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War News Radio

27
Jun 2022

The Invasion of a Generation: History and Experiences of Ukraine

This episode of War News Radio is a two-part coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The first part is a recount of the events leading up to this shocking conflict as told by Professor Weinberg, an expert in Russian and European history. The second part is the testimony of a Ukrainian citizen of the days leading up to the invasion and the first weeks of that conflict from his eyes. Together, they show the historical context and first-person perspective of a generation-defining war.

This episode was written and produced by Jace Flores, Benjamin Pauley, Ethan Pintar, Sadie Smart, Sophia Becker, and Max Winig.

1
Jun 2022

Reporting the Reality: The Taliban’s Threat to Local Journalists

Local journalists in Afghanistan have the power to expose the reality of life under Taliban rule. Seeking control over the media’s narrative, the Taliban poses a major threat to these journalists, whose jobs and safety are at risk.

 

On this episode of War News Radio, we interviewed Faisal Karimi, a professor of journalism and communication and the founder and director of Afghanistan Institute for Research and Media Studies, as well as Mohammad Asef Ghafoory, a journalist and professor in Afghanistan with experience in radio, television, and international media. They explain the history of journalism in Afghanistan and how it has changed dramatically with Taliban rule. They also discuss the safety implications that this shift has on their lives and those of other journalists. 

 

This episode was written and produced by Max Winig, Anya Slepyan, Long Tran-Bui, Lucas Meyer-Lee, Nicole Kim, Sasha Casada, and Sophia Becker.

22
May 2022

Forgotten Conflict: The Tigray War

This episode of War News Radio investigates the Tigray war in Ethiopia. The civil war has been ongoing since 2020 and has had huge human costs, despite very little press coverage of the conflict. 

 

We interviewed Professor Emily Paddon Rhoads, a political science professor at Swarthmore College who specializes in international relations, civilian agency, and international responses to conflict. We also spoke to David Shinn, a professor at George Washington University who served in the US Foreign Service, where he was an ambassador to Ethiopia. They discuss the roots of the conflict, the human impact of the war, and the misconceptions and implications of the war. 

 

This episode was written and produced by Jace Flores, Ethan Pintar, Max Winig, and Sophia Becker.

9
Apr 2022

Identity and Impact: Perspectives on Being an Afghan Refugee

This episode of War News Radio features Taufiq Azamy, an Afghan refugee-turned-doctor who discusses his personal experience of being a refugee, including fleeing Afghanistan in 1982, contending with the identity of being a refugee, the emotional impact, visits back to his homeland, and the current need to help refugees across the world.

 

This episode of War News radio was written and produced by Zane Irwin, Max Winig, Narimen Zorgui, Samantha Tanapat-Hastings, and Zamir Ticknor.

9
Mar 2022

Playing for Peace: Afghan Musicians’ Perspectives on Taliban Rule

With the Taliban’s recent takeover of Afghanistan, musicians have been fearful of their safety. During the Taliban’s previous rule, music was completely banned, and musician’s lives were in danger, and now citizens are concerned again that music poses a risk. 

 

In this episode of War News Radio, we spoke with Afghan pianist Arson Fahim, who has come to the United States to continue his studies, and Ariana Delawari, an Afghan American singer, filmmaker, and activist. They share their perspectives on the current state of music and musicians in Afghanistan, as well as how music and other modes of art are being used in resistance to Taliban rule.

 

This episode of War News Radio was written and produced by Sadie Smart, Jonė Bagdanskytė, and Sophia Becker. 

14
Feb 2022

Academics Reflect on the War in Afghanistan

With the end of American involvement in the War in Afghanistan, it is time to reflect on how this war came to be, a conflict spanning half a century and countless different phases. This episode of War New Radio will be looking at the history of one of the longest wars in world history, starting from the Saar Revolution and going all the way to the present day. We are joined by esteemed professors Amy Kapit and Tom Barfield, interviewed by our Ethan Pintar, in the first edition of War News Radio’s coverage of the War in Afghanistan.

This episode was written and produced by Max Winig, Jace Flores, Ethan Pintar, and Erin Kaye.

7
Aug 2021

Saudi Arabia and Solidarity: Supporting Women’s Activism from Abroad

Earlier this year, the Saudi female rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul was released from prison. While certainly a cause for celebration, to many it was also a reminder of the persistent lack of political freedom in Saudi Arabia. Loujain Al-Hathloul was originally arrested for protesting the ban on women driving, and although this ban was lifted in 2018, she still remained in prison. Even after her release, she won’t be allowed to travel for the next five years. 

 

To understand women’s inequality in Saudi Arabia beyond the headlines, we need to have a conversation about the male guardianship system--a term that refers to a variety of formal and informal barriers women in Saudi Arabia face when attempting to make decisions or take action without the presence or consent of a male relative. Human Rights Watch has released a comprehensive report on the male guardianship system, which you can find here.

 

Today, we have a conversation with the author of this report, Kristine Beckerle. We talk about the dynamics of being a Western reporter covering the Middle East, Loujain Al-Hathloul’s story, feminist solidarity, and the complexities of the male guardianship system.

 

Image by Carlos Latuff, 2011

 

26
Jul 2021

Revolution, Revisited: Why Tunisians are still protesting ten years after the Arab Spring

A decade has elapsed since the protests that sparked the Arab Spring and ousted Tunisia’s long-standing dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Despite significant democratic reforms in the North African nation, Tunisians are still taking to the streets en masse in 2021. 

To understand why, in this episode, War News Radio speaks with Narimen Zorgui, a student and activist in Tunisia who grew up amidst the 2011 revolution. She has witnessed first-hand the nation’s evolution from a stable but repressive dictatorship to the wavering democracy it is today*. We also hear from Ghaya Ben Mbarek, a Tunisian journalist who covers political and social issues, including the Tunisian police’s human rights abuses — despite the hostility and repression critics often face.  

This episode of War News Radio was written, narrated, and produced by Sophia Becker and Zane Irwin. Special thanks to Ali Abid for helping us research this piece, and to Narimen Zorgui and Ghaya Ben Mbarek for speaking with us. 

 

*Since the completion of this episode, Tunisia has faced a dramatic threat to its democratic institutions, with President Kais Saied's removal of the prime minister and suspension of Parliament in July of 2021. 

26
Jan 2021

Foreign in a Domestic Sense: Conflict and Colonialism in the US Pacific Territories

For this episode of War News Radio, we’re taking a closer look at two of the Pacific territories, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, whose historical relationships to the United States are defined by conflict and colonialism. This has drastically disrupted the lives of the native Chamorro people who have inhabited Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the rest of the Mariana Islands archipelago for the past 4-5,000 years. There are cultural and historical differences between Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, which led to Guam rejecting reunification with the Northern Mariana Islands in 1960. But both territories still face many of the same challenges today.

The U.S. acquired Guam from the Spanish in 1899 after winning the Spanish-American War. The Northern Mariana Islands has a more complicated colonial history, and was passed more or less from the Spanish Empire to Germany, then Japan, then the United Nations, and was officially established as a commonwealth in political union with the United States in 1986. Although the pasts of the two territories differ, the relationship between the U.S. and both territories has been historically characterized by intense militarization, a trend that continues to this day. But increasing calls for decolonization and self-determination could be changing this dynamic. In order to understand this shift happening in the pacific territories, we talked to residents of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands about colonial history, militarism, political representation, and more.

This episode of War News Radio was written and produced by Lucas Meyer-Lee, Anya Slepyan, Max Winig, and Sophia Becker.

23
Jan 2021

Opaque and Unforgiving: America’s Inhumane Asylum System

The asylum process in the United States has been in the national spotlight consistently over the past four years, centering on the Trump administration's grave mistreatment of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and its policy of family separation. But what actually is the asylum process, how is it supposed to work, and where has it gone wrong? In this episode, we talk to M, a Cameroonian asylee who has seen both the way the asylum process should work and the many ways in which it does not. While M was granted asylum after fleeing Cameroon, her brother remains detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement with no end in sight. We also talk to Philippe Weisz, Managing Attorney at HIAS Pennsylvania, about the current legal process of granting asylum and the myriad challenges asylum seekers face before and after arriving in the United States. 

 

This episode of War News Radio was written and produced by Zane Irwin and Nick Hirschel-Burns. Thank you to Philippe Weisz of HIAS Pennsylvania and M for speaking with us. 

 

Image: Anti-Deportation Protests in 2017 (Daily Chalkupy via Flickr)

 

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