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A former journalist, she created the course, “Muslims and the Media,” which is being taught for the first time in Fall 2011 to student journalists.
Her journal articles, book chapters and conference presentations focused on the intersection of participatory media or international news and the Middle East and Muslims. It ncludes studies of blogs that covered Iraq (written by Iraqis as well as so-called warblogs written by Westerners); “Electronic Iraq,” an online news portal which functioned as an alternative news service; Turkish and US news media coverage of the Kurds; participatory media representations on Flickr of Thailand’s Muslim minority; the new political language for Egyptians evidenced in Asmaa Mahfouz’s vlogs disseminated on YouTube during the Revolution; and Queen Rania of Jordan’s use of social media. She is currently completing a book for IdeaPress, an Open Society initiative, on Citizen Journalism.
Among her creative works, her photograph of the Sayyida Ruqayya Mosque in Damascus is part of the media station for the new permanent exhibition, “The World of Islam” at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin, Germany. Another photograph from the Souq Saroujah neighborhood also in Damascus has been selected to illustrate an Arabic language textbook. Through a collaborative project with KPFK, the Los Angeles Pacifica outlet, she produced the radio piece, “New Views of Iran & Iranian women.” She will be a Fulbright Scholar in Lebanon in spring 2012. For more about her, visit melissawall.wordpress.com, or on Twitter: @MelissaWall