Foreign aid helps to reduce child mortality in Africa. Foreign aid keeps the Israeli occupation alive. Foreign aid saves lives. Foreign aid makes us beggar. Foreign aid helps to control violence. Foreign aid helps to develop sophisticated weapons. Foreign aid makes alliances between countries. It makes alliances between civil society organizations. It brings people closer to each other. It creates division lines within the society. Foreign aid is good. Foreign aid is bad. It depends on the perspective, the theories, the number of countries in the sample, the variables used in econometric models. But quantitative data and models do not let us see the reality behind.

Indeed, we know surprisingly little about how foreign aid,  various projects and their effects are perceived by people living in the Middle East (a list of relevant publications can be found on the Related page, see: VIII. Local views and perceptions on foreign aid). Survey research is too expensive and the topic is too narrow to be explored in-depth by using questionnaires. Face to face qualitative interviews are difficult to arrange at large scale. This page attempts to collect as many views on aid as possible from the Middle East; foreign aid is understood broadly, development and humanitarian assistance included. The ‘stories’ will be carefully read and used to map the social, political and economic context of foreign aid at micro level.

The aim of this page is to collect hands-on experiences on foreign aid and related projects by providing anonymity to the contributors. The method is not perfect from a methodological perspective – the participation is voluntary, the sample is not representative, the respondents’ identity can not be tracked, verified, coded, etc – but it does not mean that your stories and views do not reflect real-world experiences.

Please, feel free to share your thoughts with me.


Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. They will be processed confidentially in line with research ethics guiding social science research.



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