13-15 June 2022 – Gothenburg University

The first Swedish Middle East and North Africa Network (SWEMENA) Annual Conference will be hosted by The School of Global Studies (SGS) at the University of Gothenburg. We look forward to this opportunity to solidify the network and meet in person, and to hosting excellent papers and panels across all fields and disciplines related to Middle Eastern Studies. We therefore invite contributions from all of those based in Sweden working on topics related to the MENA region. The working language of the conference will be English.  

We invite submissions of abstract of no more than 250 words, on any topic related to Middle Eastern Studies. While submissions are open to all fields and disciplines, we invite you to please attach 3 of the keywords below to your abstract.

Please note that the call is also open for panel proposals.  

The deadline for abstract submission is Monday, 31 January 2022. We expect to return a decision of acceptance in February, 2022.  

To submit your abstracts and for any questions, please contact Dr. Lucia Ardovini ( and Mattias Svahn (  

Social Movements
Violent Extremism
The local
State-society Relations
Environment/Climate Change
Human Rights
Social Justice

Welcome to a SWEMENA Seminar on the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database!

On the 11 May 16.00-17.15 CEST, SIPRI will be hosting the next SWEMENA seminar, discussing the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database. The seminar will be open to all researchers and practitioners interested in the MENA region. Make sure to register as soon as possible, as there are limited spots available.

Introduction to the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database – Trends in the MENA region.

The seminar will discuss the SIPRI Arms Transfer Database as a tool to identify trends and patterns in international arms transfers. By analyzing data on arms transfers, it will examine several case studies to investigate international arms transfers data in relation to international security and national foreign and defence policies and inter-state relations with a focus on MENA.


Alexandra Kuimova, Researcher at SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme

Pieter Wezeman, Senior Researcher at SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme

When: 11 May, 16.00-17.15 (CEST)

Where: Via Zoom (Link will be sent to all who register)

Registration: You register by sending an email containing name and affiliation to, no later than Sunday, 9 May. (Limited spots available)

Webinar Global Media Representation of the Syrian City of Raqqa: a roundtable debate

On 11 December 2020, School of Arts and Communication at Malmö University hosted a panel debate to discuss the symbolism and media representation of the Syrian city of Raqqa, in various news and media outlets, films, books and series.

Raqqa city features in many different shapes and forms, for example in books such as the Road from Raqqa and here in Sweden a TV-series called “Kalifat” is partly situated in Raqqa city as the backdrop hotbed of jihadism and ISIS. Viewers do not actually get to know the city. In other words, everybody knows Raqqa nowadays but nobody actually knows the city and its people.

The aim of this panel to give a more in-depth and nuanced insight into this Syrian city that has become well-known globally. The roundtable is conducted by a panel of Syrian writers and journalists from Raqqa as well as scholarly media experts from Sweden.

Panel members:

• Yassin al-Haj Saleh, Dissident Syrian-Arab Writer from Raqqa, also called “the conscience of the Syrian Revolution”, author of 8 books on Syria
• Mazen Hassoun, Syrian Journalist from Raqqa, founder of “Al-Raqqa post”
• Hussam Eesa, Journalist from Raqqa, founding-member of “Raqqa is being slaughteredsilently”
• Josepha Wessels, author of “Documenting Syria: Film-making, Video Activism and
Revolution” K3, Malmö University, Sweden (moderator)

Welcome to SWEMENA

Welcome everyone!

We are happy to announce that the website is now up and running. Mattias Svan and Lucia Ardovini from the UI have layed the ground for the rest of us to build from.

On this page we will be able to post various content in the form of blog posts. The idea is that we all write short pieces on a topic of our interest.