Yasmin Foqahaa

Working Title of PhD
Culture Under Siege: A Cultural Policy Framework for Cultural Sustainable Development


  • Dr. Emma Martin
  • Dr. Biyun Zhu

Overview of PhD

The social, political and economic volatility in Palestine has created significant instability in the cultural sector. Culture is developed and constructed in a politically and socially destructed environment, one beset by obscurity in which neither cultural conservation nor production can follow anticipated outcomes.

In this state of insecurity and the absence of a cultural policy system, this research poses the question of how a cultural policy framework can be developed to adapt to such challenging contexts and support cultural development without compromising cultural accessibility, inclusivity, and diversity.

By developing a cultural policy framework, this research will set parameters for individuals, organisations, and governments to design, implement, and evaluate their practices and work together. It aims to break the silos of cultural institutions, government bodies, artists, and the communities in Palestine to encourage more effective collaboration and resource allocation. This research will advocate and drive ongoing research on Palestinian cultural policy by applying an interdisciplinary approach.

It will highlight the dynamic cultural forms and activities in Palestine and contribute to a more expansive narrative about the country when the field is overwhelmed by studies that focus on certain dualistic political narratives. Lastly, this research brings public policy and cultural studies theories to cultural practices and management.


Yasmin Foqahaa is a researcher and cultural practitioner with professional experiences in both the cultural sector and the field of humanitarian/ developmental research. She holds an MA in Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University in the United States.

Her most recent professional experience as a Research Director with the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) focused on managing research projects related to gender, agriculture, economic empowerment, youth, child protection, feminism, culture, humanitarian assistance, and other developmental projects in Palestine and the MENA region.

Foqahaa coauthored and contributed to the research on arts and culture for the Disability Under Siege Project with the University of Birmingham. She was also a researcher and contributor to the Arabic version of the book entitled: “The Origins of Palestinian Art” written by Bashir Makhoul and Gordon Houn.

As a freelance consultant, she supported several Palestinian cultural institutions in fundraising, resource development and strategic planning; including Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre, Birzeit University Museum and Faculty of Art and Music, and Shababek Art Collective in Gaza. Foqahaa also took on several art projects in Palestine and in the United States and aspires to contribute to the development of the Palestinian cultural scene through her current PhD research at the University of Manchester.


Email: Yasmin.foqahaa@postrgad.manchester.ac.uk
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