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Austrian Academy of Sciences
Institute for Social Anthropology

Lisa Lenz-Ayoub, MA


Lisa Lenz-Ayoub received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Vienna and studied one year at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon. Lisa Lenz-Ayoub has travelled and worked in different projects and positions in other Middle Eastern countries such as Iran and Oman. Employed at the Institute for Social Anthropology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences she is currently working on her doctoral thesis on the Yemeni-Saudi border from a local tribal perspective.


Publications & Activities

Scholarly Articles

-'From Bordering to Ordering: The Tribal Factor in Managing the Yemeni-Saudi Border', in Brandt, Marieke (ed.) Tribes in Modern Yemen: An Anthology, Vienna: Austrian Academy of Science Press (currently under peer review).

-'Zwischen Facebook und Islam: Indonesische MuslimInnen in Österreich’, in Slama, Martin (Ed.): Islam und Macht in Südostasien. Austrian Studies in Social Anthropology, Sondernummer 1/2012 (Artikel 5), p. 58-74. URL:

Popular Print Presentations

-‘Zwischen Mac Donald’s und Kardamom. Reportage: Ein Jahr im Libanon’, Die Stadt Gottes, 07/2013, pp. 41-44.

-‘Trauer, Blut und Volksfeststimmung: Aschura in Nabatäa’, ORF online, 2012, URL:


-'Facetten von Flucht aus dem Nahen und Mittleren Osten' review of the book edited by Susanne Binder, Susanne und Gebhard Fartacek, Anthropos 113/1 2018, pp. 279-280.

Conference Presentations

-'The Transformed Role of Women in Northern Yemen’s Tribal System', presentation at the Roundtable “Women in Yemen” 2 March 2020, organized by the Association of Women Empowerment and Peace Promotion, Sigmund Freud University, Vienna.

-'An ‘Empty’ Battle Zone: Insights from the Yemeni-Saudi Border', paper presentation (submitted) for the forthcoming British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) Conference, University of Kent, Canterbury, 29 June – 1 July 2020.

-'The Yemeni Border Guard: Roles and Interests of the Yemeni Border Tribes in Securing the Yemeni-Saudi Border', paper presentation at the international Workshop “Yemen's Living Heritage: Tribes and Tribalism into the 21st Century”, 14-15 February 2018, Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna.

-‘WhatsApp as a Research Medium: Methodological Reflections on New Digital Approaches’, paper presentation at British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) Conference, London, 25 June 2018.

-‘Negotiating Tribal Territories: Local border concepts in the Yemeni-Saudi border region’, paper presentation at the Association for Borderlands Studies World Conference (ABS), Budapest, 13 July 2018.

-‘The impact of borderland tribes on the development of the international borderline demarcation between Yemen and Saudi Arabia’, forthcoming paper presentation at Peace and Conflict Studies in Anthropology (PACSA) Conference, Amsterdam, 30 August 2017.

-‘Transformation of Tribal Perceptions on the Yemeni-Saudi Boundary’, paper presented at British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) Conference, Edinburgh, 7 July 2017.