Mashallah News is a novel platform to cover major cities between the Moroccan coast and the Iranian shores, featuring collective, independent, grass-roots, dynamic and cross-cultural approaches. The website was launched in November 2010 with initial coverage of six main cities in the region, and now covers fourteen different capitals and major urban areas. It is run by a collective of young journalists, graphic designers, photographers, and translators who come from diverse backgrounds and are either born in the region or chose to make it their home. In contrast to mainstream news coverage of the Middle East which is largely focused on geopolitics, war, conflict, and international power politics, thus creating a too narrow and false conception of everyday life, Mashallah News offers a different picture which enriches and challenges prevailing images.
Mashallah News aims to display what is playfully called disOriented information about urban life in places like Istanbul, Jeddah, Cairo, Tehran, Ramallah, Beirut and beyond, in stories that have important societal implications. The website covers items such as unexpected social phenomena, original personal stories, reports from marginal areas and interviews with creative and subversive minds. Run by a core team of four editors and one graphic designer, as well as teams of contributors from across the region, Mashallah News gathers people with diverse experiences and skills in the fields of journalism, photography, research, art, and graphic design to share less-told stories and inspiring work from a region in transformation. Creative get-togethers, workshops and a print version with ‘the best of’ stories are in the works, to extend the emerging alternative public sphere even further.