• Alex Mayyasi

  • I am a journalist writing a book called Planet Money. Yes, that Planet Money! It's based on the NPR podcast.


    Previously I was the founding editor of Gastro Obscura, the food publication from Atlas Obscura. Before that, I was a writer and editor at the media startup Priceonomics, where I covered business, economics, and culture. I also helped companies with their content marketing and communications.


    I lived in Cairo from 2011 to 2012, and in April 2016, I published a book with Egyptian democracy activist Ahmed Salah titled You Are Under Arrest For Masterminding the Egyptian Revolution (a Memoir).


    I am represented by Howard Yoon of William Morris Endeavor, and I am an artist-in-residence at the Eldorado Springs Art Center.


    I also enjoy cycling, podcasts, and ube milkshakes.

  • My Projects

    Past and present, in roughly chronological order

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    Planet Money

    I have collaborated with the NPR podcast Planet Money since 2017. I'm now working with them to write a Planet Money book, which will be published by W. W. Norton.

    Learn more about the book >>

    Listen to my Planet Money episode 'Tax Hero' >>

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    American Vintage

    For Smithsonian Magazine, I wrote about an obsession of mine: how the wine industry is dismissing and ignoring an entire flavor frontier by only growing European grapes. I profiled a museum designer who has spent decades restoring a lost American wine culture.

    Read the article >>

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    Gastro Obscura

    I was hired as the founding editor of Gastro Obscura in 2017. In its second year, Gastro Obscura was one of three publications nominated for a James Beard Award in Best Food Coverage in a General Interest Publication. (Huzzah!) We published a bestselling book, Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide, in October 2021.

    Read Gastro Obscura >>

    Find the book >>

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    You Are Under Arrest For Masterminding the Egyptian Revolution

    When the Egyptian Revolution erupted, a storyline emerged: It was the spontaneous result of young Egyptians organizing on Facebook and Twitter. This was, well, wrong. By chronicling Ahmed's life—his political upbringing, his incarceration in a secret prison, his decade of in-the-streets activism—I tried to dispel this myth, and capture a life story that is astonishingly cinematic.

    Read an excerpt >>

    Buy the book on Amazon >>

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    How Subarus Came to Be Seen as Cars for Lesbians

    This is by far the most popular article I've ever written, and one of my favorites. I've written about many cynical marketing campaigns, but this one was heartwarming.

    Listen to the audio article on Paperless >>

    Read it on The Atlantic >>

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    I joined Priceonomics—a Y Combinator-backed tech startup—as its third employee and first writer. In the following years, we pivoted and built a media startup that published a mix of data-driven analysis and longform storytelling. My only regret is that I couldn't convince a content-marketing client to use my suggested headline of "How the Panama Canal Got Its Groove Back."