A mutual learning experience for filmmaker, Mason students

Mohammad Abdallah "Khamis" Alyakhari was Mason Student Media's third fellow through the International Research & Exchanges Board. "Media empowers us and makes us open to the world," he said. Photo provided.

To Mohammad Abdallah “Khamis” Alyakhari, filmmaking is an influential tool for education and empowerment.

As an independent screenwriter and film producer in Jordan, Alyakhari said he strives to tell stories and create programs that promote the ideas of peace, democracy and violence prevention.

“Media is a powerful platform to share our great stories, great moments, and information,” he said. “With the technology advancement and rapid growth, we are able to share tons of information every day. Media empowers us and makes us open to the world.”

George Mason University’s Student Media welcomed Alyakhari in August as an International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) Fellow. He came to Mason through the U.S State Department’s Community Solutions Program. The program works with IREX to place international fellows with host institutions in the United States. 

Alyakhari was Student Media’s third IREX fellow. Previous fellows came from the Gaza Strip and Macedonia.

Mohammad Abdallah Alyakhari

“Hosting international fellows benefits Student Media and the Mason community in a variety of ways, and creates a unique learning environment on campus that expands the social and educational experiences available to our students,” said Kathryn Mangus, director of Student Media. “The opportunity to learn and practice their craft alongside media professionals from other countries provides invaluable global perspective for aspiring journalists and introduces them to new cultures, ideas and skills they might not encounter in the classroom.”

 Alyakhari was busy during his semester at Mason. He created a video about ethical leadership for the Office of Leadership Education and Development (LEAD). He worked with Mason Votes to produce video coverage of Sen. Mark Warner’s town hall meeting on college costs, and he also shot video of Mason’s 9/11 Day of Service event.

He engaged with students as both a mentor and fellow Patriot, helping to analyze ways to grow Student Media’s online presence, revamping the WGMU website and learning to produce sports broadcasts.

“It was a great and amazing experience for me,” Alyakhari said. “I have grown my network and met new friends and gained new knowledge.”