• Alex Mayyasi

  • I am the editor of Gastro Obscura, a publication that aims to inspire wonder and curiosity about the world through food and drink. (It's part of Atlas Obscura.) Are you a freelance writer? Pitch me! Do you want to read about the world's only sourdough library, the Japanese origins of fortune cookies, or the world's last fire-fishing boats? Then sign up for the Gastro Obscura newsletter.

     

    Previously, I was a writer and editor at Priceonomics, a media startup in San Francisco, 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 also enjoy cycling, podcasts, and hiking trails.

  • My Projects

    Past and present, in roughly chronological order

    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!) A Gastro Obscura book will come out in September 2021.

    Read Gastro Obscura >>

    Tax Hero

    In America, doing your taxes is a pain. But around the world, filing taxes is so easy that "tax day" isn't even a thing. This podcast episode, which I reported and co-hosted with the brilliant Planet Money team, explains why.

    Listen on NPR >>

    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 >>

    How Subarus Came to Be Seen as Cars for Lesbians

    This article, published in Priceonomics and The Atlantic, was one of my all-time favorites to write. I've written about many cynical marketing campaigns, but this one was heartwarming.

    Read it on The Atlantic >>

    Priceonomics

    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."