My Research

All media work us over completely. They re so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered.

McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage (1967)

Following on McLuhan’s argument, I wonder if “print technology created the public [and] electronic technology created the mass” (1967: 68), then what is the digital turning the human being into?

As Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster (UoW), I address how visual media are socially “reshaping and restructuring” technologies and communication.

I do so by analytically assessing the quality of digital storytelling and critically producing stories that move and make an impact.

As Director for the Digital and Interactive Storytelling LAB, I am specifically focused on innovating visual storytelling research and hands-on practice on digital platforms.

What is Visual Storytelling?  Interview at the UN / ILO HQ
© 2018 – International Labour Organization.

Since 2008, I have been working on the above issues through my framework of The Image As Storytelling (TIAS) to fully integrate theory with visual practice.  I continued to do so through my 2014 practice-led PhD on cross-cultural communication at the University of Exeter (UK), my 2015’s University of Durham (UK)-funded Post-Doc on interactive storytelling, and through much of my current research.

In 2016, I joined Westminster and I have since been writing and delivering a wide range of academic modules on Digital Creativity, Visual Literacy and Interactive Storytelling, with a devoted attention to developing processes in the analysis and production of visual storytelling.

In 2018 I pitched my developing App, The Meta-Image, at a BBC public event.

Two months later, I was awarded 500,000 as co-P.I. on a research project on Computational Journalism from the Quintin Hogg Trust.

A clip from my public presentation on the Meta-Image at the BBC Arabic Festival, April, 2018 – © BBC.

The Meta-Image awarded mobile App is the latest result of my comprehensive commitment to

[1] assess the computational basis of image production and circulation,

[2] produce experimental and innovative curating formats, and

[3] engage the multi-cultural and globally shifting media scenarios.

As I detail in the downloadable research framework, the QHT Award made economically feasible to freely offer the Meta-Image as open-source, to strategically maximize social impact with identified partners and committed stakeholders from the second and third sector.

I continuously track the intertwining of visual theory with digital practice through my peer-reviewed publications.  These include, alongside the accepted monograph Aesthetics As Storytelling, the 2017 article on The Meta-Image and the 2019 one on the use of Visual Storytelling for Digital Diplomacy.

Over the years, I have been analysing how contemporary visual imageries are created, disseminated and eventually ‘validated.’ I have been producing a few of those images myself as a visual journalist and multimedia producer whilst working from Morocco to China and most of the places in between.

As a media practitioner, I worked for an Iraqi-based NGO, the Guardian, the Iranian State Radio and a wide array of other outlets (Linkedin Profile).

Increasingly this led me to profoundly question, reflect on and recalibrate what I had learned during my stay in academia.

I am currently reviewing and editing my monograph on Aesthetics As Storytelling, for Intellect, with the aim of publishing it by 2021.

I have established professional collaborations with second and third sector institutions, including the UN Agencies of the ILO, UNESCO and IOM, for which I produce open-ended visual documentary for interactive projects and immersive storytelling, as well as research and training on visual media.

My presentation at the ILO HQ in Geneva (Switzerland) in January 2018.

Upon my multicultural-informed background and linguistic expertise, I have been revising my long-established commitment to issues of social justice (2018 – ILO HQ workshop; BBC Arabic; T.wai Institute) with gender equality mainstreaming as per my teaching at the ILO (2017 – Gender Academy; 2018 – Media Strategies for Gender Equality). 

IBetween June 2019 and January 2020, I delivered a series of intensive, fully tailored trainings on visual media and strategic digital communication for the Kosovo Government

As a creative practitioner, I have been disseminating my photography across a wide range of channels, including art galleries, private collections and magazines. 

In 2017 I presented a personal retrospective of 20 years as a photojournalist in the Muslim world for the UN in New York.

An image from my exhibition “Behind a Lens, In front an Hawza,” which started with a generous support from the British Academy to then develop into the case study of my PhD at the University of Exeter (UK)… and much more

What is

The mobile App – The Meta-Image

What did you

My Portfolio

Services do you offer?

Consulting and Training Activities