Rhonda Roumani is a Syrian-American journalist who has written about Islam, the Arab world and Muslim-American issues for more than two decades. She is currently a Contributing Fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC, and a Journalism Fellow for their Spiritual Exemplar Project. Her articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, Religion News Service, USA Today, and Salon, to name a few.
Rhonda is also an author of books of non-fiction and fiction for children. She started writing children’s books in 2017, when she ran a book fair at her daughter’s school and couldn’t find a single book written by an Arab author; and; found that the only book by a Muslim author was by Malala Yousafzai. Rhonda was a Pitch Wars mentee in 2019 and in 2021, she was named a Highlights Muslim Storytellers Fellow for 2021-2023. Her first middle grade novel about a Syrian graffiti artist is scheduled to be released in Fall of 2023 with Union Square & Co.; and her first nonfiction picture book, UMM KULTHUM, STAR OF THE EAST, will be released in Fall 2023 with Interlink Publishing.
Rhonda graduated with a MS in Journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and received her BA in English and Political Science from UCLA.
Rhonda is represented by Brent Taylor of Triada US
GET TO KNOW ME
WORDS AND PHRASES TO DESCRIBE ME
Eldest of three girls
Mother of two
Daughter of immigrants
Roumani is derived from the word for pomegranate in Arabic -- ramman.
I love cutting open pomegranates, admiring them and then emptying them, seed by seed.
(I can do this for hours.)
I love Arabic calligraphy and Arabesque patterns
❤️❤️ Damascus ❤️❤️
I ADORE Damascus courtyards (Hence, the cover of this website)
I ❤️ Owls
I love long walks with friends
My nickname at my first job was cookie monster
Ted Lasso & The Good Place: best shows of all time
My grandfather was a member of parliament in the United Arab Republic (which was a union between Syria and Egypt that lasted from 1958 to 1961)
I married an Egyptian and believe we can revive the union, one marriage at a time (Not really, but I like the idea)