About Beyond the Bombs

Beyond the Bombs is a transmedia project redefining how the world views, understands, and connects with the Middle East and North Africa.



In a world where violence and conflict dominate news headlines about the region, we lose sight of the natural beauty, history, culture, and diversity that also exist there; we need reminding that phrases like “Arab Jew” and “moderate Islamist” are not oxymorons; and we risk forgetting the human lives behind the casualty counts and refugee numbers. The stories highlighted on this platform aim to clarify misconceptions about the region by showcasing aspects of the region rarely seen in the news and humanizing the adversity that does make the headlines.



Beyond the Bombs gives the Middle East and North Africa a human face and paints a picture of the region colored by not only violence and instability but also people, cultures, religions, languages, politics, and economics. When we are willing to look past the news headlines and beyond the bombs, we have the opportunity to better understand the Middle East and North Africa and connect with the diverse individuals who call the region home.



Ashley Lohmann, Founder & Director

Ashley is a Los Angeles-based media entrepreneur and endlessly curious explorer with a passion for cross-cultural understanding and a background in Middle East-related issues. After receiving her BA in International Relations with Honors in International Security Studies from Stanford University, she worked as a political analyst in Washington, DC and then moved to Los Angeles, where she joined Fair Observer as an Associate Editor for the Middle East Desk. Ashley’s work has given her a deeper understanding of the political, security, and cultural issues at play in the Middle East and North Africa, while her travels have helped her connect with people in the region and hear their stories. Ashley aspires to share those stories and others and to help build a cross-border relationship based on understanding rather than fear.



Yad About pic

Yad Faeq, Web Developer

Yad is a software engineer and a social entrepreneur on an epic journey of life. He has loved technology since he was a kid, from early days of writing Atari BASIC programs to surfing the internet. Over the years, his passion for technology has evolved with the web and has helped him tackle social issues in his community. A former Microsoft Student Ambassador of Iraq, Yad currently works with startups and strives to keep ahead of rapidly evolving web technologies to offer innovative solutions.




Hamza Arsbi About pic

Hamza Arsbi, “Faces of the Region” Project Director

Hamza is the Chairman of the Scientific Culture Society and founder of the Psi Honor Society for the University of Jordan’s Psychology department. He works on many social and political reform issues in Jordan through a new and experimental approach by applying science and the scientific method as a medium for innovation and progress.


Farah Awad About pic

Farah Awad, “Faces of the Region” Project Coordinator

Farah is a psychology student at the University of Jordan. She believes that science is the most important tool a person can have in their arsenal for their own advancement in life and for the advancement of the community. She also believes that by spreading science in impoverished areas will help these areas enter a new era of prosperity.