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Attiya Ahmad

Attiya Ahmad

Bldg. X (2112 G St.) 102
Address: Building X
Phone: 202-994-4251

Areas of Expertise

Gender and feminist studies; Islam and Muslim societies; transnationalism and globalization; migration and diaspora studies; political economy; Middle East and South Asia studies.


Dr. Attiya Ahmad is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the George Washington University (Washington DC, USA). Broadly conceived, her research focuses on the interrelation between gender, labour migration, diasporic formations, cosmopolitanism, and Islamic movements crosscutting the Arab Gulf States and South Asia.  Dr. Ahmad is also developing a project focusing on halal tourism networks spanning the Arab Gulf States, the United Kingdom and Turkey.  Her work has appeared in The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, and edited volumes focusing on labour migration, diaspora, and religion in South Asia and the Gulf Arab States.  She is currently revising her book manuscript, which focuses on the Islamic conversions of South Asian migrant domestic workers in Kuwait.  She obtained her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University.

Current Research

  • Transnational labour migration and religious movements in the Arabian/Persian Gulf
  • Transnational Islamic charity networks spanning South Asia and the Arabian/Persian Gulf


To see Dr. Ahmad's complete CV, click here.

Ph.D. 2009, Duke University
M.A. 2005, Duke University
B.A. Hons 2000, University of Toronto


Selected Articles and Book Chapters

2013  Navarro, T., B. Williams, and A. Ahmad. "Sitting at the kitchen table: Fieldnotes from women of color in anthropology," Cultural Anthropology 28(3): 443-463.

2012  Ahmad, A. “Labour’s limits: Foreign residents in the Gulf.”  In M. Kamrav and Z. Babar, eds., Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf. New York: Columbia University Press.

2012  Ahmad, A. “Cosmopolitan Islam in a diasporic space: Foreign resident Muslim women’s halaqa in Kuwait.” In F. Osella and C. Osella, eds., Islamic Reform in South Asia.  Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

2010  Ahmad, A. “Explanation is not the point: South Asian migrant domestic workers' newfound Islamic pieties in Kuwait,” Asian and Pacific Journal of Anthropology 11(3-4):  293-310. Reprinted in P. Werbner and M. Johnson, eds., Diasporic Encounters, Sacred Journeys: Ritual, Normativity and the Religious Imagination among International Asian Migrant Women. Routledge, 2011.

2009  Ahmad, A. “Transnational actors and state stirrings: Kuwait’s migrant domestic work sector.” In Migration and the Gulf. Washington, DC: Middle East Institute.


Visiting Scholar, Department of Sociology, Boğaziçi University (Istanbul, Turkey), 2015

Classes Taught

To see syllabi, click on the course title.

Anth 1002 (old 002): Sociocultural Anthropology
Anth 2501 (121): Anthropology of Gender: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
Anth 6391 (251): Anthropology of Religious Movements
Anth 6501 (257): Gender and Sexuality