Our Team

Ranging from media professionals and academics to citizen journalists, bloggers, activists, and artists, our volunteer-based team consists of passionate storytellers from all backgrounds.

Scroll past the map to read more about each team member.

Editors

Founding Editor-in-Chief
Masih SadatFounding Editor-in-Chief

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Focus: Youth, activism, identity, and rights – focusing on Israel-Palestine and Afghanistan
Contact: masih@theturbantimes.com

Born and raised in Scandinavia, with Kabuli Afghan parents. Witnessing the power of journalism in building bridges and bringing about real change was what lead me to this field as an 18-year-old.

I began my studies in Hebrew, Middle East Studies a couple of years later in 2013 in Copenhagen, where I’ve kept a constant focus on ethnic and religious minorities in the MENA region, and decided early on to launch a media project with the objective of giving a voice to those who aren’t being heard and bringing to light untold, important stories and neglected injustices. The Turban Times for me means dialogue, change, and a nuanced, humanizing alternative to the dominating war and conflict-focused coverage of the wider Middle East region.

My work will focus on youth, activism, identity, and rights throughout the region, with an emphasis on Israel and Afghanistan.

Managing Editor
Florian ElabdiManaging Editor

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Focus: Middle East countries 
Contactflorian@theturbantimes.com

I am of Danish and Moroccan origin. With a BA in Middle Eastern Studies and a master’s degree in Journalism, I am currently working as a freelance journalist. My reporting from the Middle East has been featured in numerous Danish publications and a few international media outlets as well.

Managing Editor
Hanan ChemlaliManaging Editor

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Focus: North Africa 
Contact: hanan@theturbantimes.com

Born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark – Moroccan descent.

My expertise lies in the field of culture, power structures, and human rights. When you mix cultural, social, political, religious, and economic diversity in a pot, you are bound to get something interesting served. The MENA region is full of fascinating stories and strong voices that need to be covered.

Regular Writers

Anne Kirstine RønnWriter

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Focus: Politics and everyday life in Lebanon
Contactanne@theturbantimes.com

I hold a bachelor in Political Science from University of Copenhagen, and a master’s degree in International Studies from Aarhus University in Denmark. I am currently based in Denmark but I have lived in Lebanon for a total of a year, working as a journalist and studying at the Lebanese American University.

What keeps me interested in Lebanon is the interplay between traditional lifestyles and new emerging cultures. It is the often tense relationship between the different sects and religions in the country. And then, of course, I adore the food, music, and language. I have a dream of being fluent in Arabic and learning how to make the perfect falafel, and I have an ambition of doing research about politics and reconciliation in the Middle East.

Although my posts are often related to the political sphere, I also like writing about the everyday life of the Lebanese.

Camilla ToftlundBlogger

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Focus: Culture and society in Jordan
Contactcamilla@theturbantimes.com

Based in Amman since 2013.

My passion for the Middle East started when I as a geeky 10-year-old spent most of my time reading and watching documentaries about ancient Egypt. After my first visit to Egypt in 2003, I was drawn to the region, its peoples and the Arabic language. I ended up enrolling myself in the University of Copenhagen back in 2010 and throughout the last couple of years, I have primarily been doing research on Palestinians in Jordan and the notion of Palestinian identity. I have also been exploring minorities such as Iraqi Jews in Israel and the Circassians of Jordan and Turkey through my studies.

My main interests are people and the notion of identity, language, religion, and culture. I’m curious of nature and I pursue to base my experience and knowledge on more than books and articles, which is why you can usually find me out and about, exploring new areas and looking to engage in conversations with people.

I speak the Arabic Levantine dialect fluently and I master a good selection of the local dishes, including the Jordanian national dish mansaf.

Through my articles for The Turban Times, I will aim to show the cultural and social diversity of Jordan. It is safe to assume that most of my articles are written while sipping a cup of cardamom-infused coffee or puffing on an argileh.

Frederik Kelter

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Focus: Modern Lebanese history

Since I can remember, I have been on the go living abroad for years at a time. This has exposed me to many different lifestyles and ways of perceiving the world which I have always loved to write about. Presently, I am finishing my bachelor in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Aarhus University in Denmark. My studies and interests in the Arab world have brought me to the Middle East on several occasions and in particular to Lebanon. In Lebanon, fieldwork and studies has showed me the deep political and religious complexities of the country. I have become fascinated by Lebanon’s eventful modern history and the effects it has had on the people of the country along with the wider region.

Noa BarWriter

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Focus: Israeli-Palestinian history and relations
Contact: noa@theturbantimes.com

Born and raised in Israel, currently based in London where I am completing my Bachelor’s degree in history and politics.

I grew up during the second intifada and the US invasion of Iraq, so writing about Israeli-Palestinian relations and history was an obvious choice to me. I always aim to comprehend my experience and the conflict’s impact on my life in the context of “The Other’s” narrative. Studying abroad, I am struck time and time again by the superficiality characterising the study of the Middle East, and particularly of Israel and Palestine, dominating the media and academic discourse.

I aspire to convey the complexity of lives of Israelis and Palestinians, challenge the prejudices surrounding the discourse about the Middle East, whilst undermining the dehumanisation of civilians through academic writing and through my blog, Smolaneet. I wish to use personal narratives to evoke empathy and unity, rather than hate, bringing the two peoples together through the emphasis of shared experience and common future.

Rune FriisWriter

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Focus: Politics, culture, and business dynamics in Turkey, UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt
Contact: rune@theturbantimes.com

Rune Friis is both a cultural and business oriented writer. Doing business with the MENA region on a daily basis and business trips to the region as often as possible gives him a great possibility to hear different opinions and angles from around the region. With an educational background in Arabic Negotiation and Business, he has a great knowledge of politics, culture, and business dynamics in the MENA region. Rune lived in Fes, Morocco for one year, and even though his mindset is not Moroccan yet, he is still craving the traditional, Moroccan couscous on Fridays.

Sara TarziBlogger

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Focus: Libyan society and economy
Contact: sara@theturbantimes.com

Born and raised in Copenhagen. Libyan by blood. Based in Tripoli since 2016.

In 2011, I experienced six months of the Libyan revolution and witnessed what people are capable of when they unite for one purpose. My interest in Libya and its development has been increasing ever since.

Since 2016, I’ve been based in Tripoli, Libya working in Human Resources where I’ve had an influence on people’s development and well-being within my field. I’ve learned (and continue to learn) a lot about the different aspects of living in an unstable environment, and how to maintain a normal life despite the circumstances. Here, I witness the day-to-day challenges of people, how they overcome them, and the high level of stamina they develop in the process.

With all that is going on in Libya, the political wars, power cuts, liquidity and currency crisis, I will through my blog entries express the experiences of a regular Libyan citizen. You will read about the level of endurance Libyans have learned to master, and how they manage to remain sane and happy in a world of chaos.

Tone Delin IndrelidWriter

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Focus: Oman
Contacttone@theturbantimes.com

Tone Delin Indrelid describes herself as an introverted anthropologist, trying to experience the world with curiosity, respect, and an open mind.

She was born and raised in Norway, but has lived overseas for the past 15 years. Her longstanding love-affair with Oman started with her master’s dissertation, based on fieldwork in Muscat.

She has since lived in Syria and on Malaysian Borneo with her family, and is now back in Oman where she raises her three global nomads, explores the country, and writes.

Contributors

Jade Saab

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Focus: Lebanon, Palestine, and leftist politics

Jade Saab is a Lebanese/Canadian writer and political theorist based in Toronto. His writings cover topics of Liberalism, governance, and Marxism with occasional forays into current affairs. An editor at Reformermag.com, he is currently writing his first book – Finding Left.

Jonathan Ofir

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Focus: Israel-Palestine

Jonathan Ofir is an Israeli-Danish conductor, musician, writer and blogger, writing regularly for Mondoweiss.

Merete Koefoed-JohnsenWriter

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Focus: Egyptian culture and society

Merete Koefoed-Johnsen is writing about people, culture, and politics in the MENA region. As MA in Middle Eastern Studies with a specialization in Egypt and Turkey, she follows tendencies and developments in the two countries closely. She is operating tours in the Middle East with a cultural and historical focus for the Danish travel agency Viktors Farmor, and she is a consultant for Perspektiver på Mellemøsten (“Perspectives on the Middle East”) where she does workshops and lectures. In addition, Merete works as a language instructor of Danish as a Second Language, meeting people from all over the world.

Muhammad Shehada

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Focus: Gaza and Palestinian politics
Contact: muhammad@theturbantimes.com

Born in Egypt, raised in diaspora, Palestinian by blood, Egyptian by birth. With progressive endeavours towards democratic reforms and deradicalization, religious tolerance and coexistence, social equity and feminism, I aspire to construct an intellectual debate that corrects the misconceptions about the Middle East and offers a clear picture of  Palestinian daily life, which will be my main focus at The Turban Times.

Sarah L. Page

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Focus: Refugee and migrant rights

I’m British and a BSc Hons Psychology graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London. I sought to highlight the important issues that I care about, specifically refugee and migrant rights, with my love of storytelling. In the past, I have researched and assisted in the production of documentaries and since 2015 have been based between Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, and Beirut working with international humanitarian and development organisations. I work within communications and try to use a variety of tools – writing, photography, audio, film, social media – to provide a platform for the unheard, unjust stories that don’t make the headlines.

I’ve focused upon the plight of African asylum seekers in Israel, the majority from Eritrea and Sudan, and how their human rights are often infringed. In Europe and the MENA region, I focus on counter-narratives and providing positive images of refugees to balance the pervasive negative images that we see.

Suzan YavuzSoMe Producer & Blogger

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Focus: Culture and society in Turkey
Contact: suzan@theturbantimes.com

I am currently completing my master’s degree in Middle East Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. I am born and raised in Copenhagen with both Danish and Turkish ancestry. I have a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Encounters from Roskilde University in Denmark. In 2012, I began studying Social Anthropology at Bogazici University in Istanbul; it was during that year and in 2013 with the Gezi Park protests that I became more interested in the region, its peoples, and culture(s).

In 2016, I moved to Cairo to do an internship as part of my master’s studies with an Egyptian NGO. What fascinated me most about Egypt was the opportunity to experience history at first hand, living in one of the world’s most vibrant, yet timeless cities, experiencing amazing hospitality from one of the oldest civilizations on earth and everything in between.

Now based in Istanbul, where I am also doing research for my master’s thesis and enjoying the hustle and bustle of the city, I will do my best to cover different neglected narratives of the city as well as write articles related to culture and society in Turkey.

Zana Tekosin Vesterholm

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Focus: Kurdish history, culture, and religion

Born in a small city outside Copenhagen with both Kurdish and Danish descent. I have a Master’s degree in History with a minor in Studies of Religion from the University of Southern Denmark. My field of interest is Mesopotamian, Kurdish, Turkish, Russian, and Armenian history. In addition, I’ve studied different religious groups such as Jews, Orthodox Christians, Sufi Muslims, Zoroastrians, and in particular the Ezîdî religion (which I’m also a part of).

I’ve always enjoyed seeking knowledge about different cultures, ideas, and ways of life. At The Turban Times, I will mainly focus on different subjects related to Kurdistan.

Partners

Free Women WritersNGO

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Partnership: Cross-posting

Also known as دختران رابعه, Free Women Writers is a volunteer collective of women activists and writers in Afghanistan and the diaspora working to improve the lives of Afghan women through advocacy, storytelling, and education.

NASIMNGO
Partnership: Event coordinating

NASIM is the ‘Network of Academics, Students, and other Interested in the Middle East’, a Danish, student-based NGO working to promote via public events – debates, film and cultural festivals, lectures, language and social cafés, and more – a fresh, more nuanced view of the MENA region among Danes and Scandinavia in general.

One of our co-projects include events in the ‘Jews of the Middle East’ series.

ResponsMedia
Partnership: Cross-posting and journalistic cooperation

Respons is a Danish online media focusing on cross-cultural meetings, borders, and social development, working to publish critical journalism and stories neglected by the mainstream with the objective of supporting an inclusive, multicultural society and a just democracy.

Social TVMedia

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Partnership: Cross-posting and journalistic cooperation

Social TV is an independent Israeli media NGO. About 100,000 people are exposed to our content each month. We use the unique power of visual documentation, where intellectual arguments alone might fail to change the hearts and minds of people, promoting human rights and bringing about social change in Israel.

Want to join our team or become a partner? Read more