West of Middle East

In Season 1 of West of Middle East, we hear from people from the Middle East diaspora who are changemakers in a variety of unique ways: fighting for indigenous rights in the Amazon, advocating for LGBTQ refugee support, or making movies about Afghan rock stars and the diaspora experience. Each episode of West of Middle East provides a window into who these Middle East diaspora changemakers are, and how they’re creating a positive impact in the West. We explore what it means to be a part of a diaspora with pervasive stereotypes, and how being a part of that same diaspora propels a desire for social justice.

Episode 1: Subhi Nahas
Episode 2: Alia Shawkat
Episode 3: Maz Jobrani
Episode 4: Sulyman Qardash
Episode 5: Atossa Soltani
Episode 6: Yalda Modabber
Episode 7: Neda Nobari
Bonus Content: Keely Badger

A Syrian refugee in San Francisco works to educate communities in the Middle East about LGBTQ rights issues, while teaching people here in the West about what it means to be a Middle Eastern refugee.

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Iraqi-American actress Alia Shawkat became famous for her roles as Maeby Fünke in the award-winning T.V. show Arrested Development. Now she’s using her platform in Hollywood to show millennials a different side of women and Arabs on television.

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We go to West Hollywood to see how comedy can be a tool to educate people and dispel ugly myths about the Middle East diaspora.

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The singer of Afghanistan’s first rock band, now an immigrant in Oakland, California, talks about how music can bring communities together.

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An Iranian immigrant loses her heart in the Amazon Rainforest when she realizes community goes beyond diaspora, community is global.

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An Iranian immigrant is creating a new generation of mindful change-makers inside of a Farsi-language preschool in Berkeley, California.

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An Iranian immigrant who became a millionaire in the U.S. is using her resources to support arts, education and podcasts like this one, that help create understanding about the Middle East diaspora.

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Keely Badger, Executive Director of Neda Nobari Foundation, talks about the inspiration behind producing a podcast like West of Middle East, today.

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