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New lectureship focuses on rebuilding war-torn societies

Posted on 20 March 2002

A new lectureship in Post-war Recovery Studies at the University of York is to be funded by the Altajir World of Islam Trust at the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU) in the department of Politics.

The PRDU specialises in the research, consultancy and training of professionals in issues of management and planning of reconstruction after war, humanitarian intervention in complex political emergencies, and post-war recovery.

This generous award, which has been made for a period of four years in the first instance, will serve to further consolidate the PRDU's international reputation for research and teaching.

Dr Alpaslan Ozerdem, who completed his doctorate in the PRDU, has been appointed to the post. His appointment will allow the PRDU to focus on the re-building of war-torn Muslim communities and their social and economic environments.

Dr Ozerdem's doctoral research focused on the recovery of urban water supplies in war-affected areas, especially Bosnia-Herzegovina. He helped to develop practical recommendations for agencies working in the field. He has taken an active role in the initiation and management of consultancy and research programmes in PRDU, such as the socio-economic rehabilitation of south Lebanon. His current research involves the reintegration into mainstream society of former combatants in Kosovo, ways of mitigating the effects of earthquake damage in Turkey, and developing methods for environmentally-sustainable development in war-torn areas.

"The establishment of this lectureship is welcome news for PRDU and the University," said Dr Sultan Barakat, Director of the PRDU, "Every year we have increasing numbers of postgraduate students from all over the world. There is a great need for expert help in societies hit by war or natural disaster. We hope that PRDU can play a part in making that help available."

Altajir Trust Director, Alistair Duncan, notes: "We admire the way in which the PRDU has managed to uphold its academic integrity whilst at the same time expanding its global network. The highly applied research work which has evolved out of York has demonstrated a particular breadth of vision which echoes the work of the Trust in breaking down barriers of ignorance between Islamic and other cultures and civilisations, through inter-faith collaboration and understanding of practical humanitarian issues."

Notes to editors:

  • The Altajir World of Islam Trust is an educational foundation and registered British charity with a scholarship and research programme which is designed primarily to help Muslim students studying in Western universities and colleges.

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153