Reem Abdellatif

Writer & Communications Consultant

United States

Reem Abdellatif is a writer, editor, and former foreign correspondent with over 10 years of experience living and working across MENA and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

She has travelled across places like Cairo, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Riyadh, and Doha, where she moderated and hosted panels on AI, E-commerce, and women working in male-dominated industries, such as the oil & gas sectors. She has also exposed and written about various forms of corruption and institutionalized abuse against women in MENA countries, including Egypt, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.

As a GBV Survivor Advocate, Reem believes that intersectional feminism offers a lens through which we can better understand and interact with the world around us. That's why her work has brought women and minority issues to public policy agendas. Her work focuses on geopolitics, economics, as well as sexual violence in Egypt and the African continent.

Having lived in Egypt for seven years, Reem has had the opportunity to cover Egypt's pre- and post-uprising era from 2010-2014. Reem has also lived in the UAE & Saudi Arabia for nearly five years from 2015-2019. This has given her the opportunity to become immersed in the GCC as the region underwent unprecedented social and economic transformation.

Reem's bylines and interviews have appeared in Goethe Institut, WSJ, LA Times, i24NEWS, Haaretz, Libération, CNBC, and others.

Reem is also a founding member of the African Women Rights Advocates (AWRA) movement. She is also Co-Director, Head of Branding & Content, and Chief Communications Consultant at AWRA, an NGO that she registered and incorporated in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Reem is Egyptian-American, and speaks English and Arabic fluently.

Portfolio
United Nations Population Fund
Women journalists threatened with sexual violence, hate speech

UNITED NATIONS, New York - "I have gone to the police after receiving threats of violence," Nistula Hebbar told UNFPA, describing the relentless onslaught of abuse she experiences online. As a politics reporter for The Hindu, her words and her reputation are her livelihood.

Reem Abdellatif
Interview Her - A Nobel Women Initiative

Writer, Co-Founder, Head of Communications Current Occupation: Writer, Co-Founder, Head of Communications Organization/Institution: African Women Rights Advocates (AWRA) Language: English, Arabic Reem Abdellatif (@Reem_Abdellatif ) is a writer, activist and communications head for African Women Rights Advocates (@AWRA_org), an NGO dedicated to sustainable change for women and girls.

Awra-group
Meet Ola Labib - the first Black Muslim Sudanese woman to perform at the O2

Happy New Year to all AWRA allies and members out there! We're excited to start the New Year celebrating the accomplishments of African women. In this exclusive interview, AWRA co-founder Reem Abdellatif speaks with Sudanese-British comedian Ola Labib, who is known for her charming personality and edgy humor.

Libération
En Égypte, sortie de route pour une pub Citroën banalisant le harcèlement de rue

Un homme au volant d'une voiture étincelante manque de renverser une passante. La jeune femme, surprise, s'arrête et jette un regard inquiet au conducteur. Avec flegme, ce dernier prend alors une photo de la piétonne grâce à une caméra sur le pare-brise. La photo volée s'affiche aussitôt sur son téléphone, qu'il regarde d'un air satisfait.

BBC News
12/30/2021
Citroën removes Egypt ad accused of normalising sexual harassment

The country's parliament approved harsher penalties for sexual harassment in July, amending the penal code to make it a felony and increasing the penalty to a minimum of two years in prison instead of six months, alongside a fine of between $6,370 (£4,740) and $12,740 (£9,480).

Egypt Migrations
12/03/2021
Organizing against Gender Discrimination: A Conversation with Reem Abdellatif

For the eighth instalment of our Interview Series, Reem Abdellatif joined us for a conversation on organizing against gender discrimination, love for Egypt, and activism across the African continent. She shared her own history of undergoing abuse and GBV (gender based violence) and talked to us about how becoming a women's rights activist has greatly contributed to her journey of healing and thriving.

Awra-group
#ReclaimTheNarrative: Bodily Autonomy & Sexual Sovereignty

Many women in Egypt, the Middle East, and Africa haven't been able to enjoy their bodies and own their experiences for far too long under the rule of patriarchal governments and authoritarian regimes. But that is now changing.

Committee to Protect Journalists
03/25/2021
Journalist Reem Abdellatif on the risks facing female reporters who cover the Gulf - Committee to...

The trolling started after Reem Abdellatif, a prominent Egyptian-American journalist now based in The Netherlands, published her first column in December for the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. Titled "How I escaped Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom that terrorizes women," it described the challenges she faced as a female journalist who had previously worked in Saudi Arabia and denounced Saudi...

Middle East Eye
Egypt: Hadid sisters join calls to free TikTok influencers

International supermodel Bella Hadid and her fashion designer sister Alana Hadid have joined growing calls for the release of Egyptian TikTok influencers Mawada al-Adham and Haneen Hossam, who have been convicted of human trafficking.

Haaretz.com
09/09/2021
9/11, 20 years on: The day that changed my life forever | Opinion

I was 14 when the Twin Towers collapsed. Here I was, a first-generation daughter of Egyptian, Muslim immigrants, in high school in Elgin, South Carolina, a quiet country town out of whose population of about 1,000 I was the only Middle Eastern kid.

Haaretz.com
02/04/2021
When will the Arab world confront its sex abuse problem? | Opinion

In 2017, we all heard a wrenching and unfamiliar sound: Women's voices reverberating around the world as the first shocking stories of the #MeToo were revealed, from the United States to Europe, and even to parts of Africa. That movement, founded by American activist Tarana Burke, created a massive ripple effect that still inspires men and women around the world.

Haaretz.com
12/20/2020
How I escaped Saudi Arabia, the kingdom that terrorizes women | Opinion

From 2014 to 2019, I spent time working as a journalist and editor in the United Arab Emirates with Saudi-run organizations to help build their business news content and media strategies. As an Arabic-speaking woman of Middle Eastern descent, I spent much time in the Saudi kingdom, equipped with a five-year visa welcoming me to Riyadh for open-ended business trips.

the Guardian
06/16/2020
Why coronavirus has placed millions more girls at risk of FGM

Covid-19 has exposed just how much work remains to be done to wipe out female genital mutilation (FGM) around the world. Two million girls who would otherwise be safe from the practice are believed to be at risk over the next decade as a direct result of the virus.

Skift
03/05/2021
Dubai Faces Festering Tourism Challenges Beyond Pandemic

The shimmering coastline of Dubai's tree-shaped Palm Jumeirah island is known for its posh apartments, glitzy hotels, and upscale restaurants-but the lights in this exclusive enclave, like much of the city, have started to dim. That's because Dubai's economy, built on the hopes of globalization, was on thin ice long before the pandemic.

Skift
03/12/2021
Botswana Wildlife Camps Prepare for Evolved Post-Pandemic Travelers

Landlocked in pristine wilderness, Botswana is known for its colorful sunrises and lush oases where zebras or elephants can be seen sipping from its soothing waters. That's always been their natural habitat, with people always passing through as their curious visitors, observers, and sometimes sadly - their poachers.

Skift
03/03/2020
Coronavirus Tests Economic Reforms for Travel in Gulf Arab States

Countries across the oil-dependent Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have made efforts to bolster their travel and hospitality sectors in recent years to build more sustainable economic models, but the spread of coronavirus is testing the strength of such reforms. "The biggest thing coronavirus has shown is how vulnerable the Gulf is to an epidemic, given its role as a travel and logistics hub," said Varsha Koduvayar, an analyst on covering the Gulf Arab states with the Washington-based...

Skift
01/20/2020
Medical Tourism Emerges as a Bright Spot for Flagging Dubai

When people around the world think of travel in the Middle East, medical tourism is typically not the first idea that comes to mind - particularly in Dubai. Most people think of visiting the coastal city for its soaring skyscrapers, luxurious shopping venues, or year-round warm weather.

Skift
01/07/2020
Dubai's Demand for Niche Spiritual Retreats on the Rise

We've all heard about detox retreats, or spiritual getaways. Some people have called them a new age travel trend, but wellness tourism has been around for decades. Such getaways, in the last few years, have become increasingly popular in Dubai, particularly among professionals who belong to the upper middle class and are more health-conscious or educated.

Skift
12/30/2019
Rebounding Egypt Offers New Opportunities for Enterprising Tour Guides

Mohamed Turisi was 20 years old and still living at home with his parents when his hopes of becoming a civil engineer in Egypt were completely dashed. Not only had he lost interest in becoming part of its oversaturated job market, but his job prospects in Egypt looked very slim.

Skift
02/19/2020
Palestinian Art Center Shines Light to Revive West Bank Tourism

Living under the ongoing threat of regional unrest and economic uncertainty, residents of the Palestinian city of Jenin in the West Bank are turning to their unique cultural identity and taste for the arts to attract tourism and participate in a cultural exchange.

Skift
02/25/2020
Can Algeria Avert Financial Ruin Through Revived Tourism and New Visa Rules?

From the deep blue Mediterranean coastline of Algiers to the winding alleyways of colorful Casbah, there are many spectacular travel destinations to explore in Algeria. Africa's largest country, which is just a short flight from much of Europe, is currently home to seven UNESCO-inscribed World Heritage Sites, such as the Roman ruins of Hippo Regius that stretch over vast land covered with green olive trees, flowers, and rosemary.

Alarabiya
10/09/2019
Gearing up for a blockbuster IPO: Saudi Aramco then and now

When oil giant Saudi Aramco announced its plans to list five percent of its shares publicly, global markets from Hong Kong to New York lined up to compete for a part of the listing - and not just because it's the most profitable company in the world.

Alarabiya
09/15/2019
Saudi Arabia restores one-third of oil production; oil surges 10 percent

Saudi Arabia has restored a third of its oil production which had been lost as a result of Saturday's attacks on its key oil-processing facilities, according to Refinitiv tracking data seen by Al Arabiya English. "On a normal day, around 6.4 million barrels per day (bpd) are shipped out.

Alarabiya
11/20/2019
Saudi Aramco IPO receives $17.1 bln in orders from institutional tranche: Source

The institutional portion of Saudi Aramco 's initial public offering (IPO) on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) is oversubscribed, having received over 64 billion riyals ($17.1 billion) in orders, while the retail tranche has received 10 billion riyals, a banking source told Al Arabiya English on Thursday.

Womensmediacenter
01/15/2014
Why are we still surprised that Egypt's women are not free? - Women's Media Center

Egyptians often tout their country as a beacon of culture, liberalism, and Muslim modesty in the Middle East. But in terms of freedoms for women, a recent study on how people in Muslim countries prefer women to dress in public showed that Egypt is significantly more conservative than its Arab neighbors.

WSJ
09/17/2013
What Egypt Wants: Cheaper Bread

CAIRO-Egypt's Islamist government, during its brief reign, couldn't satisfy public demand for subsidized food and fuel-spurring discontent that helped the military drive it from power. The military-backed leadership that took over this summer is now wrestling with the same challenge, trying to make sure there is enough cheap bread for the country's poor.

WSJ
04/01/2020
Q+A With Egyptian Billionaire Naguib Sawiris

Egyptian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris tells The Wall Street Journal his family plans to invest billions of dollars in Egypt after the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Mr. Sawiris, a scion of the Christian family that controls the Orascom corporate empire, is currently chairman of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding, a large mobile operator in the Middle East.

WSJ
07/25/2013
Egypt's Economy Stabilizes, for Now, as Arab Pledges Buy Time

Egypt's ailing economy has stabilized somewhat with a military intervention that many people believe has helped avert, for now, an economic meltdown. But Egypt's new temporary government faces the same challenge of economic overhauls that overwhelmed ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

WSJ
07/04/2013
Investors Cheer Egypt Transition, See Brief Window of Hope

CAIRO-Judging by Egypt's surging market and rebounding currency a day after the military ousted President Mohammed Morsi, investors believe that Cairo's new leadership will shore up confidence in the country's markets and open the way for new economic aid from Arab neighbors.

WSJ
06/28/2013
Weaker Currency and Inflation Fuel Egyptians' Discontent

CAIRO-Living in Cairo's outskirts without access to clean water, Jihan Younes relies on her housecleaning wages to feed her three children, husband and mother-in-law. But she worries that the 800 Egyptian pounds she earns each month-now worth about $115-is buying less and less. "I pay for my meat in installments," said Mrs.

WSJ
07/01/2013
Egypt's Women Protest, Against Drumbeat of Sexual Harassment

Many women protested in Egypt in defiance of one of a dark reality-the widespread sexual violence against women who are participating in, or simply present at, antigovernment protests. On Sunday, rights groups said, some 50 women were assaulted at Cairo rallies.

Los Angeles Times
11/14/2012
Israel's killing of Hamas military chief leaves Egypt in quandary

SANA, Yemen -- The Israeli killing of Hamas' military chief Ahmed Jabari in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday came amid a much-altered political landscape in the Arab world, especially in Islamist-led Egypt looking to regain its regional prominence. The Muslim Brotherhood, which has long had close ties to Hamas, became the dominant force in Egypt after last year's overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.

Los Angeles Times
12/09/2012
Egypt's Morsi reverses most of decree that expanded his powers

CAIRO - In a political reversal to calm weeks of unrest, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi early Sunday rescinded much of last month's decree that expanded his powers and exposed a dangerous divide between the nation's Islamists and the mainly secular opposition. The announcement reverses most of the declaration the Islamist president issued Nov.

Los Angeles Times
02/10/2013
Fear and loathing in Egypt

When I walk into Tahrir Square alone these days, carrying my notebook, I try to remain calm, act like I belong and move with the cascading crowds. If you seem scared or intimidated, they smell your fear. Like other female reporters, I have grown accustomed to being constantly on guard while doing my job.

Los Angeles Times
02/04/2013
Egyptian opposition group accuses police of torture, death

CAIRO -- An Egyptian opposition party alleged Monday that one of its members was tortured to death by police after he disappeared last week from a protest against the Islamist-led government of President Mohamed Morsi. The Popular Current party said Mohamed ElGendy, 28, was beaten while in police custody after he went missing on Jan.

Los Angeles Times
09/03/2012
In Egypt, state news anchor in head scarf causes a stir

CAIRO - Adorned with delicate makeup, an anchorwoman wearing a head scarf appeared Sunday on Egypt's state television for the first time in its five-decade history. Wearing a cream-colored scarf, Fatma Nabil appeared poised as she read the latest updates on the drafting of Egypt's post-revolution Constitution on the noon news program, followed by a male anchor.

Public Radio International
The night Maspero turned into a war zone: A firsthand account

CAIRO - On the first Sunday after a military crackdown on a protest against the burning of a Christian community center killed 27 people last week, Coptic Christians are gathering to pray for the dead and the country seems increasingly united in a belief that the Egyptian Army is not the steward of the revolution that so many once hoped it would be.

Public Radio International
Thousands rally for alleged torture victim Essam Atta

CAIRO - The scene outside Zeinhom Morgue in the downtown Cairo slum was chilling on Friday afternoon as dozens of angry protesters mourned as they awaited the body of 24-year-old Essam Atta, allegedly tortured and brutalized by security officials in Tora Prison for smuggling in a SIM card to use in a cell phone.

Public Radio International
Egypt's first veiled rapper is sick of sexual harassment

CAIRO, Egypt - Mayam Mahmoud isn't your average hip hop artist. To begin with, she wears a veil. When the nineteen-year-old took to the stage of "Arabs Got Talent" last October, her performance left a lasting impression on young people in Egypt and the Arab world. It also earned her a death threat.