The War Around Us

Ayman Headshot

Ayman Mohyeldin

Cast, Producer, Executive Producer

 

Ayman Mohyeldin is a Foreign Correspondent for NBC News based in Cairo. Since joining NBC News, Ayman has reported on the Arab world from Egypt, Libya, Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. Inside Syria, Ayman traveled across the country reporting exclusively on the Syrian war with both opposition rebels and government officials. Prior to joining NBC, Ayman was a correspondent for Al Jazeera English for whom he anchored the field coverage of the Arab uprisings traveling to the frontlines of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

From May 2008 until May 2010, Ayman was the only foreign broadcast journalist based in the Gaza Strip. During the 2008/2009 War on Gaza, he was the only American journalist reporting live from Gaza.

In 2007, Ayman's exclusive report during Egypt's referendum on constitutional amendments exposed serious voting irregularities and violations. Ayman was also among the first journalists to report on Gaza's intricate system of tunnels along its border with Egypt.

From 2003-2006, he was based in Baghdad where he covered the immediate aftermath of the US-led invasion of Iraq. While there, he reported on the daily struggle of ordinary Iraqis and embedded with the US military to cover the Iraqi insurgency. Ayman was among the few international journalists allowed to observe and report on the US handover of Saddam Hussein to an Iraqi judge.

In 2011, Time Magazine named Ayman one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. For his reporting, Ayman has won a Peabody Award, the UK’s Cutting Edge Media Award and Argentina’s prestigious Perfil International Press Freedom Award. He has received multiple Emmy nominations throughout his career. Ayman was born in Cairo, Egypt but grew up in between the US and the Middle East.

 

Sherine Headshot

Sherine Tadros

Cast

 

Sherine Tadros is an award-winning journalist, currently based in Doha as a News Presenter and correspondent. She has a First Class Masters degree in Middle East Politics from SOAS, University in London and spent a year teaching undergraduate Politics there. Sherine is of Egyptian descent and grew up in London.

She began her career working in Europe then moved to the Middle East in 2006 when she joined Al Jazeera English. She covered the upheaval in Lebanon, based in Beirut in 2007. Sherine was one of only two foreign journalists inside Gaza during the Israeli war on the Strip in 2008/9 - her work earned her several award nominations, including an Emmy. In 2011, after being based in Jerusalem for two years, she reported on the Arab uprisings in Egypt, Yemen and Libya - and later accepted the Peabody Award on behalf of the channel for the coverage.

Until 2013 Sherine was Al Jazeera's Cairo Correspondent before taking up a New Presenter position in Doha. Sherine still regularly reports from the field and covered the 2013 coup in Egypt, which toppled the President.

 

Abdallah Headshot

Abdallah Omeish

Director, Producer, Executive Producer

 

Abdallah Omeish is an award-winning filmmaker and director with an established international audience. Most Recently, Omeish collaborated with) with Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Executive Producer Michael Mann, to direct the HBO war documentary, Witness: Libya.

In 2011 Omeish won the prestigious Rory Peck award in England for his film LIBYA THROUGH THE FIRE on the Libyan Revolution that aired on the Aljazeera.  Omeish’s debut documentary film OCCUPATION 101, examines the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, won 9 awards and received the Golden Palm at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.

Omeish followed up on the critical and commercial success of that film with his recent documentary “THE WAR AROUND US”, with Ayman Mohyeldin (2011 TIME’S 100 Most influential people in the world) which tells the story of the only two Western journalists who covered the 2008-2009 Israeli “operation cast lead” from inside Gaza. In 2012 the film received 2 awards for best Feature Documentary and for best feature for “International Human Rights”.

Omeish’s began his cinema work for a humanitarian relief agency, where he filmed the tragic effects of war, famine and natural disasters in Kosovo, Ethiopia, Chechnya, and Turkey. After moving to Hollywood Omeish started out in the music industry where he worked as a cinematographer for hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons’ ONE WORLD SHOW, filming artists such as Mos Def, LL Cool J, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and many others. Omeish also worked on other high-profile projects such as Showtime’s SLEEPER CELL, the MSNBC documentary ISLAM IN AMERICA: FAITH UNDER FIRE, and John Singleton's film BABY BOY.

 

Laith Headshot

Laith Al-Majali

Editor

 

Laith is first and foremost a visual storyteller. He is the producer and editor of the 2008 Sundance Audience Award winning film Captian Abu Raed.

Born and raised in Amman, Jordan, Majali graduated in 2005 with a communications degree from Elon University in North Carolina. He was also the first recipient of the King Hussein scholarship. Majali then moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a creative director for Kidz Online, an educational production company. Laith recently edited Voice of the Valley a documentary about two Jordanian female radio hosts and their efforts to bring change to the Jordan Valley.

Since returning to Jordan, Majali has also become a driving force within the Arab world's emerging photographic movement having recently photographed for his Majesty King Abdallah II of Jordan. Laith's photography has been published in numerous international and regional magazines (Burn, Frank 151, Gulf Life, Nox, Jo, Skin) and has been exhibited in Jordan, England, Italy and Egypt.

These days Majali and his production company, Immortal Entertainment, are involved in a number of film and photography projects. Immortal's work focuses on bringing an urban and social understanding to film, photography and music in the Middle East. Over the past three years, Majali has been photographing the rise of pan-Arab hip-hop for an upcoming book release. His journey through the world of Arab hip-hop has led him to travel the world documenting this growing cultural movement.

 

AUSTIN WINTORY

Music

 

Austin Wintory began his obsession with composing back when he was ten years old, when he discovered Jerry Goldsmith’s scores to Patton and A Patch of Blue. After a busy high school career composing for the student orchestras, Austin went on to study at NYU and USC with composers Morten Lauridsen, Charles Fussell, and Erica Muhl. Never satisfied with working in a single medium, Austin has worked in the concert world, film music, video games, and miscellaneous others.

In March 2012, the PlayStation3 game Journey was released, after three years of work. The game instantly became Sony’s fastest-selling PlayStation title, and the soundtrack album debuted on the Billboard charts higher than any original score in gaming history. In December 2012, more history was made when it was announced that Journey had become the first-ever Grammy-nominated videogame score. The score subsequently won an Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences D.I.C.E. award, two British Academy Awards, a Spike TV VGA, and IGN’s “Overall Music of the Year,” along with six G.A.N.G. nominations and host of others. The score features the Macedonia Radio Symphonic Orchestra and a lineup of top soloists (Audio excerpts available here). Orchestral excerpts, and the stand alone mini-concerto “Woven Variations” are currently scheduled for concert performance all over the world.

Austin’s previous PlayStation3 game, flOw, made him the youngest composer to ever receive a British Academy Award nomination, and also won him a wide variety of other game industry accolades including the Game Audio Network Guild’s “Rookie of the Year.” This music, originally entirely electronic and deeply interactive, was re-concieved as an orchestral work which has seen several performances including at the Smithsonian Museum as a part of their “Art of Games” exhibit which opened in spring 2012. flOw is also currently on display at Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art.

Outside of games, Austin is also very busy working in films and composing / conducting for the concert stage. The Boulder Symphony named Austin their Composer in Residence in 2011, first premiering the award-winning orchestral/choral work “Gray Rain.”

Austin has also scored over 40 feature films, and his first major film score, for the Sundance Film Festival-winning film Captain Abu Raed, was shortlisted for the 2009 Academy Awards for Best Original Score. Shortly afterward, the Hollywood Reporter named Austin “One of 15 Composers Primed to Join the A-List.” His next major film, Grace, was also a hit at the Sundance Film Festival. Austin’s score (which featured a wild array of custom-recorded sounds such as babies crying and horse flies, in addition to a large ensemble of clarinets at London’s famed Abbey Road Studios), was also highly lauded, earning a notorious Fangoria Chainsaw Award nomination and being cited by “Visions in Sound” (a popular film scoring radio program) as among the Top 10 Scores for 2010.

Passionate about education, Austin is a regular public speaker at schools and events around the world, in addition to pre-concert talks and workshops. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the non-profit Education Through Music – Los Angeles (www.etmla.org).

PRO affiliation: ASCAP
Education Through Music – Los Angeles: Homepage

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