Our Staff

Jihane Abou Chabke

Jihane Abou Chabke is Communications Associate for the Alexandria Trust. Her responsibilities include translation, editing and management of the Trust's website and social media platforms. She has worked for a Middle East focused news website as Assigning Editor, and for the Northern Virginia Area Health Education Center (NV AHEC) as Communications and Special Projects Manager. Jihane holds a master’s degree in journalism from the American University in Washington, DC, and a bachelor’s degree in translation and living languages from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) in Lebanon. She lives with her family in Alexandria, Virginia.

Shady Arafa

Shady Arafa is Operations Manager of the Alexandria Trust. From 2002 to 2011, Shady was Special Aide to the Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), Dr Ismail Serageldin, with whom he worked from the opening of the institution through its development as a major Egyptian and international facility. In 2008, he left the BA for one year to acquire some exposure to professional private sector PR work in the Gulf, but returned to the BA to work with its Director for another stretch of three years. He subsequently came to London as a Chevening scholar to earn a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Westminster, completed in September 2012. Shady is a UK resident and lives in London.

Rasha Faek

Rasha Faek is Managing Editor of Al-Fanar Media. Prior to joining Al-Fanar Media, Rasha was a business reporter at Syria Today magazine. Her professional experience includes freelancing as a journalist from 2006 to 2008 and serving as managing editor for a Syrian real estate news site from 2009 and 2011. Rasha was also communications officer at the Syrian Enterprise and Business Centre, where she liaised with media and public affairs representatives, researched issues of relevance to the developing business sector in Syria, and provided reports on topical issues as well as content website management. Rasha holds three bachelor’s degrees in: English Literature from Damascus University, Dramatic Arts from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus, and Journalism from Damascus Open University. She participated in a number of trainings, some of which were hosted by Thomson Reuters Foundation, the BBC and the United Nations University-International Leadership Institute.

Edward Fox

Edward Fox is a journalist and author. He has worked as a daily newspaper reporter and as a magazine writer in the United States and the United Kingdom. His books include Palestine Twilight: The Archaeology of the Holy Land and the Murder of Dr. Albert Glock. He has a degree in English from the University of Cambridge, a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures from Columbia University and a diploma in Arabic from SOAS, University of London. He has worked for Saudi Aramco in Dhahran and is an associate lecturer in creative writing at the Open University.

Benjamin Plackett

Benjamin Plackett is Senior Writer at Al-Fanar Media. Previously, Benjamin was the editor of an online technology news magazine, The Connectivist. As editor, Benjamin executed an editorial strategy, which grew readership, established a name within the tech world and ensured quality was maintained. His work has been published by Wired Magazine, CNN Health and Scientific American. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from New York University with an advanced certificate in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Imperial College, London.

David L. Wheeler

David L. Wheeler is Editor of the Alexandria Trust and leads its journalism project, Al-Fanar Media, which serves those who work in Arab higher education or who have a stake in it. For more than 25 years, he has worked at the Chronicle of Higher Education, as a science writer, International Editor, and Managing Editor, and has written on topics ranging from quantum physics to poetry. He has led the Chronicle’s push to serve readers outside the US and organized and moderated events and panels at higher-education conferences around the world. He has written for a variety of other publications such as Boston Globe and Washington Post and won awards from the New England Press Association and the Education Writers’ Association. David has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and was awarded a Vannevar Bush Fellowship in science journalism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).