Our team

Our Team & Experts

Roula Mikhael

Roula is the Executive Director of Maharat Foundation, which operates Maharat News, an independent, online, multimedia platform whose model of in-depth journalism on key issues of government accountability amplifies policy news. Its mission is to defend, catalyse, and advance democratic values of freedom of expression, access to information, and respect for human rights.

Maharat Foundation and its news outlet are influencing the regional debate on misinformation, fostering media literacy via platforms and channels by sharing knowledge and best practices with independent media startups, and educating journalists and the public on the importance of a professional, responsible media sector.

Under Mikhael’s leadership, Maharat Foundation contributes in media development in the MENA region through Digital Media Viability Lab, an initiative launched in 2017.

Roula served as the Convenor of IFEX board 2017-2018, a global network to defend and promote freedom of expression.


Layal Bahnam

Layal Bahnam is a program manager at Maharat Foundation. Bahnam is a journalist by profession. She has been working as a reporter, producer and presenter in the Lebanese public broadcast and other satellite TVs. Her educational background is law. Bahnam’s work in Maharat also includes resource production and regular training workshops for young and professional journalists in areas such as inclusive journalism and communication strategies, as well as leading advocacy actions to reform media laws and support internet freedom.

Sandra van Edig

Sandra van Edig has been working as a freelance radio and print journalist for various German-speaking media since 1997. Since 2010 she has been working as a trainer and project manager for the DW Akademie. Her specialty is “conflict-sensitive reporting”. Since May 2016, she has been a country manager for the “Syrian Refugees in Lebanon” program in the Middle East / North Africa team. She has a master’s degree in social anthropology.

Jamal Hanna

Jamal Hanna  Maharat Foundation digitalmediaviability.comJamal Hanna is a project coordinator at Maharat foundation. She has a master degree in School Management and Educational Leadership. She has been working with Maharat on implementing different projects.

Audrey Parmentier

Audrey Parmentier has been working for DW Akademie since 2014, first as a trainer in African countries before she started as project manager for the Middle East and North Africa team in July 2018. Since December 2018 Audrey has been responsible for the project "Reimagining journalism studies in the MENA region". Audrey used to work as a radio journalist for the Deutsche Welle.

Tatiana Repkova

Tatiana Repkova is the founder of Media Managers Club, the global online sharing resource and a social network for news media management. She is the former Director of Research and Information Management at the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, WAN-IFRA, in Paris, France. She has conducted media management seminars, trainings and consulted media in Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, East Africa and China.

Samira Moussil

Samira Moussil has a masters’ degree in Middle Eastern Studies. In 2011 she began working for Deutsche Welle in the news planning department and as an assistant producer for DW Arabic. She has been working in media development for DW Akademie as a project associate since 2015, first for the Maghreb countries, before she joined the Lebanon team.

Martin Vogl

Martin Vogl DW Akademie digitalmediaviability.comMartin Vogl is a freelance journalist and media development expert. As a media development expert, he has worked on DW Akademie projects from Libya to Ethiopia. As a journalist, he has worked extensively for the BBC, The Associated Press and DW among many others.