Emad Morcos
Emad brings 30 years of experience from the world’s leading media companies in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. Between 2000 - 2020 Emad held several senior executive roles at Showtime and its successor, OSN. In 2009, Emad was a principal in the largest media merger in MENA when Showtime and Orbit merged. From 2015 – 2020 Emad was Chief Content Officer at OSN. A complex and diverse role; he was responsible for consolidated content strategy and acquisition of rights from all major Hollywood studios and Arabic content and production. He launched multi-channel platforms for the South-Asian and Filipino MENA markets.

Emad had a number of “firsts’ in MENA; launched first Pay-Per-View platform, launched first HD channels, award-winning first SVOD platform and the first OTT Premium platform. He negotiated and delivered the first of its kind multimillion-dollar Disney+ OTT agreement. He managed a portfolio of 11 divisions and 150 staff.  

Emad has held several senior executive roles at The Associated Press, E-Vision, Etisalat and Orbit Network. Prior to serving as Chairman of Rise Studios, Emad was a board member of a number of media companies.
Amanda Turnbull
With more than three decades of experience in the media industry, including six years as Managing Director at Warner Bros Discovery Middle East, Africa and Turkey and a diploma from the European Television Management Academy, Amanda holds a wealth of expertise in the Middle Eastern media sector. She is deeply committed to nurturing editorial and operational talent, ensuring the region’s potential is further unlocked and connected with leading regional and global platforms to gain the recognition it rightly deserves. During her time at Warner Bros Discovery, she launched businesses in Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and South Africa, and optimized the newly acquired Fatafeat TV business to profitability within three years, doubling its topline revenue.  

Amanda is a Founding Committee Member for the TECOM (Dubai Government) Media Incubator Programme and was the first female leader in the Middle East to be recognized at the International Women in Marketing Awards in 2018. She was also honoured for Innovation in the Professional Category at the 2018 Emirates Women Awards, which she used to build a mentoring network supporting businesswomen and fem-tech start-ups across the UAE. In 2019, Amanda was honoured as Broadcast Executive of the Year by her peers at the Digital Studio Middle East Awards, truly recognizing her exceptional contribution to the MENA broadcast industry.
Justin Cheatle
Justin has over 30 years' experience in investment banking, M&A, equity capital markets, venture building, commercial property investment, edtech/fintech start-ups, business broking and capital raising. He has worked across the US, Europe and Middle East with Goldman Sachs & Co, John Cheatle Group, Team Concepts Inc., Blenheim Chalcot Management Ltd (the UK’s leading digital venture builder with 40 ventures, portfolio sales of £350m, 3000 employees and over £500m assets under management), Transworld Business Advisors (the world’s largest SME business broker), and his own management consultancies, Entracte Limited and TP Way FZ LLE. Between 1997 and 2013, he transformed his third-generation family business into the UK’s largest independent schoolwear provider with 100 branches servicing 1,500 schools nationwide.  

As Sales & Partnerships Director and Chief Growth Officer for Blenheim Chalcot, he drove the development of their award-winning businesses (Hive Learning, AVADO, Arch, Salary Finance). As Relationship Director for Imperial College London, he was responsible for Blenheim Chalcot’s White City Partnership that led to the £50m 200,000 sq ft Scale Space joint venture, now successfully completed. More recently, as Corporate Finance Specialist, he advised on $250m of transactions successfully completed during 2021.
Ziad Srouji
SVP Content Strategy and Commercial Development
Ziad was previously the Director of Acquisition and Original Production at OSN from 2016 to 2021, where he managed and strategized OSN Arabic content acquisition and curation for both linear and non-linear platforms. Over the years, he established strong relationships with production houses and leading producers in the region, which allowed him to identify content initiatives such as Awake – the first miniseries to be licenced internationally after its world premiering on OSN. During his time at OSN, Ziad successfully launched the platform’s first two award-winning Original Productions – Anonymous (Limited Series) and Curfew (Feature Film).      

Ziad’s career path and experience has given him comprehensive knowledge about the content journey from concept to the final product on the screen, with the ability to assess and analyse content relevance in the MENA region.       

Ziad holds a BA in Business Marketing and Minor in Communication Arts from the Lebanese American University, and an MBA in Media Management from Metropolitan College in New York where he was honoured with a ­Sigma Beta Delta award in 2011.
Mohsin Kara
SVP Head of Studio Finance
Mohsin brings almost 20 years of experience to Rise Studios, most recently from Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) in the UAE where he was Head of Financial Planning & Analysis responsible for leading the corporate strategic planning process and long-range forecasts for the various leisure, entertainment & cinemas businesses (including VOX Cinemas). Prior to this, Mohsin has worked in various commercial and finance roles across some of the world’s leading media companies both the Middle East and Europe; including OSN, BBC Studios and Reach PLC (British newspaper, magazine and digital publisher).   

Mohsin specialises in designing, structuring and negotiating regional and global content production acquisition and distribution deals (with experience in Hollywood, Independent Studios, Arabic content, Asian, Channels deals, Telco, Distribution and Technology deals).  

Mohsin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance & Accounting from the University of Kent (UK) and is a certified Chartered Global Management Accountant (CIMA Qualified, UK).
Amel Farag
Co-Founder and Non-Executive Director
Amel holds over 15 years’ experience with global leaders in the telecoms, media and tech industries covering European, MENA and African markets out of Amsterdam, Dubai, and London. She spent a decade at OSN as Senior Legal Counsel and Head of Content Commercial Strategy, where she negotiated and restructured Hollywood, Asian, Arabic, Western, Indies studios and channels deals, tech deals, distribution deals, set up the content compliance division, conducted the content strategy and digital strategy, led original Arabic IP and production models, and content investment and diversification plans for existing and future expansion initiatives.  

Having also been a Distribution Consultant at Warner Brothers Discovery, managing advertiser investments in EMEA with a global tech company, and having spent and fostered relationships over many years in the region as well as speaking four languages, Amel is equipped with a strong knowledge of the media and entertainment sector and the cultural nuances in the region and globally.  
Menreet Salama
Legal Director
Menreet holds over 8 years’ experience as a Barrister & Solicitor where she has regularly appeared at various levels of court including the Ontario Court of Justice, the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Appeal. Prior to managing her own firm, where she was a zealous advocate and negotiator for a range of clients, she held a dual legal and compliance role at OSN where she set up the compliance department, negotiated studio and channel packages while effectively managing competing interests for the largest Pay TV platform across twenty-six countries in the MENA region.  
Diana Baddar
Managing Director for
Digital Content and Development
Diana Baddar is the Managing Director for Digital Content and Development of Rise Studios, an entertainment company driving investment in content throughout the Middle East and North Africa markets. Diana drives the digital content strategy for Rise Studios, partnering with the group companies to build and enhance their digital storytelling. She will bridge the gap between traditional and new media and accelerate the potential of digital storytellers.

Diana has two decades of experience in the media and tech industry. She spent 8 years at Google, as the Head of YouTube for MENA and Turkey where she spearheaded the growth of YouTube in these markets. She negotiated and signed distribution deals with the biggest media companies on YouTube, and managed the largest content creators in the region, who have revised the meaning of stardom in the media industry. As the first Head of Women at Google in MENA, she was committed to empowering female voices which also helped drive her female strategy for YouTube MENA, working closely with female creators to build their channels on the platform resulting in a staple growth for YouTube.

Prior to Google, Diana was the Director for Business Development and Affiliate Channels at OSN.
Rasha Audi
Senior Insights Manager
Rasha Audi is a highly experienced insights professional with over a decade of expertise in media and research. While she has worked across various industries such as FMCG, technology, automotive, and government sectors, her true specialization is in Media. In her role as a Media consultant, Rasha has worked with major broadcaster and publishers throughout the MENA region, establishing herself as a Media industry insights’ expert.

Specializing in market analysis, media landscape, and audience understanding, Rasha possesses a deep understanding of industry trends. As a senior insights manager, she leverages her extensive experience in diverse research methodologies and data analysis to provide actionable insights that guide the development of content while ensuring alignment with audience interests.
Danielle Koudsieh
Executive Assistant & Project Manager
Danielle Koudsieh is the Executive Assistant to the CEO and Project Manager at Rise Studios. With a solid background of 5 years in the industry, she has established herself as a highly competent professional with expertise in project management and providing support to senior executives. Previously, Danielle held positions such as Events Executive at Capital Club Dubai and Production Executive at MBC Studios, where she showcased her proficiency in handling multiple projects and maintaining effective communication.

Danielle's educational background includes a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in International Hospitality Management from the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. During her studies, she acquired valuable skills in leadership, communication, and customer service, which she applies on a daily basis to ensure the highest level of service for her clients. Additionally, she has obtained certification as an international event and planning professional from QC Event School.

Supported By Our Professional Advisors

Kim Christiansen

A specialist in mergers and acquisitions, Kim is a senior lawyer who has skills in due diligence, commercial and venture capital, corporate structuring, sale and purchase agreements, and joint venture agreements.

Diana Baddar

Coordinating on region-wide acquisition targets is the focus of Diana’s role at Rise Studios. The talented media and entertainment executive comes to the table with high level experience gained from her time as director of business development at OSN and head of YouTube in MENA and Turkey.

Reema Traynor

Formerly general counsel at Sky News Arabia, Reema is highly experienced in media law, content advice and regulation, policy work, general corporate and commercial, governance and litigation at senior level. Reema leads the way for Rise Studios on licensing, distribution and production contracts.

Norma Taki

A partner at PwC Middle East, where she has worked for more than 20 years, Norma is an enormously experienced lead on mergers and acquisitions, taxation and due diligence.


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