I am Kameel Ahmady, British-Iranian originally from Kurdistan, a scholar working in the field of social anthropology conducting research on topics related to local cultures, women and children, and the rights of minorities in the Middle East with some work experience in Africa and Far East.
Working and travelling to Africa, the Far East, Bosnia, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq (before and after the war), I became interested in the everyday lives of these local populations, their traditions and customs, particularly the harmful ones, and also the effect conflict, war and poverty has had on these populations. This was the inspiration behind many of my works including those related to gender, children and minorities.
I Hold a HND and BA in publishing and economic environment from London University of the Arts (UAL)/ London College of Communication, MA, and in social anthropology and visual ethnography from University of Kent, Canterbury-UK- where my research dealt with media as a source of identity discourse amongst youth. “Media consumption, conformity and resistance: a visual ethnography of youth culture in Mahabad in Iranian Kurdistan 2006” was my thesis topic.
I also studied and passed special and professional courses on politics, planning, strategies and tactics, research methods, policy making, lobbying and empowerment at Break Back University (BBK), London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE), and Netherlands MDF Educational Center, writing papers and published number of books on various topics, including: gender, minorities, honor killing, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), early child marriage (ECM), temporary marriage and “Sigheh Mahramiat”, white marriage (cohabitation), homosexuality (LGB), multiculturalism and modernity in Iran, the Middle East and other parts of the world.
My experiences as a consultant and scientific supporter in Europe and elsewhere, for Ministries of Immigration and Justice fueled my desire to conduct in-depth cutting edge research on these topics further. In recent years, I have conducted several comprehensive and country-wide studies on the issues of common culture among women and children, gender studies and social vulnerabilities. Through these studies, I have tried to keep the guidelines of anthropological ethics and at the same time be the voice of social minorities, as the issues are mostly hidden from the public eye. Up until now my research work includes 5 books and 3 short ethnographic documentaries, made in various regions of the Middle East with a focus on Iran. For example, my works on female genital mutilation (FGM/C), early child marriage (ECM), temporary marriage (Sigheh Mahramiat), tribalism, and white marriage (cohabitation) were all conducted in Iran. In addition, I conducted anthropological research on honor killings (both in Europe and Middle East), identity change of Izadies in the last century (Iraqi Kurdistan/Iraq), children, gender, and empowerment in the Middle East and Africa. Please check out my CV for a full list of my research.
In addition to my hands on experience from my various research projects, I have had the opportunity to get a strong educational background on social anthropology, publishing, research methods, politics, strategies and tactics. Check out my Education Section in my CV for further details.
Both my educational background and my research projects helped me to publish several books, including the following:
I have published another study in English and Farsi on temporary marriages (Sigheh Mahramiat) with I.B Tauris, London, UK 2019 and Shiraza Publishing, Tehran, Iran 2019, which was inspired by my earlier work on child marriages. Interestingly, I discovered that a great number of children are married to other children and to older men in the framework of Sigheh Mahramiat, something that was not researched before. Results of this study now published in Farsi in Iran by Shirazeh publications, under the title of “A house on water” A comprehensive study on temporary marriage and Sigheh Mahramiat.
Presently, I am have concluded a couple of exciting projects and soon will be published. One is on White Marriage(cohabitation) called: A hose on shadow " A comprehensive study on White Marriage/Cohabitation in Iran" , which is related to temporary marriages. Cohabitation is a new trend among the young men and women in Iran. This type of relationship, as with any relationship outside of marriage, is illegal in Iran, which means that they are hidden from the public. Some of the implications of this are that problems such as domestic and sexual violence, abuse, abortion goes unreported.
The second research project about identity and ethnicity called: From "Border to Border " A comprehensive study of Identity and Ethnic in Iran, which mainly focuses on the understanding of different ethnicity from themselves through which they create the term othering and the way they see themselves in power sharing and their position in today’s Iranian political landscape. Currently, we are at the field work stage studying five ethnic groups of Kurd, Turk, Baloch, Arab and Fars in Iran.
Forbidden City Tale" A comprehensive study on LGB in Iran, is a unique research in 3 major cities of Iran; Tehran, Meshed and Isfahan that for the first time examines large groups of LGB inside of Iran and try to shed light on underground life of such groups while explaining the country's laws on homosexuality and how they are implemented. At the same time the book captures the real life of these people and the way in which they are treated whiten the society and by the system, also its reasoning behind it, and offers way forward and recommendations. This book published both in English and Farsi in autumn of 2019 by I.B Tauris, London, UK and Mehri publishing, London, UK.
Recently in cooperation with SPRC I have coordinated a study called: Childhood Yawn, A study on Recognizing, Preventing and controlling the phenomenon of Child Scavenging (Waste Picking) in Tehran by Society for Protecting the Rights Child.
Short version of these studies and related articles are available on my site and can be downloaded free of charge.
Presently, I am working on a couple of exciting projects. One is on White marriage (cohabitation), which is related to temporary marriages. Cohabitation is a new trend among the young men and women in Iran. This type of relationship, as with any relationship outside of marriage, is illegal in Iran, which means that they are hidden from the public. The implications of this are that problems such as domestic and sexual violence, abuse, abortion goes unreported. Click here for more details.
The second research project I am working on is about identity and ethnicity, which mainly focuses on the understanding of different ethnicity from themselves through which they create the term othering and the way they see themselves in power sharing and their position in today’s Iranian political landscape. Currently, we are at the field work stage studying five ethnic groups of Kurd, Turk, Baloch, Arab and Fars in Iran.