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Photo by Anita Martins

Reuben Brand is an Australian writer, illustrator and consultant. During his career he spent a large amount of time traveling, living and working in the Middle East and South Asia. He first visited Pakistan in 2005, just after the devastating earthquakes and has been returning to the region ever since. He worked as a journalist and documented the ever changing political landscape, the ongoing war with the Taliban and the impending US presence in the border regions.

Reuben also lived and worked in Syria, where he was fortunate enough to experience the beauty of the region before the current conflict began. He was based in Damascus and formed a great love for the Syrian people and way of life.

His work saw him travel through the Middle East extensively and has given him a deep respect and understanding of the different religions, beliefs, cultures and immense history of the region.

He currently works in the local community sector with the Lebanese Muslim Association, one of Australia’s largest Islamic organisations. The projects he manages with his wonderful team are aimed at building strong community cohesion and positive growth. They range from inter-school poetry slams and writing programs, a National Mosque Open Day initiative, a role model program to inspire and empower students and training programs for religious leaders and workers, just to name a few.

Reuben loves to find creative solutions to the difficult problems life can throw our way and is always working on new and exciting projects.

He is the Co-Founder of Creative Ummah, an initiative that actively encourages, highlights and supports the change makers, entrepreneurs and creative people of the global Muslim community. The aim of which is to empower people through a powerful online platform that showcases their unique and incredible work and inspire as many people as possible to then create ongoing positive change within their local communities.

He also co-founded an awesome initiative called Muslim Funaddicts, a project that actively empowers people to breakdown common negative stereotypes and misconceptions that continue to surround the Muslim community by using fun, engaging and positive messaging to counter the current barrage of online negativity.

MuslimLOL is another online platform that he Co-Founded and is an outlet for all of his bad dad jokes, slightly weird humour and addiction to memes. It is a fun, online pop culture platform that shares meme based humour, satire and all things muslimy.

Reuben is a classically trained artist and has been drawing ever since he could pick up a pencil. Illustration and cartooning is his way of communicating his thoughts, feelings and ideas without having to say a word and is one of his favourite past times.

He has a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art from the National Art School where he studied drawing, painting, art theory, photography and majored in Middle Eastern art and early Islamic ceramics. He also completed a Master Degree in Media Practice from the University of Sydney where he furthered his love of the written word.

To date Reuben has worked on projects in Australia, Bahrain, Indonesia, Kuwait, London, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Syria, and the UAE. There is always something on the drawing board, so watch this space for new exciting projects and initiatives.