Alainna Liloia is a PhD student in Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona, and she holds a Master of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Wake Forest University. Her research is focused on gender and modern nation-building in the Arab Gulf states. She is particularly interested in how Gulf states utilize gendered representations and initiatives to fulfill specific political and social agendas. In addition, her research explores the ways in which Gulf women strategically negotiate the challenges of modern development and social change in the context of political, religious and social expectations. Her other research interests include state-branding in the Arab Gulf, globalization and Islamist movements, Islamic feminism and women’s reform movements, postcolonial feminist theory, and modernity studies. Alainna worked in Bahrain from 2014-2015 as a cultural consultant and ESL teacher, and she conducted an ethnographic research project in Qatar as a visiting scholar at Qatar University in 2017.