Riada Asimovic Akyol ’07
When the Bosnian genocide occurred, it was only by accident that Riada Asimovic Akyol ’07 was not one of its victims. As a Muslim woman, she understands how identities intersect within politics. These parts of herself inspire her journalistic work, driving her to write pieces on genocide, gender, religion, and politics.

“I speak both from my personal experiences and scholarly expertise to produce my journalistic writing,” Asimovic Akyol says. “I feel that it’s my responsibility to keep contributing and adding nuances to the conversations.”

 Asimovic Akyol’s articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Al-Jazeera, Al-Monitor, and The Nation. Based in Washington, D.C., she now works as the strategic initiatives editor at New Lines, a magazine launched in 2020 “for the best ideas and writing about the Middle East and beyond.” She is also founder of the podcast Dignified Resilience and hosts a weekly “Good Talk” Instagram Live series.

Though Asimovic Akyol has achieved esteem in her field, her path was in no way linear. A double major in world politics and French at Hamilton, she explored careers in the fashion and film festival industries. She was well on her way to a Ph.D. in international relations when she realized there were other avenues to express her ideas.

Encouraged by her husband, public intellectual Mustafa Akyol, she began channeling her passions for in-depth academic research and storytelling into a journalism career. “I was scared of giving up my Ph.D., but it was one of the best decisions I have made,” she says.

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Asimovic Akyol took each opportunity to build a reputation of consistent, high-quality work. After nine years of freelance journalism, she finds herself in a new position — one in which she can build new products, share fresh perspectives, and offer opportunities to other writers, all while fostering growth within New Lines magazine.

“I’ve always given my best in the work that I’ve done,” Asimovic Akyol says. “But this is the first time that I’m participating in building something, and it’s quite exhilarating.”

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