Jackie Spinner is an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago. She was a staff writer for The Washington Post for 14 years and covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2017, Spinner was the recipient of a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and spent three months in Morocco reporting for The Washington Post and Christian Science Monitor. She lives in Chicago with her Moroccan-born sons.
Rajae Bouardi is a Moroccan filmmaker who graduated from The Higher Institute of Audiovisual and Cinema in 2017. She worked as an associate producer with the Sahara Lab and directed and shot the short documentary "ABC’s." Bouardi is the first Moroccan recipient of the Docnomads scholarship for documentary filmmaking and will pursue her graduate degree in 2018. She lives in Rabat, Morocco.
Manal El Yakhloufi is a Moroccan filmmaker and producer. She graduated from The Higher Institute of Audiovisual and Cinema Professions in 2017. She is a mentor and a production manager at the Sahara Lab and will begin her master's degree in film in France in 2018. Her film credits include two documentaries, "Sahara Melody" and "Echoes." She is currently working in pre-production as a production manager in a feature film directed by Moroccan filmmaker Hakim Belabbes. She lives in Rabat, Morocco.
Erin Turney is a filmmaker based in Chicago. Her work is devoted to showcasing communities through the perspective of the people within those communities. This, she believes, is how her art can help viewers understand a lifestyle and culture different from their own. Turney has traveled across the country and the world making ethnographic documentaries, including Haiti, Uganda and Morocco. She is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and participated in the Sahara Lab.
Ismail Chatar is studying audio/visual in Rabat, Morocco. He works as a capoeira trainer and also teaches percussion with Matissa Maroc. He has been performing capoeira since he was 8. He's passionate about capoeira, percussion and photography.
Mehdi El Kadoussi is a high school student in Meknes,
Morocco, where he studies economics. He likes playing guitar and film making. After graduation he is planning a career in business management and filmography.
Malak Nahass is a professional sound engineer. She manages sound consoles and sound tables (both digital and analog) for live performance and works in post production for cleaning and mixing sound. She lives in Rabat, Morocco.
Aziz Errafiy is a student in the College of Business and Economy in Meknes, Morocco, and expects to graduate in 2018 and was accepted at the International University of Rabat for his master's studies. An orphan, Errafiy has lived at the Rita Zniber Foundation since he was an infant.
Shwe Aung is a Burmese filmmaker who is currently studying film and motion graphics at Columbia College Chicago. He wants to return to Burma with additional skills that will help improve the filmmaking industry in his home country. In his free time he loves to play games, ukulele and perform a little bit of card magic.
Mohamed Rahmo runs a Moroccan non profit called madNess, which encourages social impact through creativity. He owns a communication firm that specializes in impact and social media strategies for non profits and institutions. He is active in open source and open data projects. He lives in Casablanca, Morocco.
Adam Benzinane is a Moroccan-American high school student living near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has studied Arabic for five years and is a member of the Arabic Honor Society. He also enjoys studying history, politics and video production.
Fatima Ezzahra Rahmo is a Moroccan artist living in Chicago. She has a double BA in Economics and Management from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France, and Hassan II University, Morocco. She worked previously as a multi-lingual social media and digital marketing professional as well as a data analyst.