Translated by Yusuf Ali
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In May 2013 CISS launched the ‘Shi’a Muslims in the West’ Seminars programme. A Seminar was delivered by Dr. Kathryn Spellman Poots at the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She presented her research entitled ‘Twelver Shi’as in the UK: Generations and Rituals’. Sensitive topics such as the practice of mourning rituals and how it differs greatly from community to community was explored. Furthermore she believed that Shi’a events and practices are more gender equal than other sects within Islam. Generational changes among Shia from various ethno-national backgrounds were also looked at.
Dr Kathryn Spellman Poots received her MSc and PhD in Politics and Sociology from Birkbeck College, University of London. Her areas of interest include gender and Islam in the Middle East and North Africa, the Iranian Diaspora and transnational migration networks, Islam in Europe and gender and religious practices in contemporary Libyan society. Her book is entitled Religion and Nation: Iranian Local and Transnational Networks in Britain (Berghahn Publishers, Oxford and New York, 2005). Dr Spellman previously taught courses on the sociology of religion, migration and gender in contemporary societies at Syracuse University, London campus. She is currently a Research Associate at the London Middle East Institute at SOAS and on the Editorial Board of the Middle East in London magazine. She has been involved in organisations that focus on the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, including the London Detainee Support Group, and has been a researcher for projects relating to the Middle East and North Africa at a number of organisations including the Imperial War Museum and Manchester International Festival.
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