Taraf Abu Hamdan

Taraf is a socially engaged researcher with experience working with different communities and organizations across various geographies. Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in political sciences at Central European University. Taraf is interested in the political ecology of natural resource governance, access, and control as it relates to community livelihood practices. Within that, she wants to understand how patterns of marginalization are produced and reproduced in rural and arid areas. Her Ph.D. research particularly focuses on rural and Badia communities in Jordan and attempts to understand how communities deal with livelihood constraints exacerbated by resource shifts and challenges (specifically soil), and the role of formal and informal institutions in shaping these issues. She is also interested in how imaginaries related to arid environments, deserts, and nomadic/ tribal livelihoods, as well as viable soil management and rural sustainability shape interventions, marginalization, and community livelihoods in these areas. 

Taraf holds an MPA in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Columbia University, and a BSc in Environmental, Soil, and Water Sciences from the University of Arkansas. Taraf contributed to the initial relief efforts following the December 2015 refoulement of Darfuri refugees from Jordan and cofounded the grassroots community-led volunteer group that inspired the eventual creation of Sawiyan, a grassroots which supports and advocates for marginalized refugees in Jordan, of which she served as an advisory board member. Previously, Taraf worked with Aramex International Ltd. by managing projects on carbon emissions reduction and community and youth engagement programs. She supported the establishment of an alternative livelihood project in Beidha, Jordan to create livelihoods for the community, and worked on a project building houses from eco-friendly materials in Thailand.

Taraf has co-founded South/South Movement with Antonio Salvador M. Alcazar III. She convenes our {METHOD}OLOGY OTHERWISE research group, Palestine Solidarity Series, and Into the Pluriverse Series.