Muhammad Yuanda Zara (1985) obtained his bachelor degree in History at Department of History Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. His bachelor thesis deals with the manifestation of a combined spirit of modern Indonesia and moderate Moslem society in the establishment of Syuhada Mosque in the former area of Dutch residency in Yogyakarta, especially during 1950s until 1990s.
In 2008 he continued his study by joining master programme through ENCOMPASS programme at Department of History Leiden University. In Leiden he, along with other young historians from Asia, was trained in the history of European Expansion as well as in the ability to understand Dutch texts, particularly from 19th and early 20th century.
He defended his master thesis in August 2010. His thesis, supervised by Prof. KJPFM Charles Jeurgens and dr. Nico Kaptein, examines the obligation of using hajj (pilgrimage) passport for aspiring pilgrims in the Netherlands Indies by the Netherlands East Indies Government. The core argument in his thesis is that the Netherlands East Indies Government designated hajj passport as a way to simplify and control the movement of the aspiring pilgrims as well as a method to detect unwanted person in a state of the rise of self consciousness among the native.
Between 2010 and 2016 he worked for the NIOD. He examined the use of propaganda by the Indonesians during Indonesia’s war of independence that lasted 1945-1949. This research was under supervision Prof. Peter Romijn and dr. Peter Keppy. Moreover, in conducting this research, he was affiliated with Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) at the University of Amsterdam.