diabetes Refugee Patients in Lebanon.” August 2015. Diabetes and Refugee Conference, Beirut, Lebanon. 

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Interested to partner and collaborate with MAPs’ Research Center?

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