Nasir Almasri – 2017 Recipient

Major: Political Science
Degree: Ph.D
School: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Afzal Family Foundation



Message to Supporters: My name is Nasir Almasri. I am currently in Chicago, where I was born and raised, and where I have just completed my MA in International Relations. I am moving to Boston this Fall to begin my PhD program in Political Science at MIT.

My two passions are politics and religion, and I am thrilled to be able to spend the rest of my career focusing on the intersection of the two. I hope to be part of the wave of Muslim Americans that seek to influence American public policy, but through extensive research as an academic. 

I was thrilled to hear about and join the ISF community because its mission fits neatly with my long-term interests of reclaiming Islam and achieving justice for Muslims and many other minorities in the United States and abroad.

Outside of joining the ISF community, the scholarship itself is important because it will remove the need for me to work part-time during the school year and allow me to focus solely on my studies. I sincerely thank you for your support and will keep you in my prayers for your generosity! 

Bio: Nasir Almasri is a Presidential Graduate Fellow pursuing his PhD in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has worked in higher education administration, contributed as an editor for the Chicago Monitor, interned for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago), and served as a teacher, tutor, mentor, and coach to young students inside and outside of the Muslim community in Chicago.

His professional interests lay at the intersection of minority rights, religion, and political violence. In pursuing a career as an academic, Nasir hopes to reframe narratives regarding Islam and Muslims in public, academic, and policy discourses, especially as it relates to American foreign policy and political violence worldwide. He also wants to encourage young Muslims to use their skills and backgrounds to pursue careers that can positively impact Muslim and other minority communities in the United States and abroad.

Nasir was born and raised in Chicago. He graduated with a B.S. in Political Science (summa cum laude) and B.A. in History (summa cum laude) from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2015, where he also served as the President of the Student Body. He then completed his M.A. in International Relations with Honors at the University of Chicago in Spring 2017. He currently works as a Research Analyst at the Chicago Project on Security and Threats and at the Program on Political Violence.

Areas of Interest: 
Religious Politics, Social Movements, and Political Violence

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