Hala Khalaf or Rambling Hal (born 1981) is a prominent Jordanian blogger as well as a freelance journalist whose writing focuses on how culture influences the daily lives of people living around the world.
She maintains her popular weblog Rants and Rambles
Born in Kuwait to a Palestinian father, Hala began her journalism career in Canada at the University of Waterloo where she worked as a reporter, photographer, proofreader and eventually forum editor of the campus newspaper Imprint. She graduated in 2003 with a BA Honours degree in English & Rhetoric and Professional Writing. She has a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music (LRSM) diploma in Piano Performance from England, and a Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate from Canada.
Upon graduation, Hala moved to Jordan where she worked as a freelance writer for various national Jordanian publications, including The Star, a weekly newspaper, and the monthly[magazine] Jo and Living Well. At The Star, she had a weekly column entitled Street Rhythm, in which she commented on the cultural beat and daily life of people living in Jordan.
While writing is her passion, Hala also dedicates her time to teaching children. In the summer of 2001, she travelled to Lebanon where she volunteered for 2½ months as an English teacher at Palestinian refugee camps. Furthermore, she teaches music to children in nursery schools and kindergartens in addition to giving piano lessons to young children.
In 2004, Hala was awarded the Novo Nordisk Media Prize for her article "The Truth About Diabetes" (Jo, March 2004). The award is given to the best article on diabetes and is evaluated by an independent international jury. This article was also a finalist for the Inquirer Award 2004.
After winning the prize, Hala embarked on the adventure of her life – a trip around the world to eight countries on four continents. The goal of this journey was to interview 13 children from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, but all with one thing in common – they all have diabetes. The result was the photographic and narrative book Young Voices: Life with Diabetes .
Hala Khalaf has also worked for Aramex International in their communications department, and as an English Information and Press Secretary at the Office of Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan.
Today, Hala continues to work as a freelance journalist as well as an external consultant for Novo Nordisk A/S. She is a proud member of the youth panel set up by Novo Nordisk to raise awareness about diabetes worldwide.
Khalaf lives with her parents and her two younger brothers in Jordan. Her father is a civil engineer and prominent businessman while her mother is a family practitioner and published medical writer. They live in a large flat in an upper middle class neighbourhood in the capital city, Amman. Her interests include reading, writing, playing the piano, travelling, photography, meeting people, and horseriding. Khalaf has also lived in Cyprus, Denmark, and Syria. She is part Syrian and a Jordanian national but she mainly sees herself as an Arab and a Muslim. She is proud of her Arab heritage, and appreciates the rich culture. Hala is a true believer in traditional Arab hospitality.