The Aslan Media website and Social Media accounts are operated by the Aslan Media Initiatives team. With a diverse U.S. and international team, this not for profit media organization is proud to be home to a number of young, globally conscious, web savvy volunteers and staff members. Every day we work hard to keep you aware and knowledgeable of events in and issues about the Greater Middle East and its Diaspora communities.
REZA ASLAN, Founder
An internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, Aslan is a contributing editor at the Daily Beast. He has degrees in Religions from Santa Clara University, Harvard University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, and the Pacific Council on International Policy. He serves on the board of directors of the Ploughshares Fund, which gives grants for peace and security issues, Abraham’s Vision, an interfaith peace organization, PEN USA, which champions the rights of writers under siege around the world, and he serves on the national advisory board of the Levantine Cultural Center, building bridges between Americans and the Arab/Muslim world.
Aslan’s first book is the International Bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into thirteen languages, and named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War (published in paperback as Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in a Globalized Age), and editor of the anthology from Norton titled Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East.
To learn more about Reza, his books, and his activities, visit his home page at rezaaslan.com.
ROSHI, Executive Director and Editor
With a BA in International Relations, some education abroad, and an MA in International Public Policy, Roshi's many interests have included Politics, Journalism, and social change. A social media and marketing professional, she puts her nonprofit and communications experience to work for Aslan Media. Roshi tries to work every day for a better world through discourse, communication, and the support of democratic, pluralistic ideals. A child of two cultures, she is an explorer at heart...and has been known to hug trees in her spare time.
JAFREEN, Book Editor and Special Projects
Jafreen M. Uddin is the Book Salon Editor and Director of Special Projects for Aslan Media. She has a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University and an M.A. in Global Histories from New York University. She also serves on the New York City board for the Muslim Public Affairs Council. When she isn't searching for good books to write about for Aslan Media, she can be found practicing yoga or dancing along to Bollywood music videos.
SAFA, Arts, Culture, Music and Film Editor
Safa Samiezade'-Yazd is a writer whose expertise falls into two categories: contemporary art/performance and the Middle East. Together, the two give her a unique perspective on the depth of a region that is usually overshadowed by its politics. Her three one-woman shows explored Iranian identity- one through the veil, the second through Khomeini, and the third through the Islamic practice of temporary marriage. All three have been performed in Colorado, Vermont, and New York City, and one was presented at the Women Playwrights International Conference at the University of Mumbai. Most recently, she co-curated the first festival of Iranian theater to be presented in the United States, which earned recognition in Backstage Magazine, The New York Times Arts Section, NPR's All Things Considered, WNYC, BBC Radio, Frontline's Tehran Bureau, and Voice of America's Persian News Network, which re-aired her interview as a “Best of VOA" segment. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Denver and a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College.
DINA, News Team Leader
Dina Yazdani is an International Affairs major at Lewis & Clark College, and previously Occidental College. She is currently the President of the Muslim Students Association at her college, and formerly the President of OneVoice to End the Israeli & Palestinian conflict at Occidental. Growing up in a post 9/11 America, in high-school she felt compelled to help educate her classmates on misconceptions of Islam and the Middle-East, and continues to do so in college. Dina aspires to be a scholar on Middle-Eastern politics, and a journalist based out of the region. She is learning both Arabic and Persian, and holds a passion for promoting a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine, and a more free Iran. She was raised by a Sunni Malaysian mother, and a Shiite Iranian father in Portland, Oregon, and faces a daily identity crisis.
ZANE, News & Podcast Team Member
Zane is currently a Junior at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She is studying Sociology and American Studies with a focus on Arab American communities. Before joining the Aslan Media newsteam, she interned in the Outreach and Education Departments at the American Antiquarian Society. As a Palestinian American, she is most interested in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and has worked on campaigns related to it.
MIKE, News Team Member
Mike is a recent graduate of St. Martin’s University in Lacey Washington. There he studied history, international relations, and politics while developing his interest in the wider MENA region. Before joining the Aslan Media news team he interned with TransAfrica in DC and has spent his time teaching ESL to migrant communities in the Portland area. He is learning Arabic and Biblical Hebrew and plans to continue his studies of Middle East History in hopes of someday teaching.