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We’re thrilled to share another podcast from Kerning Cultures Network with you: al empire.
al empire returns for Season 3 with more stories of exceptional Arabs from around the world and their journey to the top, from comedians and entrepreneurs to musicians and media mavericks. This season of al empire, we’re also releasing the full uncut video episodes online.
In this episode, we sit down with Palestinian-American stand-up comedian and actor Mo Amer.
Mo always knew he wanted to be a...
Since our series about 'Aizen' ended, many of you have been in touch asking for an update on his story. When we left you at the end of the last episode, he had arrived in Europe, three years after leaving his home in Kabul and travelling through a labyrinth of smuggler networks. He claimed asylum in the UK, but his case was in limbo... Now we have an update for you.
This episode was produced by Al Shaibani and edited by Alex Atack and Dana Ballout. Fact checking was by Deena Sabry, and sound...
When Elaine Mokhtefi landed in newly independent Algeria in the early 1960s, she was only planning for a short visit. But she quickly found herself at the centre of a special period in the country’s history, as Algiers played host to liberation groups from across the world – earning a reputation as the “Mecca of revolution”.
In this unlikely setting, Elaine moved in the same circles as world famous radicals, rag tag political parties, spies and military leaders. And she became an unlikely...
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 originally aired in February 2021, and was produced by Zeina Dowidar with editing by Dana Ballout. Additional support from Nadeen Shaker, Alex Atack, Shraddha Joshi, and Abde Amr. Fact checking by Shraddha Joshi, sound design by Zeina Dowidar and Alex Atack, with mixing by Mohamed Khreizat.
When Heba was very young, there was a knock at the door at her home in Lebanon. It was another family from the village, claiming that they knew her… from a past life.
Now, as an adult, she still wonders: Have I always been Heba? Or was there another life before this one?
This episode was produced by Dana Ballout and Alex Atack. Fact checking by Tamara Juburi, and sound design by Paul Alouf. Our team also includes Zeina Dowidar, Nadeen Shaker and Finbar Anderson.
Support this podcast on...
You might remember Somali bananas from your childhood, lining the shelves at your local supermarket. During the late 80s and early 90s, Somalia made millions of dollars exporting its coveted bananas to Italy and the Middle East. But this thriving export business ground to a halt suddenly in 1991, when the country was thrown into the grip of a civil war.
Decades later, farmers have returned home to try and bring the Somali banana back to its former glory. But with so much standing in their...
'Yasir?' That's too difficult. I'll just call you Tony.
This episode originally aired in October 2017.
Kerning Cultures is a Kerning Cultures Network production. Support this podcast on Patreon for as little as $2 a month.
In 2014, the palaeontologist Nizar Ibrahim went public with an astonishing discovery he’d made while studying a set of dinosaur bones from the Moroccan Sahara. But almost immediately, it caused a rift amongst his colleagues – forcing them to question everything they’d ever known about their work.
This is the strange and chaotic story of Nizar’s discovery – how it upended everything we know about dinosaurs – and the unlikely, devastating saga behind humankind’s pursuit of the truth about the...
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 strikes 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...
After finally reaching Europe, Aizen was back in jail. He had calculated that the journey from Afghanistan to France would take three months. But more than two years later, he was somewhere completely different. Then, finally, his luck started to turn.
This episode was produced by Al Shaibani and edited by Alex Atack and Dana Ballout, with editorial support from Heba El-Sherif. Fact checking was by Eman Elsherif and Deena Sabry, and sound design was by Monzer El Hachem and Paul Alouf....
Through smugglers, barbed wire fences and forests, Aizen arrives in Europe. But the sense of relief he feels at making it this far is short-lived: the physical and mental toll of travelling so far from home begins to weigh heavy.
This episode was produced by Al Shaibani and edited by Alex Atack and Dana Ballout, with editorial support from Heba El-Sherif. Fact checking was by Eman Elsherif and Deena Sabry, and sound design was by Monzer El Hachem and Paul Alouf. Artwork by Ahmad Salhab. Our...
‘A game’ is what smugglers and migrants call attempting to cross illegally from one country to another. As Aizen leaves his childhood behind in Afghanistan, his only way to get to Europe is to play the game, travelling through this dangerous network of human traffickers.
This episode was produced by Al Shaibani and edited by Alex Atack and Dana Ballout, with editorial support from Heba El-Sherif. Fact checking was by Eman Elsherif and Deena Sabry, and sound design was by Monzer El Hachem and...
‘Aizen’ says he’s the most unlucky person in the world. This football-obsessed teenager from Afghanistan grew up in the chaos of Kabul, and at 15, was imprisoned in one of the worst adult prisons in the world. All for a crime he didn’t commit. In this four part series, we’re following Aizen’s journey as he leaves his childhood in Afghanistan behind for what he hopes will be a better life in Europe.
This episode was produced by Al Shaibani and edited by Alex Atack and Dana Ballout, with...
When you think of good quality olive oil, which countries first come to mind? This week, we’re travelling to the heart of the world’s largest exporter of organic olive oil to learn all about the liquid gold that graces dinner tables around the globe. And it’s not where you’d expect.
This episode was produced by Zeina Dowidar and edited by Dana Ballout. Fact checking by Deena Sabry and sound design by Youssef Douazou. Our team also includes Alex Atack, Nadeen Shaker and Finbar Anderson.
A father and daughter journey to their ancestral homeland, looking to track down the place their family had lived before being forced to flee the Armenian genocide.
They’re among hundreds of Armenian families who, over the last three decades, have returned to their ancestors' home on a search for answers, in a country that that still denies the genocide ever took place.
This episode was produced by Alex Atack and Deena Sabry, and edited by Dana Ballout. Fact checking was by Deena Sabry and...
This is the final week of the first World Cup hosted in the Middle East. And it’s been a tournament like no other: We’ve seen Morocco advance further than any Middle East or African team has before, making the whole region proud. And we’ve seen many joyous moments go viral as fans from across the world descend on Doha.
But it’s also a World Cup shrouded in controversy, that has left many of us with mixed feelings.
So, over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been going out to speak with fans...
Alex Odeh was well known in the Arab community in Santa Ana, California. He was often on TV or writing into newspapers, talking about discrimination against Arabs in the US or about his beloved homeland, Palestine. But on the morning of October 11th 1985, he stepped through his office door and a pipe bomb exploded. He died hours later. From the beginning, the FBI had strong leads and a list of suspects. But decades later, Alex Odeh’s murder is still unsolved.
This episode was produced by...
Kerning Cultures season 4 launches next week, December 8th. 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.
We’re thrilled to share another podcast from Kerning Cultures Network with you: “Beyond the Raging Sea: State of Mind”.
In 2016, Omar Samra called Omar Nour with a life-changing idea: “How about we row across the Atlantic Ocean?” Within a matter of hours, the two were registered to compete in the world’s toughest race: a 3,000-mile unsupported row across the mighty Atlantic Ocean, in a seven-meter rowing boat. However, nine days into their journey, when their boat capsized in a severe storm...
It’s 1988, and Somalis are fleeing the city of Hargeisa. People are trying to get out, trying to save their families. But in the city’s radio station, staff are packing cassettes and reel to reel recordings into a secret underground bunker. On them: A slice of their country’s musical heritage, to remain for years in an underground room—until now.
This episode was produced in collaboration with Far Flung with Saleem Reshamwala, from the TED Audio Collective. To listen to other episodes that...
We’re excited to share another podcast from the Kerning Cultures Network with you.
Masafat is Kerning Cultures’ soul sister. It’s a series of Arabic audio documentaries driven by curiosity. Exploring unfamiliar dimensions from the past or the present.
In this episode, we introduce a music genre surrounded by a lot of controversy: Mahragant music in Egypt. Why do we only listen to Mahraganat by men? Why haven’t women broken into Mahraganat yet?
Masafat is a Kerning Cultures Network...
A blind oud player from humble beginnings, Sheikh Imam’s destiny changed drastically when he met a dissident poet called Ahmed Fouad Negm, and they formed a duo. Together, they would go on start a new era in Egyptian popular music. Their songs would shake regimes, travel the world on cassette tapes, and transcend their own time to become part of the soundtrack to Egypt’s revolution decades later.
Today, the story of Sheikh Imam: the Egyptian singer who became an icon of dissent.
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...