Noura Chalati

Research Fellow

Phone: +49-(0)30-80307-144
Regional focus: Arab Middle East, especially Syria; GDR

Noura Chalati is a PhD candidate at Freie Universität in Berlin and a research fellow at ZMO in the “Learning Intelligence” research group. Her PhD project is about East German and Syrian intelligence relations (MfS-Mukhabarat) during the Cold War. She is a political scientist focused on International Political Sociology perspectives and the Levant (mainly Syria). She obtained her postgraduate degree in “International Relations of the Middle East” from the University of Edinburgh in 2019.

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 Noura Chalati
Noura Chalati


Since 2019
Research Fellow in the Project “Learning Intelligence: The Exchange of Secret Service Knowledge between Germany and the Arab Middle East 1960 – 2010”
2016 - 2017
Student Assistant in the Projects “Muslim Worlds – World of Islam? Conceptions, Practices, and Crises of the Global” and “Habitats and Habitus. Politics and Aesthetics of Religious World-Making”


Since 2019
Doctoral Candidate at Freie Universität Berlin
2017 - 2019
M.Sc. International Relations of the Middle East with Advanced Arabic, The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom (with Distinction)
Three-month Intensive Language Course at Qasid Arabic Institute, Amman, Jordan
2015 - 2016
Year Abroad, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Lyon (Sciences Po Lyon), France
2013 - 2017
B.A. Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany


2013 - 2019
Scholarship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes)


2020 "Illness as Metaphor and Reality in Syria," Middle East Report 297 (Winter).

2018 “Women as the Standard-Bearers of National Identity in Rojava.” The Leviathan Journal of Politics and International Relations (Pride) 8(3): 23-24.

Outreach and Knowledge Transfer

04/2022 "Töten für Assad - Massenmord auf Video," Interview für Dokumentation von Report Mainz über den syrischen Militärgeheimdienst

02/2022 "MfS und Mukhabarat,“ Podcast, Episode 1 für das Projekt Geruch der Diktatur.

12/2021 "Der Geruch des Archivs," eine Reflexion über die Archivarbeit im Stasi-Unterlagen-Archiv und Diktaturerfahrungen für das Projekt Geruch der Diktatur.

09/2021 Background Interview for Al-Jazeera documentary "The Trial of Anwar Raslan".

04/2021 Interview for Podcast "Branch 251" Episode on: Factory of Fear about the Syrian Mukhabarat's historic ties with Nazi officers and the East German Stasi.

03/2021 Participation in Leibniz event "Book a Scientist".


Summer Semester 2022 FU Berlin, BA Political Science, Seminar: Introduction to Intelligence Studies with a focus on the Middle East (together with Ali Dogan)

Workshops and Conferences

12/2021 MESA Annual Meeting [online], "The Syrian surveillance architecture and the Stasi - Do intelligence agencies learn practices of social control from each other?"

09/2021 EISA PEC Conference Malta [online], "The Syrian field of intelligence during the Cold War and its transnational relations." in the Section The Everyday Life of Intelligence - Critique, Reflexivity and Transdisciplinarity.

09/2021 DAVO Kongress, University of Osnabrück, "The Syrian Mukhabarat (& the Stasi) – Practices of Surveillance and Social Control during the Cold War."

10/2020 Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft (DVPW), Freiburg [online], "Ideology and Intelligence Relations: The case of the East German Ministry for State Security and the Syrian Mukhabarat apparatus, 1960-1990."

02/2020 Theorienworkshop der DGA-Nachwuchsgruppe, Bochum, "Theorien und Paradigmen in den Internationalen Beziehungen."


Middle East Studies Association (MESA)

Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Vorderer Orient (DAVO)

Women's Intelligence Network (WIN)


  • German: native speaker
  • English: full fluency (C2)
  • Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic and Levantine Dialect): advanced proficiency (C1)
  • French: advanced proficiency (C1)