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War News Radio

Jun 2020

A Nation Among States (Part 2)

When the U.S. drew down its military presence in Northeast Syria last fall, it was a huge blow to the region’s predominantly Kurdish populace. However, it was “not the first time the Kurds ha[d] been betrayed by the American government,” according to Nejeer Zebari. In the second of two episodes on the Kurds’ external conflicts and internal tensions, we explore divisions among Kurds, Turkey's relationship with the Kurds, and conflicting visions of a Kurdish future.


This episode was reported by the War News Radio team, written by Lucas Meyer-Lee, Sophia Peterson, and Nick Hirschel-Burns, and produced by Ross Layton.


Image: "Kurdish PKK Guerrillas" (from Kurdishstruggle via Flickr)

Apr 2020

A Nation Among States (Part 1)

When the U.S. drew down its military presence in Northeast Syria last fall, it was a huge blow to the region's predominantly Kurdish populace. However, it was "not the first time the Kurds ha[d] been betrayed by the American government," according to Nejeer Zebari. In the first of two episodes on the Kurds' external conflicts and internal tensions, we explore recent developments in—and the long history of—this stateless people's fraught relations with its regional neighbors and the U.S.

This episode was reported by the War News Radio team, written by Lucas Meyer-Lee and Sophia Peterson, and produced by Ross Layton.

Image: "Kurdish YPG Fighters" (from Kurdishstruggle via flickr)

Dec 2019

Sudan’s Social Media Propaganda Problem

Mass protests toppled Sudan's decades-old dictatorship last April. The country is now governed by a transitional council, and many advocates for democracy are hopeful. But at this crucial juncture in their history, the Sudanese people are confronted with an increasingly familiar challenge: propaganda disseminated through Facebook and other online platforms. In this episode, we explore Sudan's struggle with anti-democratic social media propaganda.

This episode was produced by Miles Dyke, Ross Layton, Lucas Meyer-Lee, and Sophia Peterson.

Image: Sudan Revolution (from Hind Mekki via flickr)

Dec 2019

Reconciliation in Colombia: Moving Forward after the 2016 Peace Deal

The 2016 peace deal between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was hailed as a historic agreement, with then-president Juan Manuel Santos awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. Three years later, the reality is far murkier. What can be done to continue moving forward toward a peaceful future for Colombia? War News Radio's Bryce Bussert and Nick Hirschel-Burns investigate.

Dec 2019

The Impact of New Trump Administration Policy Changes on Refugee Resettlement

Refugees and refugee resettlement agencies are facing incredible uncertainty following measures by the Trump administration to significantly curtail refugee entry to the lowest admittance since the 1970s.  To gain a better perspective the impact these policy changes have on refugees and resettlement agencies, we speak with Stephanie Gromek, the communications coordinator for Church World Service, one of the largest refugee resettlement organizations in the United States.  In this episode we also chat with Hamzeh Alturk, a Syrian student now studying at Miami Dade College following the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War.  Hamzeh shares his own experiences which help to better comprehend the challenges and aspirations a displaced person might face.

This piece was produced by Jaydeep Sangha, and narrated by Siddharth Srivatsan, Alexandra Thomas, Jeff Duncan, and Yusa Parcali

May 2019

The Venezuelan Migrant Crisis: A Swarthmore Student’s Perspective

It is the largest migration crisis in the recorded history of the Americas—Venezuelans’ mass flight from degraded economic and social conditions in their home country. Millions have departed in recent years and have “no prospect for return in the short to medium term,” according to the U.N. In this episode, Swarthmore College senior Zack Lash discusses his experience of the migrant influx in Colombia and his views on Venezuela’s broader crisis.

This episode was produced by Ross Layton, Serena Sung-Clarke, Juliane Ding, Shiloh Sumanthiran, and Magda Werkmeister.

Photo: Venezuelan migrant families in Ecuador (from UNICEF Ecuador)

May 2019

Secret Internment Camps and Political Repression: China’s Brutal Crackdown on the Uighurs

More than a million members of the Uighur community in China have been detained in secret internment camps in by the Chinese government.  Reports from the region indicate mass political repression and a widespread crackdown on the ethnic Uighur minority.  The Chinese government tightly controls any access to the Chinese controlled Xinjiang autonomous region, so information is limited through hearing first and second hand accounts by Uighurs.  In this episode we do just that, and speak to Nury Turkel, an attorney and the founder of the the Washington D.C. based Uighur Human Rights Project. With his help, we try to understand the conditions on the ground faced by Uighurs in China and the political dynamics surrounding the crackdown. This piece was produced by Jaydeep Sangha, Gabrielle Henig, Nick Herschel-Burns, and Lisa Kato.

Apr 2019

Exodus from Afghanistan: My Parents’ Story

Keton Kakkar, a current senior at Swarthmore, interviews his parents who emigrated from Afghanistan almost 40 years ago. Part of the Hindu minority in Afghanistan, they fled persecution and a new upheaval: the Soviet invasion of 1979. In this episode, Keton explores themes of changing landscapes, religious identity, emigration, and relocation.

Mar 2019

Hope, Grief, and Coral Reefs

Climate change poses an existential threat to coral reefs, which undergird the survival of many marine animals and the livelihood of coastal communities. In this podcast, we turn our attention to two reef scientists: how do they approach research when the world they study is degrading before their eyes?

Our host, Ben Charo, begins this episode discussing his journey to produce this story. If you would like to skip to the main story, go to 4:30. At the end of the piece, Ben shares the stories and insights he has gleaned from his fellowship research in Townsville, Australia.

This piece was produced by Ben Charo, Katherine Kwok, and Serena Sung-Clarke. We’d like to shout out to Meagan Currie, Jake Stattel, and Kyle Richmond-Crosset for their help. Our background music is by Blue Dot Sessions (via Free Music Archive). The news clips are from BBC, ABC Australia, and PBS News Hour. The sound effects are by HDvideoguy, LittleRainySeasons, and Kinoton via freesound.org. Special thanks to Dr. Scott Heron and Zack Rago. Photo was taken by Ben Charo.

Mar 2019

Dreaming of Peace in Yemen

The now four year long civil war in Yemen has devastated the Yemeni people killing almost 100 thousand people and leading to widespread famine. We take an in-depth look at the politics and history surrounding the conflict and how that has produced one of the most extreme humanitarian crises in the world.  This podcast explores the current state of the Yemeni Civil War speaking with Fatik Al-Rodhani, a Yemeni journalist and humanitarian activist on the ground in Sana’a. This piece was produced by Jaydeep Sangha, Nick Hirshel-Burns, Yusa Parcali, and Lisa Kato.

[Photo of Fatik Al-Rodhani from Mona Relief]

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