Maysa Ayoub

Maysa Ayoub

Position: Associate Director and Adjunct Faculty 
Department: Center for Migration and Refugee Studies

Maysa Ayoub is Center for Migration and Refugee Studies’ (CMRS) associate director. She oversees the center research and outreach activities. Ayoub is also the prime grant/proposal writer of the center. She identifies and coordinates with donors, writes grant proposals, and manages the process of receiving the grants. She led many of the center's research projects including the research on Syrian refugees in collaboration with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the research on Sudanese refugees in collaboration with Tufts University, and the research on Iraqis. 



  • PhD in Political Science, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University.
  • Perceiving the media as an important private actor in the policy-making process, the dissertation analyzes the European policy response to the Syrian refugee crisis using the Transnational Comparative Framing Matrix (TCFM) of media framing.
  • Post-graduate Diploma in Migration and Refugee Studies, The American University in Cairo, 2008
  • MA in Sociology, The American University in Cairo, 2002
  • BA, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, 1988

Research Interests

  • Migration Policies
  • Integration and livelihoods of minorities 
  • Diaspora and Transnationalism 
  • Social problems in the Middle East and the Arab World 
  • Qualitative Research Methods

Selected Publications

  • Interest groups and the Refugee Question: How Interest groups in Germany reacted to the Syrian influx, Cairo Papers in Social Science, The American University in Cairo, Forthcoming.
  • Gender, Social Class and Exile: The case of Syrian women in Egypt’ in Jane Freedman, Zeynep Kivilcim, and Nurcan Ozgur Baklacıoğlu, A Gendered Approach to the Syrian Refugee Crisis: Routledge Studies in Development, Mobilities, and Migration. Taylor & Francis, December 2017.
  • Sudanese Refugees in Cairo: Remittances and Livelihoods, Journal of Refugee Studies (2014) 27 (1): 145-159, first published online January 17, 2014, DOI: 10.1093/jrs/fet029.

Selected Presentations 

  • The Social Construction of ‘refugeeness’: How Syrian Refugees are perceived in two European Countries, the 17th Conference of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration, Thessaloniki, Greece, 24- 27 July 2018. 
  • The Methodological and Ethical Challenges of Conducting Research with Refugees and Migrants in Developing Countries, Symposium on Protecting the Rights of Individuals Fleeing Conflict: The Role of Scientists, Engineers, and Health Professionals, hosted by the Committee on Human (CHR) Rights of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, December 7-8, 2017, Washington DC.
  • Livelihoods of Refugees from the Horn of Africa in Egypt: Finding Durable Solutions, a paper presented at the conference ‘Migration and Exile in the horn of Africa’, organized by CEDEJ and the University of Khartoum on November 18 and 19, 2015 in Khartoum.
  • Migrants and the Arab Spring: Domestic workers in Egypt a paper presented as part of the panel on “The home and the world: Migrant domestic workers in the Middle East’’, Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, October 2013. 

Discussant at the following selected events:

  • First and Second Regional Academia Roundtable Discussion organized by the UNHCR MENA Policy Unit, Amman, Jordan, April 2017 and May 2018.
  • Founding Committee Meeting, MENA Civil Society Network for Displacement, Doha, Qatar, 22 February 2017.
  • A number of plenary sessions of the Regional Humanitarian Consultation for the Middle East and North Africa, Amman, Jordan March 3-5, 2015. 
  • The Closing Ceremony of the African Union Humanitarian Symposium on Humanitarian Challenges in Africa, October 28-29, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya.