Samuli Lähteenaho will join FIME as a researcher in 2023 in Beirut. Lähteenaho is a social and cultural anthropologist, finishing up an ethnographic monograph dissertation at the University of Helsinki. Lähteenaho’s PhD research deals with the coastline of Beirut and Lebanon from the perspective of politics of environment and urban space. In addition to his own research, he will coordinate the institute’s scientific activities.
“I am excited about the opportunity to return to Beirut as a FIME researcher. Lebanon, which is going through difficult times, is familiar to me from my own research, but my work as a researcher at the institute offers a great opportunity to deepen my relationship with the country and the entire region. As a researcher, I am interested in grassroots social changes and their connections to global developments. For example, the themes of environmental policy and migration that fascinate me are also burning issues in Lebanon today.”
Lähteenaho sees FIME’s role as an infrastructure that strengthens Finnish research on the Middle East and at the same time brings perspectives from the Middle East to the Finnish public debate.
“FIME has done a good job in recent years in raising its local visibility, and I will continue this for my part. Lebanon has long been an incubator of high-level critical social science in the region, and strong connections between Finnish experts and local researchers are beneficial for everyone.”
During the year, Lähteenaho will also start a postdoctoral research on migration and diasporic experiences of young adults in Lebanon and the Lebanese diaspora. In his new project, he examines the importance of relative location for the experience of new generations of immigrants based on his material dating back to 2015.