Charlotte Lysa

Image of Charlotte Lysa
Norwegian version of this page
Mobile phone +47 92068796 92068796
Visiting address Kristian Augusts gate 17 Domus Juridica 8.etg 0164 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 6706 St. Olavs plass 0130 Oslo

Academic interests

My academic interests include politics and society in the Middle East and North Africa, and the Arab Gulf monarchies in particular. For my PhD-project I explored how women in Qatar and Saudi Arabia challenged patriarchal structures through playing football, and the social and political significance of the sport. 

I am currently based at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law as a postdoctoral researcher with the project REF-ARAB: Refugees and the Arab Middle East: Protection in States Not Party to the Refugee Convention, where I work on a sub-project on Saudi Arabia. In my project I explore the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the international refugee regime, including why Saudi Arabia is not a party to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (the Refugee Convention), and how the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) carry out its mandate in the country.

In particular, I focus on the case of the Rafha refugee camp established in 1991 where 33 000 Iraqi refugees were sheltered after the Gulf war and the March 1991 Iraqi uprising. The Rafha camp (in addition to the shorter lived Artewiyah camp) represents Saudi Arabia's only experience with hosting refugees in camps in recent times, and the case of the Rafha camp will provide a greater understanding of not only the interesting case of the camp itself - but of Saudi Arabia's relationship with the international refugee regime in general. 


I hold a PhD in Middle East Studies from the University of Oslo (2019), and a bachelor's degree (2013) as well as a master's degree (2015) from the same institution. In addition, I hold a bachelors degree in Development Studies from Oslo University College (2011).

As part of my education, I conducted a semester abroad at the American University of Cairo (AUC), Egypt in 2010, as well as courses at Bethlehem University, Palestine in 2015. In 2014 I held a six-month internship at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. For my MA-thesis on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as a foreign policy tool, I conducted field work in Doha, Qatar. 

I was a visiting researcher at Qatar University in 2016, and at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh in 2017 and 2020. 


Winner of the 2016, Babylon Award, awarded by Babylon - Nordic Journal for Middle Eastern Studies, for the article "Gåten Qatar 2022"


Vice Chair (2019 - ) and board member (2016 - 2019), Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies

Editor (2019 - 2020) and member of the editorial staff (2016 - 2019), Babylon - Nordic Journal for Middle Eastern Studies 

Subject specialist/Consultant (2018 - ), Norwegian Encyclopedia (Store norske leksikon), Norway. Areas of responsibility: Saudi Arabia and Qatar


Tags: Tags: Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Refugees


View all works in Cristin

  • Janmyr, Maja & Lysa, Charlotte (2021). 10 år siden den arabiske våren –  dette har skjedd. [Internet]. Universitetet i Oslo.
  • Lysa, Charlotte & Norbakk, Mari (2021). Et gjennompolitisert fotball-VM.
  • Lysa, Charlotte (2021). Idrett som utenriks- og sikkerhetspolitisk virkemiddel.
  • Lysa, Charlotte (2021). Women’s role and rights in a patriarchal society after the Arab Spring, focusing on Saudi Arabia.
  • Lysa, Charlotte (2021). Qatars befolkning.
  • Lysa, Charlotte (2021). The Rafha Refugee Camp and the Establishment of UNHCR in Saudi Arabia.
  • Lysa, Charlotte (2021). Are there really no refugees in Saudi Arabia? A history of refugees in a state not party to the Refugee Convention.
  • Lysa, Charlotte (2021). Hvor er Malcolm Bidali? Agenda Magasin.
  • Lysa, Charlotte (2020). A Recent History of Refugees in Saudi Arabia.
  • Lysa, Charlotte (2020). Rasisme i Midtøsten. Babylon - Nordisk tidsskrift for Midtøstenstudier. ISSN 1503-5727. p. 5–7. doi: 10.5617/ba.8162.
  • Nordenson, Jon & Lysa, Charlotte (2019). Nyttige fiendebilder. Babylon - Nordisk tidsskrift for Midtøstenstudier. ISSN 1503-5727. p. 5–7.
  • Nordenson, Jon & Lysa, Charlotte (2019). Alle betyr alle. Babylon - Nordisk tidsskrift for Midtøstenstudier. ISSN 1503-5727. p. 5–7.
  • Lysa, Charlotte (2019). Football feminities: Lessons from the Gulf. International Journal of Middle East Studies. ISSN 0020-7438. 51(3), p. 479–481. doi: 10.1017/S0020743819000436.
  • Lysa, Charlotte (2018). Mo Salah: For alltid nummer 74. Babylon - Nordisk tidsskrift for Midtøstenstudier. ISSN 1503-5727.
  • Lysa, Charlotte & Leber, Andrew Michael (2018). Women’s Sports Programs Are Challenging Saudi Arabia’s Gender Divide. Gulf Affairs.
  • Lysa, Charlotte (2016). Qatar 2022: How a football nation was designed.
  • Lysa, Charlotte (2016). Culture in Qatar: a game of cat and mouse. The New Middle East Blog.
  • Leber, Andrew Michael & Lysa, Charlotte (2016). The Banality of Protest? Twitter Campaigns in Qatar. Gulf Affairs. p. 17–20.
  • Lysa, Charlotte (2019). Yallā Banāt! Women, Football and Social Change in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Oslo 07-Media.

View all works in Cristin

Published June 10, 2020 3:23 PM - Last modified Mar. 11, 2021 10:50 AM


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