Yemeni poet and scholar Saba Hamzah is building a new life in the Netherlands

Yet her journey to “self-actualization” was not easy. During her stay in a Dutch refugee center, she saw that the officials considered the refugees inexperienced and that she had to start her studies from scratch. She felt responsible for their own integration, she said, and should find a place where she could grow and learn.

Reading and writing helped Hamzah ease the pain and depression of being away from his family. She told Al-Fanar Media, “A wise person is one who learns to make his pain a light that lights the way for him, not a fire that devours his soul.”

Gender Studies and Poetry

After extensive research, Hamzah applied to Utrecht University, where her supervisor decided that her academic level did not require additional years of study to qualify, contrary to what she had heard at the center of refugees.

Hamzah believes that choosing gender studies for her master’s thesis enhanced her abilities as a writer and educator. This has helped her to understand the issues faced by women and members of marginalized communities and to develop mechanisms for writing, research and training from a feminist perspective.

Hamzah says she uses her academic experience in educational projects that promote peaceful social change.

She is currently working on writing a research paper on “Peacebuilding and Gender Mainstreaming”.

Together with other researchers from the Department of Gender Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen, she contributed research on what makes a healthy society to a book published in Dutch. His contribution focused on violence against people with special needs.

She also works with the University of Helsinki in Finland on research on cognitive and structural violence”. And she was recently appointed as a researcher at the National Museum of World Cultures in the Netherlands.

About Norma Wade

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