The ever-growing world of podcasting is accessible and simple enough that people can now know more about other parts of the world through an auditory medium in the comfort of their own homes or cars. With that in mind, we decided to curate a list of podcasts that tell stories about and from the Middle East, offering a fresh perspective on the region and its people.
Based out of Dubai, Kerning Cultures is one of the most popular podcasting networks in the Middle East; they’re so successful that they’ve been recognized internationally too. The company has people in several countries globally, conducting interviews and creating stories with the people who live in them.
Their flagship namesake show “Kerning Cultures” is probably one of their best, and it’s easy to understand why. Offering their episodes in English, each episode takes hold of the hearts and minds of its listeners, thanks to impressive writing, incredible stories, and powerful messages.
Moving on to another big platform, Sowt is another company that shined a lot in the past couple of years, and from it, we’d like to highlight “Maqsouda,” a unique podcast presented in Arabic that looks at something the Arabs of old were masters of, poetry.
The “Maqsouda” podcast, and its presenters, Zeina Hashem Beck and Farah Chamma, take a look at Arabic poetry, recite it, look at its history, and discuss it, creating a distinctive show that’s hard to find on the Arabic podcasting scene.
While each region of the world has its own music style that sets it apart, the MENA region isn’t any different, and that’s exactly what “Dom Tak” focuses on; Middle Eastern music.
With a whopping six seasons, “Dom Tak” tells the stories of many artists from the region in Arabic during different eras throughout history, from the Golden Age of Arabic Music to today. In their latest season, they also conduct interviews with artists from several MENA countries, offering a diverse cast of guests specializing in a plethora of genres.
Something that unites people all over the world is their love of food, and with so many different dishes from the Middle East alone, there had to be a podcast that talks about it.
Enter “Kuzbara” (Coriander), a podcast in Arabic that focuses on everything MENA food related and the people from the region who love it. The show features foodies, chefs, and everyday-normal people who connect tastes and smells with memories and the worlds they live in.
There’s always a generational gap between Baby Boomers and those from Generation X and millennials, with the older ones thinking that the younger ones are spoiled and westernized, especially those whose parents traveled abroad and became ex-pats, calling them the “Hamburger Generation.”
The Podcast’s hosts, Jamil Adas & Isra Abu Zayed, decided to embrace the term and turn it to their advantage. On the “Hamburger Generation” podcast, which they do in both Arabic and English, they discuss what it was like growing up, share relatable stories, and conduct interviews with people who’ve been through the same experience in a light-hearted matter.