About > Team
Meedan Core Team
Chief Executive Officer: Ed Bice
Director of Engineering: Karim Ratib
Director of Design: Chris Blow
Senior Program Manager: Dina el Hawary
Research and Communications Manager: Tom Trewinnard
Usability and Data Manager: Anas Qtiesh
Quality Assurance Engineer: Noha Daoud
Senior Engineer: James Andres
Senior Designer: Maya Zankoul
Software Engineer: Caio Almeida
Software Engineer: Mohamad El Sawy
Software Engineer: Zainab Balogun
Systems Administrator: Ahmed Mekkawy (Spirula Systems)
Systems and Performance Engineering: Pepe Amengual
Translatedesk Product Owner: An Xiao Mina
Media Services Associate: Andrew Ver Steegh
Human Computer Translation Interaction Researcher: Spence Green
Open and Remote Projects Engineer: Aaron Huslage
Development Consultant: George Weyman
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Meedan Core Team
@edbice | ebice [at] meedan [dot] net
Ed is Meedan’s founding CEO. A co-chair of the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership (UPP) and the Middle East Strategy Group, Ed has represented Meedan at enough global conferences to have tapped out his phones contact list capacity. He fervently believes that the diversity and openness of the internet is the key indicator of human progress. While he resists the label, having helped to guide Meedan’s successful transition to a technology design and development consultancy, Ed is sometimes tagged as a social entrepreneur. Joi Ito included Ed in his 2008 book Freesouls, portraits of 296 people working to build the open web. Ed holds a US patent on hybrid human and machine translation and has been published in national press including the NY Times, New Republic, and Mother Jones, and has been interviewed on national and international radio news programs like NPR, BBC, and CBS. He attended Carleton College where he received a B.A. in philosophy. When he is not editing staff bios and sending emails, Ed folds laundry and cooks with garlic in Woodacre, California.
@infojunkie71 | kratib [at] meedan [dot] net
Karim is Director of Engineering at Meedan. Currently living in Vancouver, Canada, Karim was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt to a French/Egyptian family. He considers himself a world citizen and wishes he could burn his multiple passports and roam the Earth without being stopped at borders. Not quite yet!
Karim first encountered computers with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum+ and never looked back. He discovered the world of open source while studying for his Master’s degree at Université de Montréal. Back in Egypt, he co-founded one of the first local open source-based software companies that he named OpenCraft. Making tons of geeky friends and being introduced to Drupal were well worth the trouble.
A self-described infojunkie, Karim is interested in most fields of knowledge and often ventures into wild speculation. His other passion is music, and he harbors a secret regret of not pursuing a musician’s career.
@unthinkingly |cblow [at] meedan [dot] net
Chris Blow is Director of Design at Meedan. As a technologist and critic, Chris encourages iterative, small-scale changes in web development projects, a message he bases closely on first-hand lessons learned from the Open Source movement and experience mapping crises. In his work with new forms of digital humanitarianism, Chris sees both latent dangers and an unrealized opportunity for civic participation. Chris has advised numerous projects addressing contemporary crises including linguistic segregation, religious conflict, homelessness, city planning, election monitoring, urban violence, racism, and food security. He frequently partners with the Kenya-based crowdsourcing pioneer Ushahidi. With the support of Meedan Chris forwarded the initial ideation, community building, and design of the Omidyar funded data sorting and markup project SwiftRiver. He is a consultant and speaker to leading research universities, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and the Interaction Design Association. He is also a member of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, and an organizer with the CrisisCommons network. His colleagues believe that Chris’ study of jazz percussion accounts for the musicality that comes from his keypad through coding and design.
@Tom_El_Rumi | telrumi [at] meedan [dot] net
Tom is the Research and Communications Manager at Meedan. Tom recently returned to the UK after having lived and worked in Cairo since June 2009. He moved to Egypt after graduating from the University of Manchester in Middle Eastern and Modern European languages, specializing in Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese.
Tom was formerly a Content Producer for Meedan’s media sharing platform, before taking up his current role in July 2010. He has previously worked as Senior Editor for the Arab-West Report, producer at KIT Digital, and as a copy editor for various English-language publications in Egypt.
New media junkie, social translation enthusiast, Arabic addict, coffee fiend, bookworm. Online you may find him masquerading under online pseudonym Tom El Rumi, which refers to the aubergine and not the poet.
@anasqtiesh | aqtiesh [at] meedan [dot] net
Anas Qtiesh is Usability and Data Manager at Meedan. Anas is well known online as a Syrian blogger, translator, and tech enthusiast. Interested in citizen journalism and digital activism in the Middle East and North Africa, he is a human rights and anti-censorship activist and a currently based in San Francisco. In his spare time, Anas works as a freelance translator and a research assistant at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He is also a Google Map Maker Advocate, Global Voices Online contributor, and a tech enthusiast that writes for Ardroid.com, an Arabic tech blog focused on everything Android.
@NohaDaoud | ndaoud [at] meedan [dot] net
Noha Daoud is a Quality Assurrance Engineer and Project Manager at Meedan. What this means is that Noha decides when the products on the testing servers are ready to deploy to production. In this regard, she is the real boss at Meedan. (Ed is writing this bio Knowing that a good tester can break any software, Noha attempts to replicate the real world, and test the systems through real world use cases. Noha lives in Cairo and since she was an undergraduate engineering student at Cairo University, Noha set her sights on becoming a software testing engineer. Noha is yet another Meedani with OpenCraft connection – she worked there from 2008 and has more recently contributed to enterprise software development projects in Cairo.
Noha holds a BSc in Information Systems with a minor in Decision Support from Cairo university.
James holds a BSc in Computer Science from Trinity Western University near his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.
@caiosba | calmeida [at] meedan [dot] net
Caio Almeida works as a front-end engineer at Meedan. Caio was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, where he currently lives. He first met open source and the free (as in freedom) software world in 2005, before entering the University, and fell in love with it. He has a Computer Science Bachelor’s Degree at Federal University of Bahia, and now is studying for a Computer Science Master’s degree also at Federal University of Bahia.
@anxiaostudio | axmina (at) meedan (dot) net
An Xiao Mina (www.anxiaostudio.com) is an American artist, designer, writer and technologist. In her research and practice, she explores the role of networked, creative communities in civic life.
With only about a third of the world’s population now online, all of us speaking different languages and living within different cultural contexts, we still have much work to do in building a truly global community. It’s people, with the help of machines, who start the important process of bridging linguistic, cultural and geographic divides.
A proponent of open source technologies and the Creative Commons, An has led or co-led a number of open projects, including Bot Cache, a web site cataloging and analyzing Twitter chat bots; and Bird’s Nest, a Chinese-English Twitter translation site. Releasing the majority of her design projects under open licenses, she has a passion for deeply understanding and shaping creative culture globally, and she believes the internet is a good place to start. Find her online at @anxiaostudio on both Twitter and Sina Weibo.
Spence Green is a PhD candidate in Computer Science at Stanford University. He is a member of the Natural Language Processing group, where he focuses on computational approaches to language translation and syntactic analysis. He holds an M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford, and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Spence’s paper, The Efﬁcacy of Human Post-Editing for Language Translation, co-authored with Jeffrey Heer and Christopher D. Manning won the Best Paper award at the ACM Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), 2013. http://vis.stanford.edu/papers/post-editing
@huslage ahuslage (at) meedan (dot) net
Aaron leads the Mapping Mangroves project at Meedan – in this role he is helping Qatar Foundation Intl and their partners implement citizen science, open hardware, and student/scientist collaborations to collect data and build awareness around Mangrove habitats and their role in carbon sequestration in Qatar, Brazil, and Central America. Aaron is a co-founder of Tethr which makes it easy for people and organizations to be reconnected with one another during crisis situations.
He is also a founding partner of Carbon Imagineering, a UK-based technology think tank incubating a number of technology startups. In 2011 he was a co-founder of Safecast which provides crowdsourced radiation monitoring data to Japan. Aaron serves on the board of advisors of Geeks Without Bounds.
Previously, Aaron was a System Administrator and System Architect for major corporations such as Microsoft and Major League Baseball. He has also contributed his expertise to various media properties like GigaOm and O’Reilly Media. Aaron was formerly on the organizing committee for O’Reilly Media’s ETel conference. In 2011, he helped shape Contact, a conference that seeks to explore the greater promise of social media.
Ahmed Mekkawy is Meedan’s Systems Administrator. Ahmed is the founder of Spirula Systems, a tech start-up based in Alexandria which successfully defended Egyptian opposition websites such as The National Campaign to Support Dr.ElBaradei and the Demands of Change and numerous others from DDoS attacks during the Egyptian revolution. Ahmed Mekkawy is also an admin for the Egyptian GNU/Linux User Group (EGLUG) which serves the Egyptian Free/Open Source Community. Ahmed can be found on Twitter as @linuxawy.
Andrew Ver Steegh
Andrew is a Meedan’s Media Services Associate. Andrew is currently pursuing Middle East and Arabic Studies at the University of Chicago. He has been in and out of Egypt since 2008, most recently as a Fulbright Fellow in Alexandria in 2010-2011. His work at Meedan will be focused on translating Arabic content generated through Meedan’s Checkdesk platform. Andrew holds a B.A. from Macalester College.
@georgeweyman | gweyman [at] meedan [dot] net
George Weyman is a Development Consultant at Meedan. From 2007-2012 George was the Director of Products and Programs at Meedan. During that time George helped guide Meedan’s response to the Arab Revolutions, bringing multi-year support from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), the UK’s Arab Partnerships program and the International Press Institute for Meedan CheckDesk – a citizen journalism project that seeks to build civic reporting capacity around Middle East media partners. Previously George worked with the University of Cambridge and a consortium of research centers to found Nurani, a digital initiative to support inter-religious discussion and scholarship on the web which won a prestigious UK Research Council Digital Economy grant in 2011. He has presented at various conferences and events on translation and social media for social impact, including the Small Media Initiative, the Oxford Internet Institute, Translating and the Computer, and Action Week for Global Information Sharing. He was formerly editor of the e-journal Arab Media & Society at the American University in Cairo and a researcher on Middle East media at the London-based media development nonprofit Panos. He has an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford and has also worked for various news organisations, including the AP, ITN and Kamera. George currently hangs his ‘day hat’ at the British Library.
From the “White House”; Casablanca, Morocco. I first graduated from Hassan II University, where I studied English literature and linguistics (2004) and moved to King Fahd School of Translation to obtain a Master’s degree in Translation (2006). The world of media has always fascinated me, which motivated me to join Alittihad Alichtiraki daily newspaper, after benefiting from periods of trainings in different media institutions. At work, I often find myself combining between my two fields of interest: Translation and journalism.
By joining the Meedan community and family, I have discovered new aspects of citizen journalism, collaborative translation and, most importantly, new people with different cultures and backgrounds, which makes the richesse of Meedan.
Originally from Kafrelsheikh, Egypt, Yaser Hassan M. ElKosair spent his early years living in a small village in his hometown of Desouq, then moved to the city of Kafrelsheikh where he completed his university study of English Language with honors. This provided him the opportunity to teach “English language teaching methodology” to university English language students for five years. He finished his Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Multimedia Education in 2006 and is about to finish his PhD in this field.
More recently, he worked as Instructional Designer of Electronic Courses in the Kafrelsheikh University e-Learning Center. In addition, Yaser is a translation addict who has translated many scientific research and papers, worked for Meedan since the beginning (Feb. 2009), and joined Meedan’s Wikipedia scientific translation program, “Wikiarabi.” Yaser has probably translated more content into Meedan software than any other human being (MT engine does not count!) and so has earned the moniker ‘The Lion of Meedan’
Wesam El Sheikh
Wesam El Sheikh graduated from the journalism division of the Faculty of Mass Communication, Cairo University. Since completing her certification in media and legal translation at the American University in Cairo (AUC), Wesam has worked as a freelance translator in addition to her primary position as a news editor/translator in Egypt’s Middle East News Agency (MENA). Wesam also received training in many prominent Egyptian newspapers.
Nouran Ibrahim lives and works in the Egyptian capital Cairo as a Teacher’s Assistant in the English Department of the Faculty of Al-Alsun (Languages), Ain Shams University. Nouran is studying for an M.A degree in Translation, and loves reading, writing, travelling, painting, photography and meeting new people. She has translated several books and is an avid believer and practitioner of translation and interpretation.
ie is an Egyptian, who majored in English and German in the the Faculty of Al-Alsun (Languages), Ain Shams University. She graduated in 2009 and has worked as an English instructor ever since. Translation is a passion for Amena, who started working in Meedan as an English Translator in mid-2010, but also enjoys working as an Arabic Translator at times. Amena has a unique phobia of cameras and flashes (hence the strange picture), but enjoys taking pictures nonetheless. She is a bookworm who has set a goal of finishing over 100 books before the end of this year. Amena loves the correct pronunciation of her name (آمنة, Aaa-min-a not a-meeen-a).
Graduated with honours from the Faculty of Al Alsun (languages) in Cairo, Egypt. Has worked as a translator/interpreter ever since her graduation. For Rania, translation is not merely a career, but a gateway for cultures, ideas and fields. Translation means leaving no stone unturned searching for communication and meaning. Has worked as a fulltime translator for many international organizations, including Plan International, Gulf Center for Strategic studies, Tetrapak, De Laval, and Fatafeet Channel. Has obtained 3 translation diplomas so far and currently pursuing her MA. She believes translation is one of the most interesting jobs in the world. Likes reading,walking, and cooking. Enjoys some feline traits like eating fish and tuna whenever possible!
Shaimaa Abdelhamid was born in Egypt, where she has lived for 11 non-consecutive years. traveling along with her father on assigned diplomatic missions to several countries. Travelling often exposed her to various cultures, and allowed her to interact with diverse educational and governmental institutions. Shaimaa has a Bachelors degree in Mass Communication from George Mason University (USA). She loves reading, music, travel, and working out.
Ghaydaa Fahim graduated from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, with a major in Economics and a minor in Management and Society. After graduation, Ghaydaa worked for HSBC’s Egypt headquarters for a few months before deciding to switch to a publications/writing/editing/translation career. She worked for a number of local media and public relations agencies as a copy writer and translator and served as an intern in Akhbar Al Youm. She currently works as a senior writer and editor in one of Egypt’s leading universities, and will be pursuing her master’s degree in January of 2012. In her spare time, Ghaydaa does freelance translation work, listens to music and likes to spend time with family and friends.
Originally Indian, Fadhila’s interest in the Middle East began politically with activism for Palestine in her early teens. Then, after meeting some Yemenis visiting the UK, her interest developed into one of cultural and linguistic intrigue. She took a gap year at 18 and travelled to Yemen, residing in a small Arabic speaking boarding school. Fadhila resolved to learn Arabic in order to be able to communicate with people in the Middle East in their native tongue, and thus returned to the UK to begin her studies at the University of Manchester. She spent a year in Alexandria, Egypt, and has travelled extensively across the Middle East as she has a keen interest in the historical sites of the region. Seeking to consolidate her language skills, she went on to study a master’s in translation and interpreting.
News Site Content Producers
Riham is an avid reader whose fields of interest are politics, philosophy, self-help and humanistic psychology. She graduated in 2010 after studying Journalism at the Faculty of Mass Communication, Cairo University. Riham intends to pursue a writing career that would enable her to make sense of the world.
Kate Goodin is a Meedan Content Producer. Born and raised in Berkeley, California, Kate graduated from Brown University in 2008 with a degree in Comparative Literature: Literary Translation, focusing on Latin to English translation. A semester abroad in Cairo inspired Kate to study Arabic and develop skills in Arabic-English translation.
Kate joined Meedan after a year in the American University in Cairo’s Arabic Language Institute as a Fulbright Student. Kate is an Arabic enthusiast, fascinated by language, translations and the ways they intersect with ideas about culture and identity. Also engaged with media, feminism, and dance, Kate swears she will start a bilingual blog one of these days.
2012 Summer Interns