Rasha Elass (2017) is a Syrian-American who has recently returned to the United States after covering the Middle East from inside Syria for over 10 years. Elass covered the uprising-turned-civil war for several media outlets, including Thomson Reuters, LA Times, National Public Radio (NPR), The World (PRI / BBC Radio) and International Business Times (IBT.com), often covering the war from inside the country without a byline for security reasons.
Prior to the Syria war, Elass covered the Iraqi refugee crisis and Arab/Islamic affairs for various media where she covered Islamic Affairs. Her work includes columns and commentary on Islamic ﬁnance and local culture. Elass has also covered the drug wars in South America as a producer for Al Jazeera English in Washington, D.C., before becoming a regular Syria Contributor for Al Jazeera America. She helped produce several independent documentaries including one about Arab / Muslim artists in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
During her stay, Elass will complete a memoir which draws from her schoolgirl diaries as a child growing up in the Arab world, as well as from her reporter’s notebook as a journalist covering the Middle East. She recently launched the Voices Unheard podcast which draws on her experience in the Middle East to bring an English speaking audience stories from the Arab and Muslim worlds.