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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
Anti-government protests in Thailand rocked the nation in 2020. The protests that began with anger at the dissolution of a political party, have found mass appeal including the unprecedented public demand to reform the Thai monarchy and a call to draft a new constitution. We speak with a Peera, a freelance journalist and Jason, a student studying abroad, who both grew up in Thailand. We get their perspectives of the political landscape on the ground that spurned the demonstrations and what it is like to live under the rule of a monarchy where any public criticism is taboo.
This episode was reported by the War News Radio team, written by Louie Kant, Sophia Peterson, Martin Tomilson and Bryce Bussert, and produced by Jaydeep Sangha.
Image: "Pro-democracy protestors flash three fingered salute" (from Gemunu Amarasinghe via AP)
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)