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Kerning Cultures

Kerning Cultures

Author: Kerning Cultures Network

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Stories from the Middle East and North Africa, and the spaces in between. 

Kerning Cultures is produced by Kerning Cultures Network. Support this podcast on https://www.patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month.
115 Episodes
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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.
Ronnie Chatah started giving his walking tours of Beirut in 2008, during a period of stability for the city. He would guide tourists through the city, telling stories of Phoenician ruins, French architecture and Ottoman houses. He’d also talk about Lebanon’s civil war, and the problems that came to follow it. These were always stories about other people, other eras and other lives, until December of 2013, when Ronnie’s own life was sucked into the political unrest that he'd spent years talking about on his tour. 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.
Dear Listeners

Dear Listeners

2021-06-0400:28

If you have been enjoying this podcast, we want to hear from you! ⁠ ⁠Understanding who you, our dear listeners, are helps us make decisions as we continue to grow at the Kerning Cultures Network. Help us understand you better by filling this short survey linked below, it won’t take more than 5 minutes. We promise you a cookie next we see you. Thank you!  https://tinyurl.com/ysyf8977
The Missing Archives

The Missing Archives

2021-06-0345:20

In 1968, a trio of Palestinian filmmakers began making films about life under Israeli occupation. Almost 15 years and over 90 films later, their film unit became a dominant force in the Arab film industry. But in 1982, their film reels disappeared. Overnight, decades of footage and thousands of hours of archives were gone. Today on Kerning Cultures, the search for the Palestinian Film Unit’s lost archives. This episode originally aired in August 2020 and was produced by Zeina Dowidar, with editorial support from Alex Atack, Nadeen Shaker, Tamara Rasamny, Dana Ballout, and Hebah Fisher. Fact-checking by Zeina Dowidar. Sound design and mixing by Mohamad Khreizat. Kerning Cultures is a Kerning Cultures Network production. For the list of films and other resources mentioned in this episode, visit our blog: https://kerningcultures.com/kerned-and-cultured/palestinian-film-unit Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
Escape to Cairo

Escape to Cairo

2021-05-2733:101

In October 1960, the walls were closing in for Patrice Lumumba. Months earlier, he had been celebrated as the Congo’s first democratically elected prime minister after decades of brutal colonial rule. But now, he had been overthrown in a coup and was being kept under house arrest by his political opponent. With Lumumba's life at risk, the Egyptian government under Gamal Abdel Nasser proposed a dangerous and unusual plan to have three of Lumumba's young children smuggled out of the country and away to the safety of Cairo. This week on Kerning Cultures; Patrice Lumumba's children, and their escape to Cairo. This episode was produced by Nadeen Shaker and edited by Dana Ballout and Alex Atack, with additional support from Zeina Dowidar, Shraddha Joshi and Percia Verlin. Fact checking by Tamara Juburi, and sound design and mixing by Alex Atack and Mohamad Khreizat. Bella Ibrahim is our marketing manager. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
After their employer abandoned the vessel they was working on, Vikash Mishra and his crew spent nearly three years stuck on a slowly sinking ship off the coast of the UAE. This week on Kerning Cultures: Vikash’s ordeal, and how he eventually made it back home to his family in India. This is the second of two episodes about ship abandonment in the Middle East. Listen to part one here. This episode was produced by Alex Atack and edited by Dana Ballout, with additional support from Zeina Dowidar and Nadeen Shaker. Fact checking by Tamara Juburi, and sound design and mixing by Alex Atack and Mohamad Khreizat. Ayushi Shah provided additional production support in Mumbai. Special thanks to Martha Schlee. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
Jerusalem Calling

Jerusalem Calling

2021-05-1341:071

Because of what's happening in Palestine this week, we're holding off airing our usual programming. Instead we're going to re-air one of our favourite episodes from last season: Jerusalem Calling. With this episode, we hope to remember the rich history of Palestine, and that the occupation and Israel's apartheid policies go back decades. If you'd like to learn more about ways you can help Palestinians, we've put together a list of resources on our website, and will be sharing them on our Instagram this week: @kerningcultures. The Palestine Broadcasting Service started airing in 1936, from a brand new transmitter tower in Ramallah. It was a British station in three languages, aimed at promoting the message of the mandate government throughout the region. But over the following decades, as Palestine saw political upheavals, bloody conflicts and power shifts, the radio station found itself in the middle of it all... and became a unique capsule of the events that lead up to the Nakba. This episode was produced by Shahd Bani-Odeh, Alex Atack and Darah Ghanem, with editorial support from Dana Ballout, Nadeen Shaker, Tamara Rasamny, Zeina Dowidar and Dina Salem. 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. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
When seafarer Mehmet Gulsen stepped on board the Kenan Mete, he thought he was signing up to a pretty standard 7 month contract, and then he’d be home in Ukraine with his young daughter and his dog. But a few months in, things started going wrong, and he ended up abandoned with his crew at a port in the Suez Canal, with no idea when they’d be able to go home. This week on Kerning Cultures, the strange legal limbo that allows seafarers to wind up abandoned and unable to leave their ships... sometimes for years at a time. This episode was made in collaboration with 99% Invisible. Check them out wherever you get your podcasts. It was produced by Alex Atack and edited by Katie Mingle, with additional support from Dana Ballout, Zeina Dowidar, Nadeen Shaker and the whole 99% Invisible team. Dilara Çelik provided translation support and Onur Akmehmet was the voice of Mehmet. You can find a transcript of this episode at our website. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
Exodus

Exodus

2021-04-2940:581

Loving Lebanon is one thing; living there is another. Generation after generation, surviving in the homeland sometimes costs too much. This essay was written and read by Zahra Hankir, and it was originally published in Guernica. The episode was produced by Alex Atack with support from Dana Ballout. Sound design and mixing was by Paul Alouf and Alex Atack. Bella Ibrahim is our marketing manager. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
Found Sound

Found Sound

2021-04-2348:31

Two stories of music getting lost… and then found again. A record producer unearths a Moroccan masterpiece in the back of a dusty electronics shop in Casablanca, sending him on a long and complicated mission to find out what happened to the artist. And, a song that was never meant to be heard outside a small group of friends becomes an internet sensation. This episode was written and produced by Alex Atack and Dana Ballout, with editing support from Zeina Dowidar and Nadeen Shaker. Fact checking by Tamara Juburi. Sound design by Alex Atack and Mohamad Khreizat. Bella Ibrahim is our marketing manager. Special thanks to Nahida Tarbaou, who helped us record one of the interviews for this episode, and to Roger Bendaly, Jannis Stürtz, Nordine Aboura and Joey Hamoui for speaking to us for these stories. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

2021-04-0927:511

In 1942, Lebanon’s National Museum opened in Beirut, celebrating the country’s golden age, and inside, it housed some of the region’s most important artifacts. So when the Lebanese war started in 1975, the museum staff came up with an elaborate scheme to save everything inside the museum. This week on Kerning Cultures, the story of how a small team of museum employees protect thousands of years’ worth of history. This episode originally aired in December 2019, and was produced by Alex Atack and edited by Dana Ballout, with additional support from Tamara Rasamny and Hebah Fisher. Fact-checking by Zeina Dowidar and sound design by Mohamad Khreizat. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
Viva Brother Nagi

Viva Brother Nagi

2021-04-0233:581

Nagi Daifallah was a young farm worker from Yemen who moved to California in the early 1970s, when he was just 20 years old. He went on to become one of the organisers of the influential 1973 grape strike in California, led by Cesar Chavez. But one night, after a day of striking, he was beaten to death by a local county sheriff outside a restaurant in Lamont, California. Although the sheriff who killed him never faced justice, Nagi’s story - and the movement he helped organise - went on to make real change to farm workers’ rights in America, and continues to inspire Yemeni American activists today. This episode was produced by Suzanne Gaber and Will Thomson, and edited by Dana Ballout. Additional support on this episode from Alex Atack, Nadeen Shaker, Zeina Dowidar, Shraddha Joshi and Abde Amr. Sound design by Alex Atack and Mohamad Khreizat. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
Flagged and Stamped

Flagged and Stamped

2021-03-2540:331

Over the last half century, as many nations around our region have gained independence or been through regime change, they’ve have had to ask themselves big questions. Like, what makes our country, our country? What are the symbols that define us? And, who gets to decide the answer to those questions? In our episode today, two stories about the complicated paths two countries took to arrive at those decisions. This episode was produced by Alex Atack and Abde Amr, and edited by Dana Ballout with additional support from Zeina Dowidar and Nadeen Shaker. Fact checking by Percia Verlin, and sound design by Mohamad Khreizat and Alex Atack. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
No Victor But God

No Victor But God

2021-03-1828:411

The graceful courtyards of Mexico and Puerto Rico aren’t the first places you’d go looking for a secret Islamic history. But a closer look at the tiles and teacups reveals a bloody, beautiful and largely forgotten past. This episode was produced by Alice Fordham and edited by Dana Ballout, with additional support from Alex Atack. Fact checking by Percia Verlin, and sound design and mixing by Mohamad Khreizat. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
In Case of Death

In Case of Death

2021-03-1133:51

What happens when somebody dies in a country that’s not their home? In the UAE, the answer to that is complicated. This week on Kerning Cultures, stories about the families who've had to go through the experience, and the group of volunteers who help repatriate the bodies of foreigners after they’ve died in the UAE. This episode originally aired in September 2019. Special thanks to Zaki, Max, Ashraf Thamaraserry, Vidhyadharan, Amal Mathew, Ambika and Renji. The people at the Indian Association; CM Bashir, Sajad Saheer, Mohamed Mohideen and Baiju G. Sunil at the Hindu Crematorium and Mr. Johnson at Holy Trinity Church. This episode was produced by Noha Fayed and Alex Atack, with editorial support from Dana Ballout, Hebah Fisher, Shahd Bani Odeh and Tamara Rasamny. Translation by Ashfana Hameed. Sound design by Mohamed Khreizat. Fact checking by Zeina Dowidar. Kerning Cultures is a Kerning Cultures Network production. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
In celebration of International Women's Day, we're bringing back our interview with Lebanese director Nadine Labaki on Al Empire, another Kerning Cultures Network show. Nadine chats with us about how her love for film began, the years of preparation and work for her 2018 film Capernaum, and her journey to becoming the first Lebanese woman in history to be nominated for an Academy Award.  Note: This episode mistakenly claims that Nadine was the first Arab woman to be nominated for an Academy Award. That distinction goes to Jehane Noujaim, another brilliant director, for her 2013 documentary The Square. This episode was produced by Dana Ballout and Tamara Rasamny, with editorial support by Hebah Fisher and Alex Atack. Sound design by Mohamad Khreizat and fact-checking by Zeina Dowidar. Original sting composed by Ramzi Bashour. al empire is a Kerning Cultures Network production. Search ‘Kerning Cultures Network’ to hear other podcasts like this one, and follow @kerningcultures on Instagram to stay in touch! Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $2 a month.
Whose Genizah?

Whose Genizah?

2021-03-0445:521

In 2015, our producer Nadeen Shaker visited the Cairo Genizah in one of Egypt’s oldest synagogues. It was the place where, thousands of years ago, the Jews of Egypt literally stored any papers with God’s name on them instead of throwing them away. After a prominent Egyptian Jew, Jack Mosseri, discovered the Genizah manuscripts almost a century ago, and his untimely death afterwards, the manuscripts disappeared from view for decades. When they were  finally rediscovered, the question of where the collection of manuscripts would eventually go – Egypt, Israel, or the UK – became a thorny and still unanswered debate. Today on Kerning Cultures, the story of the Genizah  manuscripts and the question of where Egyptian Jewish history should be kept. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month. This episode was produced by Nadeen Shaker and edited by Dana Ballout, with additional support from Alex Atack, Zeina Dowidar, Shraddha Joshi, and Abde Amr. Fact checking by Alex Atack and sound design and mixing by Mohamad Khreizat.
Evacuate Kuwait

Evacuate Kuwait

2021-02-2535:16

On August 2nd 1990, the Iraqi military invaded Kuwait City overnight, and its residents woke up to a city under occupation. The only airport was put on lockdown, and the Iraqi military set up checkpoints on the city’s streets. The US, UK and Russia condemned the invasion, and some British and American citizens were taken as hostages. But the Indian government had no stake in the conflict, and around 165,000 Indian citizens living in Kuwait were caught up in a situation that didn’t involve their country. Which left the Indian government with a question they'd never had to face before: how do we evacuate tens of thousands of our citizens from a foreign country, all at once? Today on Kerning Cultures, the story of one family’s escape from Kuwait during one of the largest government evacuations in history. This episode was written and produced by Alex Atack and Shraddha Joshi, and edited by Dana Ballout with support from Nadeen Shaker, Zeina Dowidar and Abde Amr. Fact checking by Shraddha Joshi, sound design by Alex Atack and mixing by Mohamed Khreizat. Bella Ibrahim is our marketing manager, and Kerning Cultures is a Kerning Cultures Network production. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
The A-Word

The A-Word

2021-02-1831:211

Ahmed Twaij explores an often-overlooked issue in the Arab world; racism towards Black Arabs. In this episode, he looks at racism in his own community, taking us from his Iraqi roots, through to modern day slurs still commonly used in many Arab communities around the world. This episode was produced by Ahmed Twaij, with editorial support from Dana Ballout, Nadeen Shaker, Zeina Dowidar and Alex Atack. Fact checking by Shraddha Joshi, sound design by Alex Atack, and mixing by Mohamad Khreizat. Music in this episode was by Ahmed Moneka and Blue Dot Sessions. Special thanks to Noon Salih and Sara Elhassan. Our marketing director is Bella Ibrahim, and Kerning Cultures is a Kerning Cultures Network production. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
Word on the Street

Word on the Street

2021-02-1135:571

As 2020 brought us countless examples of injustice and pain, it brought remembrances that we live in a world in need of more - well, work. And that means scrutinising the cities we live in, the homes we rest in, and… the streets we live on.  Today on Kerning Cultures, we’re bringing you two stories about two streets - and the justices and injustices hidden in their names. Follow us to Tehran and Khartoum as we uncover two histories brought together by one common denominator. This episode was produced by Zeina Dowidar, with editorial support from Alex Atack, Nadeen Shaker, Dana Ballout, Shraddha Joshi and Abde Amr. Editing by Dana Ballout, and fact checking by Shraddha Joshi. Sound design by Zeina Dowidar and Alex Atack, and mixing by Mohamed Khreizat. The article Zeina reads throughout this episode is ‘How to Rename a Street’ by Malia Wollan from the New York Times. Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.
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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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