Cover art for podcast Strong Feelings

Strong Feelings

77 EpisodesProduced by Katel LeDû & Sara Wachter-BoettcherWebsite

Best friends and business partners Katel and Sara let it all out in a weekly show about work, friendship, and feminism. Plus, intimate conversations with authors, artists, activists, and entrepreneurs about how they got where they are, what they learned in the process, and what they do to find joy. … read more


Women and War Zones with Zahra Hankir

How do we know what happens in a war zone? Most info comes from journalists—white, Western, male journalists. Zahra Hankir thinks it’s time we heard from a very different group: Arab women reporting from their communities.

Zahra is the curator and editor of a new book: Our Women On the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World —a collection of powerful stories about living and working in conflict zones, all written by women.

She first realized how important this work was in 2011, when she was a journalist working at Bloomberg in Dubai, holed up in a highrise trying to report from afar on the Arab Spring. Now she’s collected the work of 19 different journalists—from a Syrian American straddling multiple cultures during tremendous strife to a Yemeni woman explaining the perils of attempting to travel her country without a male relative as chaperone.

The stakes are so high with so much of the coverage that these women do because they’re writing about their homelands and they’re writing about their neighborhoods and their villages… There is a level of intimacy there and there is a level of personal connection to the story that informs the way they approach the story, and they go through the struggle of having to remain impartial at the same time, even though it feels impossible.
—Zahra Hankir, editor and curator of Our Women on the Ground

We talk about:

  • Why it matters who we hear from, and which stories are centered in conflict reporting
  • What it means to be impartial in journalism—and what to do when that’s impossible
  • The challenges of being a reporter and a woman in the Arab world
  • Why so many women journalists feel guilty pausing from their reporting to tell their own stories
  • How hearing women’s stories changes our conception of the truth

Plus: Passing the Bechdel test, black girls and horror films, the problem of avoiding politics talk, and, on a lighter’s finally clog season, baby!


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