After graduating from Edinburgh University with an MA in Religious Studies and MSc in Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies I spent five years working in the Middle East. Based in Lebanon I worked in both print and online journalism in rolls including as a feature writer, breaking news reporter, copy editor, photographer, and later as a desk editor in charge of a newsroom responsible for commissioning, delegating breaking news coverage, and the upload of copy to widely subscribed news websites. In addition to the UK, and Lebanon, I have worked in countries including Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Ethiopia, Tunisia, and Egypt. Now based in London, I am currently working on an exciting documentary project with Superfolk Films, an independent production company, and as a researcher and script-writer for a world-leading cultural consultancy.
In June 2018 I began work as a freelance Scriptwriter and Researcher for Barker Langham, one of the world's leading cultural consultancies. My work has encompassed conducting research and writing scripts for museum panels, interactive games, and audiovisual displays, and helping to translate video interviews conducted in Arabic into English - for exciting museum projects in the United Arab Emirates, focused on the country's rich culture and heritage.
I have been involved in this exciting project from the start. In my role as Associate Director-Producer I have taken on numerous roles and responsibilities. These include: -developing the original story idea, and contacts for the documentary, using my knowledge, expertise and experience in the Middle East, while networking with my partners at Superfolk Films. - Being present throughout the filming process (in both the UK, Iraq and Syria), brainstorming questions, and content for and conducting interviews, operating 2nd camera, and sound equipment. - successfully researching and writing Risk Assessments to gain Hostile Environment insurance for filming trips in Iraq, and Syria, and organising logistics of travel (booking flights, arranging transport, networking with fixers) to these destinations, in addition to helping with translations (Arabic to English) on the ground. - transcribing, and editing recorded video and audio content, storyboarding plot developments, and overseeing the final editing process.
Intensive course focused on developing theoretical understanding, and practical documentary-makingskills, including developing camera (Sony EX-3) and sound recording, and editing and post-production capabilities (Adobe Premiere Pro).
Covered breaking news from the Middle East region, including leading The New Arab's coverage of the Syrian Civil War. Worked regularly as shift leader in charge of busy newsroom, editing, uploading, and organising copy on website, identifying relevant copy from Arabic website for translation into English, and commissioning freelancers working throughout the MENA region, including from the front lines in Mosul, Iraq. Played key role in expansion of The New Arab's readership and raising editorial standards.
Produced weekly reports based on analysis of Lebanese and regional media, focusing on security, political, and economic developments and their potential affect on foreign investment climate, for clients seeking investment in Lebanon's offshore oil and gas industry.
Published breaking news and feature articles on range of political, social and cultural issues including in: Al-Jazeera, The Guardian, Middle East Eye, The Christian Science Monitor, Al-Monitor, Al-Arabiya, VICE, Syria Deeply, The Sunday Times, and So It Goes. Travelled and reported from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Oman, and Ethiopia. (*experience working in conflict zones*) Editor and ghost-writer: including copy, proof editing, and page design for Executive Magazine (monthly MENA-focused politics and business magazine), funding proposals, internal practice documents and mission statements for UNESCO Beirut Office, and editorial work with academic texts including "The Decline of Arab States and the Rise of Communitocracy," Salamey, Routledge, 2017. Video-work as runner, camera assistant on short-documentary "Beirut's Cafe Racers", Audio Kultur, 2016, and voice-over work for "Lebanon Wins the World Cup" (2015), winner of Best Documentary short at Warsaw Film Festival (2016), and Santa Barbra Film Festival (2016).
Published stories - breaking news and features - on weekly basis based on beat reporting on breaking news events in Lebanon and Syria. Filled in as online desk editor, editing, uploading content to, and organising The Daily Star website.
Helped organize conference events and roundtables at Carnegie's Middle East Centre in Beirut involving politicians from the Tunisian Nahda Party, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the Lebanese government, journalists from the New York Times, and the Head of the World Bank. Researched and edited Carnegie paper on sectarian dynamics in the Armed Forces in post-Saddam Iraq with resident scholar Maria Fantappie.
Compiled research contributing to Asia and Middle East desk's internal review and formulation of a new strategy for operations for 2011-2014, focusing on social welfare issues facing Palestinian communities in Levantine states. Research for and editing of funding proposals to DFID and European Union for charity's projects aimed at increasing sustainability of Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
15,000 word dissertation on institutional development of Shia Islam as a political force, and "state religion" in pre-modern Iran. In depth study of Islamic ideologues whose discourse has inspired the development of post-revolutionary Iran (Shariati, Al-e Ahmed, Khomeini), and modern militant Islamism (e.g. Mawdudi, Hassan al-Banna, and Sayd Qutb)
10,000 word dissertation on perceptions of afterlife in Islamic Medieval theological and philosophical tradition. Developed strong background knowledge of Islamic theology and Middle Eastern history, in addition to Islamic jurisprudence and Shariah law through study of specifically focused modules.
Completed a three-day intensive course lead by a former marine with over 20 years of military experience. Participated in both in-class training and scenarios l aimed to simulate situations that journalists may realistically face in the field, covering topics including: Emergency first aid, Digital Security, Situational Awareness, Kidnapping/Navigating Checkpoints/Reaction under Gunfire