Sahar has been a lecturer on the BA social work programme at Al-Balqa Applied University /(BAU) Princess Rahma University College in Jordan since 2005. Sahar has also been a Head of Department and Assistant Dean for Developing and Planning at BAU. Dr Almakhamreh is one of the co-founders of the Jordanian Association of Social Workers. Sahar is also currently leading and managing the establishing of a Professional Diploma in social work with migration and refugees, and a Masters programme at the German Jordanian University. Dr Almakhamreh is a member of a Founding Committee, 'MENA Civil Society Network for Displacement –UNHCR, representing at Jordan higher Education at regional level. In addition, Sahar is a member of many national committees for developing national strategies and changing laws in Jordan. Furthermore Dr Almakhamreh has worked and lead on many international projects in developing social work. Dr Sahar Almakhamereh has published widely internationally and continues to do so.
Researching Social Work in Situations of Conflict: Transitional Challenges and Opportunities
Jordan is considered one of the most postmodern and stable Middle Eastern countries, although surrounded by politically unstable neighborhood countries. Jordan has a long history in hosting influxes of refugees, as it has received the highest number of refugees, and acts as a transitional and final destination to refugees. Most of the refugees in Jordan, amounting to around 80%, presently live in inner-city accommodation. Only 19-20% are based in camps. I will explore from a researcher’s perspective issues relating to refugees and displacement, and who are in a country of transit/final destination.I am also going to discuss the researchers’ skills and roles – as an insider/outsider, and the sensitivities and challenges present, as well as wider opportunities when addressing notions of refugee hood.
It could be argued that it is imperative that we as social workers respond as a profession, creatively and humanely to the needs of refugees in terms of policies and practices underpinned by solid research and evaluation. Researching social work in situations of conflict offers opportunities to reinforce the identity of social work at the national and global level that is respectful and acceptable to indigenous cultures. Conducting research in this context needs to be more sensitive, and considerate in the design, and collecting and analysing of the research data. Researchers of social work have to work towards what I call a 'social work citizenship' focusing on solidarity to help in the maturation of social work research identities.