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Anwar Akhtar, Director Anwar was born in Manchester, to Pakistani parents and spent his junior years working on his dad’s market stalls selling jumpers and T shirts. He was Chief Executive of the Cultural Industries Development Agency (CIDA) and spent three years as Director of Rich Mix, an arts and cultural centre in East London and ten years working as a DJ and Club promoter in Sheffield. He graduated in social studies at Sheffield Hallam University and was a fellow on the Clore leadership programme in 2004. He came up with the idea of The Samosa with John Pandit at a party in Hoxton.



Nayha Kalia, Associate Editor studied journalism at the University of Sheffield after being awarded a bursary by the Scott Trust. She has written news, features and travel articles for student, regional and national media including the Guardian and Times of India. She has also worked on documentaries about religion, international corruption and development with two award winning production companies; Crescent Films and Guardian Films.


Alex Holland, Contributing Editor is a freelance writer, editor and community activist. Previously Alex worked as Features Writer and Copy Editor for the Hindustan Times in Delhi, India, the first foreign journalist to work under contract for the paper. From 2005 to 2006 he was Associate Editor for, English language news website, based in Venezuela. In the UK Alex has worked for the BBC, Time Out, The Journalist and numerous other publications as a freelancer. He was born and raised in Brixton, South London, where he has lived most of his life. He was elected as a Labour Councillor for Brixton Hill in May 2010.

  John Newbigin, patron John works as a freelance journalist, and a strategic consultant for the cultural industries. Previously Channel 4 Television Head of Corporate Relations and special adviser to Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Chris Smith MP. Previous jobs included working as an executive for David Puttnam’s film company Enigma (1992-97), Policy Adviser to Neil Kinnock, then leader of the Labour party (1986-92), journalist and youth worker.
  Saima Mir, contributor is an award-winning multi-media journalist. She has worked for the BBC, The Guardian and Bradford's Telegraph & Argus. Saima grew up in Bradford and went to school in the heart of Manningham. She has worked on many national stories and is one of the few journalists to have interviewed the families of the London Tube bombers. She is a recipient of the Commonwealth Broadcast Association's World View Award and will be reporting from Pakistan over the coming months.
  John Pandit, contributor AKA Pandit G. Founder member, DJ and beats controller of Asian Dub Foundation and the Asian Dub Foundation sound system. John is also a Trustee of The Rich Mix Cultural Foundation.
  Jane Barnwell, contributor Jane teaches Film & Broadcast Production at London Metropolitan University, and is also a designer for film, television and theatre. In 2004 she published her first book, Production Design: Architects of the screen by Wallflower Press. Since 2006, she has published many articles and interviews for the magazine The Scenographer International Journal of Production & Costume Design. Jane has recently completed the book The Fundamentals of Film Making by AVA publishing.
  Qalandar Bux Memon, contributor was born in North London to Pakistani parents. He spent most of his summers back in his ancestral village in Sindh, Pakistan. He holds a BA in Economics, Politics and History, an MA in Philosophy and an MSc in Comparative Politics. He has studied at the London School of Economics, Birkbeck University and McGill University. While studying he worked in the British Film industry and holds a diploma in Cinematography. Along with the now dissolved Postanalytic group he founded Naked Punch magazine. The magazine is run by a collective of artists, philosophers and poets and takes an interdisciplinary approach to age-old questions of philosophical, social, artistic and political life. Since 2006 he has been the editor of Naked Punch and since 2007 of Bol magazine in Pakistan. To partake in the lawyers' movement he relocated to Lahore, Pakistan in 2007. He lectures in Political Philosophy at Forman Christian College, Lahore, and was active in the lawyers' movement. He works for the Labour Party of Pakistan.
  Secunder Kermani is a multimedia journalist who has worked for the BBC, Channel 4 News, Bloomberg Television and the award-winning independent production company Crescent Films. He has produced a number of major investigative exclusives including uncovering evidence of the rape and torture of political prisoners in Iran following the disputed 2009 elections for Channel 4. He was also formerly the anchor of Islam Channel News.
  Masood Hasan has a Masters in English Literature and a 40 year career spanning media, communications and writing. He heads one of Pakistan’s top flight ad agencies Publicis. He has published a book of his columns and is also the host of a weekly jazz show Allthatjazz on a nationwide fm radio network. He is married to Dr. Ira Hasan, one of Pakistan’s celebrated Shakespearean scholars who currently heads the Language & Literature Department at BNU, Pakistan’s first liberal arts university. The Hasans live in Lahore and have two sons.
  Saeed Khalique, patron Saeed is the Managing Director of Alma, a London based, interiors and design house. He is an active philanthropist, supporting welfare and education projects both in Pakistan and the UK.
  Alex Wood is a freelance journalist and co-founder of Not on the Wires, a group of young reporters devoted to making better journalism online. In 2007 he became the first ever non-Japanese reporter for Japanese broadsheet the Sankei Shimbun, where he reported on business and technology. His recent travels have included Argentina and Uzbekistan, speaking and lecturing on mobile and online journalism. He's also advised the British Embassy on online strategy.
  Laurie Penny is a journalist, blogger and feminist activist from London. She is staff writer at One In Four magazine, blogs for LabourList and at Liberal Conspiracy, and was a parliamentary researcher for the Labour party. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Times and the Independent on Sunday as well as several national magazines. Likes include: boots, books, comics, tea, socialist feminism, goth clubs. Dislikes include: bigotry, intolerance, green peppers and Cheryl Cole.

Rima Saini, contributor has a degree in International Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies. Rima has a strong academic background in subaltern studies and the issues relating to global minorities and marginalised groups. As a postgraduate student studying political science, she inculcated a keen interest in feminist critiques of contemporary political theory that eventually formed the basis of her dissertation. She is currently working as a researcher in communications and had a stint writing for the independent fact-checking organisation Full Fact after some time spent travelling around North India, which is undoubtedly, in her opinion, one of the most beautiful locations on earth.

  Mashall Khattak, contributor is a Pakistani born, politically conservative writer and playwright, currently studying History at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies). Interests include Politics, South Asian & Middle Eastern affairs, Human Rights and English and Persian Literature. Favorite read is The Fountain Head by Ayn Rand.
  Zehra Naqvi, contributor is an artist, writer and aspiring filmmaker currently studying Fine Art and History of Art at Goldsmiths college, who loves wandering around the city taking photos, discovering art galleries, underground theaters, and other intriguing spaces. Interests include politics, reading (everything from Maurice Sendak to Foucault), film festivals and food.
Randeep Purewall, contributor is a barrister currently based in Vancouver, Canada. Born in the United Kingdom, he pursued his post-secondary education in Political Science and Law in Canada and completed his masters degree in Asian Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. His areas of interest include the politics of India and Pakistan, in particular the politics of language.

Paaras Abbas, contributor is a London-based writer, artist and photographer. She is an aspiring journalist and is currently studying Social Anthropology at SOAS. Her interests include South Asian and Middle Eastern politics, black and white photos, current affairs, modern art, Harold Pinter, comics and stepping on crunchy leaves.


Usman Zafar, contributor is a Current Affairs Producer for Express Television Pakistan. He is currently completing his Masters in Political Sociology from the School of Oriental and African Studies.


Christina Rebel, contributor has a strong background in International Political Economy, having graduated with a BA in Politics and International Relations and an MA in Social and Global Justice. She is passionate about women empowerment, local agency and environmental sustainability. She has worked in New Delhi for Asia Floor Wage, a garment worker movement spanning several Asian countries for a decent living wage and the right to association.  In her opinion, if she were to lead a life of campaigning and writing to promote justice and empathy, it would be a fulfilled one. You can follow Christina on twitter @chrmoment.

  Abhirup Bhunia, contributor is a member of the editorial board at a globally awarded youth news website based in New Delhi and has to his credit bylines at esteemed publications like United Press International (, The Statesman and among others. He was awarded with a scholarship by Center for International Media Ethics in 2010.
  Emanuelle Degli Esposti, contributor is a freelance journalist who has worked for The Economist, The New Statesman and The Telegraph, among others. Her background is in Political Theory and Languages, with an emphasis on the Middle East, and she has recently assumed the role of MENA Editor for online journalism project, Not on the Wires. Born in Italy, raised in Australia and settled in England, her recent travels have included Syria, Morocco, Russia and India.

Faisal Hanif is a researcher at Datamonitor in Manchester, after graduating with a MA in history from the University of London. He writes his own blog.