Maher Akraa-Meyer is a journalist, design researcher, and trend forecaster. In 2023, he took up a position as a research associate in Bachelor Design Management, International at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU).
That same year, he completed his Master of Arts in Design, specialising in Trends & Identity, from the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). His Master's thesis was titled "Dialogue Design – A mediation-based design approach to conflict resolution", and his culminating project, "Dialogue Tent", was conceptualised to develop innovative methods of dialogue for tackling conflicts in fragmented societies. He aspires to aid in global peace initiatives and sustainable conflict resolution through his efforts. His primary focus is the exploration of dialogue and mediation by and through design in relation to conflicts and the media's role in conflict zones.
Born in Aleppo in 1989, he embarked on his academic journey at the Faculty of Fine Arts between 2007 and 2011, majoring in Interior Design at the Private University of Science & Arts in Aleppo, Syria. It was during this period that he initiated his journalistic path, collaborating with local Syrian media and delving into photography.
Between 2006 and 2016, he embarked on a significant project documenting the historical Old City and landmarks of Aleppo before and after the destruction caused by the Syrian war. The aim of this project was to preserve the UNESCO World Heritage site through a series of exhibitions, galleries, and documentary series featured in local media and exhibitions. The accompanying photo book for this project is currently under development.
In 2006, the United Nations Population Fund honoured him with an award for the best photograph in the "Child Labour" category in Syria.
Maher's journalistic journey spanned across Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Switzerland. From 2012 to 2016, he played pivotal roles such as the News Director at Radio WatanFM in Istanbul and a War Correspondent in northern Syria. In 2015 - 2016 he documented the Russian bombardment of Aleppo. Between 2014 and 2021, he served as a UN Journalist, focusing on political conferences at the United Nations in Geneva.
In 2018, he founded the media platform "brocarpress.com - Brocar Media Network" in Zurich, which served as a new and independent media outlet reporting on the Middle East from Switzerland.
He has actively participated in the fight for press freedom and the safety of journalists in the Middle East. In this context, he shared his personal testimonial with the United Nations and Swiss media organizations.
From 2021, Maher transitioned to academia, working as a university intern at BA Design, Cast / Audiovisual Media at ZHdK until 2022. Concurrently, he freelanced as a photographer in Zurich, partnering with a myriad of partner, including the Literaturhaus Zurich and ETH Zurich.
He holds memberships in numerous professional bodies such as impressum, die schweizer journalistinnen, Zürcher Presseverein, Reporters Without Borders - Switzerland, IFJ International Federation of Journalists, Online News Association, Swiss research network (Verein investigativ.ch), and Swiss Professional Photographers and Film Creators (SBF).