Rouba El Helou-Sensenig, M.A.

Thema: „Arab-on-Arab Stereotyping: Analyzing the impact of the 'Arab Other' in digital media portrayals - A case study, Lebanon and Syria"


  • Since 2017 PhD student with Prof. Kai Hafez, Universität Erfurt
  • Since 2018, member in the American Political Science Association
  • October 2009 – Present: Lecturer at Notre Dame University (NDU) - Faculty of Humanities. Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon
  • October – 15 December 2016: Training and mentoring young Syrian activists and reporter on managing a website “Good Morning Syria”
  • June 2016 – December 2016: Leading Media Expert for the Interfaith Alliance for Inclusive Citizenship and Religious Freedom (ICRF) project for Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon with the Swedish Church and Adyan Foundation which included writing the mission, the methodology and the training rationale of the project
  • February 2014 – December 2014: Media Lecturer at Beirut Arab University (BAU) - Faculty of Arts, Department of Mass Communication. Beirut, Lebanon
  • January 2012 – September 2016: Editor and Journalist at the Legal Magazine (Al Majalla Al Kadaiyat), the first Lebanese Law magazine since 1921
  • September 2009 – January 2012: Lecturer at the Lebanese American University of Beirut (LAU) - Communication Arts Department. Beirut/Byblos, Lebanon
  • March - August 2009: Trainer “Tawasul Program” with UNDP Syria and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) organization
  • October 2006 – September 2010: University Lecturer and Coordinator at the Lebanese International University (LIU). Mosaytbeh, Beirut, Lebanon
  • May 2006 – January 2007: Researcher, and Editor at “Business Week”- Arabic Edition
  • Masters in Journalism, Le Centre de Formation et de Perfectionnement des Journalistes (C.F.P.J.), Institut Français de Presse (I.F.P.) and la Faculté d’Information ET de Documentation de l’Université Libanaise, DES (Diplôme d’Études Supérieures De Journalisme), Beirut, Lebanon, 2005
  • Bachelor of Arts, (Licence D’enseignement), English language and literature (Teaching Diploma), Lebanese University, 2002 


  • Primarily quantitative social research
  • Comparative study of ‘stereotyping’ and ‘Othering’ theory
  • Impact of big data on digital and social media research
  • Arab identity and media analysis
  • Impact of protracted conflicts on ethnic identity


The so called ‘Arab Spring’ exposed societal and existential conflicts and fault lines which have been inherent within communities in the Arab world for many centuries. Digital media has helped bring the ‘Othering’ of Arabs by Arabs to the surface in an intensity and to an extent to date unknown. The vast amount of big data now available on social media platforms, blogs, and internet news sites offers a unique window into the ongoing restructuring of Arab identity.
This thesis will study the impact of digital media on intra-group stereotyping. Taking the outset of the current conflict in Syria (2011) as a point of departure, an attempt will be made to determine whether the stereotyping of Syrians and Lebanese in Arabic language online platforms merely mirrors social reality or actually molds it. Using a sample of internet-based media sources, including social media and blogs, the othering of Arabs by Arabs will be surveyed. A research tool will be developed to assess the impact of Arab-on-Arab stereotyping on the generally accepted notion of Arab unity. Ultimately, work on this case study will help develop a methodological approach which can adequately deal with the larger societal question of whether media messages merely reflect shifts in the understanding of reality or whether they can actually drive social change.


  • The Psychology of Evil: Preventing Violent Extremismعلم نفس الشرّ: كيف يمكننا درء التطرف العنيف a book chapter presented and discussed during a conference titled “The Role of Civic Education and Religious Diversity in Reinforcing Peace and Countering Violence” by the Jordanian Center for Civic Education (JCCE) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung – (KAS), Jordan Office. (Forthcoming June, 2018).
  • International Women’s Day: Do We Dare to Say the Truthاليوم العالمي للمرأة: هل نجرؤ على قول الحقيقة؟, an overview discussing the trajectory of women’s rights and struggles from the 19th century to the present. Published in Annahar daily, March 8, 2018. URL: -اليوم-العالمي-للمرأة-هل-نجرؤ-على-قول-الحقيقة (Newspaper Article).
  • Threats to Digital Rights in Lebanon, a conference proceedings. Book editor and author of a chapter titled “Free Speech, Under Attack!” (August, 2017). {Link}
  • The Gender-Citizenship Nexus: Lebanese Family Status Law and the Challenge of Legal Pluralism, a seminar proceedings. Co-editor and English-Arabic translator, Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung Beirut (KAS)/Pope Benedict XVI Society Notre Dame University (NDU). (April, 2017). {Link}
  • World Arabic Language Day: Content Is King اليوم العالمي للغة العربيّة: المحتوى هو الملك. The article discusses challenges and opportunities facing the Arabic language online, in particular content providers, IT specialists, and reporters. December, 2016. {Link}
  • Youth Radicalization, a book chapter presented and discussed during a conference titled “Youth and Radical Groups from the Perspective of Youths” by Arab Forum for Alternatives and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (RLS) in Germany. December, 2015.
  • Arabic Digital Content Summit: The Era of Major Digital Transformationالمنتدى الإقليمي للمحتوى الرقمي العربي: عصر التحولات الرقميّة الكبرى. An overview presented and discussed during a forum in Dubai. November, 2015. {Link}
  • Dissonance and Decorousness: Missing Images of Syrian Women Refugees in the Lebanese Media, book chapter for "In Line with the Divine: the Struggle for Gender Equality in Lebanon”, published by Abelian Academic. October, 2015.
  • Rumors, How to Mislead the Masses الشائعة: خداع للشعب وخبث ممنهج The article defines rumors as a communication tool used by governments during war time. Published in Al Akhbar Lebanese Daily. September, 2014. {Link}
  • The Endless Battle on Corruption, Article discussing the role of media in fighting corruption. IACALUMINUS the alumni magazine of Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), Austria. February, 2014. {Link}


Prof. Dr. Kai Hafez (Universität Erfurt)