Black History Month

By: Nadia Abuelezam

I've struggled with releasing a "Black History Month" specific episode. I've asked myself questions like: "Is it Palestinians Podcast's place to speak about Black History Month?" or "Does it make sense for a podcast about Palestinians to focus on Black History Month?" or "Will an episode on our podcast be a genuine contribution to such an important topic?" These issues of voice, tokenism, and representation are elements of the podcast I am always wary of as a producer.

Ultimately, I decided to release Ahmad Abuznaid's story during Black History Month. Ahmad is not a black man, Ahmad is a Palestinian man. But Ahmad's lived experiences in the United States have put him in a unique position to advocate for rights and equality for Black Americans (and other traditionally disadvantaged Americans like LGBTQ, undocumented, and Native individuals). His role in a historically Black fraternity and his founding of Dream Defenders make Ahmad a Palestinian representative who is actively involved in freedom fighting movements around the globe. 

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Dream Defenders recently released a statement highlighting their support of movements aiming to free child prisoners around the world, including Ahed Tamimi in Palestine. Their statement included from Black activists, actors, and other public figures including Danny Glover, Rosario Dawson, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, and many more.  We commend Dream Defenders on bringing together freedom fighting movements from across the globe to advocate for the rights of the marginalized. 

We also decided to incorporate Palestinian hip-hop music throughout the episode. The hip-hop scene in Palestine has been growing and has been highly influenced by Black American artists. This music featured, by Project Chaos, aims to "to influence and develop the culture of the young generation in Palestine to make them able to participate and interact efficiently in local societies." Project Chaos using hip hop and music production as tools to help improve the talent and skills of young Palestinians to generate passion, team building, and drive. 

So is this episode an ode to Black History Month? Likely not. But this episode emphasizes the great influence that Black history has had on the Palestinian freedom fighting movement, on culture, and on freedom fighting movements across the globe. It's a small contribution, but it's Ahmad's unique story that brings us closer to the cause.

We dedicate this episode to those fighting for freedom in any form across the world, including Ahed Tamimi.  

Palestine Valentines!

Say "I Love You!" with a Palestine Valentine from Palestinians Podcast! We've put together a few cool graphics that not only wish your friends and family a Happy Valentine's Day but also let them know about your love for Palestine. There's no better way to celebrate a day of love than by spreading the word about Palestine and Palestinians Podcast! Send your friends a Palestine Valentine along with your favorite episode of Palestinians Podcast! Make sure to let them know that you listen and enjoy the podcast!


You can find all FIVE valentine designs on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! You can also download the high-resolution images here as well. 








Standing Up for Standing Rock: Salma's Call to Action

By: Nadia Abuelezam

Salma's story highlights the solidarity of indigenous people to the Palestinian cause. Salma challenges us to think about whether or not we stand with other causes and groups yearning for freedom and peace around the world, including here in the United States. Now more than ever our attention is called to many different movements on social media, and it's important to remember as Palestinians that we are called to freedom movements and to support movements like ours.  

Which movements are you called to support? Which do you feel obligated to? Perhaps at the start of this new year, we can do an inventory of all the movements we support. We are inspired by Salma's example and the example of all indigenous people who continue to fight for freedom and justice everywhere. 

 The Palestinian flag at the Standing Rock camp in Sioux Country. (Photo credit: Salma Abu Ayyash)

The Palestinian flag at the Standing Rock camp in Sioux Country. (Photo credit: Salma Abu Ayyash)

 Mark Tilsen putting the Palestinian flag into the ground at Standing Rock camp in Sioux Country.&nbsp; (Photo credit: Friends of Salma)

Mark Tilsen putting the Palestinian flag into the ground at Standing Rock camp in Sioux Country.  (Photo credit: Friends of Salma)

 Salma Abu Ayyash and a water protector wearing the Palestinian scarf. (Photo credit: Friends of Salma)

Salma Abu Ayyash and a water protector wearing the Palestinian scarf. (Photo credit: Friends of Salma)

What can we do?

By: Nadia Abuelezam


 Illustrated by Issa Wehab (@44andCloudy)

Illustrated by Issa Wehab (@44andCloudy)

When the President of the United States declared that Jerusalem was Israel's recognized capital I felt as if my world was shaken. I don't live in Palestine, I wasn't born in Palestine. I was born and raised in the United States. Yet I still felt lost, confused, and sad. This is something I discuss in the latest episode of Palestinians Podcast (#23: Nadia, Not on the Map). This feeling like I don't have ownership or agency over these feelings of sadness and depression because I'm a member of the Palestinian diaspora. 

And yet, I can tell many stories about my experiences of being denied my identity, my history, and my heritage. So how is it that I reconcile these feelings of belonging and not belonging. Feelings of being "too west for the east and too east for the west." Feelings of being torn between two places while having your feet planted firmly in one. 

I do this through storytelling. I do this through the recounting of stories and experiences that have happened to me in the past and that continue to haunt or inspire me to this day. By going back in my memory and re-living painful (or happy) memories, I am able to process them, to find my place in the stories, and understand my feelings and emotions to the events happening around me. 

In this episode I tell a story that some might find silly. A story that is shrouded in a costume of light-hearted laughter and slapstick injury - but the story means a great deal to me. This is a story about the moment I realized that being from Palestine wasn't like being from China or Italy or the Netherlands. That being Palestinian was it's own entity that wasn't always understood by those around me. 

I've gone back and forth about whether or not to release this episode. Whether or not to include the political and social commentary I had written as opening and closing statements for my story. About whether it would alienate listeners or make them feel unwelcome or unappreciated. But those comments are also a part of my story and who I am. For me, and most Palestinians, our personal everyday lives are inherently political (even when we don't want them to be).

I hope the episode inspires you to think about your own stories and your own history. I hope the episode inspires you to find your voice and your place in this scary world we live in. We all need to tell our stories. We need to take back the Palestinian narrative. We need to re-write the erased and forgotten history of Palestine and it's diaspora.  We at Palestinians Podcast are committed to continue telling stories of, for, about, and from Palestinians. We are committed to being a part of the narrative and public discourse. 

Thank you for listening and spreading the world. May the New Year bring you and yours peace, joy, and love. 


What’s in a name? What’s in a checkpoint?

By: Nadia Abuelezam

This week’s episode of Palestinians Podcast features Hasheemah Afaneh, an American born and Palestinian raised master’s student at Louisiana State University. Hasheemah’s episode highlights her “reverse diasporic” experience of growing up and attending college in Palestine and returning to the United States for graduate school during the challenging current social and political climate. Hasheemah also discusses how she has related to her name over time and how this has formed the way she interacts with those around her. 


Hasheemah is also a writer and manages a blog. While she has consistently written for a number of years, one set of blog posts particularly struck me entitled: “The Two Sides of the Qalandia Checkpoint.” In this multi-part blog series, Hasheemah describes her multi-faceted experiences with the Qalandia checkpoint. She describes her own goings and comings and also describes moments in her memories that relate to or involve the checkpoint. Her writing is vivid and nostalgic, despite describing an often traumatic experience. 

Hasheemah also has some podcasting experience. She recently helped produce and narrate an episode about Nablus and her experience walking through the city for the last time. The episode is stunning with reflections, music, and city sounds. I’d highly recommend a listen! 


Hasheemah reached out to me by email when she listened to an episode of the podcast and really enjoyed it. It was wonderful to hear from a listener and this has turned into a wonderful correspondence and collaboration. I’m grateful for all those who listen to the podcast and continue to support this endeavor! You can reach out and tell us what you think by emailing us at! 

Thank you for your support!

Will you carry me?

Our Father’s Day episode (#18: Shouki, Arak with Baba) features and honors the legacy of Dr. Shouki Kassis, father of Laila Kassis (#4: Laila, Goat’s Milk Labane). In the episode we hear about Amo Shouki’s childhood memories of his father. We also hear from Laila, Asma, and Noora about their father and grandfather. In the episode, Laila shares an excerpt from a poem that she read at her father’s memorial five months ago. We have included the poem in full in this blog post; “To my end… and to it’s end” by Mahmoud Darwish. 


Amo Shouki (right of center in the dark sweater) cutting his father’s (bottom left) birthday cake. 

To my end… and to its end

Mahmoud Darwish

Did you tire from the walk
my son, did you tire?
Yes, my father
The night has become long across the path
And the heart on your night’s earth
You didn’t cease to move with light steps like a cat
Climb on my shoulder
We will cross shortly
The final forest of oak trees
This is the Northern Galilee
And Lebanon is beyond it
And the sky is all ours
From Damascus to Acre’s beautiful stone wall
Then what?
We will return home
Do you know the path my son?
Yes, my father:
North of the main street’s Carob trees
A small path further narrowed by cactus
in the beginning, then as it continues to the water well
it widens and widens, until it looks
onto the vineyard of uncle Jameel
the seller of tobacco and sweets
Then it loses itself on the floor,
Before righting itself and heading home,
In the image of a parrot
Do you know the house my son?
Like I know the path, I know it:
Jasmine covers the wrought iron gate
And footsteps of light paint the stone stairs
And sunflowers in the backyard garden
And a pleasant bumble bee circles my grandfather’s breakfast
On its bamboo plate
And in the yard of the house is a water well, and willows, and a horse
And over the fence sway our leaves…
My father, did you tire
Is that sweat I see in your eyes?
My son I’m tired… will you carry me?
Just like you used to carry me my father
And I will carry this longing
my beginning and its beginning
And I will cross this path to
my end…and to its end


World Keffiyeh Day: Solidarity as a Movement of the People for Human Rights

By: Jeanine Yacoub

“When he rebels, a man identifies himself with other men and so surpasses himself, and from this point of view human solidarity is metaphysical. But for the moment we are only talking of the kind of solidarity that is born in chains.”

~Albert Camus, The Rebel

May 11th is World Keffiyeh Day, a movement initiated by the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights organization originating out of Concordia University in 2016.  On World Keffiyeh day, people around the world show their support by wearing the keffiyeh - a scarf that symbolizes the culture, resistance, hope, and patriotism of the Palestinian people.  Pictures and posts are all over social media with the hashtag #keffiyehday.  


I recently attended an event hosted by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of South Florida.  One of the speakers at the event was Laila Abdelaziz, a Campaigner for Fight for the Future and community organizer.  She talked about the significance of developing connections with and fighting alongside other marginalized communities, such as the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States.

Laila discussed the systematic erasure of Palestine in the political sphere.  The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) is an initiative to end international support for Israel’s violation of human rights.  In the United States, some states have either passed or are trying to pass anti-BDS laws.  The Israeli Knesset passed a law that can deny entry to those that support BDS.  The Israeli government even tried to stop Omar Barghouti, founder of BDS, from traveling to the United States to accept the Gandhi Peace Award from Yale University.  This limits freedom of speech and any criticism of Zionism in an international setting.

In the current political climate in the United States it is imperative now, more than ever, to stand in solidarity with the movement of the people - a movement of all of the communities that bear the burden of marginalization and institutionalized discrimination.  In recent years we’ve seen more groups come together to stand in solidarity against the establishments that violate human rights.  

In 2014, during the siege in Gaza by the Israeli government, the people of Ferguson were protesting the unlawful shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man in St. Louis, Missouri.  Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank sent tweets giving advice to the protesters in Ferguson.  In 2016, the Sioux tribe stood against the construction of the Keystone North Dakota Access Pipeline.  Palestinians in Gaza wrote an open letter that expressed their empathy and solidarity with Standing Rock.  The Women’s March on Washington was organized by a group of women, including Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian woman, representing different marginalized communities demanding representation and equality.  These are a few examples of what solidarity means to the movement of the people and to Palestinians in particular.  

To be born Palestinian is to be born stateless and without rights in a nation-state world.  One example of this is Israel’s administrative detention law, which means that Palestinians can be arrested and held without charge.  Prisoners can be interrogated without a lawyer present for up to 60 days.  Currently, over 1,500 Palestinian prisoners are entering their fourth week in a mass hunger strike to demand basic rights in Israeli prisons.  The hunger strikers are only drinking salt mixed with water during their protest.  

Aarab Marwan Barghouti, son of the hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti, created the #saltwaterchallenge.  It is a campaign on social media where participants declare their support with the Palestinian prisoners, mix salt in water and then drink the salt water before challenging the next person.  

People all over the world have participated in the challenge so far including students, activists, journalists, and celebrities. Aarab Barghouti challenged Mohammad Assaf, winner of the 2013 Arab Idol competition, and he passed it on to Lebanese singer, Melhem Zain who accepted the challenge.  The campaign has spread from there.  

So this year, solidarity with the Palestinian people on World Keffiyeh Day is not only for the Palestinians’ struggle for human rights in an Apartheid state, it is for Black liberation in America, the treatment of prisoners (here and abroad), the treatment of immigrants in ICE detention centers, women’s rights for inclusion and equality, the fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community, and for indigenous peoples in America fighting to keep their land.  We need to make these connections as a movement of the people.  Before we face our enemies, we need to make sure we have our friends by our sides.  Laila left everyone with a thought: “We, as Palestinians, can empathize with these communities, and these connections and these moments will move us to know that in the long struggle for freedom, our human rights are the only weapons we have, and the only weapons we’ll ever need.”

About the guest blogger: Jeanine is a high school Chemistry teacher at All Saints Academy in Winter Haven, FL.  She got her Masters in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of South Florida.  She loves writing, photography, and philosophy and she hopes to use these tools to shed light on the beautiful culture of Palestine. 

Performing (and Praying) for Palestine

By: Nadia Abuelezam

This week on the podcast we hear from a former Broadway actress - Gloria Zaghloul Olivier. Gloria has performed in plays like Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha, and The Desert Song. When you speak with Gloria, you realize almost immediately that she’s spent her life in theater. She is engaging and compelling about everything she discusses, from the mundane (like how she baked her scones) to the extraordinary (like her childhood visit to Palestine). She also knows how to work a room, receiving a rousing round of applause after telling her story entitled “Becoming Palestinian” at Palestinians, Live! in October of 2016 as part of the Boston Palestine Film Festival

When listening to #17: Gloria, Broadway and Bizr, you’ll realize almost instantly that Gloria’s story is not like many others we’ve told on the podcast. Her story is one of discovery and about settling into one’s identity. Despite the constant prodding of older actors during her days in theater, Gloria never found a need to focus on her Palestinian heritage during her youth. It was only after she’d started her family and her daughter became passionate about Palestine that she re-discovered this crucial part of her identity. 


A photo of Gloria (center left) in the 1973 production of Desert Song. 

Gloria’s story is also unique in that she discusses how Palestine has become a part of her spiritual ministry. After leaving acting, she decided to pursue theology and now leads a bible research class from her home with her husband. Advocating for the people in Palestine and for peace in the region has become a part of her calling. 

Gloria’s story and episode emphasizes that there is not a single mold that Palestinians fall into. Palestinians are diverse in history, makeup, and geographic placement. Gloria’s story puts into perspective that while the individual stories may be made up of different elements, the Palestinian narrative has many common elements, even in the diaspora.  

What about the women?

By: Nadia Abuelezam

Having just released a three-part series on three generations of men from the same family, many have asked me, what about the women? What about the female Azzam family members? 

Believe me, they have not been, nor can they be, forgotten or ignored.

The Azzam family’s women are actually at the core of many of the stories told in Episodes #14, #15, and #16. Here are just a couple examples (among many):

Sara Azzam: I had the honor of meeting Sara when interviewing Moneer for the podcast at their lovely home in the Boston suburbs. I was initially in awe of Sara’s stunning blonde hair and blue eyes, but then immediately struck by her knowledge of the Azzam family’s history, of Palestinian history in general, and her ability to connect the struggles of the Palestinian people to the struggles of families with American roots, like her own (you really should listen to the end of Episode #15 if you haven’t yet!). I also had the pleasure of walking with Sara and Moneer during last year’s 1for3 Walk for Water in Cambridge, MA. She donned a kuffiyeh around her neck and a great deal of enthusiasm despite the pouring rain we found ourselves walking in. As Hani Nicholas (Sara’s son) mentions in the latest episode (#16), his mom, despite not being born with Palestinian heritage, has taken on that identity with a fervor and may be the most Palestinian one in the family. And you can see the admiration and respect all members of the Azzam family have for their mother and leader. Hani’s story frequently made reference to her guidance in his life. When telling his story live on stage at Palestinians, Live! in October of 2016, Hani mentioned the last time he smiled from ear to ear was when he was able to celebrate his mother’s birthday.  

Alexandra Azzam: Alexandra, Sara and Moneer’s daughter and Hani’s younger sister, has been described to be as the “firecracker” of the bunch and a “formidable” member of the family. Hani Nicholas insisted when we sat down for the interview that it wasn’t him I should be talking to but rather his sister, who was much more eloquent on issues related to Palestine and identity. Hani describes his experience in his grandfather’s home with his sister by his side (see picture below), heightening the contrast between the current resident and the previous residents. While I have not had the pleasure of meeting Alexandra, I hope to meet her soon and interview her for the podcast! 

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Azzams in front of their family’s home on Mt. Carmel. Left to right: Alexandra, Dean (Moneer’s brother), Moneer, and Hani Nicholas. 

So, what about the women? The women are present, active, and necessary to the stories told by Hani Tawfiq, Moneer, and Hani Nicholas. Despite their voices not being heard in the episodes themselves, they are an essential part of the Azzam family story. They make us proud to call them Palestinian women. 

The Palestinian President of Alpha Delta Omega

By: Nadia Abuelezam

We hear from a storymaster in Episode #14: The Azzams, Home on Mt. Carmel, Hani T. Azzam. Amo Hani is an engineer, son, husband, father, and grandfather. We hear about all of these roles and more as he describes his childhood home in Haifa Palestine, the escape to Lebanon, and his immigration to the United States to study at the University of Bridgeport. 

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A photo of the Azzam family taken in Haifa with a British soldier named Busty (back center).

As a refugee and immigrant in the United States, Amo Hani experienced a great deal of discrimination during his first few years in the United States. In the episode, we hear how Amo Hani had difficulty finding a seat in the cafeteria and resorting to sitting outside on the stoop to drink his coffee. During our conversation, he shared many more stories and instances where he was directly attacked or even refused service because of his racial and ethnic identity. In one story Amo Hani was refused service at a bar in Hollywood, California. Not wanting to disrupt the situation, Amo Hani wanted to walk out and leave, but his fraternity brothers insisted that he be served and even started a bar fight to make sure that would happen. In the classroom, Amo Hani was the “token Palestinian,” having to answer and argue politics to professors and students alike.

One of the saving graces of Amo Hani’s time at the University of Bridgeport was the Irish fraternity that he joined: Alpha, Delta, Omega. Amo Hani pledged into and became president (yes - a Palestinian president of an Irish fraternity in the United States). He speaks about his fraternity brothers with a great deal of respect and also humor. Joining the fraternity seemed to be the turning point in Amo Hani’s experience in America, as it gave him the confidence and the support he needed to speak out and represent himself as a Palestinian. 


A yearbook snapshot of the members of the Alpha Delta Omega fraternity. Amo Hani is center front row. 

As the political conversation turns a critical eye to immigrants and refugees from Arab and Muslim countries, it is important to share our stories of struggle and discrimination in America. While the United States has provided many of us with a safe home that we love and cherish, as Palestinians we may still experience micro-aggressions and other instances of discrimination in our daily lives. Sometimes it is difficult to share these stories for fear of judgement, but these stories may help those new to the United States understand that they are not alone. These stories may also better frame the conversation around refugees and immigrants in the United States and help develop better support systems for those who are new to the country. While Amo Hani has certainly excelled and thrived here in the United States (sometimes with the support of his Irish fraternity brothers), his first few years provide a difficult testimony to what it could be like to be a new immigrant. 

The United Nations of Tatreez

By: Nadia Abuelezam

I didn’t grow up embroidering or knowing how to do any Palestinian handiwork. I only really started to appreciate Palestinian tatreez when I was older and understood it’s importance. The stitches weave the present and the past together. It is tradition, it is culture, and it is politics all summed up into fabric. It is primarily a women’s craft, the women’s voice and story looping through history, conflict, and war.

When I heard about the exhibit “Palestinian Embroidery: Threads of Continuity, Identity, and Empowerment” at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City from Wafa Ghnaim (#11: Wafa, Missiles, Wheat, and Gardens), I wasn’t sure what the exhibit would contain. But on the last day the exhibit was open, my husband and I made the trek into New York City to it at the United Nations General Assembly. After getting our guest passes and walking into the UN compound, my heart was racing. “Was this exhibit going to represent Palestinians in a good light? Would it be stuffed into a corner where only people looking for it could find it? Were there going to be others looking at it? Maybe it was only a poster board worth of material, maybe it wasn’t worth the trip?”

After walking into the lobby, the exhibit stood prominently and proudly on the left hand side. I was so excited and thrilled to see the rows of artwork, embroidery, and pictures illustrating and highlighting the history of embroidery in Palestine and the influence tatreez has had on fashion, art, and politics. Since the exhibit has ended, the pictures below aim to show you some of the work that was on display, in case you were not able to see it in person.

I felt empowered by this exhibit. I felt empowered when I walked in and saw “Palestinian” written prominently in the lobby of the United Nations General Assembly. I thought “that’s me!” Those are my people. We are more than victims, we are more than people fighting for their homes and their land. We are more than just political pawns in a larger and seemingly never ending war. We are a people with history, culture, and tradition that has survived centuries.

So, yeah, maybe it was just an exhibit in the lobby of the United Nations General Assembly in New York that only a few hundred or thousand people saw. But for me, it was a symbol of something more, of tides changing, of recognition which may, someday, turn into rights, freedom, and undeterred existence.

Zena: The Sea is Big

By: Nadia Abuelezam

Meeting Zena Agha was a complete coincidence.

A few weeks before the 2015 Palestinians, Live! event in Boston, I received a Facebook message from one of Zena’s friends asking me if there was an opportunity for Zena to tell her story. At that point in time, I had a full line up of storytellers, so I couldn’t offer Zena a storytelling slot. I spent some time watching YouTube videos of Zena’s previous poetry performances and talks and was mesmerized. I messaged Zena and asked if she would be willing to perform a poem at the event. I will never regret that decision. Zena closed the show with her performance of her poem “Palestine” (which you can actually hear in #12: Zena). Her performance really helped me understand the power of poetry and the amazing grace that Zena is able to relay on stage. Since the performance we’ve been in close contact and I consider her to be a wonderful friend.

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Zena’s episode is eclectic. It contains audio from many different settings, places, and times. I think this represents the transcendence of Zena’s message and poetry. Her poetry can impact people in so many different ways, from so many different backgrounds, and in so many different locations. Zena’s poetry (and performances) remind the listener of the complexity of the Palestinian, immigrant, and refugee experience. Although she claims to write most of the poems she performs in 5-10 minutes after important events or moments in her life, Zena’s poetry has been translated into multiple languages and analyzed by scholars and students in multiple settings. Her poetry has transcended its original purpose and scope.

We’ve featured poets in multiple episodes of Palestinians Podcast (#10: Jehan). I think there’s something special about poetry that manages to convey the Palestinian experience. Poetry has existed for a long time in the Arab world and has been particularly important to the Palestinian cause. Mahmoud Darwish, one of the most famous Palestinian poets of all time frequently wrote about the anguish and hope in the Palestinian people. One such poem is “To Our Land”:

To our land,

and it is the one near the word of god,

a ceiling of clouds

To our land,

and it is the one far from the adjectives of nouns,

the map of absence

To our land,

and it is the one tiny as a sesame seed,

a heavenly horizon … and a hidden chasm

To our land,

and it is the one poor as a grouse’s wings,

holy books … and an identity wound

To our land,

and it is the one surrounded with torn hills,

the ambush of a new past

To our land, and it is a prize of war,

the freedom to die from longing and burning

and our land, in its bloodied night,

is a jewel that glimmers for the far upon the far

and illuminates what’s outside it …

As for us, inside,

we suffocate more!

I am very grateful for the chance and the opportunity to know Zena on a personal level. She has taught me a great deal about balance in life, importance of internal reflection, and the precision of language. As a young woman with a passion for Palestine, poetry, and her mum (as she calls her), I think we can learn a great deal about living through her poetry and her work. She is definitely a woman to watch for as she finished her scholarly work. We are proud of Zena. Palestine is proud of Zena. Zena makes poetry proud.

Wafa: Missiles, Wheat, and Gardens

By: Nadia Abuelezam

Wafa Ghnaim is one of the sweetest people I have every met. She recently authored a book called Tatreez and Tea. It’s an amazing collection of Palestinian embroidery patterns and tea recipes that she’s been collecting since she was a young child when she started to learn the craft from her mother. The book helps readers better understand Wafa’s experience as a child born to immigrants in the United States, and the struggle for identity and home that many Palestinians in the diaspora face.

In today’s world “immigrant” has become a negative term and mass migration from countries that are worn-torn to countries that provide a bit more stability has become common place. In her emotionally raw episode, Wafa discusses the difficulties of being a child of immigrants in the 1980’s in Boston. Her experience with bullying and physical violence have had a toll on her life ever since. Her story gives us context and understanding for the immigrant story in the United States today and helps us better understand the struggle that many endure in countries around the world.

As Palestinians in the diaspora, we are always searching for home and identity. This has been mentioned again and again by stories featured on Palestinians Podcast (#1: Annalise, #2: Rana, #7: Nadia). Something that Wafa does profoundly in trying to better understand herself and her identity, is articulate the importance Palestinian diaspora to the Palestinian cause. Wafa uses the imagery of her favorite thobe (or traditionally embroidered Palestinian dress) design, the Gardens design, to describe the diaspora’s relationship to Palestine. While Palestine remains the root and the base of identity for so many people living in the diaspora, it is hard for many to imagine themselves as part of the traditional Palestinian family tree. Instead, Wafa discusses the potential for those in the diaspora to be a part of the Palestinian garden. The tree stands strong in Palestine, but the offshoots bloom on their own in the diaspora, developing into flowers that continue the traditions of the homeland. It is that homeland that Wafa and her husband hope to bring to their child.

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Children of Palestinians inherit the struggle of identity and displacement, whether they recognize it or not. We’ve seen in many episodes of Palestinians Podcast that those of us not born in Palestine yearn for meaning and connection. Wafa has found that connection through her practice of embroidery. You can learn more about Wafa’s book  on her website and purchase the digital version of the book on Amazon.

Jehan’s “Big Yellow Atlas” Moment

Posted On 8/26/16

By Nadia Abuelezam

Many of us have experienced the exact moment that Jehan Bseiso experienced with the Big Yellow Atlas (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go listen to Episode 10 of Palestinians Podcast). Her world was turned upside down as a child when her mother had to pencil in her homeland in a big yellow atlas. My moment happened when I wanted to write my 6th grade report on Palestine but was told by my teacher that there was no such place (because it wasn’t on the world map hanging in the classroom) and perhaps I could write about Egypt instead? This moment (often experienced during childhood) is jarring and makes an individual feel incomplete and insufficient. The homes and playgrounds that I imagined my parents inhabited disappeared into thin air in my mind the instant I couldn’t find Palestine on that map. The conversations I had with my parents and the cultural events where I learned to experience Palestine were suddenly undermined in an instance.

As Palestinians, we’ve all experienced a moment of realization that is similar to Jehan’s. That moment when you realize you aren’t from a place that everyone recognizes, agrees with, knows about, or is even recognized on a map. Jehan has taken her aversion and dislike of maps and has used it to fuel her fire, to make a difference. Despite never meeting Jehan in person, I know that Jehan is a force to be reckoned with. She has a personality that came through the headphones during our Skype conversation. And how could she not be a strong force? She has dedicated her life and her time to making sure people hear about Palestine and her people. While Jehan is the Head of Communications for Doctors Without Borders in the Middle East Region by day (and some long evenings), she is a poet and artist by night giving voice to many in the diaspora.


Photo by: Robert Stothard

Besides publishing her poetry in unconventional places (like news websites and policy blogs) Jehan also has published work with two other Gazan poets in a poetry anthology titled “I Remember My Name.” She is also seeking poetry submissions for a collaborative refugee anthology she is helping to put together. The anthology, entitled ‘Making Mirrors’: Righting/Writing by Refugees will be a multilingual and interactive collaborative volume of poems that will be published as a book and an online project. If you have a poem (and/or photography) to contribute, you can contact her at Please help support her new project in collaboration with Becky Thompson. Jehan traveled to Palestine as part of the Palestinian Festival of Literature in May 2016. To learn more about and to support PalFest, please visit their website.

So why not pick up your pencil/pen/keyboard and start channeling those suppressed emotions into a story or poem. You can contribute to Jehan’s anthology, Palestinians Podcast, or one of our live storytelling events happening in the next few months. While these stifling and jarring events happen, it is best to have a creative and healthy outlet for our emotions and our frustrations. We hope that Jehan has inspired you to consider writing/performing/documenting the moments in your life where you grew as a person and as a Palestinian.

Reasons You Should Read Guapa

By Nadia Abuelezam

1. You probably have little knowledge of what its like to be a gay Arab man living in the Middle East (unless you’re a gay Arab man).  I’m as open minded as the next person and I have one heck of an imagination… But I still don’t feel like I could have understood as much as I do now about the experience of closeted gay men in the Arab world if I hadn’t read Guapa. The intricacies of the novel will make you feel like you are experiencing the stigma, shame, and everyday discrimination that Rasa (the main character) endures on a daily basis. During the three days that it took me to finish the novel, I found myself going through so many emotional twists and turns including fear, shame, and shock. I felt like I was experiencing a small portion of the emotional turmoil that gay men in the Middle East face everyday due to backlash and stigma. It’s this understanding and empathy that I gained by reading Guapa that I think makes it a good investment of time and energy.  

2. You’ll learn a lot about your own grandmother and family dynamics in the process. One of the most significant characters in the book is Rasa’s grandmother (Teta). Her discovery of Rasa with his partner in bed starts the novel’s exciting and fast paced 24-hour journey. But the way in which Saleem describes Rasa’s grandmother’s characteristics, nuances, and intricacies made me constantly think of my grandmother and her similar behavior. Saleem has really managed to encapsulate so much about the Palestinian Teta in this novel. I could relate to her treatment of Rasa throughout the book and the social cues that she bases her behavior on, despite not dealing with the same issues as Rasa. I learned more about my grandmother after reading Guapa because I came to the understanding that there were many central beliefs, values, and tendencies that all Arab grandmothers feed from. It’s helpful to know that it wasn’t just my grandmother that made me feel like I was doing things wrong in daily life, even if her criticisms always came from a place of love. 

3. The novel is as much about politics as it is about social issues. The novel delves deep into political issues that are tied to everyday existence in many countries in the Middle East. Saleem does an excellent job of exploring the complex relationships between politics and social issues. The presence of war, bombings, and terror feature highly in the backdrop of this novel and add to the complexity of being gay in the Arab world. Not only will the novel encourage you to face your own understanding of sexual minority issues, but it will force you to think about the political and violent backdrop of many Arab countries and the ramifications of these environments on the people living in these regions. 

4. Supporting Palestinian writers and artists is important. It also  encourages young aspiring writers and artists. By supporting writers, poets, and artists that are from Palestine you are giving voice to a population that doesn’t often get heard in the mainstream artistic community. By buying the book or asking for it to be carried at your local library, you are also encouraging others to learn about a topic or region you  may not be familiar with. Supporting authors like Saleem helps encourage younger Palestinian writers and artists to be encouraged to continue with their work and pursue their dreams.
5. It’s a really well written, fast paced, and entertaining piece of fiction! And even if you don’t care about the political, social, or cultural ramifications of the novel, you still will be entertained by this awesome piece of fiction. Happy reading!

Click here to hear Episode 9 of Palestinians Podcast!  Thanks for your support!

Amahl, Nidal, and 1for3

Posted on 05/08/16

by Nadia  Abuelezam

When I first met Amahl Bishara, I was in awe. Here was a woman who was an academic (something I have aspired to become) ,who was raising a beautiful daughter, had published a book with two on the way, was maintaining a rigorous research program, writing an alphabet book with youth in a Palestinian refugee camp, and supporting her husband’s non-profit organization. I mean, how could I not be in awe!?!


Besides writing an alphabet book with the youth in Aida Refugee Camp at the Lajee Center,  (which you can hear more about in our 8th episode) Amahl and Nidal (her husband) have dedicated a great deal of time to improving access to clean water in the camp as well. Recently (April 2016), Nidal’s organization 1for3 hosted a walk in Boston to raise money for a number of different projects they plan to complete with the support of Lajee Center in Aida Refugee Camp. While the mission of 1for3 is to create a rain collection water garden, athletic facility/playground, rooftop/household gardens, community gardens, a health clinic and a pre-school, they also gained a great deal of support and attention for the water crisis during this walk.  The day included inspirational speeches by Amahl and Nidal, beautiful and energizing dabke by the Boston Dabke group, and an awesome Skype session with Aida Refugee Camp residents who cheered walkers on from across the ocean. The walk was also celebrated in three other cities including Santiago (Chile), Detroit (Michigan, United States), and Bethlehem (Palestine).


How often do you have to think about your access to clean water? Have you ever worried that you might wake up or return from work and not find any water in your pipes or in your home? Have you had to ration water or collect rainwater to shower or wash your face? These are all daily worries, fears, and realities for those living under Israeli Occupation. With the support of individuals like Nidal and organizations like 1for3 we may begin to see a new reality for residents of Aida camp.  If you feel compelled to help 1for3, you can learn more about the organization and donate to their cause at

Make sure you check out the 8th episode of Palestinians Podcast that features Amahl Bishara!  Click here to listen!

Mama’s Day

Posted on 05/08/16

by Nadia Abuelezam

As a Palestinian American, I always *knew* I was different from most of my friends at school. My mother didn’t pack me nice little sandwiches with a fruit cup and a cookie. I didn’t fit into regular size clothing and never really wore anything stylish in elementary school. When my mother came to watch me play basketball, you could hear her shrill screams across the gym screaming “DEFENSE” when we were on offense.

But one of the only things that felt consistent, normal, and comfortable in my life was my mother’s love and presence. You see, my mother stopped working when she had me. She stayed at home and took care of the house, took care of us,and took care of many cousins and relatives on the weekends! She dedicated her whole life to ensuring my life was comfortable and full of love. I think consistency in a mother’s love is something many people of all different cultures, races, and religions feel and experience in their lives.


For that reason, this Mother’s Day, I wanted to highlight one of the many times my mother made me feel loved and special even when I didn’t. Even when the world seemed cruel and my pants were too tight, my mother always knew how to make me feel better! I hope you enjoy the special Mother’s Day episode.


For those who don’t speak Arabic or know much about Arabic language or food, you should know the following:

1. The music is a song by Fairuz called “Oumi ya Malaki” which translates to “Mother, My Angel.” One of the lyrics to the song includes the following: “Mother, my angel, my everlasting love. Your arms are still my swing and I am still a child.”

2. Some of the mouthwatering dishes I mentioned are warak dawali (stuffed grape leaves), kifta wa batata (Arabic spiced meatballs and potatoes), and Arabic style spaghetti (spaghetti cooked in the oven with Arabic spices).

3. Some of the sweets/desserts I listed in the episode included ghrebeh (a butter and sugar cookie) and knafi (a delicious dessert made of cheese and covered in sugar syrup) are delicious – go to an Arabic sweet shop to try them!

Make sure you listen to the 7th episode of Palestinians Podcast that features our very own creative force Nadia Abuelezam!  Click here to listen!

Hamza and Reham Are Not Numbers

Posted on 04/29/16

by Nadia  Abuelezam

What do young people in Gaza, Palestine, and Lebanon have to say? We Are Not Numbers (WANN) seeks to bring the voice of young Palestinians living in and outside of Palestine to the world. By pairing young writers with successful writing mentors from all over the world, WANN gives young Palestinians living in Palestine and Lebanon an opportunity to tell their story.

WANN stories range from the personal (stories written in memory to family members), the political (letters written to American presidential candidates), and to the personal made political (discussion of the impossibility of raising daughters in Gaza). The stories highlight the depth and passion with which these young Palestinians experience life even in the most harrowing of circumstances. What is especially unique about WANN is that they are giving a voice to a population of young people and empowering them to do great things with their ideas and their stories. We are so excited to partner with WANN to bring these voices to the rest of world through our podcast.

Palestinians Podcast aims to highlight stories from WANN in the personal voices of the story tellers in the coming months. This month, we featured Hamza Moghari. Hamza is an impressive young nursing student who lives in Gaza. His story about Reham, which is reads for us in his episode, was recently featured on Electronic Intifada. Hamza is not only a talented writer and public speaker, but is also a certified health educator and health rights activist. His impressive resume at his young age is a testament to his never ending passion to improve people’s circumstances and their health.

If you’d like to support WANN and their endeavor to bring voices to young Palestinians through writing, please visit their website and look for the red DONATE button in the top right corner. There you can also find a link to hundreds of stories and learn more about the awesome storytellers and young mentors.

If you have been motivated by Hamza to tell a story about your own life or about someone you love, please pitch us your story! You can pitch us your story by emailing us at or by calling our story hotline and leaving us a message with a 2 minute condensed version of your story (415-POD-PAL5). We can help you craft your story! We may have you tell your story for a podcast episode or in a live storytelling event somewhere near you!

Make sure you listen to the 6th episode of Palestinians Podcast that features Hamza Moghari!  Click here to listen!

The Search for 1948

Posted on 03/22/16

by Hannah Mermelstein

Part 1:

“Where do you want to go?” asked the taxi driver, expecting to give me a short ride and collect a few shekels.

“Baqa’a,” I replied, “but it’s a bit of a project.”

The West Jerusalem neighborhood of Baqa’a is only a ten minute drive from the East Jerusalem road where we were, but time travel takes somewhat more imagination.

“I’m looking for a house from 1948,” I told him, and handed him a diagram of a house that looked similar to hundreds of other old houses in the Jerusalem area.

“Is it yours?” he asked.

“No, a friend’s.”

I had recently discovered that a friend of mine in Boston, who I’d always known as Lebanese, was actually born in Jerusalem. In 1948, at the age of four, Munir and his family, along with 800,000 Palestinian people, were forced out of their home by pre-Israeli forces. They fled to Lebanon, where his father had lived before moving to Jerusalem twenty years earlier. Nobody in the family had been back to Palestine since 1948, so I had asked Munir if he would like me to try to find his house. He had gathered some information, including a few nearby landmarks and a diagram of the house, and I set off on my search.

This brings me back to Abed’s taxi, where I sat hoping he knew the neighborhoods well enough to help me. I had planned to seek out an older taxi driver, and possibly someone who spoke English so I could make sure to communicate every little detail I knew. Abed is a young man who speaks very little English, but he seemed interested in and moved by the project, and immediately began to call all the older people he knew.

“Do you know where the Jordanian embassy was before 1948?” he would ask, as this was our major landmark.

“Yes,” one man told him, “but it wasn’t in Baqa’a.”

“No,” said a couple people, “there was barely a Jordan at that time. How could there be a Jordanian embassy?”

So we began to drive, looking for the other smaller landmarks, or for people who might recognize Munir’s father’s name. Abed would pull over next to every older person he saw (Palestinian or Israeli), and ask about the Ummah school, the Jordanian embassy, and the British army women’s headquarters. Some people were vaguely helpful, some not, and some would inform us in a slightly insulted tone that they were not yet born in 1948.

We left Baqa’a and crossed the street to another neighborhood that is to this day mostly Palestinian, thinking we would have a better chance of finding both people who wanted to help and people who could help. Not two minutes later, we passed an old man and Abed stopped. We got out of the car, said hello, and explained what we were doing. “You’re in luck,” replied the old man, “I know more about these neighborhoods than anyone else in the area.”

Before I knew it, his wife was serving me coffee in the middle of the street and the man was telling his wife and daughters to go ahead without him, as he would join us in the taxi in exchange for a ride home afterwards. We gratefully agreed and continued on our journey, this time with a new passenger.

We drove for about a half hour with little success, and then the man (whose name I never learned) suggested we stop at an old house on the corner. We knocked on the door, and an old Israeli man answered. He took one look at us and asked, “Are you looking for someone who used to live here?” as he opened the door and let us in. “You’re in luck,” he said, “I know more about these neighborhoods than anyone else in the area.”

So here I was inside a house with Abed the taxi driver, and two older men, one Palestinian and one Israeli, who said they knew everything there was to know about this part of Jerusalem. They talked for a few minutes and argued amicably for a few more in a combination of Hebrew, Arabic, and English. The interaction had an air of pre-Zionism to it that is difficult to explain. The men were interacting like I would expect any two older men would, both trying to be helpful and both trying to prove what they knew. They used language of “Arab” and “Jew” instead of “Palestinian” and “Israeli,” which many people do, but it seemed more appropriate in this situation than usual. As though nationalism and the way it has played out could not taint this simple human search for an old home.

I had started the trip too late, so by this time it was getting dark and I was running late for a meeting. We had gathered some information that might help us for next time, I had a few questions to take back to Munir, and we took the name and phone number of the Israeli man so we could try again another day.

Part 2:

Jerusalem House 1941.jpg

Two weeks later, on the only day that week with semi-clear skies, I met Abed in Jerusalem. I had received more precise directions from Munir, including names of other people who lived and worked in the area and, most importantly, a photograph taken from their front yard in 1940.

Abed met me and told me he knew where the house was, that he had gone back there after our last search. I showed him the photograph and we drove towards the area where he thought the house was. We parked and began to walk around, holding up the photograph to each gate and entrance. We found one house that looked similar and currently has a huge construction project going on directly on top of it. The managers were Israeli, the workers Palestinian. We went in and asked the workers what they knew about the house, which wasn’t much. We were stopped on the way out by a manager. Abed explained in Hebrew that we were trying to find a house. The man glanced at the photo and said, “Yes, this looks like the house.” Another manager came out and ordered us off the property. “This isn’t the house,” he said. “There was nothing here before 1948.”

We stood outside for a few minutes as Abed explained to me (as though explanation was needed) that the Israeli man felt threatened by us. “We need to find an Israeli to help us,” said Abed. “They think you and I are here to claim the house because I’m Arab and you have papers in your hand. They don’t know we’re only here to look and photograph.”

“We should take the house,” I replied, only half joking.

By that time we had realized this was probably not the house we were looking for. The gate looked the same but we couldn’t figure out the angles in the photograph and it just didn’t seem right. Another older Israeli man on the street asked if he could help. Abed explained that we were searching for a house, and the man joined us for the next 20 minutes as we walked around the neighborhood. We kept finding similar sights, but none of them fit together. Finally he asked, “Are you sure the house is in the German Colony?”

“No,” I replied, “it’s in Baqa’a.”

Apparently the older Israeli man who had helped us the first time had convinced Abed to come to this area and I, unfamiliar with West Jerusalem’s neighborhoods, had gone along for the ride. Once I realized we were in the wrong neighborhood, we got back into the car and headed back to the Israeli man’s house where we had paused our search two weeks earlier. He answered the door and I shared all my new information with him. It was near the Trans-Jordanian consulate, I told him, not the Jordanian embassy, and there was a road that went down from the main street towards their house. These two pieces of information were all he needed. He followed me out to the street, pointed, and said, “Go two more traffic lights. The Allenby building is probably what you mean, and that’s on your left. There’s a street that goes down from there on the right.”

Something felt right about this, so I got back in the car excitedly and we drove those two blocks, turned right, parked, and started walking down. The streets were different than they were described to me, and the building supposedly on the corner wasn’t there. But sure enough, after a few minutes of meandering, I found myself in front of the large building that was in the background of the photo I was holding. I positioned myself exactly at the angle that the photo was taken from, and looked around. One street continued to go down, so I took it. To my right was a synagogue that I guessed was either Munir’s property or their neighbor’s. I hoped it was not his, that his house had not been completely destroyed and replaced by a synagogue.

Entry House.JPG

We passed the synagogue and stopped in front of the gate to the next house. This was it. Different from the photo, but with the same dimensions, and seemingly the right distance from the larger building up the street. We entered and found ourselves on the stone path described in the e-mail I had in my hand from Munir’s older brother: “…continue along the stone-paved path… some 8 meters, you reach the level of the house… Move some 10 more meters and you will have the six stone steps (to the left) that lead up to the veranda and you will then be facing the main door, entrance to the house.”

I was facing the main door, the entrance to the house. I wanted to knock on the door, but wanted to take in as much as possible first. I walked around the house, wondering which plants and trees had been there when Munir lived there and which were new.

Finally Abed knocked. No answer. We waited a few minutes and then left. I came back alone about five minutes later to photograph more, and the door to the house was open.

 I walked to the entrance, knocked, and said “hello?” A man appeared.

“Do you speak English?” I asked.

“A little,” he replied, which turned out to mean a lot.

“My name is Hannah, I’m from the United States, and I have a friend who I think used to live in this house before 1948. Can I come in and look?”

He seemed hesitant but let me in. I asked if I could photograph and he was slightly more hesitant, but again agreed. He asked if I was sure this was the house, and I told him about the description of the path, stairs, and entrance. I asked how long he’d lived there, and he told me only a couple years. He rents the place from a French Israeli man who has owned it for about five years. Before that, the building was owned by a Moroccan Israeli family.

“Since 1948?” I asked.

“Well, the government probably had it first and then gave it to them, but yes, for a long time.”

I kept photographing. I was a bit uncertain about saying too much, worried that he might change his mind about letting me film. As I was getting ready to leave, though, he initiated a conversation:

“The reason I let you in,” he told me, “is that one time my sister went back to Morocco to find our family house. The man currently living there wouldn’t let her in. She cried and cried, and finally he let her in, but he wouldn’t let her photograph. This is why I let you in and let you photograph.”

Seeing this as an opening, I asked, “Do you want to return to Morocco?”

“No,” he replied, almost laughing at the suggestion.

“If the situation changed?”

“No, Morocco is for the Moroccans and Israel is for the Israelis.”

“What about the Palestinians?”

“We were here first,” he said, “thousands of years ago. This is our land, it says so in the bible.” I had noticed all the Torahs and other religious texts in the house, so it did not surprise me that he was religious.

“Sixty years ago my friend was living here,” I said.

“History doesn’t start in 1948,” he answered.

I briefly considered sharing with him something my Palestinian friend from Hebron often states: “It says in the Torah that Abraham came here to Hebron and bought a cave, right? Well, who did he buy that cave from? My great great great… grandfather!” Knowing, though, that this Israeli man’s argument was not rooted in, or concerned with, reliable historic analysis, I decided there was no use arguing with religion. We said an awkward goodbye (saying “thank you” did not seem appropriate in this situation), and I left.

My search for 1948 was over. Or, almost over…

Jerusalem Orange Trees .3 (2).jpg

Part 3:

After receiving the photographs I sent, Munir and his brother excitedly confirmed that this was indeed their house, and asked if I might be able to find any legal documentation to corroborate this. Not knowing where to start, I turned to a Canadian-Israeli friend, who agreed to help track down whatever she could. She visited the local Registry of Deeds in Jerusalem, which manages land deeds for the municipality. After being sent from office to office and compiling information about the current address and plot number, according to Israeli zoning laws and not the memories of the prior owners of the house, she finally had the information she needed.

She returned to the Registry of Deeds. They looked at the address and block number, and told her they had no record of the property before 1992. When she protested, they sent her to the microfilm, saying she could search through it all she wanted. So she did. After almost giving up, she came upon a document that seemed to be for that property. It was from the British Mandate period, and was thus written in English. She scanned the paper: 672 square meters, original owners’ names… and then, finally, proof of sale of the property “in whole” on January 6, 1932, to one Najeeb Jirmanus. Munir’s father.


There is something about finding the land registry hidden in the microfilm of Israel’s archives, after being told in effect that the property did not exist before 1992, that reminds me that nothing lies too deep under the surface in this part of the world. Beneath every Israeli road lies the dirt of the agricultural paths from centuries before. Beneath every kibbutz field lie the remains of a destroyed Palestinian village. Beneath every modern-day name on the map, the memory of a people who will not forget where they come from.

I think about the number of people involved in the uncovering of this one small slice of history, this one family’s relatively brief presence in the land of Palestine. I think about some of the people I met throughout this search for 1948, and their names give the story an air of parable:

The wonderful taxi driver, always at my service, was named Abed: “one who serves.”

The man currently living in Munir’s house was named Israel.

The older Israeli man who helped us find the house was named Shalom.

Perhaps if more people named Shalom helped facilitate the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes, the word “peace” would have true meaning.

Make sure you listen to the 6th episode of Palestinians Podcast that features Munir Jirmanus!  Click here to listen!

-Hannah Mermelstein is an activist, educator, and aspiring radical librarian currently based in Brooklyn, NY.

Podcast Recommendations

Posted on 02/19/16

by Nadia Abuelazam

Are you new to podcasts? Or maybe you’re looking for some recommendations? As an avid podcast listener, I have plenty of suggestions for you to listen to! Take a look at my list below!

The episode that will make you laugh and cry comes from a great show called Radio Diaries. Radio Diaries features a wide array of stories including the episode entitled “#42: The Last Place.” I showed up to work with a huge smile on my face and also smeared mascara from tears after listening to this. What a raw and emotional experience this episode was!

For the science buff who cares about the world and its people, I’d highly recommend the episode “Birthstory” on Radiolab. The story highlights the struggles of an Israeli same-sex couple who seeks to have a baby (or two, or three) through surrogacy. The episode, if you stick through until the end, raises important questions about personal rights and liberties that had me thinking for a long time after it was over.

If you want action packed drama on your commute you should listen to the first season of Limetown! I really enjoyed this more than I would enjoy a drama on television. There’s something about radio dramas that causes you to use your imagination! I’d highly recommend this to those looking for high entertainment value!

If you’re looking for a good entertaining chuckle, I’d highly recommend Mystery Show! I especially enjoyed “Case #3: Belt Buckle” and “Case #2: Brittany.” I found myself laughing out loud at multiple times during these episodes. They have great humanity and humor!

If you’re looking for consistently diverse material, every Sunday night I would highly recommend downloading This American Life from NPR. One of my all time favorite episodes is “#567: What’s Going on In There” which sheds light on some difficult relationships and discoveries.

If you have recommendations of your own, email me at! I’d love to listen to something new! As always, we hope you’ll listen to Palestinians Podcast! We cant wait to share our newest episode with you soon! Happy listening!

Also, don’t forget to check out episode 4 of Palestinians Podcast featuring Laila Kassis.  Click here to listen!