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Hakawati | حكواتي

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The Middle East is ripe for new ways of thinking and doing things. TMR is a Western perspective on the East, including conversations with open-minded thought leaders with innovative ideas. Writer and journalist Nadia Michel invites a diverse roster of friends and guests that include the most inspired CEOs, chefs, adventurers, entrepreneurs, musicians, authors, artists, and beyond.
 
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Nabs Al Busaidi was the first Arab to row 4,600 km across the Atlantic and the first Arab to walk 650 km to the magnetic North Pole. He talks about an encounter with a polar bear, being racially profiled while traveling and a debilitating injury for which he sought stem cell treatment in the US. He also shares tips for overcoming self-doubt. See om…
 
Nouf Al Oseimi is the Saudi Founder of Red Sea Citizens Dive Club and a scuba diving instructor. She shares her tips for avoiding shark attacks, explains why she started a movement for Saudi women divers, how life feels under the sea and why humans are doomed if the oceans die. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
Saeed Al Memari talks from a basecamp in Costa Rica about his ongoing “Peak for Peace’ expedition, a mission to climb the highest peak in all 246 countries backed by the sponsorship of the Crown Prince of Fujairah in the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi. Al Memari was the first UAE national to climb to the summit of Mount Evere…
 
Mashael Al-Obaidan is a Saudi rally driver who finished in the top 20 in the 2022 Dakar Rally from Ha'il to Jeddah. She describes the feeling of driving through desert sand dunes, dispels common myths about Saudi women and talks about swimming with whale sharks in Saudi’s untouched Red Sea. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
Amin Maalouf is a Dubai-based athlete who completed the Jungle Ultra race, one of the toughest ultramarathons. He recounts his grueling experience running for five days in the Amazon rainforest in Peru, the anaconda that almost got in the way and how he came out with a stronger mindset. The former ‘The Astronauts’ contestant also shares tips for br…
 
Nelly Attar is the founder of Move, Saudi Arabia’s first dance studio. She has climbed 14 mountains, including Everest and competed in two IronMan races and six global marathons and ultramarathons. She is also a personal trainer and was named Female Fitness Influencer of the Year in the MENA. She weighs in on how Saudi Arabia has gone from being th…
 
Rami Rasamny is the co-founder of Life Happens Outdoors, an adventure travel community. He explains how outdoor adventure saved him from a dark mental state and unhealthy lifestyle. He talks about some of the most incredible places on Earth where LHO has taken people and how nature can improve human health and banish personal demons. See omnystudio…
 
Tima Deryan is a mountaineer, aspiring astronaut and the founder of Feministiya, an apparel brand that promotes gender equality in the Arab world. She is the first Lebanese woman to have climbed Mount Everest. We learn about her perilous mountain adventures, meeting Scott Kelly on ‘The Astronauts’ and why a local supplier once suggested feminists s…
 
Zaha Hassan is a human rights lawyer and co-author of 'Breaking the Israel-Palestine Status Quo' at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a think tank in Washington, DC. She talks about shifting US policy, growing support for Palestine among the population and the ongoing evictions in Sheikh Jarrah. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy…
 
Damian Radcliffe is a journalist and a Professor in Journalism at the University of Oregon. He is also a regular contributor to major media outlets such as the BBC, Huffington Post and ZDNet. He talks about social media and VoIP bans in the Middle East, the development of proprietary apps, TikTok, and Israel's bombing of the media tower in Gaza. Se…
 
Sofia Guellaty is the founder and editor-in-chief of MilleWorld.com, a platform that highlights the latest in fashion, culture, beauty and travel from the boundary-breaking Arab youth culture. She talks about the media's ongoing practice of hiring Western editors and her own platform's commitment to working with Arab writers and directors. She addr…
 
Joe Arida is a Beirut-based multidisciplinary designer, art director and editorial stylist and the founder of fashion brand La Terre est Folle and a new furniture brand, Unintentional Functional Objects. A self-described humanitarian, he talks about sexual taboos and diversity in the Middle East, the shift in consumer behavior when it comes to fash…
 
Dana Al Fardan is Qatar's first internationally renowned female singer-songwriter. She talks about her upcoming projects including a musical based on Rumi, the best selling poet in the US. She explains the importance of reclaiming the lessons of Rumi in our daily lives and how telling his story can help the Middle East reclaim and export its cultur…
 
David Parker is a specialist in International Investment Promotion. He has spent the last five years working with Bahrain’s Economic Development Board, helping the small Arab country work towards its Economic Vision 2030 goals. He explains how the region is shifting towards being a cashless society at warp speed. He talks about the benefits of digi…
 
Angus Blair is a CIB Professor of Practice at the Business School at the American University of Cairo and an expert in corporate governance and ESG investing. He explains how the Abraham Accords could help speed up the Middle East's development as it faces the threats of water shortages and climate change. He talks about why the Palestinian leaders…
 
Hassan Damluji is Deputy Director of Global Policy & Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and author of 'The Responsible Globalist.' He explains how the foundation's $1.75 billion investment so far is being deployed to fight COVID-19 and the importance of funding the development of vaccines in advance to prepare for the next pandemic. He…
 
Fatima Al-Banawi is a Saudi Arabian filmmaker and actress who came into the limelight after starring in the film 'Barakah Meets Barakah', a romantic comedy that was produced and shot in Saudi Arabia but first released in Germany in 2016, before cinemas were allowed in Saudi Arabia. She talks about her country's untold stories and presenting a narra…
 
Elie Habib is the co-founder of Anghami, the music streaming platform that became the first Arab tech company ever to be listed on the NASDAQ. Fresh off the IPO, he reflects on a journey that started in 2012, when the small Lebanese startup started building a catalogue by uploading CDs to its platform. He talks about the symbiotic relationship with…
 
Wade Davis is a Canadian anthropologist, author and explorer. He talks about 'The Unravelling of America', an essay he wrote for Rolling Stone that got over five million views, how his PhD thesis on the zombie culture in Haiti became a Hollywood movie and his latest book Magdalena: River of Dreams, centered around Colombia's most important waterway…
 
Farah Nabulsi is a Palestinian British filmmaker and human rights advocate. She talks about directing a scene at the infamous Bethlehem Checkpoint 300 and working with Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri. She explains why she makes films meant to raise the global social conscience and why most people don't really know or understand what's really been goi…
 
Fawaz Shakralla is the Head of IT at the Bahrain Institute for Political Development (BIPD) and an expert on blockchain for telecom, banking, infrastructure and ERP project management. He weighs in on the current Bitcoin hype, the effect of day traders and explains the difference between publicly traded crypto vs. blockchain for infrastructure and …
 
Dr. Souha Kanj is a specialist in infectious diseases at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. She explains the differences between different types of vaccines coming on the market, Russia's Sputnik vaccine, the effect of COVID-19 on fertility and the pitfalls of uneven global vaccination. She weighs in on fake vaccines and predicts tha…
 
Philip Bahoshy is the Founder and CEO of Magnitt, a Dubai-based platform focused on tracking and enabling emerging venture markets including the MENA, Pakistan and Turkey. He shares highlights from their annual 2020 report, including the rise of fintech and why Saudi Arabia was among the only countries to see an increase in investments. He explains…
 
Nabil Debs is the founder of Plutus Capital Advisory in London. He’s also behind Arthaus, a collection of experiential hotels around the world. He talks about restoring his family's 19th century estate in Beirut, war tourism, his exclusive concierge service that includes setting up private appointments with designers and why the city is a sexy dest…
 
Rania Khalek is a journalist and contributor to 'In the Now', a US-based social media platform that has been accused of having ties to Russia but has since taken steps to disprove this. She talks about Joe Biden, the pitfalls of state-sponsored media, the US's state-collapsing policies in the Middle East and why she can no longer afford cheese in B…
 
Jörg Matthias Determann is an associate professor of history at VCU in Qatar and the author of the new book 'Islam, Science Fiction and Extraterrestrial Life'. He talks about the history of the genre in the Middle East, the connection between religion and science and how science fiction can inspire the next generation of scientists. See omnystudio.…
 
Raoum Bani is a Saudi chef and yoga instructor in Riyadh who promotes a plant-based diet. She talks about being an influencer in the Islamic kingdom and her journey from blogger to successful YouTuber. We discuss the power that content has over our lifestyle and how to find your own authentic voice on social media. See omnystudio.com/listener for p…
 
Soraya Chemaly is an award-winning writer and activist whose work focuses on the role of gender in culture, politics, religion, and media. She explains why we need to change ideas of gender that are ingrained in early childhood in order to disrupt the fundamental inequalities that exist in governments and business leadership. She also suggests that…
 
Qusai AKA Don Legend is a Saudi American hip hop artist, record producer, rapper and actor. He talks about his journey as a musical trailblazer and explains why he thinks Arab Hip Hop can make it on international music charts. He also explains how he's connected with corporate brands and shares details on upcoming music and acting roles. See omnyst…
 
Gad Saad is a a Lebanese-Canadian evolutionary psychologist and professor at Concordia University. He talks about his new book 'The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense'. He speaks out against post-modernism, radical feminism, identity politics and how tribalism is standing in the way of peace in the Middle East. He also ex…
 
Tariq Elmeri is a documentary filmmaker and the host of the Da Miri podcast. He talks about social media fatigue, the demand for more in-depth content and the insightful conversations he has on his show. He explains the value of finding a niche audience and the opportunity this provides for think tanks and advertisers to accurately reach their targ…
 
Dr. James Zogby is the founder and president of the Arab American Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based organization. He talks about how a new Democrat administration in the US might affect security in the Middle East, the prospect of trade between old rivals and the best solution for the Palestinian cause. You can follow James Zogby on Twitter: http…
 
Hadley Gamble is the host of Capital Connection on CNBC in Abu Dhabi. She talks about how a new Biden administration might impact the region economically, covering the Jamal Khashoggi murder and her brutal interview with Lebanon's former Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil at Davos, which went viral. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
Sharif El-Badawi is a founding Managing Partner of Plus Venture Capital, a $60 million VC fund that's been launched with a target of 120 investments over the next three years. The former managing partner of Falcon 500 talks about their unusual investment strategy, the specifics of the selection process and why he left Silicon Valley for the Middle …
 
Hatem Alakeel is a Saudi designer and the founder of Authenticité, a platform he created to bridge Saudi talent with the rest of the world. As the country shifts away from being dependent on oil and works towards Vision 2030, the market is attracting foreign investors. He talks about how the kingdom has evolved since launching his thobes brand Toby…
 
Sarah Bahbah is an artist and photographer of Palestinian descent who has amassed almost a million followers on Instagram. She talks about posing in her latest series entitled '3eib!' (shame in Arabic), sexual taboos and how she bypassed traditional channels like museums and galleries using social media to grow her collector base. See omnystudio.co…
 
Adam Baidawi is the Editor-in-Chief at GQ Middle East. He talks about why GQ is no longer just for men, why more young Arabs should join the media industry and how connecting with subculture in the region is key to the magazine's success. He gives tips on networking as a writer or creative. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
Carl Gerges is the drummer of Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila and also the founder of his newly launched architecture studio. On the heels of the 'l Love Beirut' fundraising concert with UK artist Mika that has already raised over 1 million Euros, he talks about being censored by authoritarian regimes, the balancing effect of yoga and his work as an a…
 
Mazen Hajjar is the CEO of Hawkers, a craft beer brand based in Australia. He talks about establishing 961 beer in Lebanon in 2006, the brew‘s ancient history in the Middle East, the important scientific and technological breakthroughs the industry has sparked and why you should never drink beer from a bottle. See omnystudio.com/listener for privac…
 
Talal Tabbaa is the Dubai-based co-founder and COO at Jibrel Network. He explains how cryptocurrency is regulated by digital scarcity, how it can protect investors against inflation and the advantages of trading on the ethereum blockchain, including the fact that it bypasses the traditional banking system. He predicts that it will eventually replac…
 
Mohamed Al Fayed is the CEO and Co-Founder of Grubtech, a Dubai-based F&B tech company founded in 2019 that recently received $2 million in seed funding. He explains how the restaurant delivery industry has rapidly evolved with COVID-19, how Grubtech optimizes the digital process, the advent of robotic kitchen 'staff' and the ways AI will change th…
 
Salah Tabbara is co-founder of Naseem Akkar Windfarms, Lebanon's first wind energy project that will power 225,0000 homes. In this episode recorded before the August 4th explosion at the Port of Beirut, he talks about the project's progress, how the private sector can help restructure that country's failed economy and eliminate the need for subsidi…
 
Sebastian Bond is the CEO & Founder at Kitab Sawti. The Arabic audiobook company was recently acquired by Sweden-based Storytel, a main competitor to Amazon's Audible, as part of a strategy to acquire global, emerging markets. He explains how he came up with the idea in Sweden in 2016 where the second language is Arabic and explains why audiobooks …
 
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