Layla has amassed an impressive range of international media experience in her career as a writer, producer and presenter for leading news outlets. 

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During a decade in which she was based out of Beirut, Damascus, Dubai and London, Layla created content about political, business and social topics, with a particular focus on Arabic-speaking countries and communities. 

While working as a producer at CNN International, she travelled across dozens of cities in the Middle East and North Africa writing stories and producing content about property (One Square Meter), entrepreneurs (Upstarts), and arts and culture (Inside the Middle East), as well as on politics and conflict in places like Syria and Iraq

In her role as the London-based senior correspondent for Middle Eastern paper The National News, Layla covered a range of socio-political and cultural issues in the UK and Europe. 

She reported extensively on the UK’s asylum crisis and the Afghan refugee resettlement process following the return of the Taliban to power. Layla visited dozens of Afghans who had been living in hotels in the UK for months following their evacuation and wrote about the toll their traumas and continued instability was taking on their mental and physical health.

Abdul Saboor / The National News

Her coverage on asylum also spotlighted the lesser spoken plight of migrants who were caught in a political tug-of-war, finding themselves trapped between the wooded borders of Belarus and Poland, resulting in many disappearing or dying in the forest. 

During particularly stormy trips across the English Channel on assignment to Calais and Dunkirk in France, Layla visited several ‘roving’ impermanent camps where migrants pitch temporary tents before attempting to cross into the UK.

She also met with NGOs and humanitarian workers on the ground to talk about the challenges they faced aiding refugees in an increasingly hostile socio-political environment. 

Another assignment saw Layla travel to the divided island of Cyprus, where she wrote about the frozen conflict in the Mediterranean country after visiting the former glamorous beach resort of Varosha, a ‘ghost town’ that has been under Turkish occupation for nearly half a century.

Sometimes Layla covers less solemn topics, particularly when they relate to food. Feel free to feast your eyes on her restaurant reviews of vegan fair, Japanese cuisine and Italian delights.

She has also written in-depth profiles on distinguished persons for The National’s flagship Arab Showcase series. For this she has interviewed British Moroccan House of Gucci actor, Youssef Karkour and lead singer of the wildly popular German Syrian folk-electronic band Shkoon.