Regional Guests
Andrew Clemson

Andrew is a Dubai-based shawarma enthusiast and writer of “Star Bastard” from Bincat Press, which launched at MEFCC in 2016. After touring the book at various conventions in the UK and USA he went on to successfully crowd fund both a reprint and the second issue.

MEFCC017 will see both the second issue of Star Bastard, along with a special preview of his next comic project “A child of the machine” Andrew is a dog person, but his cats say that’s crazy talk!

Saeed Arjumand

Saeed Arjumand is a comic book illustrator based in Dubai, trained in art from San Francisco. He is currently working in the comic book industry doing small independent titles such as PopApocalypse and more titles to be announced in 2017.

His passion developed at an early age when he picked up comics and realized his love for the creative world these characters live in from that it was his determination to be apart of it. He is determined to achieve his dreams in becoming a big time comic book artist and to work for the bigger companies along side his heroes

Hicham Habchi aka Pyroow

Comic and concept artist, Hicham is very passionate about video games, advertising and comic art especially the concept development side of them. He’s worked with some big names in comics and videos games, like Spawn, Overwatch and League of Legends and is also Co-Creator of the webcomic RAMADAN HARDCORE and member of the Brainoil Factory.

His mission is to spread awareness about urban life through his artworks.

Website
Khadija Al Saeedi

Khadija Al Saeedi is a passionate Omani cartoonest living in Abu Dhabi. Graduated from Cartoon Network Animation Academy and worked as an animation studio artist for four years at Cartoon Network Studios Arabia. During 4 years of hand-on experience, she worked as a character designer, storyboard artist, 2D animator and a concept artist, including developing ideas for TV shows.

She's also a comic artist currently working on "What Happened in 1991?" comic and other projects. Co-founder of Zompie Studio which is an indie animation studio and a Youtube channel that covers art and 2D animation.

Zompie Studio

Zompie Studio is an indie 2D animation studio founded by a group of Arab artists based in Abu Dhabi. Most of the artists were from Cartoon Network Animation Academy graduates. Recently, The studio launched a Youtube channel covering art, games and animation. The studio is aiming to deliver an inspiring content to encourage young aspiring artists to be part of the creative field.

Rehan Khan

Rehan Khan, was born in Wimbledon, in 1971. His parents' home was close to the quintessential All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and a bike ride away from Wimbledon Common. As a child he loved listening to swashbuckling tales of heroism and valour, as well as dabbling in science fiction. He is the author of the young adult fantasy series Last of the Tasburai and Scream of the Tasburai.

As his day job, Rehan is the Regional Consulting Director in the MENA region for a FTSE 100 corporation. He is also a visiting professor at an international business school. Between 2009-10, Rehan was a business columnist for The National newspaper in the UAE. Rehan holds a master’s degree in applied social and market research, as well as an MBA in strategy. He lives in Dubai, with his wife and two children.

www.rehankhan.com
Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. @tasburai

Maryam Alzaabi

Born in 1990, Maryam Alzaabi is an Emirati graduate of Architecture and is an artist and illustrator. With a passion for design and art and everything in between. Maryam spends most of her days drawing and creating with her hands almost with any tools or materials she likes to experiment and explore with. She draws inspiration from music, pop culture, fashion, comic books, graphic novels and artists from all over the world, constantly trying to expose herself to different styles and approaches to art. By constantly experimenting with new, different elements to incorporate in her work, Maryam loves refining her artwork and sense of style on a constant basis.

"I often find myself wondering about identity. Asking questions about individuality, aspirations, and the human purpose in order to understand my own actions and emotions. Over the past few years, I’ve been trying to break down my own barriers in order to comprehend different feelings that I consider to be a part of my personal character. By closely examining external details and internal thoughts, I’ve been able to explore artistic concepts that highlight different aspects of what makes up a person or object’s individuality in an attempt to comprehend my own. "

www.maryamalzaabi.com
@fixthesky

Nadia Tabbara

Nadia Tabbara is the founder of FADE IN: and can often be found guest lecturing in one of the fadein workshops or performing at local storytelling and poetry nights around town. Over the last 5 years, she developed the fadein creative methodology from researching writing tools and creative consciousness through philosophy and spirituality. She loves her job so much, she is always available to any of the fadeinfamily of writers and dreamers, even when they whatsapp her in the middle of the night with a creative crisis!

She began her career in her early 20s in the Film and TV industry in New York City where she would spend 5 years on movie sets. She worked on major Hollywood films such as “Step Up 3D”, “The Adjustment Bureau” and “New York, I Love You” and popular TV shows such as “Flight of the Conchords”, “Bored to Death” and “The Good Wife”.

Her life changed when her mentor Jacob Krueger (screenwriting guru) invited her to be part of a master’s class in NYC. Since then, her feature scripts have advanced in Hollywood competitions and her short films have toured and competed in several international and US-based film festivals including SXSW (South by Southwest): Austin, TX and Milano International Film Festival: Milan, Italy. In Lebanon, she received several awards in the 2013 Beirut 48 Hour Film Project including runner up film and Best Writing.

She moved to Beirut in 2011 and opened FADE IN: in 2013. She has written everything and anything because she believes that whatever pushes you to put one word after the other is valuable. She recently opened the Content Department of fadein where hired writers (headed by Nadia) write for film, TV and brands. Most recently, the team at fadein developed and wrote a high-budget Lebanese TV show set to shoot in March 2017 and two of Nadia’s feature film scripts are in their development phase.

When Nadia is not teaching or producing a project, you can find her drinking lots of coffee and hanging out with some imaginary friends.

Yasmine Mehio

While studying architecture at the American University of Beirut, Yasmine discovered her love for both writing and design. In 2006, she discovered the world of fanfiction and has since been an avid (and rather famous!) fanfiction writer, writing over 200 stories to date. She has written fanfiction for ABC’s show Lost, for CBS’s Scorpion and Under the Dome, and most recently, and most prolifically, fanfiction for NBC’s Blindspot. She’s gotten so much attention for her stories online, that the creators of these shows have been known to tweet with her and give her secret spoilers.

Yasmine trained with Nadia Tabbara at fadein for 2 years where she wrote her first feature film, an apocalyptic journey through futuristic Lebanon. This film qualified to the quarter finals of ScreenCraft, a major Hollywood competition, as did the SciFi TV show Pilot she also wrote. She was recently hired as one of the writers of the biggest-budget Lebanese TV show to date. Aside from movies and TV shows, she’s famous for her fan fiction! Yes. Famous.

She’s a guest contributor at Just About Write, writing weekly reviews for CBS’s Scorpion, as well as writing for some of their other weekly features. She’s cowriter for a Blindspot fansite where she writes weekly reviews, analysis and features about the show. The next project she’ll challenger herself with is NaNoWriMo, writing a novel in one month based on the Sleepers pilot that she has written.

When Yasmine is not writing and writing some more, she can be found binge-watching her favorite TV shows and movies into the late hours of the night.

fanfiction.net
archiveofourown.org

Ali Ahmed Khammas

Ali Ahmed Khammas is a well known regional cosplayer who’s found his way in to the heart of many fans. He’s done many different iconic cosplays like Izenborg, Duke Fleed and Robocop. He won in legendary MEFCC competition for his Ropocop cosplay in Movies Category in 2016. He is the Co-creator of Azzam the Nature Knight and also the creator and owner of the Azzam Costume. He is pursuing his passion for voice acting with a few projects in the field already.

Ali will be talking about his latest creation Azzam alongside voice actors Tarek and Mohammad Al Aribi Tourgane.

instagram: khamas1
Youtube: علي خماس
Azzam the Nature Knight on Instagram: azzam.superhero
Azzam the Nature Knight on YouTube: azzam superhero
Web: www.azzam.ae

Ali Al Sayed

Dubai’s Ali Al Sayed started writing, performing and producing comedy in 2008. His lightning fast wit and rapport with audiences has allowed him to perform in numerous shows on the iconic and historic Comic Strip Live in New York – Headlining in Caroline’s on Broadway, performing in the Gotham Comedy Club and the New York American Arab Comedy Festival. Ali has performed further major international gigs including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Theatre of Change Festival in Greece where he has taught on numerous occasions.

Further to his Stand-Up career, Ali has featured Specials on PBS, CBS, BBC World, articles in New York Times, and classed as “Funniest People in 2012” by Rolling Stone. He can currently be seen on Comedy Central Arabia co-hosting Comedy Central Presents… and was awarded “Comedian of the Year 2016” by Esquire Magazine.

As the Co-founder of Dubomedy, who do “all things comedy”, Ali co-started the first comedy school in the region, introducing Stand-Up Comedy from an Arab perspective and paving the way for many young comedians.

Producing numerous accredited festivals with Dubomedy International Performing Arts Festival, Dubai International Comedy Carnival, led Ali onto having a weekly segment on Abu Dhabi TV and as OSN Consultant, Producer and Presenter. Interviewing artists like Usher, Dave Chapelle, Nick Frost, Cheb Khalid are to name only a few acclaimed highlights.

Ali was involved in the Dubai Comedy Festival not only as curator to the event, but also debued his very own Comedy Special “Onestly Sbeaking” as part of the 10 day bill of hit comedians. The festival saw a perfect line-up of global talent including Dave Chappelle and Trevor Noah, combined with the Hottest comedians in the region, with the likes of Badr Salah, Fahad Al Butteri & Ibrahim Khairallah.

With a significant number of followers and viral acclimation, Ali was recently scouted and considered for a supporting role in Will Smith’s latest movie ‘Focus’. In Nov 2015 Ali guest starred in Dubai’s most successful short film yet – “Two Bellmen Two”. He is now scripting his first feature film and working on a new Arabic show for 2017/2018.

Ali’s aim is creating a comedy industry instead of only importing entertainment – but to export entertainment and give comedians from the Arab world the opportunity on the international big stage.

Mina Liccione

Mina Liccione is an award-winning performing artist, comedian, emcee and arts educator hailing from New York. She has been seen on Broadway in STOMP and Cinderella Ragtime, MTV's The Grind, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The New Pickle Circus, National Lampoon's Motion Picture Pucked, Image Nation’s As One: The Autism Project and acted as the comedy coach for Cirque Du Soliel's Corteo.

She has toured internationally performing alongside stellar stand-up comedians including Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, Michael Winslow (Police Academy Movies) and Judah Friedlander (30 Rock) and can currently be seen on Comedy Central Arabia’s Comedy Central Presents… TV Show airing Sunday nights on OSN.

Mina was awarded “Best One Woman Show” at the WOW Festival in San Francisco, was rated “Funniest People in 2012” by Rolling Stone Magazine and was voted “Most Inspiring Woman” in the UAE by Philly Arabia. She graduated with a BFA in Dance, minor in Theater Arts from Marymount Manhattan College and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Performing Arts from New College of California.

In 2008, she co-founded Dubomedy Arts with her husband Ali Al Sayed which is home to the Region’s first Comedy School and all-female troupe; Funny Girls UAE. She is extremely passionate about using comedy as a tool to break stereotypes, unify diverse cultures and helping those in need. The comedy duo also founded the Clowns Who Care Project which brings joy, awareness and support to centers for children with special needs, refugee camps and hospitals.

Mina is getting ready to film her debut stand-up comedy special entitled Mina Liccione: Araby By Nature on May 13, 2017 at Warehouse Four Dubai. Follow her on social media at @MinaLiccione and check out her comical blog www.NewYorkerInDubai.com

Saeed Rashed Alhebsi

Saeed Rashed Alhebsi is the Author and Co-creator of Azzam the Nature Knight. He is a life/executive Coach by profession and has used his knowledge and skills to develop a character and story which he hopes can share a message of peace and love across all boundaries, believing this work will embody a life that is in peace and harmony with nature. He also has an upcoming book about life coaching that will be announced later this year.

Saeed will be talking about his latest creation Azzam alongside voice actors Tarek and Mohammad Al Aribi Tourgane.

Facebook: saeed.alhebsi.1
instagram: saeed.alhbsi.1
Azzam the Nature Knight on Instagram: azzam.superhero
Azzam the Nature Knight on YouTube: azzam superhero
Web: www.azzam.ae