Alessandro Bruno (@TheAlessandrist) is an analyst at Gulf State Analytics (@GulfStateAnalyt), a Washington, DC-based geopolitical risk consultancy. He holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Toronto. Bruno has worked abroad as a United Nations officer in Libya.
Ali Bakeer is a political analyst with a Ph.D. in political science/IR. He writes regularly in several Arabic, Turkish and English platforms, most recently in ones such as Al-monitor, Aljazeera English, Carnegie MEC, MEI, TRT World, The New Turkey, Daily Sabah, and others. Bakeer is mostly interested in geopolitical and security trends in the Middle East with a particular focus on Turkey, Iran, and GCC.
Diana is a Ph.D. Candidate in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she researches social movements in the Middle East and North Africa. She has extensive experience in the region, having lived in Morocco, the West Bank, and Syria. Diana earned an MA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; an MA in International Affairs from Sciences Po Paris; and BAs in French and Political Science from the University of Arizona.
Hajar Hamdaoui is a Moroccan journalist. She received her BA in Journalism and Communication from l’Institut Supérieur de l’Information et de la Communication (Journalism Institute in Rabat). She received her MA in Media and Cultural Studies from Doha Institute for Graduate Studies in Qatar. She is currently a Ph.D. researcher in Mohammed V University of Rabat, in the field of Media and Communication.
A Yemeni journalist, graduated from Sana'a University, Media Faculty in 2008 and has worked in the Yemeni press since 2007.
He worked as an editor for the Yemeni newspaper Al-Nida. In 2010 he was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the same newspaper. He co-founded the Yemeni Parliamentary Observatory and worked as a press editor for the Al Marsad website in 2009.
He carried out numerous investigations and worked on the enforced disappearance cases during the Yemeni wars (Saada war 2009-2010), which provoked great reactions as well as press inquiries about Yemeni prisons and abuses.
He was awarded the second best news article Award at the 12th session of a competition organized by the Center for Arab Women for Training and Research «Kawther», based in Tunisia in 2014.
Participated in a number of specialized training courses in the field of journalism as well as the preparation and conducting of investigations.
He holds a Master's Degree in Political Communication from the Higher Institute of Media and Communication in Rabat in 2018.
Ismail El Ouadi is a journalist at Inside Arabia with a Master’s degree in Translation from the King Fahd School of Translation in Tangier, Morocco. As an interpreter and writer, he loves to discuss all things related to nature, culture, and society.
Julia Schwartz is an English teacher in Rabat. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in French Literature from Grinnell College, where she also studied Arabic, she worked first with infants at a day-care and then as a preschool teacher. She moved to Morocco in 2017 in order to continue studying Arabic, focusing on Moroccan Darija as well as Modern Standard Arabic. She currently combines her passions for child development and language acquisition in her English-teaching job. Julia’s other areas of interest include poetry and literature, psychoanalysis, and sociolinguistics.
Martin Jay is an award winning freelance journalist who has previously worked and lived in Kenya, Belgium and Morocco – reporting for CNN, Euronews, CNBC, BBC, DW, Reuters, Sunday Times and others. Currently he lives in Beirut where has reported for DW, AP, TRT, RT and the UK national Mail on Sunday. He can be followed on Twitter at @MartinRJay
Omar Zanifi is an Amazigh (Berber) writer, poet, artist, activist, and journalist. Known as a “knight of the pen,” he has written for local, national and international magazines, digital publications, and newspapers on subjects ranging from politics and travel to the arts. He has a Masters degree in English literature from Ibn Zohr University in Agadir, Morocco, and a Masters in journalism from the Lahaye University for Journalism in Den Haag, Netherlands. He is based in Paris. @Zanifi
Omid Shokri Kalehsar is a Washington-based Senior Energy Security Analyst, and PhD Candidate in International Relations at Yalova University, Turkey. His research fields include Energy Diplomacy, U.S. Energy Policy, the Geopolitics of Energy, Iran-Turkey relations, and Iran-Russia relations. Follow him at @ushukrik
Paola García is a writer, dancer, and translator based in New York City. Originally from
Northern Mexico, and a New York City denizen for fifteen years, Paola has lived and
traveled in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa over the past decade. She deeply loves the Arabic language, poetry, music, dances, cultures and, principally, peoples.
Paola is a passionate student of Sufism and Islamic philosophy. She is a UNESCO-certified Sufi dance teacher and performs regularly in venues such as Alwan for the Arts, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, MANA Contemporary, and the Outlet Dance Project. A graduate of Columbia Law School and former lawyer, she received an M.A. in Islamic Studies from Columbia University in the Fall of 2018. She enjoys horseback riding, yoga, and spending time in nature, especially in the Riviera Maya and the Sahara Desert.
Radha Stirling is the Founder and CEO of Detained in Dubai, a human rights advocacy group that promotes judicial and legal reform. She is also an expert witness and criminal & civil justice expert in the areas of extradition and Interpol removal. She handles crisis management, mediation, and reputation management for celebrity & high profile clients.
Saltanat Berdikeeva is a consultant and writer whose work on energy and security issues in Eurasia, the Middle East, and the U.S. has been published extensively. Her articles have been featured in Energy Digital, European Energy Review, National Geographic, Platts, Oil and Gas Journal, Insight Turkey, ISN, local newspapers, and other publications.
Sebastian Bouknight is an American journalist and photographer based in North Africa. With a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary background, he reports on the arts, migration, human rights, and environmental issues.
Shazia Marquis holds an LLB in Law and an LLM majoring in Public International Law from Queen Mary University of London. Her interests include international relations, migration law and general politics. She is currently based in the United Arab Emirates.
Soukaina Rachidi is the founder and author of Soukie Speaks, a blog which strives to reimagine the narrative of young leaders, businesses and communities in the MENA region and empower a new generation of Arab leaders and entrepreneurs. Although Soukaina was born in Morocco, she spent most of her formative years in the United Arab Emirates. She has also lived in Qatar, the USA and Argentina. Soukaina's diverse work experience includes university student recruitment, management, customer service and PR. With a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Delaware, Soukaina is passionate about writing, global issues, entrepreneurship, youth empowerment and sustainability.
Dr. Theodore Karasik (@TKarasik) is a Senior Advisor at Gulf State Analytics (@GulfStateAnalyt). He is also a fellow at Jamestown Foundation and a non-resident senior fellow at the Lexington Institute. Dr. Karasik was an adjunct lecturer at the Dubai School of Government where he taught graduate level international relations. Karasik was a senior political scientist in the International Policy and Security Group at RAND Corporation. From 2002-2003, he served as director of research for the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy. He is a specialist in geopolitics and geoeconomics for the MENA and Eurasia regions and frequently conducts studies and assessments of future trajectories. Dr. Karasik received his Ph.D in history from the University of California, Los Angeles in four fields: Russia, Middle East, Caucasus, and an outside field in cultural anthropology focusing on tribes and clans from Central Asia to East Africa.
Tom Pollitt holds an Undergraduate MA in Philosophy from The University of St Andrews and Aarhus Universitet, a Graduate Diploma in Law from BPP University and is currently studying towards and LLM in International Law at SOAS, University of London. Tom lived in Morocco for a year and a half between 2014 and 2015 where he worked for the U.S.G affiliated language institute, AmidEast, and worked as a director for fair-trade business Yamas, of which he is a cofounder.
Wafa Faith Hallam is a Moroccan-American who lived and worked in Europe and traveled to over 35 countries before attending college in Gainesville, FL. An Honor Graduate of the University of Florida (Phi Beta Kappa), she was awarded a series of Fellowships to attend New York University where she earned a Master's Degree in Middle Eastern Studies and International Affairs. She completed the PhD course work in Middle Eastern Studies, as well as comprehensive exams. She was granted a Dissertation Fellowship for her research on Political Violence and Terrorism in the MENA Region by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation in Manhattan. She remained committed to Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East and Arab-Muslim Issues even as she built a successful career on Wall Street for over a decade. In 2017 and 2018, she traveled alone to 15 new countries in South America, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and Australia. Wafa is a writer, editor, speaker and author of The Road from Morocco, a memoir. Her second book, A One-Way Ticket: One Woman’s Solo Journey to South America is due out in 2019.
Youssef El Kaidi is a teacher of English. He has a PhD in Cultural Studies: Cultures and Identities in Morocco from the University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, Fes. Youssef was a contributor to Morocco World News and corresppondent in Fes and the region from 2013 to 2016. He is an Alumnus of the University of the Middle East Project since July 2011. In 2013, he became a member of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) international network of young leaders and academic researchers after participating in the New Faces Conference in Tunis, Tunisa and in the DGAP Alumni Conference in Berlin, Germany. Youssef is also a graduate of the International Centre on Non-violent Conflict after his participation at the Fletcher Summer School on Non-violent Resistance at Tufts University in Boston in June 2014. In July 2017, he participated in the Oleander Initiative for Peace in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. His areas of interest beyond teaching are cultural studies,journalism, media studies, youth training, peace and non-vioelnce.
Youssef Igrouane is a Moroccan journalist and researcher. He holds a master's degree in European Interdisciplinary Studies from the College of Europe in Belgium. He focuses on the geopolitical and sociopolitical issues in the MENA region and Euro-Mediterranean relations.