Dr Ayar Ata is working as a front-line migration integration trainer, adviser, advocate, translator and a freelance researcher and consultant working for International Organisation Migration (IOM) and a member of Sustainability Research Group at London South Bank University where he earned his PhD on transnational migration and identity in April 2017. He is also member of the editorial board of Displaced Voices Journal based at University of East London.  

Ayar is an active member of Sustainability Research Group at London South Bank University and a co-chair of Croydon refugee and new communities forum, and he is also serving as ExCom member of International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM).  He serves the Working Group as a blog commissioning author.

Ayar, has first-hand refugee experience and settled in London in the beginning of the 1990s. Now describes himself a Kurdish Londoner and Ayar believes his formal and most informative steps towards his integration or active citizenship in London began when he completed his undergraduate study at SOAS, University of London in 1997.  Ayar studied further and completed his postgraduate studies in social policy at Middlesex University in 2000 and later he studied forced migration and international human rights at University of East London (UEL) in 2009. Ayar was inspired by his experience at UEL and continued his dream study and gained his PhD in the same field at London South Bank University in April 2017.  

His PhD research is on transnational migration, integration, and identity: a study of Kurdish diaspora in London analyses the notion of history, cultural identity and the idea of home and belonging by considering how the Kurds view their own history (the past) and how they relate (at present) within their new home, that is London. In other words an analytical attempt has been made to understand a shifting position of the Kurds from victims in the region to active citizens in London or Kurdish Londoners.

In the course of his research Ayar has also helped to establish a small voluntary group called Maheen Project in Croydon south London. This project is supporting unaccompanied refugee children to settle successfully in London (



Publications/recent projects

  • Ayar Ata (2023), Transnational Migration, Diaspora and Identity: A Study of Kurdish of Kurdish Diaspora in London, Palgrave
  • Ayar Ata (2013) ‘Mixed Migration and integration issues’ conference report on The 14th Conference of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) 6-9 January 2013, Calcutta, India, academia.ed
  • Ayar Ata (2013) Transformation of Identity within Diaspora, a reflection on PhD study on Kurdish Diaspora in London, academia.ed
  • Ayar Ata (2013) Field Report about Makhmour Refugee Camp in Northern Iraq, Refugee Research Network website
  • Ayar Ata (2008) ‘My Suitcase’ [a poem] In Exile Writers Magazine, issue 9, Spring/Summer Exile Writers Ink, London
  • Ayar Ata, Claudeth Livingstone, and Rozina Thaci (2009) Scoping Study on Refugee Mental Health in South London, a research study for the NHS, Southwark Refugee Communities Forum
  • Ayar Ata (2002) Refugee communities: Their hope and needs, a base line study for Renewal Programme, pp 126-127 on Hammersmith and Fulham Refugee Forum, London