Hummus For Thought is a podcast started by Lebanese writer Joey Ayoub and Syrian writer Sarah Hunaidi. Our goal is to have interesting people talk about the issues facing our world in a spirit of mutual aid.
Where to listen
Hari Prasad and Aman Madan on India's anti-CAA/NRC protests
As we experience one of the worst pandemics in modern times, in addition to the ongoing climate emergency and a plethora of urgent problems facing our species, a number of questions should be raised about our current economic and political paradigms. This is why I decided to launch a new podcast called The Fire These Times.
The Fire These Times, named after the James Baldwin book ‘The Fire Next Time’, is a podcast that promotes mutual aid frameworks for the 21st century.
As of now, there are five episodes already available on the podcast ranging from Hong Kong’s existential crisis to Lebanon’s Kafala system, and passing by a very curious episode on why we should oppose the logic of the guillotine.
You can already find them on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, and RSS or wherever you get your podcasts.
In the weeks and months to come I will be talking to various writers, intellectuals, researchers and activists from all over the world to talk about some of the many issues facing humanity today. The topics of conversation will sometimes focus on misunderstood struggles and existential risks and how mutual aid can help us address them.
From Afghanistan to Hong Kong, Lebanon to Chile, Ethiopia to the Philippines, Syria to South Africa, Egypt to Argentina, the USA to the UK and Palestine to Russia - these are where the confirmed guests so far are from.
Upcoming episode topics include: plant-based left politics, authoritarianism on the left, minority groups in the middle east, legacy of Yiddish in anti-Zionism, what it means to be displaced and/or racialised, fascism in the era of climate catastrophe, the male gaze in cinema, minimalism and its discontents, fake news and disinformation campaigns, modern masculinities, surviving a siege, facing fortress Europe, queer Arab identities, fantasy and anarchism, anarchism in the Chinese revolution and eastern Mediterranean radicalism.
If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on patreon.com/firethesetimes or on buymeacoffee.com/joeyayoub.
You can also follow the podcast on Instagram and Twitter. The website is: thefirethisti.me
The music is by Tarabeat.
As India commemorates the 70th anniversary of its Republic Day, the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect in 1950, on January 26th, we sat down with researcher Hari Prasad and journalist-academic Aman Madan to talk about the recent waves of protests throughout India opposing the ruling BJP's Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and National Register of Citizens which threatens to disenfranchise millions of Indians, particularly Muslims. What are the CAA and the NRC? Who are Modi and his BJP followers, and what is Hindutva? What differentiates these protests from previous ones?
This conversation is intended to inform those who only vaguely know about what's been going on in India since the BJP took power and is the first of hopefully many more to come to discuss the threats and opportunities facing the world's largest democracy.
Hari's website, including pieces co-written with Aman: http://hkprasad.com/
India: how some Hindu nationalists are rewriting caste history in the name of decolonisation
How India’s BJP cultivated a Muslim front for its Hindu nationalism
For the first time, India is seeing secularism go from a top-down decree to a street slogan
Two reasons that can keep CAA-NRC protests from evolving into a larger anti-Modi movement
Even more info via "Asia Art Tours" podcast episodes:
Journalist Surabhi Tandon on the "F*cking Insanity" of Kashmir's Historic and Contemporary Suffering
Journalist Neha Dixit on India's Protests, Feminism and the Hindu Supremacy of the BJP
Between Authoritarianism and Democracy: A Conversation on Contemporary India w. Debasish R Chowdhury
Big Brother, Big Tech & Big Modi: Pranav Dixit of Buzzfeed News on Survelliance and Silicon Valley's Broken Promises in India
More links will be on the associated blogpost on HummusForThought.com
After the episode, Hari wanted to add something he didn't have time to say so we're pasting it below:
"When I was in India this past fall, I met up with a fellow researcher based in Delhi. As we were talking about the state of India (and also the state of South Asia today), I expressed my frustrations with how we witnessed so many mass movements in democracies and police states, like the large scale protests in the Middle East and elsewhere, but that there hasn't been a similar response in South Asia. What he replied stuck with me. He said, "Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, South Asians, people underestimate our capacity to suffer through things. Everybody knows how bad the problems here are, how bad things are. We suffered through centuries of horrific British rule, and still it took us so long to organize and get together. Desis would rather suffer through something and wait for someone else to take responsibility (like a strongman) to do it for us, don't underestimate our capacity to suffer".
I spoke to Musa Okwonga (@Okwonga) to speak about the 2019 UK Elections, Brexit, Fear, Empire, Englishness, Race, Nationalism, the Youth Movement, Intersectionality and everything in between.
The lopsided centre: Why is the Media's Unbalanced Scrutiny Giving the Tories a Free Ride?, by Musa Okwonga:
The Man in the High Castle: How to Evict the Conservatives from their Nationalist Redoubt, by Musa Okwonga:
The paranoid fantasy behind Brexit, by Fintan O'Toole: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/nov/16/brexit-paranoid-fantasy-fintan-otoole
Musa Okwonga's podcast on football:
Professor David Andress' tweets:
Labour won’t win again until it works out why it lost , by Gary Younge:
To Dr Andrew Arsan, Lebanon is "a microcosm of the contemporary world. His book "Lebanon: A Country in Fragments" deals with the events of 2005 to 2018. In those thirteen years, Lebanon had thirty-four months without a president; a war which left over a thousand killed in 30 days and displaced a quarter of its population; forty-eight separate bombings and twenty-one assassinations or assassination attempts, mainly targeting anti-Assad figures; a potential civil war; conflicts between religious sects, the army, Hezbollah, and/or Syria-based groups; and over a million refugees fleeing the violence in Syria. These are the thirteen years that have followed the Cedar Revolution of 2005 which forced the other invading army, the Syrian one, out of the country.
The episode was scheduled to happen before Lebanon's October 17th Revolution but, by a happy coincidence, we ended up doing it on November 4th. So, naturally, we discussed the significance of the protests.
How are protesters trying to reclaim space, and why does that matter? Can they pave the path forward for a truly non-sectarian Lebanon? What kind of future is possible if the past is contested and the present endlessly postponed?
Joey's review of the book, published a week before the revolution: https://joeyayoub.com/2019/10/11/lebanon-our-painfully-ordinary-country/
Danny Postel and Dr. William Mazzarella speak about "Populism, Trumpism and the Left" at the Open University of the Left, on May 25th, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
You can watch the whole talk on the YouTube page of the Open University of the Left at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIZ_969hFecsMFl7N7ERP3Q
You can also visit their website at http://openuniversityoftheleft.com/
Hummus For Thought will come back soon with our first themed season. Stay tuned!