Editor’s note: Amwaj.media learned about Tsurkov’s abduction in May. To honor her family’s apparent wishes, we abstained from covering the case. The decision to publish this content was only made after the Israeli prime minister’s office’s public acknowledgement of the kidnapping.
A student of comparative politics, Elizabeth Tsurkov spent the past years looking at the Sadrist Movement, people with knowledge of her doctoral research say. Eager to conduct her fieldwork on the ground, Tsurkov thus regularly traveled to Iraq. It is, however, unclear whether her home institution—Princeton University—signed off on the trips. Beyond Iraq, she notably also visited Lebanon, the subject of a comparative study.
Another seemingly crucial aspect of Tsurkov’s abduction in Baghdad in March is her family background. Holding dual Israeli-Russian citizenship as a child of Russian emigrants to Israel, she was aware that Iraq and Lebanon are not hospitable places for Israelis. In fact, Israelis are barred from entering the two countries. The authorities in Beirut even prohibit the entry of any visitor who...
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