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Featuring exceptional Arabs around the world and their journeys to the top. al empire is a Kerning Cultures Network production. Search ‘Kerning Cultures Network’ to hear other podcasts like this one, and follow @kerningcultures on Instagram to stay in touch!
 
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His whole life, Walid Waked had been told that his great grandfather invented the Arabic typewriter. And then, one day, he learned that another family – the Haddads – believed they invented it. This week on Kerning Cultures, the contested history of the Arabic typewriter. This episode originally aired in September 2019. Thank you to everybody we sp…
 
Faysal Bibi and his team of palaeontologists have been captivated by this one particular moment that took place in the Abu Dhabi desert seven million years ago. This week, a journey back to a time before the desert was the desert… when elephants, crocodiles and monkeys reigned supreme in the UAE. This episode was produced by Alex Atack, with editor…
 
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 city, telling stories of Phoenician ruins, French architecture and Ottoman houses. He’d also talk about Lebanon’s civil war, and the problems that came to follow it. These were always stories about other p…
 
In 1968, a trio of Palestinian filmmakers began making films about life under Israeli occupation. Almost 15 years and over 90 films later, their film unit became a dominant force in the Arab film industry. But in 1982, their film reels disappeared. Overnight, decades of footage and thousands of hours of archives were gone. Today on Kerning Cultures…
 
After their employer abandoned the vessel they was working on, Vikash Mishra and his crew spent nearly three years stuck on a slowly sinking ship off the coast of the UAE. This week on Kerning Cultures: Vikash’s ordeal, and how he eventually made it back home to his family in India. This is the second of two episodes about ship abandonment in the M…
 
When seafarer Mehmet Gulsen stepped on board the Kenan Mete, he thought he was signing up to a pretty standard 7 month contract, and then he’d be home in Ukraine with his young daughter and his dog. But a few months in, things started going wrong, and he ended up abandoned with his crew at a port in the Suez Canal, with no idea when they’d be able …
 
In 1942, Lebanon’s National Museum opened in Beirut, celebrating the country’s golden age, and inside, it housed some of the region’s most important artifacts. So when the Lebanese war started in 1975, the museum staff came up with an elaborate scheme to save everything inside the museum. This week on Kerning Cultures, the story of how a small team…
 
Over the last half century, as many nations around our region have gained independence or been through regime change, they’ve have had to ask themselves big questions. Like, what makes our country, our country? What are the symbols that define us? And, who gets to decide the answer to those questions? In our episode today, two stories about the com…
 
The graceful courtyards of Mexico and Puerto Rico aren’t the first places you’d go looking for a secret Islamic history. But a closer look at the tiles and teacups reveals a bloody, beautiful and largely forgotten past. This episode was produced by Alice Fordham and edited by Dana Ballout, with additional support from Alex Atack. Fact checking by P…
 
What happens when somebody dies in a country that’s not their home? In the UAE, the answer to that is complicated. This week on Kerning Cultures, stories about the families who've had to go through the experience, and the group of volunteers who help repatriate the bodies of foreigners after they’ve died in the UAE. This episode originally aired in…
 
In celebration of International Women's Day, we're bringing back our interview with Lebanese director Nadine Labaki on Al Empire, another Kerning Cultures Network show. Nadine chats with us about how her love for film began, the years of preparation and work for her 2018 film Capernaum, and her journey to becoming the first Lebanese woman in histor…
 
As 2020 brought us countless examples of injustice and pain, it brought remembrances that we live in a world in need of more - well, work. And that means scrutinising the cities we live in, the homes we rest in, and… the streets we live on. Today on Kerning Cultures, we’re bringing you two stories about two streets - and the justices and injustices…
 
We're excited to announce that season 2 of Kerning Cultures starts next week. Each Thursday, we'll be bringing you new stories from around the Middle East and North Africa. Here's a taste of what's to come... Episode 1 drops on January 28th. Be sure to subscribe to this feed so that you never miss an episode. Support this podcast on patreon.com/ker…
 
Our winter season is coming very soon, but while you’re waiting just a little bit longer we wanted to share an interview with Kerning Cultures’ CEO and Co-Founder Hebah Fisher on the Da Miri Podcast. Tariq Elmiri, who hosts the show, spoke to Hebah about her personal journey in building Kerning Cultures from one show to the podcast network it is to…
 
Today on al empire, our season finale and last episode. So who better to end it with than the person who made this all possible? Hebah Fisher, KC Network’s co-founder and CEO, demystifies her name, shares beautiful family stories, and reveals a love for kickboxing. Through the highs and lows of building KC Network, Hebah tells us what kept her goin…
 
Omar went from being an investment banker to adventuring around the world. He’s been on adventures climbing the highest mountains in the world, attempting to row across the Atlantic Ocean, skiing in the North and South Poles, and a lot more, like starting his travel and adventure business, Wild Guanabana. Omar walks us through life’s eccentric high…
 
While we’re gearing up for our next season, we wanted to share a behind the scenes look at what goes into making our episodes. Hear Trancing with the Zars here, and Zabelle here. This behind the scenes episode was produced by Alex Atack with Zeina Dowidar and Nadeen Shaker. Editing by Dana Ballout, and mixing by Mohamad Khreizat. Kerning Cultures i…
 
Ghizlan Guenez always loved fashion. But, as she entered the corporate world, Ghizlan could never find modest yet fashionable clothing to suit her style and the women around her. In 2017, she founded The Modist, the first online luxury site for modest fashion. This episode was produced by Hebah Fisher and Alex Atack with editorial support by Dana B…
 
You may know Bernard Khoury from Johnnie Walker advertisements. He is the man behind some of Lebanon’s most iconic structures. Bernard takes us back to his childhood and the beginning of his architecture career, with his first major project, B 018, an underground nightclub that made global headlines, and tells us the impact that fame had on his wor…
 
Mona Ataya, a serial entrepreneur, started early by selling chewing gum in grade school. Now, she runs the region’s largest online baby store, Mumzworld. She talks about the balancing act of being a mom and running a leading e-commerce company and how her Palestinian background contributed to her entrepreneurial spirit. This episode was produced by…
 
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, the UAE is his home. But on paper it isn’t, and likely never will be. So what do you do when your home can’t be your home forever? This episode was originally broadcast in March 2018, and last week we cal…
 
Host and co-creator of Radiolab, More Perfect, Dolly Parton’s America, and more, Jad Abumrad has inspired the sounds of thousands of podcasts and radio shows around the world (Kerning Cultures Network shows included). In this episode, he opens up about being raised in a Lebanese household in Tennessee, curious about the intersection of music and st…
 
Nadine chats with us about how her love for film began, the years of preparation and work for her 2018 film Capernaum, and her journey to becoming the first Lebanese woman in history to be nominated for an Academy Award. Note: The first airing of this episode mistakenly claimed Nadine was the first Arab woman to be nominated for an Academy Award. T…
 
In our day-to-day lives, it’s a drink. But for some people, it is not as simple as that. It’s a Sufi’s spiritual companion, an Emirati’s keeper of tradition, and a Yemeni’s connection to his homeland. Today, we dive into three stories about coffee, exploring the tradition, culture, and spirituality of this simple bean. This episode was produced by …
 
The lower west side of Manhattan used to be home to the biggest population of Arab immigrants in the US. In the early 20th century, streets were full of people speaking Arabic, with street vendors selling ka’ak, storefront baklava displays; this was New York’s “Little Syria”. Today though, it’s all gone. This week on Kerning Cultures, America’s fir…
 
Faysal Bibi and his team of palaeontologists have been captivated by this one particular moment that took place in the Abu Dhabi desert seven million years ago. This week, a journey back to a time before the desert was the desert... when elephants, crocodiles and monkeys reigned supreme in the UAE. This episode was produced by Alex Atack, with edit…
 
In 1968, a trio of Palestinian filmmakers began making films about life under Israeli occupation. Almost 15 years and over 90 films later, their film unit became a dominant force in the Arab film industry. But in 1982, their film reels disappeared. Overnight, decades of footage and thousands of hours of archives were gone. Today on Kerning Cultures…
 
This week on Kerning Cultures, two short stories. Producers Alex and Zeina uncover why Egyptians are so good at playing squash, and look at a businessman’s unlikely dream to tow an iceberg from Antarctica to the shores of the UAE. This episode was produced by Alex Atack and Zeina Dowidar, with editorial support from Dana Ballout, Tamara Rasamny, Na…
 
We’re heartbroken by what happened in Beirut on Tuesday, August 4. Many of us at the Kerning Cultures team are Lebanese, or have close ties to Beirut. So we’re taking a break from publishing our episode this week. Instead, we’d like to use this platform to ask you to consider donating what you can to relief efforts like the Lebanese Red Cross. You …
 
For centuries in Egypt, Zar was a music and dance ritual believed to heal women from unwanted spirits that possessed their bodies. But as time went on and ideologies changed, the practice became controversial and deeply feared. And now, it’s mostly gone. Today on Kerning Cultures, join producer Zeina Dowidar on a journey of music, spirits, and tran…
 
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