124 episodes

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.

Kerning Cultures Kerning Cultures Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 427 Ratings

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.

    The Intifada Tapes

    The Intifada Tapes

    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.

    • 22 min
    Rocket Man

    Rocket Man

    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.

    • 43 min
    Saving Mesopotamia's Marshes

    Saving Mesopotamia's Marshes

    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.

    • 16 min
    The Perfect Renaissance Man

    The Perfect Renaissance Man

    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.

    • 21 min
    The Sleeping Children

    The Sleeping Children

    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.

    • 47 min
    The Rise and Fall of #MeToo in Egypt: Part 2

    The Rise and Fall of #MeToo in Egypt: Part 2

    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.

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
427 Ratings

427 Ratings

Quit quantity ,

Great storytelling

Great journalism with a compelling narrative. I appreciate the perspective of an underrepresented (to an American audience) part of the world.

MorganAndie ,

Great stories from an underreported region

I really appreciate the efforts they put in to provide an English language source for stories we don’t normally hear.

hefyitbuyerway ,

Re-humanizing the Middle East

In a sea of news that often focuses on numbers, violence, and big overviews, Kerning Cultures stands out in its quest to show individual stories and experiences that help reshape this region in our psyche. It’s brilliant, and you won’t be able to stop listening or thinking about it.

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