Yahya El-Lahib

Associate Professor

Calgary Campus

Ph.D. (Social Work)

McMaster University


Ryerson University


Ryerson University

Contact information


MacKimmie Tower : MT436

Research Activities

Research areas

  • International
  • Immigrant, Refugee, Ethno-Cultural, and Racialized Groups

Current Research

Yahya’s research interest centers on knowledge production and legitimization.  Specifically, in his SSHRC CGS funded (2012-2015) doctoral research, Yahya examined the intersection of disability, immigration and social work.  His research specifically questioned colonial North/South power dynamics and relations and interrogated the assumed universality of knowledge and practice models produced in the global North.  Yahya’s research aims to question dominant discourses that construct people with disabilities and shape their immigration and settlement experiences.  He seeks to bridge between theories and practice models developed within Global North and South to respond to the knowledge gaps and limitations that manifest themselves through transnational issues at the intersection of disability, immigration and social work.  As an outcome of his doctoral research, Yahya is in the process of developing a community research partnership to enhance practice and equip social workers and settlement workers to better engage with immigrants and newcomers with disabilities.  In addition, as part of an across-province research team (Alberta, British Colombia and Ontario), Yahya is currently working on the development of a research project that examines the construction of diasporic professional identity in relation to transnational social work theory and practice.  Using arts-informed methodologies, this research project aims to inform social work theory, practice and education.  


Yahya El-Lahib came to the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary after finishing his PhD at the School of Social Work, McMaster University.  As a long time disability activist, Yahya’s research, practice and policy background has centred on working on disability issues at all levels of intervention, from frontline work with individuals and families, to community practice, policy development, and research on a variety of issues including education, employment, poverty, political and civic engagement, as well as the impacts of war. Throughout this involvement, Yahya has been closely affiliated with the disability movement in Lebanon working from a grassroots social justice approach which has allowed him to bring to his current community involvement, teaching and research in Canada a critical transnational dimension to social work.  


Social Science and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Scholarship

Recipient, SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Award for the Doctoral Program 2012-2015

Office of International Affairs, Ryerson University

Recipient, Travel Grant, International Conference & Travel Fund

Social Science and Humanities Research Council Scholarship

Recipient, SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Masters Scholarship for the MSW Program 2011-2012