College of Education and Human Development

Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

Abdulrahman Bindamnan

  • Doctoral Student, CIDE

Abdulrahman Bindamnan

Areas of interest

  • The role of higher education in international development
  • International education and development
  • Zero-generation students
  • Literacy, learning, bilingualism
  • Yemen

MSEd, University of Pennsylvania, 2022
BA, University of Miami, 2020


Mr. Abdulrahman Bindamnan is a PhD student and Fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change at the University of Minnesota. Mr. Bindamnan achieved his BA in psychology and religion from the University of Miami in 2020, followed by an MSEd in international educational development from the University of Pennsylvania in 2022.

Born and raised in Yemen, Mr. Bindamnan embarked on his journey to the United States in 2016, initially with the intention of returning back upon completing his education. However, due to the ongoing war in Yemen, his return home was impossible, leading him to continue his pursuit of higher education while working towards obtaining permanent status. His experiences have led him to coin the term “Zero Generation Students” to encapsulate the unique challenges and experiences faced by immigrants and refugees who often struggle with foundational literacy skills and cultural adaptation in the United States.

Mr. Bindamnan is a notable contributing author at Psychology Today, where his blog, “Zero-Generation Students,” serves as an educational resource, shedding light on the obstacles and opportunities encountered by adult refugees pursuing higher education in the United States. He also published over 7 editorials with Star Tribune, the widely read and highly circulated newspaper in Minnesota.

His intellectual contributions have been featured in prestigious publications, including the International Journal of Educational Development, International Studies in Sociology of Education, Material Religion, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Minnesota Reformer, The Star Tribune, Psychology Today, Acton Institute, Middle East Forum, American Institute for Yemeni Studies, University of Miami Herbert Business School, and Heterodox Academy.

Research Interests

Mr. Bindamnan’s academic pursuits encompass two compelling research projects. His doctoral dissertation delves into the linguistic and cultural development of adult immigrants as they navigate the process of acquiring academic and professional English language skills on college campuses. This research is deeply rooted in exploring the cultural and psychological transitions that individuals undergo when transitioning from their native countries to the unique environment of a U.S. campus, and subsequently, their integration into graduate education or the workforce.

In addition, Mr. Bindamnan is passionate about reforming Islam to recapture the essence of the Islamic era of enlightenment, reminiscent of the Islamic Golden Age (AD 800—1200). His scholarly efforts in this realm aim to demonstrate how enlightened ideas, initially articulated by Islamic rationalists, have played a pivotal role in shaping the ideals of human rights that underpin the foundation of the United States. Unfortunately, these principles have been abandoned by contemporary Islamic fundamentalists. His work in this area serves as a valuable contribution to the broader discourse on the intersections of culture, religion, and human rights.


Bindamnan, A. (2023, October 31). The long hard journey of Arabs in America. Star Tribune.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, September 13). Psychological Effects of 9/11 on Muslim Americans. Psychology Today

Kelley, J., Watson, A. N., & Bindamnan, A. (2023, September 12). More than meets the eye: Community cultural wealth as a theory for mentoring international students. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2023, 83–92. 

Bindamnan, A. (2023, August 1). Laws aside, 'no' is still the right answer on drugs. Star Tribune.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, July 4). As an international student, I've seen how race affects admissions. Star Tribune.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, June 29). Culture Should Unite Us, Not Divide Us. Psychology Today.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, June 16). How Stereotype Threat Theory Helps Explain the Accomplishment Gap. Psychology Today.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, June 15). Freedom of Religion Is Inherently Good. Religion & Liberty Online, Acton Institute.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, June 15). Wild Experiment: Feeling Science and Secularism After Darwin. Material Religion.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, June 14). Minnesota’s future: Does the cold weather make this state isolating?. The Star Tribune.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, May 26). The Grant Writing Guide: A Road Map for Scholars. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, April 21). Yemeni stampede a familiar tragedy in a chaotic land. The Star Tribune.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, April 21). The meaning of Eid. The Minnesota Reformer.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, March 28). Wokeness, Fear of Criticizing Islam Threaten Muslim Progress. Focus on Western Islamism.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, March 22). A Ramadan primer: Why we fast. The Minnesota Reformer.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, March 20). The meaning of Ramadan. The Star Tribune.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, March 9). As a Muslim, I Defend Freedom of Religion and of Speech. So What Happened at Hamline University?. Heterodox Academy.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, Feb. 2). As a Muslim from Yemen, I am not offended by an instructor showing a piece of art. Minnesota Reformer.

Bindamnan, A. (2023, Jan. 10). I fled to U.S. for education, not indoctrination. Star Tribune.

Bindamnan, A. , & Wilfert, A. (2023, Jan. 10). How Can Positive Psychology Help Minority Students? Psychology Today.

Bindamnan, A. & Banks, E. (2022, Dec. 24). The First-Generation vs the Zero-Generation Experience. Psychology Today.

Bindamnan, A. & Martens, G. (2022, Dec. 24). The Role of Trauma for Zero-Gen Daters. Psychology Today.

Bindamnan, A. (2022, Dec. 9). Learning, Marginalization, and Improving the Quality of Education in Low-income Countries. (D. A. Wagner, N. M. Castillo, & S. G. Lewis [Eds]). International Journal of Educational Development.

Bindamnan, A., & Euchner, C. (2022, Dec. 2). Multilingual Writers Face Challenges, Hold Promise. The Minnesota Daily.

Bindamnan, A. (Nov. 30, 2022). Who Are the “Zero-Generation Students”? Examining the role of U.S. higher education in international development. Psychology Today.

Bindamnan, A. (2022, Nov. 22). Schooling As Uncertainty: An Ethnographic Memoir in Comparative Education by Frances Vavrus. International Studies in Sociology of Education.

Bindamnan, A. (2022, May 5) The Need to Secularize Islamic Education in Yemen. American Institute for Yemeni Studies.

Bindamnan, A. (2022, Apr. 15) Some students, like me, come to the U.S. from war-torn areas. Few succeed. The Philadelphia Inquirer.


Bindamnan, A., Monet Ross, A. (2021) “The Effects of Trauma on Children’s Learning in Yemen.” Poster presentation, Comparative and International Education Society Conference.

Media Coverage

(2022, March 1). The experience of the zero-generation college student. Penn GSE News.

(2022, April 6). Fasting: A ritual of remembrance for many spiritual practices. News@TheU.

(2020, May 14). Students observe Ramadan in different ways during pandemic. News@TheU.