In this six-part podcast series, we showcase stories of refugees as they adjust to their new lives in Virginia. These personal stories are woven together with useful teaching moments about the resettlement process. Season one will consist of six thematic episodes, which aim to bring the listener into the daily lives of refugees through field interviews (at home, work and school), personally-recorded audio diaries and reflective studio interviews.Hosted by Ahmed Badr, a writer, social entrepreneur, poet, and former Iraqi refugee working at the intersection of creativity, displacement, and youth empowerment. On July 25th, 2006, Ahmed's home in Baghdad was bombed by militia troops. He and his family relocated to Syria as refugees before receiving approval to move to the United States. Ahmed is the founder of Narratio, a platform for youth empowerment publishing artwork from around the globe. In the last three years, these storytelling initiatives have reached over 20 million people across the world. In September of 2018, Ahmed was selected as one of 17 UN Young Leaders by the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth.Visit vpm.org/resettled for more information and additional content.
Bonus: One Year Later
In this special episode of Resettled, executive producer Angela Massino checks in a year later with Chef Noori, owner of the restaurant The Mantu. She also has a conversation with the host, Ahmed Badr, about visiting Iraq as an adult. What does he consider home? How does he navigate his many identities? Why does he feel so passionately about teaching others how to tell and share their own stories on their own terms?
Special thanks to WAER in Syracuse for the use of its studio to record this episode.
Bonus: Reclaiming the Refugee Narrative
In this stripped down conversation, Ahmed Badr speaks with Dr. Chioke I’Anson of the VPM+ICA Community Media Center about the ethics of storytelling, the power of creative platforms, and techniques for community-engaged media.
They discuss how podcast producers can push back against the dominant singular, two-dimensional narratives around displacement, and instead share thoughtful and nuanced stories, all while informing the audience.
Guests include Justin Gandy of the International Rescue Committee, as well as Fatimah, whose story was featured in the Education episode of Resettled.
One of the most common challenges refugees face is not speaking the language of their new country. You heard hints of this in some of the stories we told in Resettled: One of the first things that resettlement agencies in the U.S. recommend is taking English classes.
We want to share a story about language from another podcast we think you’ll like, called Neighbors. The show is a deep dive into the stories of ordinary people that reflect our common humanity.
This particular episode, "The Language Learner," follows the story of a man who resettled with his family in Nashville, Tennessee after being forced from his home country of Myanmar—formerly known as Burma.
This story was produced by Jakob Lewis in conjunction with Nashville Public Radio. Production assistance from Bailey Robbins. Edited by Emily Siner and Mack Linebaugh. Music by Podington Bear. To hear more stories from Neighbors, search in your favorite podcast app or go to www.neighborspodcast.com.
Do you ever truly feel resettled? What exactly does that mean, and how do you get there? For Mrs. Lailuma, a recent widow with children, arriving in Charlottesville, Virginia meant adapting not only to a new country, but also to a new family dynamic. The moment she felt like she'd be able to make it in America? Getting her driver's license.
We also caught back up with the refugees featured earlier in the series, as we originally spoke with them as far back as 2018, to hear where they stand on the question of resettlement. Ahmed and Angela also reflect on the current state of immigration and refugee resettlement in the United States, driving home the importance of changing the perception of people arriving from other countries.
When you’re so busy adopting new ways of life, it might not seem like there’s any room for your traditions. So how do you carry your culture with you to a brand new place -- and keep it intact? For Chef Noori, the creative process of Afghan cooking and writing poetry is one that he embraces both inside and outside his home. It's not just a lifestyle for Noori, it's his livelihood as well. His literal test kitchen for his American dream? It’s called The Mantu.
When Bhutan established a "one nation, one people" policy in the 1980s, Dadi Neopaney and his family had to flee or lose their way of life. Dadi grew up as a stateless refugee in camps before he and his wife and son were able to resettle in Richmond, Virginia.
Dadi had been a teacher and a journalist before resettling, but all that experience counted for nothing when he arrived in the United States. He had to restart his career from scratch, wearing a costume and waving a sign on the side of the road.
After working his way up through a variety of jobs, Dadi now had a Master's degree in social work and works as a hospital care manager, has earned his citizenship and remains hopeful of a day when he can legally return to his home country.
This is such a nice, thoughtful and insightful podcast. I hope more people discover it!
Nicely produced. Many surprises. Balances grief with joy.
I appreciate the thoughtful approach to describing the refugee resettlement experience. By focusing on specific elements of the individuals’ journey and inserting engaging personal stories, I learned so much from the varying perspectives.