Kerning Cultures | Middle East

42 EpisodesProduced by Kerning Cultures | Middle East

Middle East radio documentaries of culture, history, current affairs, science, and entrepreneurship produced by Alex Atack, Razan Alzayani, Dana Ballout, Shahd Bani-Odeh, Ramzi Bashour, Alexandra Chaves, Hebah Fisher, Bella Ibrahim, Mohamed Khreizat, Jacqueline Sofia, and Percia Verlin.

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Faraj, Part II: The USA

December 14th, 2018


In part one of this series, we told the story of Faraj Al Baadani’s family, which unveiled a little-known history between Yemen and Vietnam. Now, …

Faraj, Part I: Saigon to Sana'a

December 1st, 2018


The little-known, intertwining of history between Yemen and Vietnam, told through the lens of a single family. Part one of a story told in two parts.

78 Degrees North

November 16th, 2018


Short stories about passports, visas, and making “home”. And, the KC team challenge themselves to find a place in the world where visas don’t matter.

A Cinema, Demolished

October 30th, 2018


When demolition began on the Plaza Cinema in 2015, something unusual happened; Dubai residents began visiting the site to collect mementos from the …

Featuring Eib: إعتناق ديانة أخرى من أجل الحب

October 16th, 2018


From Arabic podcast Eib, the story of a boy who falls in love with a girl... and then, they realise, they're from different religions. From Season 1, Episode 5 of Eib, by the Sowt podcast network. 

Original episode …

Open Sesame

September 30th, 2018


In 1979, Iftah Ya Simsim - the Arabic version of Sesame Street - aired for the first time. Over the next ten years, the show was loved by children …

The Descent

September 17th, 2018


“I still believe this is the scariest moment of my entire life. My face is white, I’m shaking and I'm terrified. I'm frozen––I can't do anything.”

In …

The Things That Can't Speak

August 31st, 2018


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 …

Update: Love in 56KB

August 16th, 2018


It’s been two years since our story about Rami and Marinka, the Dutch-Lebanese couple who fell in love over MSN Messenger during the Lebanon-Israel war. Not once, but twice, chance brought them together online, sparking …

Her Side of the Story

July 30th, 2018


Ghada and Ranyah don’t know each other, but their stories have a lot in common. When they each married their husbands, everybody around them assumed they’d live happily ever after. But it didn’t turn out that way, for …

The Curse of the Pharaohs

July 11th, 2018


This year, the Egyptian national football team ended a 28-year streak of bad luck when they qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. But their road to the tournament wasn’t an easy one. It’s a story of heroism, …

None of the Above

June 30th, 2018


Every 10 years, the United States Census counts and categorises every person living in America. But for Middle Easterners in America, there has never been a category option. And now, for the first time, there might be.

To Oslo, With Love

May 30th, 2018


Elie was a journalist looking for her next story when she met Ziad at a party in Istanbul. Ziad was a Syrian refugee hoping to travel to Europe and …


April 30th, 2018


From Iraq to Texas: a doctor’s chronicle of rebuilding life from the ground up as a refugee. (Original, Arabic). 



Resettled (English)

April 30th, 2018



From Iraq to Texas: a doctor’s chronicle of rebuilding life from the ground up as a refugee. (English, dubbed version) 



Where the Heart Is

March 28th, 2018


(Censored) A story of where we're from - when it's not straightforward.

For his entire life, Maysam has lived in Dubai. His parents are from Syria, a place  he hasn’t visited since he was a young child. If you ask him, …

KC Listener Mashup: What's in Your Name?

March 20th, 2018


A mashup from our listening community exploring the literal meanings and experiences of your Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew names. 

The Mountain

February 28th, 2018


"Without the female building block, there will be no security." Ch 2 in our mini-series on women and deradicalisation efforts, in partnership with Women’s Advancement Deeply.

At the Feet of the Mother

December 30th, 2017


"How would you like to remember your son?" Ch 1 in a mini-series on women and deradicalisation. 

Tell Me Something I Don't Know

November 27th, 2017


Ask a Palestinian, ask an Israeli

What's in a Name?

October 19th, 2017


'Yasir?' That's too difficult. I'll just call you Tony. 

Startup Series: Tunis

September 5th, 2017


6 years after a revolution, what is it like starting a business in the new Tunisia? 

These Two Lanes Could Take Us Anywhere

July 28th, 2017


4,000 miles, a bike trip, an Armenian, a Turk, and a history that doesn't match up. ​​​​​​​

Not Just My Hijab (Ch 2)

June 7th, 2017


4 women, and their hijabs. Chapter 2 of a 2-part series. 


Not Just My Hijab (Ch 1)

June 1st, 2017


4 women. And their hijabs. Chapter 1 in a 2-part series, Not Just My Hijab. 

Have you rated us yet? Consider rating us on whatever platform you're listening to this podcast on! It really helps boost our rankings so …

KC Soundboard: We're Listening to You

May 1st, 2017


Behind the scenes of our startup Kerning Cultures. 

Serious Jolt

March 29th, 2017


One man's mission to revive Yemeni coffee for global markets. 

Where Do We Go From Here?

February 8th, 2017


A look at (the first) Trump travel ban and its effects. 

Fight or Flight

January 23rd, 2017


When you're forced to leave your home, what traditions do you take with you? A journey with an Afghani kite fighting master. 

Credit to The Kite Runner film, a 2007 production by Dreamworks Pictures and Paramount …

Birthplace of the UAE

December 3rd, 2016


The year is 1959, and 1 in every 2 babies are dying in childbirth in the United Arab Emirates.

KC Short: Mid East for Trump

October 10th, 2016


Reconciliation, a Tale of Two Seas

August 27th, 2016



July 21st, 2016


How do you lose a family member in Europe's elusive borders? And as a refugee how do you navigate the world of smugglers when crossing the English Channel? At a time when nations are sealing off their borders, we …

Love in 56KB

May 31st, 2016


An epic modern love story. He was in Beirut during the Lebanon-Israel war; she was in a small village outside of Rotterdam. They met on MSN Messenger.

Produced by Alex Atack, Razan Alzayani, and Hebah Fisher, with sound …

My Mother's Country, Mother Of The World (Ch 2)

March 23rd, 2016


"No one believed I was moving back to Cairo; it's a jungle there."
Chapter 2 finalises our exploration into Egyptian brain drain.

Featuring guests Sylvia, Alaa Shaker, and Tarek Hosny. Produced by Razan Alzayani and …

My Mother's Country, Mother Of The World (Ch 1)

March 17th, 2016


What do we owe the places that raised us?
Egypt has the highest rate of voluntary emigration in MENA, and we wanted to know why. Chapter 1 in a …

Poetry, Deconstructed.

December 17th, 2015


The creative process, deconstructed. This episode we take you behind the scenes to capture raw human talent: the intimate brainstorming, trials, and experimentation of 3 musicians and a poet preparing for a spoken word …

Finding Center

December 1st, 2015


Finding center: physical, spiritual, mentally.

Story I: [0:00-6:57] Finding Yourself in the Reflection of a Horse
Story II: [6:58-13:36] Finding Peace …

Reviving Hamra Street

October 26th, 2015


Painting Beirut's diaries on its walls. 

Featuring Yazan Halwani and Maria Abunnasr.
Produced by Dana Ballout with editorial support by Hebah Fisher.

Startup Series: UAE

October 19th, 2015


Is Dubai the next Silicon Valley of the Middle East? Startup stories from the United Arab Emirates.

Featuring Alborz Toofani of Snappcard, Elissa Freiha of WOMENA, and Baher Alhakim of Cloudappers. Brought to you by …

Startup Series: Egypt

October 11th, 2015


Egyptian startups: a different kind of revolution.

This episode features Mahmoud Abdelfattah, founder of, Con O'Donnell, co-founder and …

Startup Series: Lebanon

September 23rd, 2015


Water and electricity cut daily, and yet $400M for startups.

Our first episode of Kerning Cultures! Today's show describes what it's like starting a …

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