Alia was born to an Algerian father and an American mother in Wichita, Kansas. She grew up, with her two sisters, in Algeria, Bahrain and Cyprus, and spent long stretches of time in Lebanon and Syria.
After reading for an undergraduate degree in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, Alia went on to Oxford, where she completed her MPhil and DPhil in International Relations. She spent two further years at Oxford, conducting her postdoctoral research, as Research Associate in International Relations at the Changing Character of War Programme, and as Research Fellow at St. Antony’s College.
Alia took up her position as Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2009, where she continued to lecture and publish widely, and won the LSE’s award for most downloaded research paper. She also travelled extensively through the MENA region (including in Iraq and Libya), organised a range of public events, established the LSE – Basrah University Visiting Fellowships scheme, and inaugurated the LSE Regional Security Forum. She returned to Oxford as a Visiting Fellow in 2013, and has been invited to speak at public and private functions all over the world, including in the United States, Europe, the Gulf and North Africa.
Alia is a Founder and Director of Legatus, a London-based advisory and assistance firm.
As a child, Alia studied at Ecole Sidi Hamza in Algeria, the Bayan School, Ibn Khaldoun and St. Christopher’s in Bahrain, and Foley’s Grammar School and the American Academy in Cyprus. She completed her A-levels at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, England.
Alia currently lives in London.