Saifeldeen Zihiri, Research Associate
Saifeldeen (Saif) Zihiri graduated magna cum laude from City University of New York- Hunter College with a double major in Religion and Political Science and a certificate in Human Rights. He graduated with two senior theses, one on the Department of Homeland’s Security’s bias in its Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program and another on the preaching practices of Black Hebrew Israelites. Prior to joining WACCE, Saif held a number of security related internships. In the Spring of 2017 he monitored mass atrocities and followed terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Somalia with the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Later that year, he conducted human rights research on the Middle East with an international NGO, focusing on human right abuses in Egypt.
In the Summer of 2018, he monitored different extremist movements within the United States at the Southern Poverty Law Center, particularly the anti-muslim and anti-immigrant movement. In the Spring of 2019, he worked on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) issues at the National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. Outside of security issues, Saif has looked at urban center issues, working with a professor at City College on gentrification in Washington D.C. His primary academic interest is the rise of extremism internationally, as well as the way in which government and non-government actors are attempting to handle the threat. Saif is fluent in English and Arabic.