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Zeina studied at Kent University where she obtained her BA in Law and then her LLM in Jewish and Islamic Law.  She completed the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law and was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1990.   She practiced briefly at the Bar in the field of criminal defence, representing clients daily in the Magistrates and Crown Courts.

After leaving the Bar, Zeina worked for various international organisations, both governmental and non-governmental, in the area of human rights, elections and governance.  Her international work took her to Palestine, Bosnia, Nigeria, Ghana, Russia, Bangladesh, East Timor, Nepal and Haiti.  During this period, she was also working on a freelance basis at Winstanley-Burgess in London, a solicitors firm specialising in immigration law.

She obtained her PhD from the London School of Economics in 2006 and taught Introduction to the Legal System, Property, and Legal Anthropology to undergraduates there.  She has been teaching at Birkbeck since 2008 and she became a full time member of staff in January 2012.

Zeina is an Associate Member of the Food Studies Centre - SOAS, and a Research Associate at the Centre for Palestine Studies - SOAS.