Nadia Oweidat

Middle East Fellow

Dr. Nadia Oweidat was a Class of 2017 Middle East Fellow at New America. She holds a D.Phil. in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford. She is currently working on a book on social media and positive change among Arabic speakers. Her doctoral research focused on the challenges facing liberal Muslim intellectuals who attempt to update Islamic thought and bridge the gap between modern values such as secularism and women’s rights and Islam. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Oweidat worked as a Research Associate at the RAND Corporation where she led several research projects. In 2007, she initiated and co-led a research effort to look into works by Arabic-speakers that counter violence and extremism, including fiction, non-fiction, cartoons and film that advance values of tolerance, pluralism and the ability to deal with ambiguity without violence. (See Barriers to the Broad Dissemination of Creative Works in the Arab World, RAND 2008). Dr. Oweidat also initiated and led an analysis of the grassroots Egyptian reform movement Kefaya. In addition, she has conducted research on Islamic extremism and counter-terrorism strategies, the ideological evolution of al-Qaeda, Salafi jihadi networks, jihadi strategies in Iraq, Iranian ascendancy in the Arab world, and radicalization of Muslim youth.

Born and raised in Jordan, she has a BA from the University of Jordan in English Literature and an MA from the University of Wyoming in International Studies, in addition to her D.Phil. One of 25 international students to be awarded the prestigious Weidenfeld Leadership Program scholarship, Dr. Oweidat was also chosen in 2014 by the American Italian Council to participate in its Young Leaders Conference in Italy.

She has appeared on various Arabic and English networks including BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera Arabic, Al-Arabiya, BBC Arabic, France 24, and National Public Radio. 

All Work

It’s Not Good Islam Versus Bad Islam. It’s Theocracy Versus Secularism.

We shouldn't ask what constitutes good or bad Islam—we should strive to help people freely choose their version of faith.


FELLOWS
One Click at a Time: The Change Agents of the Middle East

Nadia Oweidat writes for Foreign Policy Research Institute about the role of Media in an evolving Middle East.


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
The 9/11 Anniversary - Encounter

Nadia Oweidat was interviewed by Voice of America about the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
All Jihad is Local

A discussion on what to make of new information about the identity and motives of foreign ISIS fighters.


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
A Conversation With A Former Muslim Extremist

Violent extremists try to recruit their next victims from all over the world, in online chat rooms, through web surfing, & one-on-one.


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
The Islamic State vs Al Qaeda

The rise of the Islamic State and its competition with al-Qaeda has fundamentally reshaped the global jihadist movement.


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY and NEW AMERICA
The Democrats’ Problem With ‘Radical Islam’

By playing along with some Arab governments’ denial of the existence of a problem with the ideology of those on the fringes of Islam, Nadia


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY and NEW AMERICA
Time to hold state-run Arab media to account

In the days following the Paris attacks, some news outlets seemed intent on helping ISIS' propaganda efforts."Terrorism is an American produ


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY and NEW AMERICA
Targeting Terror: Inside the Intelligence War

A CNN documentary features Nadia Oweidat, Peter Bergen, and the International Security Program's ISIS in the West report.


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY and NEW AMERICA
Activists Challenging the Status Quo

The fourth panel at MEI's 69th Annual Conference featured Nadia Oweidat (New America Foundation).


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY and NEW AMERICA
Nadia Oweidat: A Hunger Strike Just To Get To College

When I told my family I wanted to go to university, they were indignant. Having just finished high school, I already had too much education,


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Meet The Middle East’s Atheist Preacher

The rise of self-proclaimed Islamic State appears to have worked to atheists’ advantage. They argue ISIS shows the danger of those who adher