The Alien Chronicles: Immigrant Stories

#9- We are more similar than different

An episode of The Alien Chronicles: Immigrant Stories

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By Saadia Khan
The Alien Chronicles is a weekly podcast that features immigrants from all different walks of life to share their immigrant experiences. It offers a platform for an open dialogue around immigration. The idea is to create a better understanding of so called "the other" through relatable narratives. Each interview unravels the complexities of being an immigrant in the US. In today's polarized political climate, this podcast strives to build bridges and bring communities together by helping the listeners to understand perspectives of those who are different from them.
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#19-America is a Salad
Sanjana Bhatnagar and Stephanie Munn are high school students and Students for Refugees (SFR) representatives. S.F.R. is working to raise funds to support educational facilities and individual student programs in affected countries as well as supporting local refugees. There are a broad range of things that SFR engages in, but their primary goal is to get students involved in helping refugees. SFR works in three areas: resettlement, advocacy/education, and fundraising   In addition to SFR, they advocate for refugees by supporting other initiatives.  Sanjana is associated with the Syria fund and Stephanie is planning a Walk A Mile in My Shoes refugee experience. We talk about all these topics in our interview. 
33:05
March 20, 2019
#18- My Immigrant Mother
Saadia Khan talks Susan Muaddi Darraj, a Palestinian American. Susan talks about her experiences as a child of immigrants and how her dual identity has shaped her life. Susan is an Associate Professor of English at Hartford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland. Susan is also a Lecturer in the Johns Hopkins University’s MA in Writing program. In 2014, her short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home won several awards and accolades. Her previous short story collection, The Inheritance of Exile, was published in 2007 is a compilation of stories about daughters born in the US and their immigrant mothers. 
33:12
March 13, 2019
#17- Let's get to know each other
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based Bangladeshi journalist and poet focusing on migration, the refugee crisis, gender and mental health. She completed her M.S. in Journalism from Columbia Journalism School in 2017. Samira began her journalism career in Dhaka, Bangladesh, covering the 2013 factory collapse, the country's ethnic and religious minorities, and its LGBT community. Her work appears in Reuters, NPR, Al Jazeera, Quartz, The Lily,  and the Dhaka Tribune among other publications. Her story was nominated for a 2018 South Asian Journalists Association award. She is the Editor-in-chief of the Bangladeshi Identity Project, a media platform for the Bangladeshi diaspora
33:57
March 6, 2019
#16-Because I sucked at it...
Saadia Khan talks to Suzie Afridi. She is a Palestinian American stand up comedian. She was born and raised in Jericho, in the West Bank.  Her dad was a Welder and her mom was a farmer. When she was fourteen her family immigrated to San Jose, California. She attended San Jose State University.Suzie is an accountant by profession but she realized she was terrible at her job and decided to pursue another career. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and kid. Suzie talks about her journey to America, why she chose to do stand up comedy and her life as a Palestinian American.
43:22
February 27, 2019
#15-Immigrants make America great
Saadia Khan talks to Tahmina Watson about pressing immigration issues. Tahmina is a nationally acclaimed immigration attorney and the founder of Watson Immigration Law, in Seattle, Washington. She was a barrister in London before immigrating to America. Tahmina is also the author of “The Startup Visa: Key to Job Growth & Economic Prosperity in America”.  In addition to appearing on CNN, Forbes and other media platforms, she is the host of “Tahmina Talks Immigration” a radio show turned podcast available on itunes.  Recently, Tahmina helped cofound a non-profit, the Washington Immigrant Defense Network- WIDEN as a result of the current administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy. WIDEN, funds and facilitates legal representation in the immigration courtroom.
52:47
February 20, 2019
#14- Where the East and the West meet
Saadia Khan reminisces about her trip to Turkey as she interviews Melike Ayan. Melike is originally from Turkey. She is the New York Correspondent for Bloomberg HT Television where she provides in-depth coverage and analysis of major economic and business trends, including in-depth reporting on global corporations. Additionally, Ayan established her own company, Mel Strategies, which specializes in media relations and crisis communications 
40:32
February 13, 2019
#13-My Grandmother's legacy
Saadia Khan talks to Lisa Genn. Lisa was born in Russia, her parents and she left Moscow in December 1989 on the verge of the collapse of the Soviet Union in hopes of resettling in America under a program for bringing Soviet Jews to the United States as refugees. Lisa is a lawyer by profession, but has worked on human rights issues throughout her career. she is a city girl who spend most of her time in Manhattan but now lives in Westchester county in NY  with her husband and two young children.
41:01
February 6, 2019
#12-I am a Bridge
Saadia Khan talks to Edafe Okporo, an LGBTQ refugee from Nigeria.  He is a fierce advocate for Human rights specifically those of LGBTQ community in NY and around the globe including West Africa. His passion to help others like him stems from his own struggle which propels him to stand up for the defenseless. Currently Edafe is the Director of RDJ Refugee Shelter.  He is the author of BED 26: A Memoir of an African Man's Asylum in United States. He also serves as a Board Member of First Friends of New Jersey and New York
40:37
January 30, 2019
#11-I am a Survivor
Saadia Khan talks to Reshad Ahmedi, an immigrant from Afghanistan. Reshad worked for ten years on U.S.-funded re-construction projects in Afghanistan, until insurgents targeted him for his affiliation with the United States. Reshad is in the US on a Special Immigration Visa (SIV) to the United States. He is now an Assistant Project Manager at a local Tectonic Engineering & Surveying. Reshad is also an Ambassador of the Westchester Refugee Initiative, helping to spread the word about refugees. 
41:43
January 23, 2019
#10- My Ancestors' Land
In this first episode of Season 2, Saadia Khan talks to Alyssa Mosley. Alyssa was born and raised in the homeland of Lenape people, also known as Bridgeton NJ. She is the enrolled member of Nanticoke Lenni- Lenape tribe, it’s the largest Indian tribe in NJ. The history of Lenape tribe goes back over 10,000 years. Most of Lenape people faced forced migration to Canada or mid western US but some still left behind.  In 2015, Alyssa was crowned princess to represent her people. She is studying business studies. We get her perspective on immigration debate in the US and her life as an indigenous princess
29:44
January 16, 2019
#9- We are more similar than different
Saadia  talks to Alessia Valfredini, an Italian American. Alessia is also a Professor at Fordham University in NY. She teaches modern languages and literature and she is almost never taken for an immigrant, . In this episode, we take a glimpse into her personal life and her perspective as a Western European immigrant living in America
38:10
December 26, 2018
#8- Home is Elusive
In this Special Edition of The Alien Chronicles, Saadia Khan talks to Eric Maddox, a fellow podcaster and founder of the Virtual Dinner Guest Project and a US citizen living as an immigrant in Valencia Spain. They talk about the nuances of being an immigrant in the EU, racism in America and much more
50:00
December 19, 2018
#7-From Kashmir to America: A Muslim Feminist's Journey
In this episode, Saadia Khan talks to Daisy Khan about her personal journey to America and her perspective as a modern religious scholar in America. Daisy Khan is one of the most prominent female Muslim leaders in the United States. She is also the Executive Director of the Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) and Author of Born with Wings
45:22
December 12, 2018
#6-Guess what? I am not an Engineer
Saadia interviews Ali Yarkhan, a branding executive, who has worked for internationally renowned brands like Prada and Giorgio Armani. He is also a director who wants to create documentaries that highlight social issues. On a personal level, he continues to explore and practice Sufism’s diverse cultural legacies in an attempt to achieve inner peace. In this episode, Ali talks about different facets of his life, from being a fashion guru to a filmmaker and a Sufi.
43:50
December 5, 2018
#5-Oh sweet diversity..how I love thee!
Saadia talks to Nadine Ali, a Pakistani American, about her journey to the US, her life as a baker and her rather unconventional path to sweetness. Currently Nadine owns a successful business as a baker in NYC, she is also a mom and loves to dance!
25:12
November 28, 2018
#4-I have Faith
Saadia talks to Nicole Duran, Dominican Republic native. Nicole is currently working as a hairstylist and is also a student focusing on psychology and public speaking. With faith, she is trying to bring her community together. She believes that where you come from does not define where you will go.
27:53
November 21, 2018
#3-A tale of a taxpaying DREAMER
In this episode, Saadia talks to Juan Escalante, a renowned digital strategist and nationally recognized immigration advocate about his experiences as an immigrant in US and his role in spearheading the immigrant rights movement for the last 10 years.
1:00:18
November 14, 2018
#2- I am home
In this episode of "The Alien Chronicles", host Saadia Khan talks to Kelly Yzique, a former DACA recipient and now US permanent resident, about immigration and other issues that affect the migrant community. They talk about the immigrant caravan, misconception surrounding undocumented immigrants and how United States needs to reconcile with its past.
31:33
November 6, 2018
#1-What's with the accent?
Saadia khan talks to Sahar Saleem, an American Pakistani who immigrated to US when she was 7 years old. A creative through and through, she is Marketing Manager at PepsiCo by day and an artist, musician, and writer by night. They talk culture, food, stereotypes, religion & politics.
39:19
October 31, 2018
The Alien Chronicles: Trailer
Welcome to The Alien Chronicles! Be sure to subscribe our podcast and episode one is coming soon. Email: thealienchronicles@gmail.com Instagram: @thealienchronicles Twitter: @chroniclesalien
01:11
October 26, 2018
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