Hany Hawasly is a New York-based independent filmmaker and educator who tells stories between the United States and the Middle East. Born and raised in Syria, he specializes in Arabic-language documentary storytelling as bilingual editor, producer, translator, and cultural consultant. Additionally, Hany is an Adjunct Instructor at New York University where he teaches multimedia storytelling to both professionals and high school students. He also serves as Director of Operations Development at The Video Consortium, a global creative community of the world's leading nonfiction filmmakers.
Over the past few years he has worked on projects focusing on Syrians and the ways their lives are impacted by the ongoing conflict, in addition to other stories of individuals striving from countries around the Middle East. In the past 12 months he worked on several documentary projects from Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, and the United States.
He has most recently edited A Syrian Woman: Human Stories from Jordan, an award-winning short film that focuses on a group of Syrian women living in Jordan where they share, intimately, how they rebuilt their lives and found strength to hold alive a thread of hope for their children, many of whom have only known life as a 'refugee'.
He has also worked as editor and translator on Mother Jones' Behind The Lines; an in-depth report and multimedia project on the American involvement in Syria, and as fact checker and translator on This American Life's Wartime Radio; a story of a community radio station in Syria that local listeners depend on and local militant factions try to shut down.
Other productions include National Geographic's Hell on Earth: The Fall on Syria and the Rise of ISIS; translator and cultural consultant, Gravy's Halal Memphis; translator and voice-over artist, Lifetime's Her America; lead photography technician, Sitti Soap Social Enterprise; translator, and The Native and The Refugee; film editor. Hany also provides video services to corporate, non-profit, and higher education clients on a freelance basis.
Before relocating to New York City he worked at the McDougall Center for Photojournalism Studies, a research center at the University of Missouri, where he developed over a dozen shows of world-class photojournalism and documentary photography from concept to installation. He also produced video installations like Pruitt: The Possum Town Picture Man, and taught video storytelling at the Missouri School of Journalism.
Prior to pursuing a career in visual storytelling in the United States, he worked for 10 years with the Syrian Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Syria on several humanitarian, community-based projects where he held different leadership roles in communications, health care in conflict, and disaster management before and during the Syrian conflict. He also worked as a documentary photographer focusing on Syria's cultural heritage, performance arts, and the music scene in the mid 2000s. In 2010, he co-authored Syrian Silk: Portrait of a Living Cultural Heritage, a book on silk making in Syria in the late 2000s.
Hany is a Foreign Fulbright Scholar and holds an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia.