Syrian born journalist and writer, Khaled Alesmael graduated in English Literature in 2006 at Damascus University. His journalism has been highly awarded for his coverage of topics of culture, climate, and migration. His debut novel Selamlik was translated into Swedish and published in 2018 with the publishing house Leopard and has been widely acclaimed as a powerful account of an emergent Arab queer identity, in a society claiming freedom. It tells the story of a country at war through a homoerotic perspective and of the devastating consequences that forced him to leave Syria for Sweden where he claimed political asylum. He became a Swedish citizen in 2018 and received an award for his short Coffee with Sukkar at Gothenburg Film Festival in 2019.
Back to the beginnings, Khaled worked as a journalist in the Middle-East and Northern Africa for more than fifteen years. He was a co-founder and the programs’ manager of Syria-Tomorrow, one of the first generation private media in Syria 2005. In 2009 he worked as a correspondent for Radio France International/Monte Carlo from Damascus. In 2011, Khaled joined the United Nation Development Program/ The Disaster Risk Reduction Project as a media officer in Damascus. His program was to train the younger journalist and children how to cover the natural disasters in media.
In 2012, Khaled worked for ONTV in Cairo as an editor. He collaborated with ARK Group as a trainer for citizen journalists in 2013 in Istanbul ; as well as he produced radio documentaries about the war and refugees in Turkey. In 2015, he worked for SVT Swedish Television/Uppdrag Granskning.
As his passion is always for the radio, Khaled’s works appeared in the Swedish Radio too; he made a remarkable reportage portraying Raqqa city before Daesh in 2016.
In 2017, Khaled joined the team of Positiva Gruppen Väst as a method developer in Gothenburg city. He worked on a storytelling project about HIV and migrants in Sweden. Khaled believes that working for positive people is a turning point in his life and career.
Khaled gives public talks in the universities and summer journalists schools around the world about Journalism in Syria and Middles East, he mainly talks about the journalism and freedom of expression in the conflict areas, migration-refugees and LGBTQ+ issues.
In the written press, Khaled wrote many texts and poems mainly about homosexuality and migration for several magazines and newspapers in Europe. His article Underground Revolution was translated and published from English into Swedish, German, and Danish.
He writes in English and Arabic.
Moments in Khaled’s career:
Releasing his debut novel Selamlik during the European Pride events in Sweden 2018.
He was selected to represent Sweden in The Nordic Alumni from the International Journalist Program in Germany in 2017.
A cover boy on the printed Swedish magazine JOURNALISTEN in March issue 2016.
A special certificate from the French Ambassador in Damascus for his radio program La Radio Franco Syrien in 2010.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the US awarded him The Journalist Visitor’s Program/ Environment in 2009.
The Danish Institute in Damascus awarded Khaled as the best environmental radio journalist and invited him to cover COP 15 in 2009.
Education: Bachelor in English literature, Art and media 2006 Damascus University. He has also participated many training workshops with international institutions (BBC, Thomson Reuters Foundation, DW, UNU-ILI, InWent, UN, EU).
Languages: Arabic, English, not bad in Swedish and a beginner in French.