The Team

KANE SMEGO

CO-DIRECTOR, POET

Kane Smego is a spoken word and hip hop artist, a National Poetry Slam finalist, co-founder of a youth arts and education nonprofit. He is also an international touring artist, performing and teaching all across the U.S. and abroad in England, Scotland, Germany, Holland, Costa Rica, and Canada. Through his workshops Kane leads youth of all ages in exploring their identity through poetry and storytelling. In 2013, he co-instructed a college course on Spoken Word and Oral History at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and has performed and taught workshops at college campuses throughout the United States. Most recently Kane was selected to Next Level, a Hip Hop cultural diplomacy and education project headed by the U.S. State Department and UNC- Chapel Hill, and will traveled with a team of other notable teaching artists to run the program in Zimbabwe.

WILL MCINERNEY

CO-DIRECTOR, POET

Will McInerney is an award-winning poet, journalist, speaker, educator, consultant, and performer. Will specializes in the intersections of conflict resolution and creative expression through oral history collection and storytelling. He has taught poetry in the Palestinian West Bank, and worked on the Turkish-Syrian border with refugee populations. Will has transformed these powerful stories into writings, poems, works of theater, performances, presentations, and print materials designed to create authentic platforms for the voices of change to be heard, support development efforts of NGO’s, create awareness, and deconstruct notions of Islamophobia and anti-Arabism in the US. Additionally, Will is a free lance reporter for NPR affiliates and has reported from Egypt, Tunisia, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, and in the US.

SAMEER ABDEL-KHALEK

PHOTOGRAPHER, VIDEOGRAPHER

Sameer Abdel-khalek is a photographer, videographer, graphic designer, and founder of fisdj.foto, a multimedia company based out of Raleigh, NC. A Muslim and first generation American of Egyptian and El Salvadorian descent, his pictures have graced a range of album covers, publications and web sites. His visual uniqueness lies in not only his ability to create compelling imagery with a message, but also in his skill for manipulating light and shadows to expose life in its purest forms. A graduate of the Environmental Technology program at North Carolina State University, Sameer has a deep-rooted commitment to promoting environmental activism and social awareness around issues that affect the majority of the world’s population. In his work as a photographer, entrepreneur and activist, he strives to continually uplift society—and ultimately, humanity.

MOHAMMAD MOUSSA

TRANSLATOR, POET

Mohammad Moussa is a spoken word poet,  computer engineer, and graduate of NC State University. Born in Columbus Georgia to Lebanese parents, Mohammad has hopped back and forth between the US and Lebanon throughout his upbringing. As such he has a profound understanding of both cultures and is deeply connected to them. Mohammad uses spoken word to raise awareness of the global human condition. He believes that stories lead to learning, and that learning leads to growth. Most recently he has created a multimedia poetry performance centered around the tragic shooting of his friends in Chapel Hill, with the goal of bringing the piece to universities across the nation. Mohammad is currently working full time as a Hardware Engineer where his smartphone chip designs can be found in devices worldwide.