Meet the team

Manar Alhinai

Sekka has been a dream of mine, and I am so glad I got to achieve it with my sister and best friend. I have been writing for as long as I can remember and have been blessed to contribute to many publications throughout the years such as the UAE's The National, Arabian Business, Entrepreneur, and more. I am an Emirati who loves travelling, exploring, and sharing the great stories that the Gulf Region has to offer. When I am not working on Sekka, I enjoy discovering new destinations, having a good laugh with friends, burying my head in a book, and riding my horses.

Manar Alhinai Storyteller-In-Chief
Jood Al Harthi
Creative Voices Curator

I am a Saudi from Riyadh. If there is one thing that people should know about me, then it is my fascination with the written word. I can be found in the fiction section of bookstores, probably buying more books than I had intended. I aspire to write stories about characters that readers can befriend. I have previously written for Destination KSA Magazine, Bahrain Ink Magazine, and Sayidaty Magazine. 

Jood Al Harthi Creative Voices Curator
Lara Brunt

I am a journalist, content editor, copywriter, and blogger, originally from Australia, and now based in Dubai. I specialise in travel and lifestyle, including the luxury market. I have written for The Telegraph, Conde Nast Traveller, Air Magazine,  Lonely Planet, and CNN Travel, amongst other publications.

Lara Brunt Storyteller
Layan Damanhouri

I am a Saudi journalist from Jeddah, and I cover stories on Saudi society, politics, economy, and culture in the Saudi Gazette. I have lived in Canada, France, and the United States, and I am motivated to deliver meaningful content in the region.

Layan Damanhouri Storyteller
Dr. Justin Thomas

I am a British associate professor of psychology at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed University. I am also a big fan of art, kindness, and gratitude. I am the co-founder of the research cluster for Culture Cognition and Well-Being, and the author of The New Arabia Felix: Psychological Wellbeing in the Gulf States. I am also a great believer in promoting the public understanding of psychological science and spend a lot of energy writing articles for the general reading public. My articles have been published in the UAE's The National Newspaper

Dr. Justin Thomas Storyteller
Alastair McCready

I am a London-based journalist and international relations graduate who regularly combines his love for travel and photography in the globe’s lesser-trodden corners.I have previously written for The World Weekly Magazine

Alastair McCready Storyteller
Darah Ghanem

I'm a 25-year-old Dubai-based culture and travel fiend. All my travel is ethically inspired meaning that any travelling I do is purposeful, leaving a positive impact on the places I visit. My work has been featured in travel and culture publications such as Roam Magazine, Spirited Pursuit, Dame Traveler, as well as in Arabic Hia Magazine

Darah Ghanem Storyteller
Maria Al Hinai

I am an Omani storyteller. After studying the basis of our existence in gaining degrees in genetics, I am now on a journey of self-discovery between the pages of books and through travelling the streets of new cities. Along the way, I am documenting my journey through creative writing. 

Maria Al Hinai Storyteller
Dana Damanhouri

I am a Saudi student at King's College London. I study Digital Culture-a degree you probably never heard of! Being part of the first group to graduate from it, I love to share my knowledge about the current digital transformation of our society, economy and politics as a result of emerging technologies, the Internet and social media. Apart from being the Student Ambassador for Digital Culture, I play the piano, I enjoy reading, writing and kickboxing. I have had my own show on King's College Radio and I also write for The Digital Transformation People. 

Dana Damanhouri Storyteller
Mohammed Al Ahbabi

Creativity and challenges drive me and I adopt a realistic approach in achieving the impossible. I am an Emirati writer seeking opportunities to inspire and motivate others to do what they love and what makes them happy. I am a total believer that no rock should be left unturned.

Mohammed Al Ahbabi Storyteller
Layal Niazy

I am a Saudi, an occasional writer, expert doodler, food lover, swim coach, terrible singer, and mediocre comedian. I am currently pursuing my degree in international relations at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. I mostly write realistic fiction. My work has been published in Jahanamiya Magazine

Layal Niazy Storyteller
Majid Alhinai

A traveler from the day I was born ( literally), I have an innate passion for exploring new and intriguing destinations. Getting to know a country's history, culture and traditions, as well as its people excites me. I share the knowledge that I gain in my travels through my writing and photography. 

Majid Alhinai Storyteller

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