Hello, I am a PhD Candidate in history at Harvard University.

I am a Doctoral Candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of History at Harvard University. I study the social and political history of the United States in the twentieth century, focusing on cities, social movements, and the carceral state. I am a first-generation college graduate and the son of two hardworking refugees from Iraq. I have a Bachelors of Arts in history from Wayne State University (2019), and an Associate Degree from Macomb Community College (2017). Before graduate school, I worked in historic preservation and public history.

At Harvard, I teach classes in the GenEd program, "Histories, Societies, and Individuals," advise undergraduates as a house advisor for the History Department, and research as a graduate fellow in the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative. My research has been supported by the history department, the Center for American Political Studies, and the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan. I am also recipient of the Whipple V. N. Jones Graduate Fellowship from the Graduate School of Arts of Sciences, and I am employed as a Graduate Fellow for the Gilder-Lehrman Institue of American History in New York City.

My dissertation, "The People's War on Crime and Drugs: Crime, Community Activism, and the Rise of the Carceral State, 1970-2000, “ is a history of crime, policing, and community activism in the late twentieth century deindustrialized capital of the U.S. Rust Belt: Detroit, Michigan. It is an urban history largely focused on race, class, and gender in Detroit’s crime control politics and underground economy. At the heart of this local case study is a bottom-up history of how groups of marginalized yet dynamic and tenacious urban residents faced the everyday crisis of violence, drug addiction, unemployment, criminalization, and policing in their neighborhoods. It explores how deindustrialization, neoliberalism, and the rise of the carceral state engendered new social formations in post-civil rights Black America. Amid the urban crisis and the rise of the national War on Crime and the global War on Drugs, these residents reconceptualized and organized around notions of “public safety,” “security,” “criminality,” “justice,” and “community.” In doing so, they became one of the key stakeholders of crime control policy in Detroit and took matters of safety and protection into their own hands when the state failed to effectively handle the crisis. Over a hundred personal papers collections and organizational records will help me map out what went on daily in the neighborhoods of Detroit as well as dozens of oral interviews with historical actors. By focusing on grassroots organizing around crime and drugs, this dissertation adds the voices of those most marginalized by violence, addiction, and police violence – the victimized, the criminalized, and the incarcerated - to our histories of the carceral state.

I am at work on two research articles. The first, "Operation Crack Crime: Policing Post-Industrial Detroit's Drug Economy in the Reagan Era," examines local, state, and federal policing of the drug economy in the mid-1980s. The second, tentatively titled, "Crime at the Corner Store," looks at how the urban crisis generated crime around immigrant-owned busineses which in turn fueled a small business owner law-and-order movement among Arab American merchants in Detroit from the late 1960s to the 1990s.

Beyond my research, I love science ficition (my favs are Octavia Butler, Kim Stanley Robinson, and the all-mighty Ursula K. Le Guin), drink plenty of coffee, and enjoy walks around Cambridge and Somerville. I'm orginally from Michigan, and I have a cat named Atticus. I am also the co-president of the History Graduate Students Association and welcome all prospective students to reach out to me with any questions regarding the program and graduate life at Harvard.