Speakers 2014


Samira croppedSamira Ahmed is a journalist, broadcaster and visiting professor of journalism at Kingston University with a special interest in science fiction, Westerns and comics.

She presents Sunday Morning Live and Newswatch on BBC1, Night Waves on Radio 3, Something Understood on Radio 4 and makes documentaries for Radio 4, including I Dressed Ziggy Stardust and Archive on 4: Riding Into Town about Westerns. She writes a column for The Big Issue and contributes to newspapers including The Guardian. She won a Stonewall Broadcast of the year award for her report on “corrective” rape in South Africa while a reporter and presenter at Channel 4 News.

Samira began her career as a BBC News trainee and has worked as a reporter on Newsnight, the Today programme, as the BBC’s Los Angeles Correspondent and news anchor for Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin. www.samiraahmed.co.uk

Twitter: @SamiraAhmedUK



hassan AHassan Abdulrazzak is a UK-based Iraqi playwright and novelist, renowned for his highly successful plays Baghdad Wedding and The Prophet. In 2013 Hassan was the winner of the Arab British center award for culture.

Previously, Hassan worked as a molecular biologist at Imperial College by day and as a writer by night. He is now dedicated to writing full-time. His latest short story, to be published as part of a forthcoming Sci-Fi anthology by Comma Press, reimagines Iraq 100 years into the future.  http://abdulrazzak.weebly.com/

Twitter: @AbdulRazzak


yasserYasser Bahjat, aka the Jeddi from Jeddah, is a successful entrepreneur and co-founding member of Yatakhayaloon (League of Arabic SciFiers) whose vision is to establish Arabian science fiction as a distinctive genre that is globally competitive and exposes the richness of Arabian culture.

Yatakhayaloon is achieving its mission to inspire new waves of scientific development in the Arab, world through increasing local sci-fi content. Yasser co-authored the English editions of HWJN and Hunaak! (Somewhere) which are amongst the best-sellingSci-Fi novels from the Arab region. http://yatakhayaloon.com/EN/HWJN_English.html

Twitter: @YBahjatt


ehsanEhsan Masood is the editor of Research Fortnight, the UK’s leading independent source of news, analysis, funding opportunities and jobs for the academic research community.

Previously, he was acting chief commissioning editor for Nature and prior to that was Opinion Editor for New Scientist. His book’s include Science and Islam: A History which is the companion publication to the BBC’s documentary series presented by Jim Al-Khalili.

Ehsan teaches international science policy at Imperial College London and is a trustee for Leadership for Environment and Development.

Twitter: @EhsanMasood


LarissaLarissa Sansour’s artistic work is interdisciplinary, immersed in the current political dialogue and utilises video, photography, sculpture and installation.

Born in Jerusalem, Sansour studied Fine Art in Copenhagen, London and New York. She has featured in several biennials and routinely exhibited at major galleries and venues across the globe.

Her work has a strong element of satire in its focus on the Palestinian situation. Central to her approach is the tug and pull between fiction and reality, addressing social tensions through the narrative tropes of science fiction and myth.

Larissa will present a retrospective of her films A Space Exodos and Nation Estate and give an exclusive preview her latest sci-fi short film entitled In the Future They Ate From The Finest Porcelain which combines science fiction, archaeology and Middle East politics. www.larissasansour.com