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
Prof. Dr. Justin Thomas

I am a British 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

Prof. 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 am also the founder of 'SoccerPolitik', a blog analysing quirky, obscure and groundbreaking moments in football and politics, that can be found on Instagram and Facebook

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
Adnan Al Balushi
Visual Storyteller

I am an independent Omani photographer who is interested in documenting different cultures around the world. I aim to share the diverse cultures of Oman and the Arabian Gulf Region through my photos. My work took me to India, Turkey, and Indonesia where I documented the daily lives of natives.

Adnan Al Balushi Visual 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
Mariam Alhosani

I am an enthusiastic writer that goes everywhere with a pen and a journal. I believe in the power of a good story and the impact it can have. I aim to write stories that make people feel things and take action. I live between Abu Dhabi and Munich, Germany and take any chance I get to travel somewhere new and explore new adventures.  I have previously written for Sail Magazine, based in the UAE.

Mariam Alhosani Storyteller
Farah El Sherif

I am a 21-year-old Syrian-Egyptian. I would describe myself  as a modest amateur master of all trades. I'm currently doing a degree in Philosophy, Sociology and studying languages.  When I'm not wasting time in traffic between Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, I am laughing, creating things, or being trounced at tennis.

Farah El Sherif Storyteller
Ali Al Ardhi

I am a creative writer from Oman. My interests include drifting, reading about astronomy, sports science and techonology, and playing any sport that doesn't involve golf clubs! You can find more of my writing on my blog

Ali Al Ardhi Storyteller
Rym Ghazal

I am an award winning writer, journalist, peace ambassador, documentarist, lecturer, photographer and former car racer for causes. I have over 15 years of experience in storytelling, from war zones to revolutions to VIP interviews. I was part of the founding team of writers for The National Newspaper and have launched other regional, cultural, and youth projects. I have launched The Hidden Beauty Project, a special monthly gathering dedicated to finding beauty within by empowering women & youth and helping them realise their dreams. I have also published two books, Maskoon  and Spot and the Little Boy. 

Rym Ghazal Storyteller

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