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The Intifada Tapes

The Intifada Tapes

2022-05-1323:50

Stuck in his Palestinian hometown of Jenin during lockdown, Mo’min Swaitat walked into an old music shop where thousands of dusty cassettes lined the walls. They contained decades of Palestinian music and field recordings once confiscated by the Israeli army, long since forgotten, and never meant to make it out of Palestine. This is the story of what was on those cassettes, and Mo’min’s mission to give them a second life. This episode was produced by Nadeen Shaker and edited by Dana Ballout. Fact checking by Deena Sabry, sound design and mixing by Nadeen Shaker, Alex Atack and Monzer El Hachem. Our team also includes Zeina Dowidar. You can listen to the Intifada album on Bandcamp. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month.
Rocket Man

Rocket Man

2022-04-2944:07

In the 1960s, a college professor and his group of students were determined to build and launch rockets into space. And so, they did. This week, on Kerning Cultures, a story about the first-ever rocket launched from the Arab world into space. This episode first aired in 2020 and was produced by Tamara Rasamny with editorial support from Dana Ballout, Zeina Dowidar, Alex Atack, Nadeen Shaker, and Hebah Fisher. Sound design by Mohamad Khreizat, and fact-checking by Zeina Dowidar. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
Azzam Alwash remembers the marshlands of southern Iraq as a magical place, where he would spend long days gliding through the thick reeds by boat with his father. But for decades now, the area has been under threat, so Azzam has become part of the effort to save the natural wonder before it's too late. This episode was produced by Dana Ballout, Alex Atack and Tamara Juburi with fact checking by Deena Sabry. Sound design and mixing by Alex Atack and Mohamad Khreizat. A special thanks to Azzam Alwash for speaking to us. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month. Find a transcript for this episode at our website, kerningcultures.com/kerningcultures.
In the 1930s, the architect Nasri Khattar had an idea to singlehandedly overhaul the Arabic script. For the next 47 years, he worked day and night to get the world to adopt his writing system, Unified Arabic. Ultimately, he failed. This is his story.  This episode was produced by Jahd Khalil and edited by Dana Ballout with Alex Atack and Hebah Fisher. Sound design and mixing was by Alex Atack and Mohamad Khreizat. You can find Yara Khoury's book - Nasri Khattar, a Modernist Typotect - here. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month. Find a transcript for this episode at our website.
The Sleeping Children

The Sleeping Children

2022-04-0850:001

In 2012, a Yazidi family fled to Sweden in the hope of a better life, far from persecution. After nearly six troubled years struggling to seek asylum without proper paperwork, their traumatised daughter “fell asleep” - and didn’t wake up again for another five years.  For half a decade she has been in a coma-like state, a condition called resignation syndrome that afflicts thousands of other asylum-seeking children in Sweden. Producers Zeina Dowidar and Andrei Popoviciu travel to Sweden and meet the families, doctors and social workers who are trying to figure out what this mysterious illness is, and how to treat it. This episode was produced by Zeina Dowidar and Andrei Popoviciu. It was edited by Dana Ballout with support from Alex Atack and Nadeen Shaker. Fact checking on this episode was by Deena Sabry, audio editing by Youssef Douazou, and sound design and mixing by Mohamed Khreizat. Translation by Amina Khalil. A special thanks to all of the families we spoke to, as well as Dr. Elisabeth Hultcrantz, Dr. Karl Salinn and Dr. Debra Stein for speaking with us for the episode. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month. Find a transcript for this episode at our website.
A warning: This episode contains descriptions of sexual violence and assault. As Egyptian women celebrated the arrest of serial predator and rapist Ahmed Bassam Zaki in the summer of 2020, another case came to light: An alleged gang rape in the upscale Fairmont Hotel. If the men involved were convicted, this case would be another big success for the #MeToo movement in Egypt. But instead, it took nasty turns; evidence would be buried, case witnesses would be arrested and campaigners for the victim would face threats and intimidation. Many began to ask: was this the end of the #MeToo movement in Egypt? This week, the second in a two-part series: the rise and fall of #MeToo in Egypt. This episode was written and produced by Nadeen Shaker and Zeina Dowidar, with editing by Dana Ballout and Alex Atack. Fact checking by Deena Sabry and sound design and mixing by Mohamad Khreizat and Paul Alouf.  Special thanks to everyone who made this story happen: Sabah Khodir, Noor Gohary, Nadine AbdelHamid, Farah Desouky, Zeina Amr, and Nadine Enan. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month. Find a transcript for this episode at our website, kerningcultures.com/kerningcultures. Editor's note: An earlier version of this story inaccurately stated that Sabah Khodir had seen the Fairmont video. In fact, she had only seen screenshots of it. The audio has been updated to reflect this correction.
A warning: This episode contains descriptions of sexual violence and assault. In the summer of 2020, a 22-year-old Egyptian woman made the difficult decision to publicly call out her harasser on social media. In a moment of rage, she picked up her phone and typed out a post that would end up travelling much further than she expected - far beyond her social circle. Over the next few weeks, in a whirlwind of Tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram stories, it became clear that she wasn’t the only person this man had assaulted: over 50 other women stepped forward with a laundry list of accusations against him. It was the first step towards a major reckoning for Egypt; one that inspired big changes in how the country - and the law - deals with sexual assault cases. But for the activists driving that change, it would turn out to be exhausting, and even dangerous. This week, the first in a two-part series: the rise and fall of Egypt’s #MeToo movement. This episode was written and produced by Nadeen Shaker and Zeina Dowidar, with editing by Dana Ballout and Alex Atack. Fact checking by Deena Sabry and sound design and mixing by Paul Alouf. Special thanks to everyone who made this story happen: Sabah Khodir, Noor Gohary, Nadine AbdelHamid, Farah Desouky, Zeina Amr, and Nadine Enan. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month. Find a transcript for this episode at our website, kerningcultures.com/kerningcultures.
Zabelle

Zabelle

2022-03-1750:36

In 1917, a musical prodigy called Zabelle Panosian recorded a song that captured the heartbreak of a generation of Armenian Americans in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide. She toured the world, selling thousands of records. And then, she was almost completely forgotten.  This episode originally aired in July 2020. This episode was produced by Alex Atack with editorial support from Dana Ballout, Tamara Rasamny, Nadeen Shaker, Zeina Dowidar and Hebah Fisher. Sound design by Alex Atack and Mohamed Khreizat, and fact-checking by Zeina Dowidar. Kerning Cultures is a Kerning Cultures Network production. Ian’s new book about Zabelle Panosian can be found here.  Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month. Find a transcript for this episode at our website.
The Burning Library

The Burning Library

2022-03-1025:562

In 1962 the library at the University of Algiers was burned to the ground, turning hundreds of thousands of books to dust. But it was overshadowed by Algeria’s independence from the French, and was largely forgotten. So one man has made it his mission to answer a simple question: are these books really gone? Or were they smuggled out by the extremists who set the library on fire in the first place? Thank you to Samir Hachani and Bruno Boulanger for speaking to us for this episode. Thank you also to Dr. Andrew Bellisari, and Rayane from @ze.art.nerd.  This episode was produced by Zeina Dowidar and edited by Dana Ballout. Additional support from Alex Atack and Nadeen Shaker, fact checking by Deena Sabry, with sound design and mixing by Paul Alouf. Additional production support from Abdelraouf Meraga. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month. Find a transcript for this episode here.
A note to listeners

A note to listeners

2022-03-0401:22

We’re holding off on releasing this week’s Kerning Cultures episode. Instead, we’re sharing resources on how to help the crisis in Ukraine. You can read the full list here.We’ll be back next week.
Hi Jolly

Hi Jolly

2022-02-2437:25

This week, we’re following the trail of an elusive camel herder called Hadj Ali (or, as the Americans called him; Hi Jolly). He was one of the first people from the Middle East to move to the USA, and although he died penniless, alone and almost entirely forgotten, he played a big role in America’s westward expansion... all on camelback. It's a wild ride, so saddle up. This episode was produced by Laith Majali, Dana Ballout and Alex Atack, and edited by Dana Ballout. Fact checking by Deena Sabry and additional support by Nadeen Shaker and Zeina Dowidar. Sound design and mixing by Mohamad Khreizat and Alex Atack. A special thanks to Doug Baum, Marshall Trimble, Heba Afify and all of the cameleers who spoke to us for this story. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month. Find a transcript for this episode here.
Mother Tongue

Mother Tongue

2022-02-1736:39

How do you preserve a language when your government is actively trying to erase it? Abduweli Ayup is a Uyghur linguist who was trying to stop the Chinese government from replacing Uyghur with Mandarin. He had been studying the language’s history, teaching Uyghur to younger students and writing books in Uyghur. But when the Chinese government began forcibly detaining Uyghurs in Xinjiang, his work got much riskier. Then, they came for Abduweli himself. This week on Kerning Cultures, Abduweli’s fight to preserve his mother tongue. This episode originally aired in August 2019. Special thanks to Abduweli Ayup and his family for sharing their story, and to Arienne Dwyer and Timothy Grose. You can find a transcript for this episode here. This episode was produced by Durrie Bouscaren and Alex Atack, with editorial support from Dana Ballout and Hebah Fisher. Sound design by Mohamed Khreizat. Fact-checking by Zeina Dowidar. Kerning Cultures is a Kerning Cultures Network production.
The Freemason

The Freemason

2022-02-1038:16

A family secret, hidden for decades by a grandfather in Iraq, gets uncovered by his grandson - who chooses to revive a potentially dangerous legacy. This episode was produced by Alex Atack and Tamara Juburi, and edited by Dana Ballout with additional support from Nadeen Shaker and Zeina Dowidar. Fact checking by Tamara Juburi and sound design by Mohamad Khreizat. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month. Find a transcript for this episode here.
During the Syrian war, a group of archeologists risk their lives to record the damage being done to their country’s cultural heritage, just as it was being taken away from them. This episode was written and produced by Zeina Dowidar and Alex Atack, and edited by Dana Ballout with additional support from Nadeen Shaker. Fact checking by Tamara Juburi and sound design by Sara Kaddouri. Thank you to Alice Fordham and Salman Ahad Khan for their help recording interviews for this story, and to Abdullah Al Assil, who performed the voice of Adnan. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month. Find a transcript for this episode here.
Operation Boulder

Operation Boulder

2022-01-2738:38

Since 9/11, US governmental agencies have poured millions of dollars into spying on Arabs, Muslims and Arab Americans. Their surveillance has changed countless lives as ordinary citizens all over the country were interrogated, arrested or had their homes raided. But this didn’t start in 2001. Invasive - and even illegal - surveillance programmes against Arabs and Arab Americans have a long history in the US, going all the way back to the 1970s, with a program code-named Operation Boulder. But it wasn't until a lawyer named Abdeen Jabara took his own government to court that the true size and scale of the programme was revealed. This episode was produced by Suzanne Gaber and Will Thomson, and edited by Dana Ballout and Alex Atack. Fact checking by Deena Sabry. Additional support from Nadeen Shaker and Zeina Dowidar. Sound design and mixing by Paul Alouf. Thank you to Afnan, Amaney Jamal, Abdeen Jabara, Anan Ameri, John Shattuck, and Nicole Nguyen for speaking with us for this episode, and to the Bentley Historical Library for the use of their archives. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month. Read this episode’s transcript here.
Kerning Cultures season 3 launches next week, January 27th. Make sure to subscribe wherever you get podcasts so you don't miss an episode. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month.
Ahead of the latest season (which launches at the end of this month!), our team gets together to talk about what they’re excited for, and what they’ve learned from producing the upcoming season of Kerning Cultures. Kerning Cultures’ season three launches on January 27th. Make sure you’re subscribed wherever you get podcasts so you don’t miss an episode. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month.
Loving Lynn

Loving Lynn

2021-07-0125:511

Lynn left behind her hometown village in the Philippines for a housekeeping job in Lebanon at the age of 23. It was only meant to be temporary… until she met Butros, her employer’s nephew, and they fell in love. But for Lynn, marrying Butros has meant choosing to settle down in a country where she’s treated as an outsider. This episode originally aired in June 2019 and was produced by Dana Ballout, Nathalie Rosa Bucher and Alex Atack. Editorial support from Hebah Fisher. Sound design by Mohamad Khreizat. Kerning Cultures is a Kerning Cultures Network production.  Support this podcast on Patreon for as little as $1 a month.
A Tale of Two Inventors

A Tale of Two Inventors

2021-06-2532:271

His whole life, Walid Waked had been told that his great grandfather invented the Arabic typewriter. And then, one day, he learned that another family – the Haddads – believed they invented it. This week on Kerning Cultures, the contested history of the Arabic typewriter. This episode originally aired in September 2019. Thank you to everybody we spoke to for this story: Ahmed Ellaithy – for taking us down the rabbit hole with you – Walid Waked, Anis Waked, Alexandre Cordahi, Nagla Badran, Pascal Zoghbi and Titus Nemeth. This episode was produced by Ahmed Ellaithy, Hebah Fisher, Nadeen Shaker, and Alex Atack, with editorial support from Dana Ballout, Tamara Rasamny, and Zeina Dowidar. Sound design by Mohamad Khreizat. Fact-checking by Zeina Dowidar. Kerning Cultures is a Kerning Cultures Network production. This episode is brought to you by GoSell by Tap Payments: https://www.tap.company/sa/ar/sell Kerning Cultures is a Kerning Cultures Network production. Support this podcast on Patreon for as little as $1 a month.
Faysal Bibi and his team of palaeontologists have been captivated by this one particular moment that took place in the Abu Dhabi desert seven million years ago. This week, a journey back to a time before the desert was the desert… when elephants, crocodiles and monkeys reigned supreme in the UAE. This episode was produced by Alex Atack, with editorial support from Dana Ballout, Nadeen Shaker, Tamara Rasamny and Zeina Dowidar. Fact-checking by Zeina Dowidar and Dina Salem. Sound design by Alex Atack and mixing by Mohamed Khreizat. Kerning Cultures is a Kerning Cultures Network production. This episode originally aired in September 2020. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
Comments (11)

Maria Ray

What a greatat episode!!! Hamed seems like a genuinely lovely person!!!

Sep 14th
Reply

Euphoria

WHAT IS THIS BEAUTYY

Jul 28th
Reply

ardalan hadjirahim

you guys have a great show. I think it's time you interview these guys again.

Jan 8th
Reply (1)

Mariam Ismail

I love the format you used, all the interviews were great, and you really were able to capture the essence of what's happening. Great job 👌👌

Nov 21st
Reply (1)

Nicola Hodges

one of my favourite podcasts! Thanks for creating great content!

Nov 17th
Reply

Thomas McCall

Excellent episode! Keep up the great work!

Nov 13th
Reply

Dave Lee

Wow. Incredible stories.

Nov 4th
Reply

Hebah Fisher

Thanks Abdelrahman!!

Sep 5th
Reply

Abdelrahman Magdy

great work, KC!

Sep 5th
Reply
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