Aswat: Voices of Arabia is an English language podcast from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which explores the lives, aspirations, and achievements of women of the region.
One year on
Today, exactly one year ago, women in Saudi Arabia started driving again. On the 24th June 2018, a driving ban that had been in place for many decades, was lifted. It was a huge step forward. To celebrate this day, we're replaying our very first episode, 'Driving, at last!'
In our second chat with Modia Batterjee, she talks about her work as a resilience practitioner. Through her involvement with Al Bidayah Centre, the breastfeeding clinic in Jeddah, she's come to realize the tenacity of Saudi women in their day to day routines - more so, in many ways, than with women in other parts of the world, due to the local challenges.
Modia's resilience has also been tested but she's found a way to help her through tough times. Here's her story.
Modia's Story - Nurturing Motherhood
Saudi Arabia has become a nation of bottle feeders since the increased availability of infant formula during the oil boom. The country also has a high prevalence of breast cancer deaths due to low awareness of methods of early detection. Only recently has it even become acceptable to discuss breast cancer.
Modia Batterjee and her mother, Anne, started a breastfeeding centre in Jeddah to highlight the importance of breast feeding for mother and child as well as its role in improving early detection.
The Graffiti Artist
Graffiti plays an important role in urban landscapes in cities around the world. Here, in Saudi Arabia, it's more subtle because you're not allowed to do graffiti just anywhere.
But the graffiti movement, while more controlled, is beginning to find a voice. Hanan Kamal is part of that movement.
Danya Al Hamrani has been telling stories for as long as she can remember.
In 2008, she and her business partner, Dania Nassif, started the production company, Eggdancer - the first company in Saudi Arabia, to be owned and run by women.
Eggdancer has produced their first long documentary "Rise: The Journey of Women in Saudi Arabia."
Danya tells us her story.
Maggie Andriopoulos has done more than 5500 dives, mostly in the Red Sea off Jeddah. She moved to Saudi Arabia with her family for a two year stay, but two Gulf wars and thirty years later, she's still enjoying life here.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Again a most excellent, heartwarming and inspiring episode. Robyn we think you are a genius and with each recording your love for people and compassion shines and glows and heals those who listen. Thanks.
Again your stories transport me and underwrite what I believe. All women are kin. Our experiences are similar and we do endure. BRAVO.