The Team

mouna
MOUNA ZAYLAH is an arts manager and producer with over twenty years experience in the arts and cultural industry. She has been the Co-Director of the Arab Film Festival since 2007. In 2015 she was appointed on the Film and Television Industry Advisory Committee (Screen NSW). She worked at Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) for 17 years managing a diverse range of community arts and cultural development programs, events and screen-based productions. She has worked at Urban Theatre Projects as administrator and project officer (1992-1997), Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in administration, curatorial and project coordinator roles (1997-1999) and a range of other community and youth based organizations as a freelance project coordinator and consultant. Mouna is currently employed at Campbelltown Arts Centre as the Business Coordinator.
Fadia
FADIA ABBOUD is a filmmaker and community worker. She has been the Co-Director of the Arab Film Festival Australia since 2007. Fadia has worked for Information and Cultural Exchange since 2003 as a freelance artist and running training programs with diverse communities. She has been commissioned to create filmic works for theatre and other live performance based productions. Fadia wrote and directed ILUVUBUT a web series which was funded by Screen Australia. She has written and directed a number of films including I REMEMBER 1948 a documentary screened on SBS in 2008 and two short dramas, IN THE LADIES LOUNGE which won awards at Queerscreen and BIG TROUBLE LITTLE FISH screened at Flickerfest. Fadia has recently worked on HERE COME THE HABIBS for Jungle FTV and as a Script Editor with Screentime on an upcoming TV Series.

 
COMMITTEE MEMBERS

paula
DR PAULA ABOOD is a community cultural development practitioner, writer and educator. She has worked with diverse communities in capacity building projects for 28 years. Her community productions include Parenting Stories (2010), Hurriya and her Sisters (2009), The Book of African Australian Stories (2006), Poetry on Rooftops (2006), The Book of the Living (2006) and Bread and Other Stories (2002). Paula was awarded the 2007 Western Sydney Artists’ Fellowship for the blogging project Race and the City and was the 2013 recipient of the Australia Council’s Ros Bower Award for lifetime achievement in community cultural development practice. She has coordinated, developed resources and taught on subjects including cultural diversity, advocacy, community development, human rights approaches in community work, and community cultural development at TAFE and in community education settings. Paula works on creative projects with small and emerging community groups and community organisations across Sydney.
alissar
ALISSAR GAZAL is an activist and an Artist, she has worked in both theatre and film, behind the camera and the curtain as well as in front of the camera and on the boards. Alissar Is a Documentary producer and director She is also a producer who has worked on various educational screen-based resources for local government and health organizations. Alissar is currently working on many ideas for many films, hoping that one day one of them will reach full production, she is also spending a lot of time photographing her dogs. Alissar is also a member of the film advisory panel for the Sydney Film Festival.
firas
FIRAS NAJI is an environmental consultant, community activist and producer of art and cultural events. Firas was on the management boards of the Canterbury-Bankstown Migrant Resource Centre and the Iraqi Australian University Graduates Forum (IAUGF). He is currently the Director for the Iraqi Cultural Festival produced by IAUGF. Some of his latest activities include production of Iraqi Cultural Day/Festival in 2013, 2015, and 2016, production of Mesopotamian Colours, a shot film and live performance about Iraqi culture, participated as guest speaker in Beyond Sectarianism workshop with Sydney University and co-hosted the Long Table as part of Little Baghdad project with Powerhouse Youth Theatre. Firas has been a guest in many TV and radio station programs. He is also is the producer of Canberra Says No and Assistant Director of The Supermarket, short films.
mehal
MEHAL KRAYEM has a PhD in Communications from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Her research interests include popular culture, religion and gender with a heavy focus on Arab representation on Australian screens. Mehal currently works at the International Research Centre for Youth Futures at UTS, where she is continuing her exploration of gender in the field of education. Mehal is also co-founder and co-editor of Sajjeling.com, an online space dedicated to recording Arab Australian narratives. In addition to writing, Mehal teaches at UTS across the Communications and Media Studies streams.
osama
OSAMA ABDUL-NABI is a Palestinian Australian film, literature and music aficionado and is a Test Engineer by profession. He graduated with a double degree in Arts (Japanese) and Photonics Engineering (Honours) from the University of New South Wales. Osama currently works in a research and development firm in Sydney. He spends his spare time learning and playing the oud, guitar and piano and works on an old French car. He has thoroughly enjoyed films by directors such as David Lynch, Alejandro Jodorowski, Eliah Suleiman, Kim Ki-Duk, Wes Anderson, Hayao Miyazaki and is always ready to learn and watch from many more.

 

FESTIVAL TEAM

FESTIVAL CO-DIRECTORS
Mouna Zaylah
Fadia Abboud

ORGANISING COMMITTEE
Osama Abdul-Nabi
Paula Abood
Alissar Gazal
Mehal Krayem
Firas Naji

GRAPHIC DESIGN
Meiying Saw – Raging Yoghurt

WEBSITE DEVELOPER and DESIGN
Jerome Pearce – Just Pixels

PUBLICITY
Cardinal Spin

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS
Julia Mendel

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Ludwig El-Haddad

ADMINISTRATION
Kayur Shrestha
Safia Amadou

ARTWORK PHOTOGRAPHY
Alissar Gazal

FESTIVAL PROMO
Ludwig El-Haddad

HABIBI PROMO
Ludwig El-Haddad | Production
Layla Naji | Caligraphy Artwork
Jerome Pearce | Digital Design