Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat's Personal Homepage

who am i

I am a Ph.D researcher, independent journalist, and disability advocate based in Qatar and the UK. I am originally from Indonesia, but I have lived in the Middle East for the past eight years and have traveled extensively across the region.


I hold a B.A. in International Affairs, concentrating on Middle East and Islamic Politics, from Qatar University and an M.A. in International Politics from the University of Manchester. I am currently pursuing a Ph.D in Politics at Manchester.

My undergraduate thesis focused on China's Arab-Israeli conflict policy, while my master dissertation was titled "A Comparative Study of China's Approaches to Its Relationship with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates." In my Ph.D, I employ the neo-Gramscian approach of hegemony to examine whether China, through its 'One Belt, One Road' initiatives, is aiming to pursue a regional hegemony in the Gulf.


My areas of research focus primarily on Asia-Middle East relations, Gramsci, hegemony, and regionalism. Outside university, I am also interested in Islamic history, Indonesian politics, and disability in Islam.


I am a disabled. I am unable to use my hands to perform certain actions including handwriting. I have been interviewed by several media both in English and Bahasa Indonesia about my life and struggles as a disabled.

In the past couple of years, I have also been interested in disability-related research, particularly Islam and disability. I have written and spoken about it.


I also have a profound enthusiasm in computer science, especially open source software and cyber security. On a daily basis, I use Debian and sometimes OpenBSD as my operating systems. In my spare time, I do programming in C, Java, Python, and Pascal.

hiking and backpacking

In my free time, I love to backpack and climb mountains. I have climbed a number of mountains in Indonesia, the Middle East, and Europe. I have also traveled to some parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East, and I am looking forward seeing more.


I am available for commissioned (and sometimes voluntary) works, research projects, and public speaking. You can reach me at muhzulfikar [at] gmail [dot] com. I am also on few social media sites including LinkedIn and Instagram.

published writings (english)

on the media