Iraqi-American musician Rahim AlHaj performs his album, “Letters From Iraq,” with the Kontras Quartet, along with bassist Christian Gillingham and percussionist Nicholas Baker on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at Logan Center at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Ill. Each song from the album is inspired by letters AlHaj received from Iraqis recounting their personal experiences from wartime. During the performance, each song was paired with a painting  by Iraqi visual artist Riyadh Neama inspired by the same letters. (Pinar Istek for the IWMF)

our purpose

In an era of misinformation and outrage, one of the most fraught relationships is the one between 3.5 million American Muslims and their neighbors. This project is Round Earth Media’s contribution to addressing that tension.

Time and again, the arts and culture have proven to be among the most effective ways of overcoming misunderstanding. Literature, fashion and food have a role, as well as music, drama, comedy, rituals and celebrations. One of the surest ways of putting culture before a broader audience is to share the stories of the thoughtful, energetic people who create it.

Round Earth Media is reaching out across the country in an ambitious two-year effort to dig out underreported stories. We are seeking examples of those who are using culture to put an innovative spin on the American Dream, and those who are shutting out the vitriol to learn more about each other’s lives, culture and traditions. Our aim is to give them the widest possible audience – through publication in mainstream media, both in the United States and in Muslim-majority countries.

Proudly sponsored by


Once the envy of the world, U.S. news organizations have closed almost all their foreign bureaus over the last few decades. The result is that Americans know less about the world than previous generations – at just the moment when the world is most connected. Using its unique partnership model, REM is turning the lights back on, bringing vision and depth to lost international coverage.

In partnership with

Need to get in touch?

Use the form below to contact us.