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The Fire These Times

The Fire These Times

By Joey Ayoub
Each week, Joey Ayoub brings you conversations at the intersection of politics, culture and the environment. Named after the James Baldwin book 'The Fire Next Time', this is a podcast about tackling the 21st century.


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74/ The Political Economy of Car Dependence: Understanding Systems of Provision (with Giulio Mattioli & Julia Steinberger)
This is a conversation with Giulio Mattioli and Julia Steinberger about their article ‘the political economy of car dependence: A systems of provision approach‘ published in the ‘Energy Research & Social Science‘ journal. We also discussed the topics below. Topics Discussed: The five key elements of what we’re calling the ‘car-dependent  transport system’: i) the automotive industry; ii) the provision of car  infrastructure; iii) the political economy of urban sprawl; iv) the  provision of public transport; v) cultures of car consumption The problem with focusing too much on consumption and the importance of covering the production side How where we live can influence our politics, and how suburban car-oriented lifestyles are actually subsidized by the state The importance of network planning Looking for decoupling and finding degrowth instead The problem with ‘sustainable’ growth How the car industry shows the necessity of degrowth Why more equitable societies are easier to decarbonize The problem with the argument that personal choices do not matter Dealing with climate anxiety through activism, work, research, learning How come we knew so much and did so little? Working with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) What is ecologial economics? Recommended Books Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Decolonising the Mind: the Politics of Language in African Literature by  Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o Less is More: How Degrowth Will Save The World by Jason Hickel Degrowth / Postwachstum zur Einführung by Matthias Schmelzer and Andrea Vetter Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! Music by Tarabeat. Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash
01:32:19
May 9, 2021
73/ 1958: Re-imagining a Revolutionary Year in Revolutionary Times (with Jeffrey Karam)
This is a conversation with Jeffrey Karam. He’s Assistant Professor  of Political Science at the Lebanese American University and an  associate at Harvard’s Middle East Initiative. He’s also the editor of the book “The Middle East in 1958: Reimagining a Revolutionary Year“, the topic of our conversation. Patreon supporters have early access to this. You can become a member for as little as 1$ a month. Topics Discussed: What was so special about 1958? Its legacy in the Middle East and the world The  formation of the short-lived United Arab Republic (between Egypt and  Syria), the Iraq revolution, the attempted coup in Jordan, the slide  towards more authoritarianism in Iran, the clash between the princes in  Saudi Arabia, the collapse of the fourth republic in France etc The internationalization of the region and the role of the great powers (US, UK, France, USSR) History as non-linear, connecting different threads Authoritarianism in the region and the role of the big powers Asking ‘what ifs’ in thinking about history 1957 in Lebanon (the rigged elections with US support) and the 1958 events A  look into the debates on decolonization, revolutionary nationalism,  internationalism, post-colonialism, imperialism, anti-imperialism and  state formation Lessons from 1958 for the present day, the example of Iraq How hope is linked to the understanding of time Upcoming book: The Lebanon Uprising of 2019: Voices from the Revolution, co-edited with Rima Majed Learning about revolutions in revolutionary times Book recommendations Coups and Revolutions: Mass Mobilization, the Egyptian Military, and the United States from Mubarak to Sisi by Amy Austin Holmes Oilcraft: The Myths of Scarcity and Security That Haunt U.S. Energy Policy by Robert Vitalis The Politics of Art Dissent and Cultural Diplomacy in Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan by Hanan Toukan The Paranoid Style in American Diplomacy Oil and Arab Nationalism in Iraq by Brandon Wolfe-Hunnicutt Winning Lebanon: Youth Politics, Populism, and the Production of Sectarian Violence, 1920–1958 by Dylan Baum Banking on the State The Financial Foundations of Lebanon by Hicham Safieddine Resources mentioned/that are relevant 07. Denying Genocide, from Halabja to Ghouta with Sabrina Azad 14. Revolution, disenchantment and the Lebanese New Left with Fadi Bardawil
01:32:24
May 2, 2021
72/ The Inherent Toxicity of France’s ‘Islamo-Leftism’ Obsession (with Rim-Sarah Alouane)
This is a conversation with Rim-Sarah Alouane. She’s a French legal academic, commentator, and PhD candidate in law researching religious  freedom, human rights, and civil liberties in France, Europe & North America. We spoke about a recent piece she wrote entitled ‘A Spectre in France’s Public Debate: Islamo-Leftism‘ for Reset Dialogues. Topics Discussed What the fuck is ‘Islamo-leftism’ How fringe conspiracy theories are being mainstreamed in France The role of anti-American sentiments in propagating these phenomena Understanding the specificity of French laicité/secularism The youth being more comfortable with multi-culturalism, which is provoking a conservative backlash The slippery slope of what’s being normalized (including security laws) The links between antisemitism and islamophobia, in terms of political rhetoric especially The legacy of colonial thinking The personal cost of rising authoritarianism in France Recommended Books Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies by Nader Hashemi Illégitimes by Nesrine Slaoui Les Incasables by Rachid Zerrouki Episodes mentioned: 67/ Cultural Dementia: How the West Lost Its History and Risks Losing Everything Else (with David Andress) 69/ The Entrenched “Manliness” of Ethnic Power-sharing Peace Agreements (with Aida A. Hozić) If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! Music by Tarabeat.
01:52:01
April 25, 2021
71/ Bearing Witness to What is Lost: Lebanon’s ‘Postwar’ Hauntings (with Ely Dagher)
This is a conversation with Lebanese director Ely Dagher. He is the director of the Palme D’Or-winning Waves ’98, one of my favorite short films. He also has an upcoming feature  film called The Sea Ahead. Shownotes & Movie Link: https://thefirethisti.me/2021/04/02/71-bearing-witness-to-what-is-lost-lebanons-postwar-hauntings-with-ely-dagher/ Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/firethesetimes YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGE68ISVDHvj6DN2Zhucblg The music is by Tarabeat.
01:19:03
April 18, 2021
70/ (Post)Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East (With Nader Hashemi & Danny Postel)
This is a conversation with Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel. We spoke about their book “Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East“ as well as related topics. Shownotes: https://thefirethisti.me/2021/03/31/postsectarianization-mapping-the-new-politics-of-the-middle-east-with-nader-hashemi-danny-postel/ Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/firethesetimes YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGE68ISVDHvj6DN2Zhucblg The music is by Tarabeat.
01:26:28
April 14, 2021
69/ The Entrenched “Manliness” of Ethnic Power-sharing Peace Agreements (with Aida A. Hozić)
This is a conversation with Aida A. Hozić.  She is an Associate Professor of International Relations and Associate  Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of  Florida, United States. Her research is situated at the intersection of  political economy, cultural studies, and international security. Her current research project explores interplays between feminist art, “manly” conceptualisations of warfare, and the growth of art markets in the 21st century. A recent essay of hers, the focus of this conversation is: Dayton, WPS and the entrenched “manliness” of ethnic power-sharing peace agreements. Topics Discussed: The 1995 Dayton Accords and its context The patriarchal aspect of these accords, and what they erase The gendered impact of the accords Women Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda: background and why it matters Bosnia-Belgium comparisons Bosnia-Lebanon comparisons, including looking at ongoing impacts of Ta’if in Lebanon and Dayton in Bosnia How Bosnia influenced the 2011 Arab Spring and responses to it The multiple Syrias, multiple Bosnias What do we really mean by ‘intervention’ (Bosnia, Rwanda, Libya, Syria) The work of Walid Raad The work of Azra Hromadžić ‘Peace’ accords as ‘appeasing men who have guns’ The problem with simplistic ‘anti-imperialism’ How the EU sees Bosnia ‘Big powers’ politics Fortress Europe and the ‘Balkan Route’ The  relationship between ethnic politics, the National Action Plans (NAPs),  and the implementation of the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda in  the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s transition How gender analysis also helps us focus on ‘who else is missing’ Recommended Books A Lexicon of Terror: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture by Marguerite Feitlowitz The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov The Political Economy of Violence Against Women by Jacqui True Resources I’ve mentioned: Post-War Reconstruction in Contested Cities: Comparing Urban Outcomes in Beirut and Sarajevo by Gruia Badescu Localise the Women, Peace and Security Agenda – WILPF
01:25:18
April 11, 2021
68/ Solarpunk, Youth Liberation and Why Revolution Needs Therapy (with Saint Andrew)
This is a conversation with Andrew, the Solarpunk Anarchist from Trinidad and Tobago behind the YouTube channel 'Saint Andrewism.' Topics Discussed What is Solarpunk? Solarpunk Anarchism? The problem with Greenwashing How to talk about the climate & problems with the climate movement Generational shifts in the climate movement The importance of intersectionality Switzerland's voting patterns and the reaction to Covid-19 (tangent on my part) Why the revolution needs therapy (Reading Ashanti Alston & bell hooks, community care and solidarity, dealing with emotional baggage in revolutionary settings) Everyone needs feminism, including men The risks of psychologizing patriarchal oppression (brought up episode 27) Mutual Aid Emotional Anarchism (brought up episodes 59/60) On social media and their limitations Growing up in Trinidad + some chat about that specific context (legacies of colonialism, colorism, patriarchy, class divides, government corruption, education system, black capitalism, crime) Some interesting Trinidad and Lebanon intersections/differences Addressing Gen-Zers as a Gen-Zer Learning from past movements' mistakes and successes The past being taboo in Lebanon Intersections between Solar Punk and Afro-Futurism The radical roots of carnival (Trinidad, Notting Hill) Discussions within anarchism Recommended Books Anarchy by Errico Malatesta The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love by bell hooks The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy by Murray Bookchin If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts!
01:21:32
April 4, 2021
67/ Cultural Dementia: How the West Lost Its History and Risks Losing Everything Else (with David Andress)
This is a conversation with David Andress. He is a Professor of  Modern History at the University of Portsmouth and is the author of the  book “Cultural Dementia: How the West has Lost its History and Risks Losing Everything Else“ If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! Music by Tarabeat. Topics Discussed What is Cultural Dementia? And why use that term instead of Amnesia? Why focus on France, the UK and the US? The current crises in the three countries George  Orwell’s reflection on the relationship between  imperialism/colonialism, the UK’s welfare state and the white working  class France’s Trente Glorieuses Prospects of Le Pen and the far right winning in France The ‘Brexit spirit’ Impact of Trumpism on US politics and what might come next What is neoliberalism and how is that term (mis)used? What is populism and how is that term (mis)used? Berlusconi, the five star movement and racist politics in Italy Canada, Australia and New Zealand’s specific contexts with regards to immigration and racism Cambridge Analytica The delusion of ‘socialism in one country’ The realities and delusions of Brexit (including example of CANZUK proposals and how India is excluded) Ladybird libertarians (term by Otto English) Isolationism within the British Labour Party Weaknesses within Left parties, especially Labour (Attlee, Wilson, Blair) The specificity of France and republicanism there How Melenchon and Le Pen agree on Vichy’s status as ‘not France’ Chauvinism on the Left in France The metaphor of the mansion The Rhodes Must Fall  protests in the UK The ‘race question’ and white supremacy in the US The specificity of the US constitution (and how it is outdated and embeds conservatism) How history is taught (I gave the example of Lebanon) Recommended Books Priya Satia, Time’s Monster; History, Conscience and Britain’s Empire (Penguin/Allen Lane, 2020) Priyamvada Gopal, Insurgent Empire; Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent (Verso, 2019) Olivette Otele, African Europeans (Hurst, 2020) I also added: The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla Afropean: Notes from Black Europe by Johny Pitts
01:29:19
March 28, 2021
Intervention: Anti-Fascist Solidarity in Lyon (English/Français)
A few days ago La Plume Noire library was attacked by a group of around 50-60 fascists while it was hosting a food and clothing collection for homeless people in the area. This got a bit of media attention, but it is not the first time such an attack happens.  I had La Jeune Garde spokesperson Raphael Arnault on to talk about what happened exactly. He was on the scene and you may have heard his testimony shared on social media. I asked Raphael to give us some broader context on fascism in France, its specificity and what could be done to help all those fighting its rise.  First part of this is in English. For French skip to around [9:30] Donation button for La Plume Noire: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=53ZEFL6TM45T2 UCL on Twitter https://twitter.com/UnionCoLib La Jeune Garde on FB https://www.facebook.com/Jeune-Garde-Lyon-189238385010025/
22:01
March 25, 2021
66/ Legacies of Authoritarianism in Palestine (with Dana El Kurd)
This is a conversation with Dana El Kurd. She is a Palestinian academic who specializes in Comparative Politics and International Relations. Dana works as a researcher at the Arab  Center for Research and Policy Studies and as an assistant professor at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. We spoke about her most recent book “Polarized and Demobilized: Legacies of Authoritarianism in Palestine” published by Hurst. Topics Discussed Authoritarianism within the Palestinian Authority (PA) The role of the US The legacy of the Oslo Accords The Arab Spring and their link to Palestine How long-term authoritarianism impacts societies Polarization and Demobilization since Oslo The relationship between the Israeli occupation and the PA The 2006 Elections The difference between PA, PNA, PLO and Fatah On NGOization The Abraham Accords Tankie rhetoric How regional authoritarians (Hezbollah, Assad, Iran) are perceived in Palestine Different generational shifts Reforming the PLO Recommended Books How Social Movements Die: Repression and Demobilization of the Republic of New Africa by Christian Davenport State of Repression: Iraq under Saddam Hussein by Lisa Blaydes Inside the Battle of Algiers: Memoir of a Woman Freedom Fighter by Zohra Drif And I mentioned: A region in revolt: Mapping the recent uprisings in North Africa and West Asia
01:04:57
March 21, 2021
#StopAsianHate [Repost] Sex Workers' Rights, Basebuilding and Mutual Aid (with Kate Zen)
Hey everyone, I don't usually do this but in light of recent events friends suggested that I republish this episode from July 2020. If you haven't heard, last night eight workers in massage parlors were murdered in Atlanta in the Southern region of the United States. Six of these workers were Asian-Americans. In response to the massacre, Red Canary Song, a US-based grassroots Asian sex workers coalition, tweeted: "These deaths somehow mean more because of the rise in anti-Asian violence related to COVID-19, but no mention of how they’re connected to the long policing of Asian sex work, which so many Asian Americans and those speaking up against anti-Asian hate endorse." As it happens, in July of 2020 I had interviewed Kate Zen, one of the organisers with Red Canary Song, which also organises transnationally with Asian sex workers across the diaspora in Toronto, Paris, and Hong Kong. In whatever capacity I can, I stand in solidarity with sex worker/massage parlour workers and activists everywhere in the world and my thoughts go to those who lost their lives to this hate crime. Before sharing this episode, I wanted to read out a declaration of support that is being passed around. You can find it in the description of this episode. You will also find links to donate in the description and on the Twitter account @FireTheseTimes The Declaration of Support: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSftvwRE2LEsfL24fvtygAHdqN8qHSjcImOhu_AINt6cmtstQw/viewform?fbzx=-6123717124999218342
56:27
March 17, 2021
65/Shifting Towards Climate-Just Mobility (with Anne Kretzschmar)
Today we'll be talking to Anne Kretzschmar. She’s a coordinator with the Stay Grounded network which works on a global level to reduce air traffic and build a climate-just transport system. They recently published a paper entitled  ‘A Rapid and Just Transition of Aviation: Shifting towards climate-just mobility‘ which was a big part of our conversation. Topics discussed: Social and environmental costs of airport projects The problem behind ‘carbon offsetting’ Looking for just alternatives Tackling tax exemption for aviation How flying is already unjust The problem of frequent flyers Implementing actual limits (frequent flyer levee) Europe’s lack of international booking for trains Trains can also be a problem (example of Maya Train project in Mexico) Wider question of asking what kind of mobility do we need and wand and how can we distribute it in a just way Taking the topic of jobs and labor seriously Impact of COVID-19 on aviation and what might come next Degrowth Change by Design or by Disaster Green New Deal for Gatwick How ‘bailouts’ rarely actually support those most impacted by industry losses Alternative tourisms The importance of internationality and the centrality of environmental justice Supporting critical aviator workers Airport-related Injustice and Resistance map Recommended Books: Vision on Fire: Emma Goldman on the Spanish Revolution Re:Imagining Change: How to Use Story-based Strategy to Win Campaigns, Build Movements, and Change the World by Patrick Reinsborough and Doyle Canning A Message From the Future II: The Years of Repair by Naomi Klein video by Molly Crabapple, Opal Tometi, Avi Lewis
54:36
March 14, 2021
64/In the End, It Was All About Love (with Musa Okwonga)
Today we'll be talking to Musa Okwonga. Musa is a writer, broadcaster, poet, speaker, musician. author, sportswriter, broadcaster and commentator on current affairs. He's also the first person to come on the podcast three times (twice here and once in the previous 'Hummus For Thought' one). He most recently published a wonderful short book called "In The End, It Was All About Love" and published by Rough Trade Books, as well as "One of Them: An Eton College Memoir" published by Unbound. You can find this podcast on YouTube too. Topics discussed: Brexit Leaving home Racism The Holocaust Being a migrant European fascism Living in the future Visibility as racialised people Ethics of taking certain gigs as freelancers Going to Eton The importance of doing therapy The role of football Books Mentioned: The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr.,  Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs Songs My Enemy Taught Me by Joelle Taylor Brown Baby: A Memoir of Race, Family and Home by Nikesh Shukla If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! Music by Tarabeat.
01:35:31
March 7, 2021
63/Queerness, Literature and Revolution (With Saleem Haddad)
Today we'll be talking to Saleem Haddad. He is the author of Guapa, the director of Marco and a 2nd time guest on The Fire These Times. Topics discussed: What constitutes queer literature?; Muhammad Abdelnabi; Ocean Vuong;  James Baldwin; The Personal is Political; Pedro Lemebel; Israeli  pinkwashing; criticizing the so-called ‘gay international’ by Joseph  Massad; how ‘anti-imperialism’ and ‘post-colonialism’ is used by  authoritarian groups and regimes including Hezbollah and Assad;  Queerness in revolutionary settings (in the Arab-majority world);  Revolutionary feminism; LGBTQ liberation and the Syrian revolution;  being sensitive to authoritarian logic; queerness as a changing and  developing identity; understanding social constructs. Books/Works Mentioned: In the spider’s room: a novel by Muhammad Abdelnabi On earth we’re briefly gorgeous by Ocean Vuong Go tell it on the mountain by James Baldwin Manifesto (I speak for my difference) by Pedro Lemebel Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi Cleanness by Garth Greenwell The appointment by Katharina Volckmer PATREON Help me make more podcast episodes by supporting me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/firethesetimes PAYPAL If you'd rather make a one-time donation you can do it via PayPal: https://paypal.me/ibnbaldwin BLOG POST https://thefirethisti.me/2021/02/16/63-queerness-literature-and-revolution-with-saleem-haddad/ If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by  sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! Music by Tarabeat.
01:17:15
February 28, 2021
62/ How to Limit Global Warming to 1.5°C: A Societal Transformation Scenario (with Kai Kuhnhenn and Linda Schneider)
This is a conversation with Kai Kuhnhenn and Linda Schneider. They recently co-wrote a really important and freely-available study exploring a Societal Transformation Scenario (STS) on how to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Topics Discussed: The importance of the study The problem with assuming economic growth in studying environmental impact The reliance on growth in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports Risks of geoengineering Degrowth for the Global North How the Societal Transformation Scenario (STS) differs from mainstream economics The problems with uncritical techno-optimism The risks of overshoot Why Recycle is the least important of the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle What about the Global South? Addressing economic justice What exactly does Net Zero mean? Keystone pipeline Exploring the possible Having hope Climate anxiety Recommended Books The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by adrienne maree brown The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency by Andreas Malm You can also make use of a really good FAQs section. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro, Vurbl and RSS. Music by Tarabeat.
01:00:50
February 21, 2021
61/ A Class Analysis of the Arab Spring (with Anand Gopal)
This is a conversation with Anand Gopal about his essay for Catalyst Journal entitled ‘The Arab Thermidor‘ in which he presents a class analysis of the Arab Spring. We spoke about a number of Arab-majority countries but with a focus on Syria. We briefly mentioned Afghanistan too.  PATREON Help me make more podcast episodes by supporting me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/firethesetimes   PAYPAL If you'd rather make a one-time donation you can do it via PayPal: https://paypal.me/ibnbaldwin   BLOG POST https://thefirethisti.me/2021/01/26/61-a-class-analysis-of-the-arab-spring-with-anand-gopal/   If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts!   Music by Tarabeat.
01:01:25
February 14, 2021
60/(Anti-)Fascism and the Future of Complex Warfare, Part 2 (with Emmi Bevensee)
Today we'll be talking to Emmi Bevensee again. They're a data journalist who utilizes a data storytelling approach to make complexity understandable. Topics discussed: Fifth Section: Eco-Fascism; the ‘Thanos’ tendency;  Climate grief; Climate anxiety; Climate denialism; Manipulative  algorithms; Network effects; Peer-to-peer technology; Gab; Alt-right  echo chambers; Machine learning vs human moderation; Leftism in the 21st  century; Anarchism; Post-leftism; Internationalism;  Anti-authoritarianism; Sixth Section: Mutualism; Currency; Capitalism;  Economic Coordination; Iroquois Longhouse Systems; Tragedy of the  commons (disproving it); Revealed vs Stated Preference; Reading  authoritarian literature; Prioritising and Strategising within activism. Seventh Section: Emotional Anarchism; Recommended books. PATREON Help me make more podcast episodes by supporting me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/firethesetimes PAYPAL If you'd rather make a one-time donation you can do it via PayPal: https://paypal.me/ibnbaldwin BLOG POST https://thefirethisti.me/2021/01/26/59-60-anti-fascism-and-the-future-of-complex-warfare/ If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by  sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your  podcasts!  Music by Tarabeat.
01:19:55
February 7, 2021
59/(Anti-)Fascism and the Future of Complex Warfare, Part 1 (with Emmi Bevensee)
Today we'll be talking to Emmi Bevensee. They're a data journalist who utilizes a data storytelling approach to make complexity understandable. Topics discussed: First section: Complex Warfare; Disinformation Warfare; Drones; 3D-printed Guns; Houthis and Saudi Arabia; Asymmetrical  Warfare; Surveillance; Anti-authoritarian communities; Open-source intelligence  (OSINT); Katehon; Russia; Complexity Dynamics; Pandemics and Viral Spreads; Ukraine/Russia/Syria. Second section: 8kun; 8chan; 4chan; Gamergate; Gab; Parler; January 6 Coup Attempt; Jim Watkins; Ron Atkins; QAnon; Child  sexual abuse (not  in detail, just in the context of the Watkins family’s role in the online hate scene); Swarm tactics; BBC Eye investigations; Shabbiha; Mexican government, paramilitary troops and the Zapatistas; role of governments in conspiracies like QAnon; Kraken; Dominion Conspiracy; Trump; ‘Stop The Steal’; Cults; Hezbollah; “Q Clearance: Unmasking QAnon” podcast with Jake Hanrahan; Third Section: Syncretism; Fascist entryism; Alt-Imperialism; Legacy of 2003 Invasion of Iraq on Campism; Boomer socialism; Answer coalition;  Stop The War in the UK; Anti-semitism; Assadists; Hong Kong; Dugin and Duginism; Ajamu Baraka and the US Green Party; Code Pink. Fourth Section: Syria; Living on the Turkey-Syria Border; No Fly Zone;  Syrian Refugee Crisis; Lessons from the Syrian  experience for  anti-authoritarians; Syrian-related disinformation and authoritarianism; Libya; London Syria scene. PATREON Help me make more podcast episodes by supporting me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/firethesetimes   PAYPAL If you'd rather make a one-time donation you can do it via PayPal: https://paypal.me/ibnbaldwin   BLOG POST https://thefirethisti.me/2021/01/26/59-60-anti-fascism-and-the-future-of-complex-warfare/   If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by  sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your  podcasts!  Music by Tarabeat.
01:11:56
January 31, 2021
58/ Democracy, Counterrevolution and the Rhetoric of Anti-Imperialism (with Rohini Hensman)
Today we’ll be talking to Rohini Hensman. She is an India-based Sri Lankan labor activist and feminist and an  independent scholar whose book “Indefensible: Democracy,  Counterrevolution, and the Rhetoric of Anti-Imperialism” I’ve reviewed some years ago, and which will be the topic of our conversation today. In that book, she argues that the apparent anti-imperialism of many  self-professed socialists amounts to explicit or implicit support for  totalitarianism, fascism, Islamist theocracy and, ironically enough,  imperialism. She goes through the examples of Syria, Iran, Iraq, Bosnia, Russia and Ukraine. This has been a concern of mind for a few years now and I wanted to  take this opportunity to bring it to a wider audience, so I invited  Rohini on to explore how such a supposedly noble political position –  anti-imperialism – can be so easily corrupted. You don’t have to identify with any -ism to find this topic  informative. You just need to be someone who opposes authoritarian  politics. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. Music by Tarabeat. Photo taken from ‘The Syrian People Know Their Way’
01:16:57
January 24, 2021
57/The Psychology of Silicon Valley (with Katy Cook)
This is the first episode of the year and I wanted us to start this year by talking about silicon valley. Now, I know that this might sound weird, maybe out of context even, but I think we've reached a point where we need to come to terms with the fact that we're all living in a world heavily influenced by what we usually call Big Tech. So Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft, but we can also include other giants such as Twitter and, of course, subsidiaries of these giants, such as Instagram, YouTube, Whatsapp and so on. If you're listening from the US, you're likely very aware by now of what happens when authoritarian actors take advantage of certain designs on websites and apps like Facebook and YouTube. The fascists who stormed the Capitol on January 6th were undoubtedly radicalized on social media, with the help of Trump, himself addicted to Twitter, and the people around him. But this conversation focuses on another angle, and it goes beyond just social media. I spoke to Katy Cook about her book "the psychology of silicon valley: ethical threats and emotional unintelligence in the tech industry". This book offers a revealing look inside the mind of the world's most influential industry and how the identity, culture, myths and motivations of Big Tech are harming society. Katy walks us through the psychological landscape of Silicon Valley, including its leadership, ethical, and cultural problems - as well as what to do about them. Although US-focused at times, this is not a conversation about that country only. In fact, I bring up the UK and the Middle East as part of my own experience with the effects of social media and the tech giants.I will be having more of these conversations in the near future as I myself dig deeper into the philosophy and politics of Big Tech, and explore ways to approach the many-faceted challenges ahead. This episode was first published on Patreon.com/firethesetimes If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. Music by Tarabeat.
01:17:58
January 17, 2021
The (quick) Updates Are A-Comin'
Some quick updates. See y'all in a couple of weeks! Happy new year. TLDR: short poems from around the world; 10 year anniversary of Arab Spring; The Fire These Times is now on YouTube; I'm now on Medium at joey-ayoub.medium.com; and wear that f-ing mask please. To support on Patreon -> https://www.patreon.com/firethesetimes Twitter -> @firethesetimes
06:56
January 6, 2021
56/A Region in Revolt: The Uprisings in Algeria, Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran (Book Launch)
This is the audio version of the virtual book launch of 'A region in revolt: Mapping the recent uprisings in North Africa and West Asia'. I took part in it alongside a number of the co-authors of the book. See you all in 2021. The Fire These Times will be back in mid-January. A wave of mass protest movements has spread across North Africa and West Asia, including Sudan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon and Iran. The mass protests have much in common, from opposing authoritarian regimes and worsening economic situations to demanding radical changes in social relations. Despite their similarities, each protest movement operates under different conditions that cannot be ignored. The specific historic, political and economic contexts of each country have determined who the key actors of the uprisings are and their location across old and new divides. This book elaborates on these similarities and differences to paint a clearer picture of these movements and draw out lessons to inform future struggles. Edited by Jade Saab, a Lebanese/Canadian Researcher at the University of Glasgow, the contributors include Azza Mustafa and Sara Abbas (on Sudan); Hamza Hamouchene and Selma Oumari (on Algeria); Zeidon Alkinani (on Iraq); Jade Saab and Joey Ayoub (on Lebanon); and Frieda Afary (on Iran). This episode was first published for monthly Patreon supporters. To become a monthly Patreon supporter, please click here. For other ways of supporting, including one-off donations, please click here. If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. Music by Tarabeat. Tags: African, Decolonisation, Economic Conditions, Imperialism, Leftism, Political Freedom & Security, Political Science, Protest, Racism, Revolutions, Social Science
01:44:50
December 14, 2020
55/Lessons from Workers' Resistance in China (with Zhongjin Li & Eli Friedman)
This is a conversation with Zhongjin Li and Eli Friedman, co-editors of the book 'China on Strike: Narratives of Workers' Resistance', with the original Chinese edition edited by Hao Ren. Through the story of Labor insurgency in China we go into the world of narratives and ideas. We explore the contrast between a government's projected image, and its reality. My guests do an excellent job at exploring what is essentially impossible to do in an hour or so: modern China, or at least parts of it. This episode was first published for monthly Patreon supporters. To become a monthly Patreon supporter, please click here. For other ways of supporting, including one-off donations, please click here. If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! This will be the last original episode of 2020. There will be one episode released next week which will be the edited version of the recent book I contributed to - 'A Region in Revolt: Mapping the Recent Uprisings in North Africa and West Asia' - and which examines the recent uprisings in Sudan, Algeria, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq. I have a lot of exciting things planned for 2021 folks so stay tuned. If you enjoy this podcast please do share it with your friends and family, especially that annoying uncle of yours. See you in 2021. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. Music by Tarabeat. Key words: China; Labor; Capitalism; Chinese Communist Party; International Solidarity; Socialism; Strikes; Hong Kong; Leftwing politics; Working Class 
01:03:13
December 7, 2020
54/What Management Theory Can Learn From Anarchism (With Martin Parker & Thomas Swann)
This is a conversation with Martin Parker and Thomas Swann, co-editors of the book "Anarchism, Organization and Management: Critical Perspectives for Students". Now I know what you must be thinking: anarchism and management? Aren't they contradictory?  Often, yes, but not necessarily, and this conversation will try and argue that they can work very well together. In fact, my guests and I argued that engaging with both anarchism and management in a critical way may just be what we need today. So if you're a business or management student or know someone who is one, I'd be curious to hear from you. You don't have to be one though (I'm not one either). "This book turns ideas [about how business should be done] on their head, asking awkward questions about authority, technology and markets and demanding that its readers think hard about whether they want to reproduce those ideas too." This episode was first published for monthly Patreon supporters. To become a monthly Patreon supporter, please click here. For other ways of supporting, including one-off donations, please click here. If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. Music by Tarabeat. key words: entrepreneurship, business, capitalism, organization, critical management, anarchism, critical theory
51:07
November 30, 2020
53/Masculinity in Pop Culture: The Toxic and the Subversive (With Jonathan McIntosh)
This is a conversation with Jonathan McIntosh who runs the Pop Culture Detective Agency,  the video essay series focusing on the intersections of masculinity,  politics and entertainment. He was also a producer and co-writer on the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games YouTube video series created and hosted by Anita Sarkeesian. You don't have to watch his videos before listening to this  episode, but I think you'll find it more informative if you do so first. At least the ones referenced below. As the title suggests, this was largely a conversation about masculinity  in pop culture. We spoke about the Big Bang Theory, Steven Universe, the character of Newt Scamander (of the Fantastic Beasts film series, but only the 1st movie), Stranger Things and Star Wars. So, you know,  usual spoilers alert. We also spoke about one of the most dangerous fictional characters of recent years: Donald Trump. Although Jonathan's work focuses on Western and especially American  movies and TV series, the episode is structured to highlight common  tropes that are present throughout the world. After all, it is quite  difficult to ignore the influence of Hollywood on movies throughout the  world, not that other film industries are necessarily better or worse when it comes to unhealthy masculinity tropes. This episode was first published for monthly Patreon supporters. To become a monthly Patreon supporter, please click here. For other ways of supporting, including one-off donations, please click here. If you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. Music by Tarabeat.
49:46
November 23, 2020
52/The Palestinian Left and Its Decline (with Francesco Saverio Leopardi)
I spoke with Francesco Saverio Leopardi of Ca'Foscari University of Venice about his recently released book 'The Palestinian Left and Its Decline: Loyal Opposition'. We go through the recent history of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or PFLP, from 1982 to 2007. We go through its complicated role(s) in various Arab countries and even more complicated relationship with other Palestinian groups, especially the PLO, as well as some lessons to draw from this group's experience. As with all conversations I have, this one was intended to be broader than its specific topic. Hopefully by the end of this episode you will have a basic understanding of: the PFLP's history, tensions within the Arab left, the role of Israel and the Assad regime in destroying parts of the Arab left, and even a brief comparative analysis of the Egyptian communist movement and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). I even made a loose comparison between the experience of the PFLP and that of the Free Syrian Army just to challenge my guest, include a more comparative analysis in our conversation, and to let him expand on what he called 'the opposition-integration dilemma'. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. f you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. Music by Tarabeat.
42:42
November 16, 2020
51/The Case for People-centered Recovery Processes in Beirut (with Mona Harb)
This is a conversation with Dr Mona Harb,  Professor of Urban Studies and Politics at the Department of  Architecture and Design at the American University of Beirut. She also  works at Beirut Urban Lab which is: "a collaborative and interdisciplinary research space. The Lab produces  scholarship on urbanization by documenting and analyzing ongoing  transformation processes in Lebanon and its region's natural and built  environments. It intervenes as an interlocutor and contributor to  academic debates about historical and contemporary urbanization from its  position in the Global South." Mona recently wrote reflections on the blast on Jadaliyya - Quick Thoughts: Mona Harb on the Aftermath of the Beirut Explosion - which led to this invitation on The Fire These Times.  We use the blast as the anchor for our conversation. We spoke about the  roles of dominant political figures/parties - especially Hariri Sr+Jr  and Hezbollah in this case - in privatisation processes which have led  to a highly disfigured city even before the August explosion. We spoke  about the difficulties of trying to love Beirut and how it can often  feel like it is too much to handle. In short, we spoke about our very modern experience affecting not just our country but places around the world. Indeed, although Beirut and Lebanon-focused, this is a conversation that  applies to multiple cities around the world that are facing the  challenges of human-caused destruction (the blast, climate change, urban  inequalities, and so on) while also navigating the limitations imposed  by nation states under the still-dominant (despite everything)  neoliberal framework. More on the blog post at thefirethisti.me  If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. f you can’t donate anything, you can still support this project by sharing with your friends and leaving a review wherever you get your podcasts! The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. Music by Tarabeat. Photo taken from Beirut Urban Lab.
59:20
November 9, 2020
Reflections on the first 50 episodes and upcoming projects
This is an unusual episode in that it's just me reflecting on the first 50 episodes that were released on The Fire These Times since March 14th 2020. I also speak about the projects I'm working on and which are made possible by your support. The projects: The Fire These Times: the podcast named after the James  Baldwin book ‘The Fire Next Time’. Its overarching philosophy is exploring ways to tackle the 21st century. Episodes so far have includes conversations on the 2019 Uprising in Lebanon, fascism in Greece,  Europe's 'refugee crisis', Brexit, Hong Kong, the Syrian revolution, China's concentration camps in Xinjiang, disinformation campaigns in the West, patriarchy, Ethiopia, the Jewish Bund, Venezuela and LGBTQ rights in the Arab world. Hummus For Thought: the Lebanon-oriented blog launched during the Arab Spring in 2011 and which is now two things: a monthly newsletter featuring reflections and recommendations (subscribe here) and an upcoming series of monthly and bilingual (English/Arabic) conversations on Lebanon with people who live in Lebanon or who have left Lebanon. You can read the announcement here. LebaneseCinema.com: upcoming website dedicated to resources on Lebanese Cinema as well as regional cinema (Palestinian, Israeli, Syrian, Turkish, Iraqi and Iranian). Ecolere (no website yet): upcoming bilingual (English/Arabic) website dedicated to discussing the climate emergency, our digital lives, and everything in between. Co-created with my friend Christophe Maroun.
25:32
November 2, 2020
50/Golden Dawn: The Anatomy of a Nazi Party in 21st Century Europe (with Loukas Stamellos)
This is a conversation with Loukas Stamellos. He's a member of the Greek grassroots media organisation OmniaTV and of the "Golden Dawn Watch"  initiative. Loukas and I spoke about Golden Dawn more generally, not just the trial that finally concluded that they are a criminal organisation but about  fascism in Greece and in Europe more broadly. He was really able to link Golden Dawn's fascism with wider trends such as nationalism and  xenophobia. The episode is available on the usual podcasting apps as of Sunday 18th 2020: Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! You can view this episode as an informal second part to my previous conversation with Ghias Al Jundi,  a British-Syrian activist, on the recent fires in Greece's Moria camp  for refugees and migrants. That being said, both episodes are also  intended to stand on their own. In terms of additional links, I have used two previous podcast episodes  as part of my research for this episode. The first is a Guardian long  read based on an article written by Daniel Trilling for the publication. The audio version is here. The second is an interview by the podcast Radikaal with Daphne Halikiopoulo,  Professor in the Department of Political Science and International  Relations at the University of Reading in England. The link is here. Photo designed by Vincent Vaury for the documentary 'Golden Dawn: A Personal Affairs'. Reused and modified with permission.
34:51
October 18, 2020
49/The Moria Camp and Fortress Europe's Deadly Xenophobia (with Ghias Al Jundi)
This is a conversation with Syrian-British human rights activist Ghias Al Jundi about the recent fires at the Moria camp for refugees and migrants in Greece. The fires that burned through the camp left thousands houseless, turning a situation that was already described as a living hell into something even worse. Please check the links below for readings on that. Ghias has been going frequently to Greece to help refugees who make the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea, a reality that is the  result of the European Union's decision to demonise migration and asylum. The EU has made it impossible for refugees to reach Fortress  Europe via the land. [For more on that you can listen to episode 35 (July 6, 2020) on the deadly 'Balkan Route', with Jack Sapoch, coordinator of No Name Kitchen‘s border violence reporting, itself part of the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN).] He also knows very well what it means to leave one's home as he himself fled Syria in 1998 after surviving torture in Hafez Assad's dungeons.  This direct connection is something that I think is reflected in our own  conversation. As he told me in the episode, seeing migrants and  refugees try and reach Europe's shores felt like Syria was coming to him this time. If you'd like to support Ghias' fundraising effort to help those displaced by the Moria fires, you can do so at this link. As for articles related to the Moria fires, you'll find them on the associated blogpost on thefirethisti.me 
01:01:44
October 11, 2020
48/Our Climate Emergency Present (with Peter Kalmus)
This is a conversation with Dr Peter Kalmus.  He's a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, and an activist  struggling, like so many of us, with the overwhelming presence of the  climate emergency. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. You can follow the other project, Hummus For Thought, on Twitter @LebInterviews. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.
40:46
October 1, 2020
47/Evaporated Euphoria: the Current Crises in Lebanon (with Lara Bitar)
This is a conversation with Lara Bitar, the founding editor of The Public Source, a Beirut-based independent media organization  "dedicated to reporting on socioeconomic and environmental crises afflicting Lebanon since the onset of neoliberal governance in the 90s, and providing political commentary on events unfolding since  October 17." We spoke about the importance of independent and critical media in Lebanon today and about the aftermath of 'this brief moment of euphoria that a lot of people experienced during the October 17' uprising, and particularly since the August 4th explosion in Beirut. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. You can follow the other project, Hummus For Thought, on Twitter @LebInterviews. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat. Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash.
47:56
September 27, 2020
46/Hong Kong, Disappearances and the Emotional Cost of Disinformation (with Shui-yin Sharon Yam)
This is a conversation with Shui-yin Sharon Yam, a US-based Hongkonger academic who has been writing on various topics. It is a long conversation about Hong Kong, being a member of the  diaspora who may not be able to go back, how Hong Kongers can learn from  other people’s experiences with disinformation, as well as the  emotional cost of that disinformation on Sharon and I. She is Associate Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies,  and a faculty affiliate of Gender and Women Studies at the University  of Kentucky. Her research focuses on questions of identity, citizenship, affect,  and race. She teaches courses on transnational rhetoric, digital  composing, and political emotion. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. You can follow the other project, Hummus For Thought, on Twitter @LebInterviews. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat. Photo by Leung Yattin on Unsplash
01:41:13
September 11, 2020
45/Ethiopian Migrants' Saudi Hell/Ethiopia's Anti-Government Protests (with Zecharias Zelalem)
This is a conversation with Ethiopian journalist Zecharias Zelalem on  his recent investigation into the horrific living conditions that Ethiopian migrants are living in in Saudi detention centers, as well as  his overview of the recent protests in Ethiopia following the murder of  popular Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa. Additional links on TheFireThisTi.Me You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. You can follow the other project, Hummus For Thought, on Twitter @LebInterviews. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat. Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash
01:00:09
September 7, 2020
44/That Cairo Concert, Mental Health and Growing Up Queer in Lebanon (with Hamed Sinno)
This is a conversation with Hamed Sinno, lead singer of the Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila. We spoke about the September 2017 concert in Cairo, Sarah Hegazi, mental health, and growing up queer in Lebanon - and everything in between. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. You can follow the other project, Hummus For Thought, on Twitter @LebInterviews. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat. The photo is taken from Mashrou' Leila's album Ibn El Leil.
01:15:33
September 4, 2020
43/ The World's Most Technologically Sophisticated Genocide is Happening in Xinjiang (with Rayhan Asat and Yonah Diamond)
This is a conversation with Rayhan Asat and Yonah Diamond, authors of a piece for Foreign Policy entitled "The World’s Most Technologically Sophisticated Genocide Is Happening in Xinjiang." In addition to both being lawyers, Rayhan is also the sister of Ekpar Asat who was forcibly disappeared by the Chinese Communist Party in 2016, and she's the president of the American Turkic International Lawyers Association. As for Yonah Diamond, he's legal counsel at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, named after the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary. Additional links available on thefirethisti.me  You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. You can follow the other project, Hummus For Thought, on Twitter @LebInterviews. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
59:21
September 2, 2020
42/"It Sounded Like The World Itself Was Breaking Open": The Beirut Explosion (with Lina Mounzer)
I spoke with Lebanese writer and translator Lina Mounzer about witnessing and experiencing the Beirut explosion on August 4th,  2020. So far there are 157 deaths, 5,000 injuries, US$10–15 billion in  property damage and an estimated 300,000 people left homeless. The blast was linked to about 2,750 tonnes (3,030 short tons) of ammonium nitrate – equivalent to around 1,155 tonnes of TNT (4,830 gigajoules) – that had been confiscated by the government from the abandoned ship MV Rhosus and stored in the port without proper safety measures for six years. For further info including how to hep, please visit TheFireThisTi.Me 
46:57
August 7, 2020
41/Rendering Our Struggles Visible: Palestine, #BlackLivesMatter and Syria (with Mariam Barghouti)
This is a conversation with Mariam Barghouti. She’s a Palestinian-American writer and researcher currently based in Ramallah. I spoke with Mariam about her growth as a Palestinian activist,  #BlackLivesMatter, the Syrian revolution, trans-generational  understanding and rendering our struggles visible Topics discussed: COVID19 in the context of the Israeli occupation of  the West Bank; the Palestinian Authority’s relationship with the  Israeli government; building transnational solidarity; rendering our  struggles visible/fighting against invisibility; Syrian-Palestinian  solidarity against authoritarianism and oppression; the generational  shift within activism and building trans-generational understanding;  Black Lives Matter; Gaza and Aleppo; Daraya’s secret library; survivor’s  guilt; and a bit on the Hong Kong protests. The webinar mentioned is called: From BLM to Palestine and Syria: The Politics of Revolutionary Solidarity. Associated blogpost: https://thefirethisti.me/2020/07/28/41-rendering-our-struggles-visible-palestine-blacklivesmatter-and-syria/ You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat.
58:58
July 28, 2020
40/We Exist: Queer Transnational Activism in the Middle East and Beyond (with "The Queer Arabs")
Trigger warning: suicide. We talked about Sarah Hegazi's death. This is a conversation with Alia and Nadia of "The Queer Arabs" podcast. We spoke about what it's like to host a podcast about LGBTQ Arabs, the guests they have on and how queer arab activism has changed in recent years and especially since the 2011 uprisings including with the recent crackdowns in, for example, Egypt. We also spoke about why representation and visibility matter, the difficulties of tackling both homophobia in Arab spaces while also struggling against forms of homonationalism that use LGBTQ rights to push for anti-Arab/Muslim hatred. Finally we also spoke about what's next for The Queer Arabs and what's next for them personally. You can follow Alia and Nadia on Instagram @ alia_and_a_violin and @nadiainherownworld respectively. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat. Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.
51:29
July 26, 2020
39/Basebuilding, Sex Workers’ Rights and Mutual Aid (with Kate Zen)
This is a conversation with Kate Zen. She’s an organiser with Red Canary Song,  a US-based grassroots Asian sex workers coalition. They also organise transnationally with Asian sex workers across the diaspora in Toronto, Paris, and Hong Kong. “There are over 9000 workplaces like these across the country with no  political representation, or access to labor rights or collective  organizing. Anti-trafficking NGO’s that claim to speak for migrants in  sex trades promote increased policing and immigration control, which  harms rather than helps migrant sex workers.” You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat.
52:53
July 22, 2020
38/My Father and Syria's Forcibly Disappeared (with Wafa Mustafa)
This is a conversation with Wafa Mustafa, a Berlin-based Syrian journalist. We spoke about her father, Ali Mustafa, who was forcibly disappeared by the Assad regime on July 2nd 2013. Wafa highlights the fact that those who are forcibly disappeared are often depoliticized and coated in 'humanitarian' language. We spoke about how she participated in the 2011 uprising and how her activism actually started from sooner. We also  spoke about her journey from Syria to Turkey and then Berlin, about dealing with and talking about depression, and about her next projects. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat.
01:16:05
July 17, 2020
37/The Racialisation of Migrant Labor Under the Kafala System in Lebanon (with Daryn Howland)
This is a conversation with Daryn Howland. She's a Beirut-based researcher who recently finished her MA thesis entitled "racist capital: the racialization of migrant labor under the kafala system in Beirut", the subject of our discussion. You can read the thesis in its current format here. Daryn argues that the racialisation and dehumanisation of migrant domestic workers under the Kafala system in Lebanon contains four components: Commodification Inferiorization Criminalization Sexualization These four components are crucial to the reproduction of the Kafala system's structural racism which, ultimately, confines migrant domestic workers, the overwhelming majority of whom are women, to their labor. We unpack each of them so that, hopefully, you'll get a good sense of how the Kafala system functions on a structural level. We also spoke about how the components of the Kafala system also end up affecting any person of color, particularly of African and Asian heritage, in Lebanon. This is the fourth episode on the Kafala system. To see the previous three, click here. Additional links: What it means to be black and African in Lebanon by Claudette Igiraneza The Fire These Times' Anti-Kafala Action resources Exhibit Highlights Struggle of Lebanese of African and Asian heritage You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat. The photo is a modified version of the Anti-Kafala Action logo designed by Rawane Issa. You can find the original one at the Anti-Kafala Action resources page.
47:36
July 16, 2020
36/Lebanon’s Deep Crisis Explained (with Timour Azhari)
This is my second conversation with Timour Azhari, a Beirut-based Lebanese journalist with Al Jazeera. I wanted to talk to Timour because few people are able to explain what’s happening in Lebanon with such clarity.  We went through the economic crisis and its political roots, the local and regional dimensions and how protesters and activists have  been reacting. We also spoke about how the average resident of Lebanon, both Lebanese and non-Lebanese (Ethiopian, Sudanese, Syrian etc), has been affected and what we could realistically expect to happen in the  coming weeks and months. The first episode was called: Lebanon’s October Uprising, Six Months Later (episode 8). You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat. Photo is by Dear.Nostalgia on Instagram, repurposed for this episode with permission.
01:30:44
July 7, 2020
35/The European Union's Violence Against Asylum Seekers (with Jack Sapoch)
I spoke with Jack Sapoch, coordinator of No Name Kitchen's border violence reporting, itself part of the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN). We spoke about the EU's policy of violence against asylum seekers on the so-called 'Balkan Route' and how BVMN partners have been trying to document it and support those being victimised by it. BVMN works through a democratic and horizontal management, in which each NGOs (or partner) is involved in different areas and carries out several tasks: A group of NGOs which works on reporting (collecting pushback cases): No Name Kitchen, Collective Aid, Escuela con Alma, Re:Ports Sarajevo. A group of NGOs which dedicates its effort to the advocacy strategy: Are You Syrious, Centre for Peace Studies, Info Kolpa, Mobile Info Team, Mare Liberum. Rigardu, a German-based NGO which is responsible for the management and administrative coordination and forms the legal frame for the Network. Topics covered also include: the role of the Croatian government and other governments on the so-called 'Balkan Route'; EU-funded/supported (re)borderisation processes which violates the rights of asylum seekers; lack of awareness by EU citizens of this Balkan Route; and how BVMN uses open-source investigations like that used by Bellingcat and Forensic Architecture to uncover these abuses. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat. Photo from the BVMN website by artist Ena Jurov.
44:12
July 6, 2020
34/Remembering Through Storytelling in Times of Hardship in Lebanon (with Ronnie Chatah)
This is a conversation with Ronnie Chatah, host of 'The Beirut Banyan' podcast and organiser of the Walk Beirut tour. We spoke about Ronnie's experience with storytelling and his desire to maintain the memory of those we have lost in Lebanon such as Samir Kassir, the journalist and historian assassinated 15 years ago, and his father Mohammad Chatah, the Lebanese diplomat who was assassinated in December 2013. We of course touched upon the current crisis in Lebanon since it has worsened beyond most predictions. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat. Photo by Michal GADEK on Unsplash.
01:21:57
July 5, 2020
33/Mutual Aid is Sweeping the World (with Zoe Smith)
This is a conversation with Zoe Smith, a London-based writer with connection to the Carribeans. Zoe had written two pieces for The Correspondent which I wanted to talk to her about. The unthinkable has become reality. How can we build back better? Mutual aid is sweeping the world. Here’s how we make this anarchist way of organising last So how do we make mutual aid last? Using the examples of Barrios de Pie in Argentina or the mutual aid groups popping up in the UK and beyond, we tried to answer that question. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat. Cover photo illustrated by Michelle Pereira for The Correspondent.
42:33
July 1, 2020
32/Wretched of the Earth: Thoughts on Syria, Palestine and Discourse (with Mohammed Sulaiman)
This is a conversation with Mohammed Sulaiman, a Palestinian writer and researcher who grew up in Gaza and currently works at the University of South Australia. The core of our conversation was Mohammed’s two essays for Hummus For Thought: Wretched of the Earth: Thoughts on Syria, Palestine and Discourse (2016) Israel and ‘The Right to Maim’ (2017) Topics discussed: growing up in Gaza and surviving the Israeli wars  and blockade; his and his partner’s difficult journey to Australia,  himself via Israel and herself via Egypt; the Western Left’s failures on  Syria and Bosnia as well as its relationship to Palestine; the  dehumanisation of Palestinians and Syrians; Israel’s politics of  domination; Israel’s ‘right to maim’ as inherent to colonial logic  through Jasbir Puar’s work; and Palestinians being asked to show  gratitude by self-appointed ‘saviors’. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat.
01:10:02
June 28, 2020
31/Disinformation, 'Post-truth' and What To Do About Them (with Peter Pomerantsev)
This is a conversation with Peter Pomerantsev. He's a Soviet-born British writer and the author of two books: Nothing is True and Everything is Possible and This is Not Propaganda. He also runs the research initiative Arena based at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), an innovative programme dedicated to overcoming the challenges of disinformation. Topics discussed: Russian disinformation on Ukraine and Syria; the Brexit campaign; the Trump presidency; Maria Ressa's conviction in the Philippines; missed opportunities of Ukrainian-Syrian solidarity; 1990s Russia and the rise of Putin; pop-up populism; and how to deal with disinformation while being mindful of censorship fears. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
47:43
June 24, 2020
Intervention: Ghanaian woman on surviving slavery in Lebanon. #AbolishKafala
211 Ghanaian citizens returned home after working as migrant domestic workers in Lebanon and this is what one of them had to say about what her living and working conditions was under the racist Kafala system in a racist Lebanon. The footage comes from a report on Ghanaian TV which was posted on Twitter by @ThisIsLebanonLB: https://twitter.com/ThisIsLebanonLB/status/1275754162702041090
01:04
June 24, 2020
30/Poetry, Tripoli and Navigating the Moment (with Zeina Hashem Beck)
This is a conversation with Zeina Hashem Beck. She's a poet originally from Tripoli, Lebanon. We spoke about her poems of  course and about what it means to be thinking about Lebanon from outside  of Lebanon, especially since the October 17th uprising. We touched upon  mental health, struggling with poetry, and sectarian jokes. We also  mentioned our respective upbringings, her in Tripoli and myself in Mount  Lebanon, and what they reveal about modern Lebanese politics. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat. Photo is a modified version of Zeina’s book ‘3arabi song’.
01:34:48
June 22, 2020
Intervention: Saleem Haddad on the death of Sarah Hegazy
This is the audio version of Saleem Haddad's reaction to the death of Sarah Hegazy, which he posted on Instagram and which I'm re-posting here with permission.  Sarah Hegazy was a Queer activist from Egypt who was arrested after being one of many who raised a rainbow flag at a concert by Mashrou3 Leila in Cairo in 2017. She was tortured in Sisi's jail, driven to exile and sought asylum in Canada. She took her own life a few days ago. The Sisi regime has since used that event as an excuse to crack down on Egypt's LGBTQ population, a crackdown which continues to this day.  The silence of straight Arabs in Egypt, the MENA region and the rest of the world is complicity.  You can also listen to the episode on Sarah by The Queer Arabs Podcast. “Society clapped for the regime when it arrested me and Ahmed Alaa.” Sarah Hegazy, from her 2018 article translated into English by Mada Masr. Read here: https://madamasr.com/en/2020/06/15/opinion/u/a-year-after-the-rainbow-flag-controversy Story of the case from NPR: https://www.npr.org/2018/06/18/620110576/after-crackdown-egypts-lgbt-community-contemplates-dark-future I've interviewed Saleem Haddad previously (episode 18).
07:53
June 22, 2020
29/Gender, Representation and the Role of Women Journalists in Syria (with Rula Asad)
This is a conversation with Rula Asad, the co-founder and executive director of the Syrian Female Journalists Network (SFJN).  She is a freelance journalist and reporter covering women and human rights. She also reports on the issues faced by the Syrian Civil Society in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, in addition to being an experienced researcher and trainer focusing on women’s rights, gender equality in the media as well development in the MENA region.  I wanted to have this conversation with Rula to discuss some of the challenges around the difficult topic of gender and representation in the context of Syria and of Syrian women within the journalism field more specifically. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat
51:13
June 19, 2020
28/Who Owns This World? Grief, Borders and Music [Correct Version] (with Yousef Kekhia)
(I accidentally uploaded the wrong file before so let's all pretend that didn't happen) This is a conversation with Yousef Kekhia, a Berlin-based Syrian singer, songwriter and producer originally from Aleppo. I spoke to Yousef about his debut album Monologue. I have been genuinely moved by his music and I think this conversation will show you why. Pluggables: Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud and Twitter. And his bandcamp account where you can buy his music and other merch is here (I myself have the Monologue Premium Vinyl Bundle). You can also read Yousef’s profile on Project Revolver. The playlist from Bandcamp is below. If you click on each song you can read the Arabic lyrics and their English translation. 1.Al Bidaye (The Beginning) 04:22 2.Bshi Yom (One Day) 04:54 3.Faragh (Emptiness) 06:35 4.Mafi Shi Byijama’na (Nothing Unites Us) 05:28 5.Lahn Al Hayat (The Anthem of Life) 04:09 6.Ana Al Kezeb (I Am the Lie) 07:19 7.Khalaya Sarataniye (Cancerous Cells) 06:07 8.Hal Ard Lamin? (Album Version) (Who is This Earth For?) 05:13 9.Al Tayr (The Bird) 04:47 You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Usual music by Tarabeat, in addition to the three songs by Yousef. Photo taken from Youssef’s bandcamp page.
01:00:27
June 14, 2020
27/The Risks of Psychologising Patriarchal Oppression (with Chuck Derry)
Trigger warning: gender-based violence is mentioned throughout the episode. This is a conversation with Chuck Derry, co-founder of the Gender Violence Institute and the Minnesota Men’s Action Network: Alliance to Prevent Sexual and Domestic Violence. Chuck has worked to end men’s violence against women since 1983. From  1983 to 1993, he worked with male offenders at the St. Cloud  Intervention Project in St. Cloud, MN, and was the men’s program  coordinator for six of those years. In 1994, he co-founded the Gender  Violence Institute in Clearwater, Minnesota and through that  organization provides training and technical assistance nationally and  internationally on the dynamics of domestic violence, criminal justice  system reform, effective coordinated community responses to domestic  violence, law enforcement investigations, and rehabilitative programs  for men who batter. I wanted to talk to Chuck after reading his very interesting essay ‘psychologising oppression‘  in which he argues against the belief that men who are violent are  “losing control” or about to “explode”. He instead argues that men who  are violent do so because it is beneficial to them, and thus argues that  this is what society should instead be tackling and facing. In some ways this is an episode addressing men, especially cis men  who benefit from patriarchal structures even if they’re often unaware of  it. It is an exploration of the privileges that come with simply being a  cis man in society, and especially a cis straight man, and how even men  who consider themselves allies, the so-called ‘good guys’, need to also  question why so many of us do not actively work to end gender-based  violence, structural inequalities and patriarchal oppression more  broadly. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS. If it is not available wherever you get your podcasts, please drop me a message! Music by Tarabeat.
01:01:28
June 10, 2020
26/The Legacy of Samir Kassir 15 Years On (with Ziad Majed)
This is an in-depth conversation with Ziad Majed, a Lebanese writer and Program Coordinator for Middle East Pluralities at the American University of Paris. Ziad was one of the founders of the Democratic Left Movement (DLM) in Lebanon, one of the few independent and leftwing groups that came out of the anti-Assad mobilisation that followed the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005. The DLM soon found two of its prominent figures assassinated: George Hawi, former secretary general of the Lebanese Communist Party, and Samir Kassir, the man we'll be talking about in this episode. Samir Kassir was assassinated on this day 15 years ago, June 2nd 2005, with a car bomb just outside of his house in Beirut. Born to a Palestinian father and a Syrian mother, Kassir brought together his multiple identities with his principled opposition against both Israeli and Syrian occupations of Lebanon to create a unique persona. I wanted to have Ziad on because he was 'there'. He saw first-hand some of the major events that defined Lebanon in the past three decades, and he saw his friends pay the ultimate price for their principled stances. He himself also had to pay a price due to the increasing threats made against him. Naturally, we also spoke about what Samir represented, about Syria, Lebanon and Palestine and how and why they are interrelated, and about why it's two prominent anti-Assad leftist intellectuals, Samir Kassir and, later, George Hawi who were assassinated first after Hariri's assassination. We spoke about the Syrian revolution, the role of the Assad regime in Syria and Lebanon, the intsrumentalisation of the Palestinian cause by authoritarian regimes and groups, the difficulties in dealing with Hezbollah and the recent October uprising in Lebanon. There was a particular focus on the Syrian occupation of Lebanon since it is linked to the assassination of Samir Kassir and George Hawi. We spoke about how Hezbollah took over the Assad regime's role in Lebanon and its relationship with the Iranian regime's foreign policy. We also spoke about how the sectarian groups within March 14 preferred to deal with Hezbollah and Amal rather than deal with independent Shia voices, as that would have meant dealing with independent Christian, Druze and Sunni voices, and thus feeling threatened 'from within'. This is a long conversation but one which I think will stand the test of time. I wanted us to do justice to Samir Kassir's legacy and I hope we succeeded. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Music by Tarabeat. Photo by Syrian Banksy in Idlib.
01:46:35
June 2, 2020
Intervention: Street Action #BlackLivesMatter
This is a PSA from the Channel Zero Network. I'm posting it here in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter. Justice for the murder of George Floyd and for all of those brutalised and murdered by the police everywhere in the world. As protests heat up, the Channel Zero Network has some reminders on how to stay safe while out in the streets. Bring buddies and don’t let them out of the range of your voice. Write a legal aid number on your body so you can get help if you get  arrested. Be sure to know your buddies legal names and birthdays. You’ll  need these to help find them if they’re arrested. When moving around, walk don’t run. Stick together. Turn off your phone while out in the street to avoid surveillance of  your location and so as not to have your unlocked phone taken by the  authorities or other bad actors. Try your best not to stick out in a crowd. Cover up tattoos with clothing or body paint. Cops will use footage from the protest to try to  identify you. Wear clothes that are good for moving quickly. Avoid wearing jewelry and wear closed toe shoes. Wear your mask at all times, even if you’re talking to someone in order to guard yourself against surveillance, covid 19, pepper spray,  and tear gas. Avoid wearing contact lenses. Bring goggles of some kind in case of tear gas or pepper spray. Consider wearing bike helmets as police often cause head injuries with batons and other weapons. Don’t take photos or video of people doing anything illegal or with their face uncovered. Whenever possible, film the cops, not the protesters. ONLY PUT WATER IN YOUR EYES. Don’t use milk or baking soda or anything else. Clean water is the safest thing to use at a protest. If possible, bring a water bottle to drink from and a water bottle to flush  out eyes of any comrades who are maced or tear-gassed. And white comrades are encouraged to follow the lead of black and brown comrades, as they bear the brunt of state brutality. Follow Unicorn Riot and Channel Zero Network member It’s Going Down for ongoing updates. The Channel Zero Network sends y’all solidarity.  Stay safe out there and never stop fighting for a better world.
01:46
June 2, 2020
25/Resistance, Rescue and Waging Non-Violence (with Bryan Farell)
This is a conversation with Bryan Farell, one of the founders of Waging Nonviolence. He also hosts the podcast City of Refuge, the topic of this episode. City of Refuge is a 10-part series from Waging Nonviolence which explores a little-known WWII rescue story, showing what happens when ordinary people won’t ignore the horrors surrounding them. It is the story of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, a small village which sits on a 3,000-foot high plateau in South-Central France. During World War II, Le Chambon's people — along with those of several surrounding villages — sheltered, fed and protected around 5,000 refugees, including 3,500 Jews. Even more incredibly, they did this while openly rejecting Nazism, as well as its collaborators in the French Vichy government. We spoke about the story of Le Chambon and its people and what it meant to be waging non-violence. We argued that non-violence should be seen as a set of actions rather than the widespread misconception portraying it as akin to 'doing nothing'. Non-violence is active, not passive. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Music by Tarabeat. 
48:20
May 31, 2020
24/Bellingcat: Fact-Checking in a Post-Truth World (with Eliot Higgins)
This is a conversation with Eliot Higgins, founder and executive director of Bellingcat, an online open-source investigation collective. Bellingcat rose to prominence over its team's investigation of the  downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July of 2014 by Russian-backed  separatists in eastern Ukraine, which killed all 298 passengers on  board. The evidence, which linked that group to the Russian army's 53rd  Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, was later confirmed by the joint investigation team (JIT) which includes the Netherlands, Belgium, Ukraine, Australia, and Malaysia. So I spoke to Eliot about that case and about some of the many  investigations that Bellingcat has done in the past six years. Among the  cases mentioned are: the Latamneh and Ghouta chemical attacks by the Assad regime in Syria in 2017 and 2013 respectively; ISIS' oil  refineries and the environmental and humanitarian catastrophes they've  caused; the US bombing of Al-Jineh Mosque in Aleppo in 2017; the Skripal  Affair in the UK; the Saudi bombings in Yemen; and Europol's #StopChildAbuse campaigns. One thing I wanted to focus on is how Bellingcat's investigative  techniques can be used in both human rights and journalism worlds. So  while this episode features a lot of concrete examples, we also spoke  about how anyone listening to this podcast can take part in these  investigations following well-established and always-developing tools  and techniques. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. If you cannot donate you can still help by reviewing this podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
46:00
May 25, 2020
23/Syria, Performativity, and Being Rooted in the Local (with Shiyam Galyon)
This is a conversation with Shiyam Galyon. She's a Syrian-American feminist writer who currently leads communications at War Resisters League, the oldest secular antiwar organization in the United States. Shiyam has been thinking a lot about topics that I felt were important for us to discuss further for a wider audience. She's able to skillfully tie in her support of the Syrian revolution with her support for LGBTQ rights everywhere, as well as explore the tensions around the right to narrate in both homeland and diaspora communities. We also spoke about my relationship to Beirut and the very idea of being rooted in the local, and we even touched upon recognising the importance of time and the fact that it should be okay to say that you don't know something in activist circles. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. Music by Tarabeat. Photo via the UN on Unsplash, modified for this blog post. Original by Adam Niklewicz.
01:01:48
May 22, 2020
22/Building Mutual Aid in Lebanon (with Ayman Makarem)
This is a conversation with Ayman Makarem. He’s a Lebanon-based writer and filmmaker who recently wrote essays on mutual aid in Lebanon for The Public Source. One of the themes of The Fire These Times is to promote  mutual aid for the 21st century so I was really looking forward to speaking with Ayman about this. In addition to reading his essay, this  has been a topic that we’ve been discussing since Lebanon’s October 2019  uprising. We both found that there were structures that were lacking within  revolutionary settings in Lebanon that could allow for a much longer-lasting movement, and the same could be said for most of the rest  of the world. Mutual Aid is simply voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit. Most of us already practice it with family, friends and/or our communities without really feeling  the need to label it anyway. The problem starts with the fact that Mutual Aid is seen as something  that arises out of a state of exception. For example, as we go through  an ongoing pandemic more people everywhere around the world have been  reported to be willing to adopt ‘exceptional’ societal measures such as a  guaranteed temporary monthly income, temporarily canceling rent or forgiving debt, depending on the country and situation. But what those of us arguing for Mutual Aid argue for is that we shouldn’t need a state of exception to think of ways to build a fairer  society, and we obviously believe that Mutual Aid is one way of doing  that. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. Music by Tarabeat. Relevant links: Izraa Facebook Group Habaq Facebook Group Leila Al Shami on Syrian Anarchist thinker Omar Aziz
56:12
May 19, 2020
21/Taiwan Since the 2014 Sunflower Movement (with Brian Hioe)
This is a conversation with Brian Hioe, one of the founding editors of New Bloom Magazine which came out of Taiwan's 2014 Sunflower Movement, in which Brian also participated. The topics covered in this episode are numerous which is why I really wanted to have Brian on and use his encyclopedic knowledge of Taiwan and the region to give us an overview of the complicated history and recent political developments of Taiwan - and why they matter. This is the second episode in The Fire These Times' series focusing on Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. The first episode was with JP of the Hong Kong leftwing collective Lausan. By the end of this episode you would have hopefully gained a better idea of Taiwan's political history and more recent developments. Brian spoke about: The 2014 Sunflower Movement and its significance, including the impact that Occupy Wall Street had on it; The role of independent media including New Bloom and its associated Day Break project; The subsequent elections (2016 and 2020) and their significance; Taiwan's generational shift, with younger generations increasingly identifying as Taiwanese and not Chinese; The multi-faceted relationship between Hongkongers and Taiwanese, especially the younger generations involved in protest movements in both countries; Taiwan's very complicated relationship to the 'international community', here referring to the United Nations and its various bodies as well as other nation states; The role of UN agencies including the World Health Organisation in erasing Taiwanese identity, recently highlighted by Taiwan's succesful handling of the COVID19 Pandemic; China's role in trying to de-facto annex Taiwan including the possibility of a military invasion; The failures of China's stated 'one country, two systems' policy'; Taiwan's indigenous history as well as its past under Japanese occupation; The waves of Chinese migrations to Taiwan including the KMT-lead one in December 1949 - following the Communist Party of China's victory in the Chinese Civil War - which produced a sort of 'sub-ethnic' group of people that include Brian himself; The KMT's decades-long one-party rule of Taiwan as a right-wing dictatorship backed by the United States and other countries; The 1970s UN resolution recognizing the People's Republic of China (PRC) as "the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations", hence unrecognizing Taiwan; and I also spoke a bit about some of the similarities between Taiwan and Lebanon. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. Music by Tarabeat. 
47:22
May 18, 2020
20/On Primo Levi, the Lebanese Revolution and Life in the Midst of History (with Lina Mounzer)
This is a conversation with Lina Mounzer. She's a Beirut-based writer and translator who, like me, took part in the October and post-October protests. I wanted to catch up with her to talk about how she started preparing for the worst yet to come very early on. This anticipation - of economic hardship, of violence - is a widespread phenomenon in Lebanon but not a lot of people are able to express it so accurately like Lina does. I know I've struggled to do so. Lina experienced the ups and downs of the revolution. She wrote the moods and experiences and facts in her diaries as it was happening, and she has clearly deeply thought about what the past several months in Lebanon have meant, and even the past few decades. We talked about Lebanon, about revolution as a 'feeling greater than love' (which is also the title of a Lebanese film), and why many people actually miss the civil war, or rather are so tired of the present's uncertainty that the past's certainties, however horrible, were easier to digest. And we even talked about the impact that the Italian Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi's writings have had on her. This is why I was really looking forward to having this chat with her, and I hope you also enjoy it. The first part of this convo is roughly around this essay of hers for LitHub: Letter from Beirut: From Revolution to Pandemic. You can find the remaining articles on the website. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. Music by Tarabeat. The featured photo is a modified version of the featured photo on the LitHub article.
53:35
May 15, 2020
19/Our Women on the Ground (with Zahra Hankir)
This is a conversation with Lebanese-British journalist and editor Zahra Hankir. She's the editor of the award-winning, best-selling anthology Our Women on the Ground which features 19 women reporters from the Middle East and North Africa. The book includes essay by Donna Abu-Nasr, Aida Alami, Hannah Allam,  Jane Arraf, Lina Attalah, Nada Bakri, Shamael Elnoor, Zaina Erhaim,  Asmaa al-Ghoul, Hind Hassan, Eman Helal, Zeina Karam, Roula Khalaf, Nour  Malas, Hwaida Saad, Amira Al-Sharif, Heba Shibani, Lina Sinjab, and  Natacha Yazbeck. Zahra spoke to me about the formation of this book and how she started  following some of these reporters in the context of the 2011 uprisings  throughout the region. I also asked her about how women reporters in the  region navigate gender-based discrimination to get the stories they  want told as well as her reflections on the politics of representation  in the Western world. This advertisement at the beginning of the episode is by the Ethiopian group Egna Legna,  which The Fire These Times supports. Please consider visiting their  website, checking out their crucial work and seeing how you can help  them fight the racist Kafala system and patriarchy in Lebanon. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. Music by Tarabeat. 
46:57
May 13, 2020
18/Guapa, Marco and living Fernando Pessoa’s dreamlife in Lisbon (with Saleem Haddad)
This is a conversation with writer Saleem Haddad, author of the novel Guapa and the director of the short film Marco, now available for free online. We spoke about both Guapa and Marco as well as his contribution to the science fiction anthology Palestine+100. We also spoke about his connection to Fernando Pessoa’s the Book of Disquiet while living in Pessoa’s city, Lisbon. We spoke about identity and its relationship to languages, the circumstances around his move to Lisbon  from London, his struggle with his own Queer Arab identity and our complicated relationship to what we call ‘home’. Saleem also asked me about my passion for James Baldwin which I was happy to answer. Quick disclaimer: our conversation on Marco contains spoilers so I’d  urge you all to first watch it on YouTube. It’s around 20 minutes long  and I promise you that you’ll enjoy it. Another disclaimer is that the  Pessoa essay that Saleem wrote contains mention of suicide so please  take your mindset into consideration when reading it, which you  definitely also should! You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. Marco on Youtube (21:58) Saleem Haddad’s interview on BBC Arabic Saleem’s essay on Fernando Pessoa The 2020 ‘The Amazing James Baldwin‘ course James Baldwin’s interview in Amsterdam My review of Palestine+100 which includes Saleem’s short story
01:06:46
May 8, 2020
17/What the Lebanese should know about Ethiopia (with Zecharias Zelalem)
This is a conversation with Zecharias Zelalem. He's an Ethiopian journalist with Addis Standard as well as a freelance journalist focusing on the Horn of Africa region. More recently, Zelalem has also been investigating widespread abuses of Ethiopian migrant domestic workers in the Middle East, and in particular Lebanon. This is why I wanted to have this conversation with Zecharias. The conversation around the abusive Kafala system in Lebanon rarely includes the stories of the people who leave their homes to go work in a stranger's house in another country. This episode is the third on the Kafala system in Lebanon focusing on Ethiopian migrant domestic workers, who constitute the majority of those working in Lebanon. Migrant Domestic Workers are, alongside the rest of the labor force, the primary force keeping Lebanon running. And yet, despite their central role, they are regularly ignored alongside the widespread abuses affecting them. In a previous episode, I spoke with Banchi Yimer, founder of Egna Legna who define themselves as “community-based feminist activists working on migrant domestic workers’ issues and general women’s issues in Lebanon and Ethiopia.” You can find it here. And in an earlier episode I spoke with Sami, a Beirut-based Ethiopian activist with, Mesewat, a solidarity network that supports migrant workers in Lebanon and the Middle East, and Ali, an activist with the Anti-Racism Movement. It was recorded at one of the Migrant Community Centers in Beirut. You can find it here. You can find these episodes on your podcast app or on the website - they are at number 2 and 5. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options.
48:24
May 2, 2020
16/The second wave of the Lebanon protests (with Nadim El Kak)
This is a conversation with Nadim El Kak. He’s a researcher at the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies with a background in sociology and political science. I wanted to have Nadim on after reading his Twitter thread on the second wave of the Lebanon protests, which you can find here. Is Lebanon undergoing a second wave of protests? And how do they differ from the October 2019 ones? You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options.
32:40
May 1, 2020
15/The legacy of Yiddish Bundism (with Molly Crabapple)
Molly Crabapple and I have been chatting about this topic for a long time so this was a really fun episode to do. Although it was (roughly) my MA thesis in 2016, Molly has a much more personal connection to the Jewish Labor Bund and Bundism as her great-grandfather, Sam Rothbort, was a Bundist. She wrote a moving piece about this for the New York Review of Books which you can read here. She's now writing a book about the Bund. So who are these Bundists? How does Molly view the legacy of Bundism? What can we learn from the concept of 'Doikayt' (here-ness) that they believed in? This is what this conversation is about. I also tried to - and, hopefully, succesfully - to convey why I, as someone of Lebanese and Palestinian origins with no direct ties to Judaism or the Yiddish language, was so interested in this movement.  You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options.
01:09:31
April 30, 2020
14/Revolution, disenchantment and the Lebanese New Left (with Fadi Bardawil)
This is a conversation with Dr Fadi Bardawil, Assistant Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University and the author of the book "Revolution and Disenchantment: Arab Marxism and the Binds of Emancipation". I wanted to have this conversation with Dr Bardawil because his study of the 1960s 'Arab New Left', and especially the 'Lebanese New Left' of that period, evoked curious comparisons to what protesters in Lebanon are having to face today as well. The experience of the 1960s Lebanese New Left offers insights into how intellectuals struggled with the questions of theory and practice and of how to transform societies despite all their contradictions. As you'll hear in the conversation, Dr Bardawil, who is of the civil war generation, is very much in conversation with the generation that came before his. At the same time, and for different reasons, I, as someone from the postwar generation, am in conversation with the war generation. As such we managed, hopefully succesfully, to have three generations of Lebanese briefly conversing with one another. I hope you'll enjoy this conversation as much as I did. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options. Here's the abstract of his book: "The Arab Revolutions that began in 2011 reignited interest in the question of theory and practice, imbuing it with a burning political urgency. In Revolution and Disenchantment Fadi A. Bardawil redescribes for our present how an earlier generation of revolutionaries, the 1960s Arab New Left, addressed this question. Bardawil excavates the long-lost archive of the Marxist organization Socialist Lebanon and its main theorist, Waddah Charara, who articulated answers in their political practice to fundamental issues confronting revolutionaries worldwide: intellectuals as vectors of revolutionary theory; political organizations as mediators of theory and praxis; and nonemancipatory attachments as impediments to revolutionary practice. Drawing on historical and ethnographic methods and moving beyond familiar reception narratives of Marxist thought in the postcolony, Bardawil engages in "fieldwork in theory" that analyzes how theory seduces intellectuals, cultivates sensibilities, and authorizes political practice. Throughout, Bardawil underscores the resonances and tensions between Arab intellectual traditions and Western critical theory and postcolonial theory, deftly placing intellectuals from those traditions into a much-needed conversation."
54:58
April 29, 2020
13/Being the good immigrant in an ungrateful country (with Musa Okwonga)
I spoke with Berlin-based British writer, poet, broadcaster and musician Musa Okwonga, who also co-hosts the popular football podcast Stadio. Musa frequently writes for The Bylines Times and for The Guardian, among others. Musa was a guest of my previous podcast, Hummus For Thought, and I wanted to have him on here to hear his reflections of these past several weeks now under social distancing. We spoke about his experience growing up black in the UK, his move to Germany and how both countries have dealth with the Covid-19 pandemic. We also spoke about the treatment of refugees trying to reach Fortress Europe's borders, how the world failed Syria and about the importance of acknowledging how widespread the dehumanisation of racialised groups of people has become. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes. If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer. Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options.
01:07:11
April 26, 2020
12/Independent media versus the Lebanese oligarchy (with Julia Choucair Vizoso)
This is a conversation with Julia Choucair Vizoso, an independent scholar trained as a political scientist as well as an editor and translator at The Public Source, a Beirut-based independent media organization which describes itself as such: "dedicated to reporting on socioeconomic and environmental crises afflicting Lebanon since the onset of neoliberal governance in the 90s, and providing political commentary on events unfolding since October 17." She is also is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Arab Reform Initiative, collaborating on the Programme on Sustainable and Inclusive Environmental Policy in the MENA Region. I wanted to talk to Julia because she's well-placed to explain how the Lebanese oligarchy operates and how or if the October 17th revolution has threatened it. You can read part one and part two of her essay on The Public Source. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes. You can also support it on Patreon @firethesetimes or BuyMeACoffee.com @joeyayoub. This episode supports Egna Legna. You can support them here and listen to my interview with their founder Banchi Yimer here.
36:12
April 25, 2020
11/COVID-19, Travel and Building Solidarity (with Matt Dagher-Margosian)
This is part two of my chat with Matt Dagher-Margosian, a Taiwan-based Lebanese-Armenian American who founded Asia Art Tours, an art and activism-oriented organisation, and who is also the host of the highly recommended The Arts of Travel podcast. Part one is the episode entitled '‘Whiteness’, Migration and Identity'. This is one of those episodes that are difficult to describe because the topic is one of those currently 'frozen' by the Covid-19 pandemic: travel. I wanted Matt to reflect on what traveling actually means now that most of us cannot do so anymore. How do we differenciate between travelers and migrants? Can travel be used to build solidarity instead of reproducing oppressive power structures? I've found Matt to be a deep thinker, one who takes the time to read about as many places as possible and be able to engage critically with questions surrounding liberatory politics in Asia and beyond. His own experience, I believe, might be able to inform yours and I would be curious as to some of your reflections to this episode. You can send them on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes (DMs are open if you don't want to do it publicly). You can also support this podcast on Patreon @firethesetimes or BuyMeACoffee.com @joeyayoub (and you can leave messages there as well). Music by Tarabeat.  This episode supports Egna Legna. You can support them here and listen to my interview podcast with their founder in the episode entitled 'Lebanon’s Migrant Domestic Workers: Between the Coronavirus and Slavery'.
01:09:49
April 21, 2020
10/Syria, Journalism and the Cost of Indifference (with Kareem Shaheen)
This is a conversation with Kareem Shaheen, former Beirut- and Istanbul-based The Guardian correspondent for Turkey and the Middle East, current analyst on the region as well as a writer for satirical Arabic news publication Al-Hudood. He is currently based in Montreal, Canada. We spoke about the importance of journalism given the lack of justice and accountability in Syria, the Middle East and beyond that should, in more ideal settings, come out of the kind of investigative and critical journalism that he does. We also spoke about his visit to Khan Sheykoun two days after the Assad regime's 2017 chemical attack on the town as well as his reflections on this 'nightmare decare' for the Arab and Muslim worlds. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes. You can also support it on Patreon @firethesetimes or BuyMeACoffee.com @joeyayoub. Image by The Syrian People Know Their Way, modified by myself. Music by Tarabeat. Logo design by Carl Farra.
57:45
April 17, 2020
9/‘Whiteness’, Migration and Identity (with Matt Dagher-Margosian)
This is a conversation with Matt Dagher-Margosian, a Taiwan-based Lebanese-Armenian American who founded Asia Art Tours, an art and activism-oriented organisation, and is also the host of the highly recommended The Arts of Travel podcast. Matt first had me on his podcast in November of 2019 to talk about the then-ongoing uprising in Lebanon. Since then, we’ve  become good friends and have tried together to find answers to some of  the difficult questions around identity and the left (and its failures). In this first of a two-parts conversation, we spoke about the  limitations of the ‘whiteness’ category in an American context and in  particular with regards to his own background as a Lebanese-Armenian  American. Given that Matt is based in Taiwan, speaks Mandarin Chinese  and regularly talks to interesting guests from around Asia and beyond on  his podcast, we also spoke about Taiwan, Hong Kong and their struggles  for recognition in the shadow of China’s massive influence on the world  stage. We also spoke about how Taiwan has dealt with the Covid-19  pandemic despite being excluded, at China’s request, from the World  Health Organisation. Associated Blog Post: https://thefirethisti.me/2020/04/15/09-whiteness-migration-and-identity/ You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes. You can also support it on Patreon @firethesetimes or BuyMeACoffee.com @joeyayoub. Featured photo was taken by Mariam Grigoryan on Unsplash, modified by myself. Music by Tarabeat. Logo design by Carl Farra. This episode is in solidarity with Mangal Media. Check out their work at mangalmedia.net
01:12:52
April 15, 2020
8/Lebanon’s October Uprising, Six Months Later (with Timour Azhari)
This is a conversation with Lebanese journalist Timour Azhari of Al  Jazeera (previously The Daily Star) about the legacy of the October 17  uprising six months since it began. We spoke about the current state of  Lebanese politics, the government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis, the  country’s most vulnerable groups and what protesters might be expected  to face once the pandemic is over. You can read Azhari’s work on Al Jazeera here as well as his archives at The Daily Star here. He is also very active on Twitter with regular updates on Lebanese affairs. Associated blog post: https://thefirethisti.me/2020/04/13/08-lebanons-october-uprising-six-months-later/ You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes. You can also support it on Patreon @firethesetimes or BuyMeACoffee.com @joeyayoub. This episode is dedicated to the work of Syrian Eyes. Please check out their fundraising to help prevent a large-scale escalation of the Covid-19 outbreak in refugee settlements in Lebanon.
52:22
April 13, 2020
7/Denying Genocide, from Halabja to Ghouta (with Sabrîna Azad)
This is a conversation with Sabrîna Azad. She's a writer who published a moving piece for Mangal Media entitled 'From Halabja to Ghouta' in which she looked at how deniers of Assad's war crimes in Syria were evoking painful memories for survivors of Saddam Hussein's genocidal campaigns against Kurds. She spoke about the legacy of the Halabja massacre, part of the Anfal genocide of the late 80s, as well as the 1991 uprisings against Saddam and why they offer better insight into the world's reaction to Syria since 2011 than the more frequently mentioned 2003 invasion of Iraq does. You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes. You can also support it on Patreon @firethesetimes or BuyMeACoffee.com @joeyayoub. Associated blog Post available on TheFireTheseTi.Me https://thefirethisti.me/2020/04/11/07-genocide-denialism-from-halabja-to-ghouta/
45:25
April 11, 2020
6/Lebanon's October 17 Revolution/ A Country in Fragments (with Andrew Arsan)
This is a repost of an episode I did with Dr Andrew Arsan, British-Lebanese scholar and author of the book Lebanon: A Country in Fragments, and which was originally released on the Hummus For Thought podcast. I'm releasing it here as an introduction to a series of upcoming episodes on Lebanon that will deal with the October 17th Uprising and its meanings. The Uprising will serve as a framework through which my guests and I will try to understand the post-war era of Lebanese history, from 1990 to the present moment, as well as some topics dating further back.  We will highlight groups of people that are usually ignored in discussions around Lebanon, including by the Lebanese themselves, such as refugees and migrant workers in Lebanon, including migrant domestic workers (check out the Kafala series), the LGBTQ community, as well as Lebanese Jews, Lebanese Kurds and Lebanese of part African or Asian origins.  We will also be looking at Lebanon's relationship with Palestinians, Syrians, Israelis, Iranians, the Arab world and the West as well as dive into such light topics as Lebanese identity and the diaspora, Hezbollah's role in the region and at home and the environmental threats facing the country. You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Radio Public, Spotify, Castro, Pocket Casts, and RSS. More to come! You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes.  You can also support it on Patreon @firethesetimes or BuyMeACoffee.com @joeyayoub. You can support Egna Legna's campaign to bring food and aid to victims of the Kafala system in Lebanon by clicking here. Featured photo is from the cover of Lebanon: A Country in Fragments. Associated Blog Post: https://thefirethisti.me/2020/04/08/06-lebanons-october-17-revolution-a-country-in-fragments/
54:52
April 8, 2020
5/Lebanon’s Migrant Domestic Workers: Between the Coronavirus and Slavery (with Banchi Yimer)
I spoke with Banchi Yimer, founder of Egna Legna who define themselves as “community-based feminist activists working on  migrant domestic workers’ issues and general women’s issues in Lebanon and Ethiopia.” She spoke to me about the Kafala System, the impacts of the economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic on migrant domestic workers in Lebanon as well as her ongoing trauma after working in Lebanon for seven years. Yimer recently wrote a piece for The Public Source entitled “The Lebanese Revolution: A New Chapter of Kafala Misery“.  Among their activities are various workshops teaching various skills to  domestic workers in Lebanon, financial assistant, educational videos, establishing shelters, legal assistance as well as a brochure of  Lebanon’s bus map in Amharic, Ethiopia’s dominant language. They also  take part in the relevant demonstrations, such as the yearly Labor Day organised with the Alliance of Migrant Domestic Workers in Lebanon.   They seek to, among other things, have the Lebanese government  include domestic workers in the country’s labor laws (they currently are  excluded), as well as fight gender-based violence and racism. To put it  mildly, their work is very difficult, so I urge you all to check out  their work and support what they do. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The associated blog post: https://thefirethisti.me/2020/03/27/05-lebanons-migrant-domestic-workers-between-the-coronavirus-and-slavery/ 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
40:09
March 27, 2020
4/Why the Paris Commune Burned the Guillotine—and We Should Too (with Crimethinc)
In this episode, I spoke with one of the authors of the Crimethinc piece of the same name about the 'logic of the guillotine' on how it is used in online left-wing meme culture, why it is problematic and why we need to have a better logic than that of the guillotine if we truly believe in liberatory politics.  "On April 6, 1871, armed participants in the revolutionary Paris Commune seized the guillotine that was stored near the prison in Paris. They brought it to the foot of the statue of Voltaire, where they smashed it into pieces and burned it in a bonfire, to the applause of an immense crowd [...] In these conditions, burning the guillotine was a brave gesture repudiating the Reign of Terror and the idea that positive social change can be achieved by slaughtering people. [...] The guillotine has come to occupy our collective imagination. In a time when the rifts in our society are widening towards civil war, it  represents uncompromising bloody revenge. It represents the idea that  the violence of the state could be a good thing if only the right people were in charge. Those who take their own powerlessness for granted assume that they can promote gruesome revenge fantasies without consequences. But if we are serious about changing the world, we owe it to ourselves to make sure that our proposals are not equally gruesome." For more information and links click here: https://thefirethisti.me/2020/03/25/againstguillotine/ You can also follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes and you can also support it on Patreon @firethesetimes or BuyMeACoffee @joeyayoub. Music by Tarabeat. 
43:05
March 25, 2020
3/Venezuela and the Right to Narrate (with Laura Vidal)
What does it mean to have, to demand, the right to narrate? Usually associated with Edward Said and the Palestinian experience, this concept  ultimately speaks to a widespread feeling among those who are racialized, those who are gendered, those who are displaced. It reflects  a more generalised need to reclaim something that feels stolen. In this episode, I sat down with Laura Vidal, a Paris-based Venezuelan writer and researcher. Laura recently wrote an essay in Spanish entitled "¿Quién tiene derecho a contar nuestras historias?"  ("Who has the right to narrate our stories?") With our respective  experiences as former regional editors for Latin America and the Middle  East and North Africa respectively for Global Voices, as well as our  mutual engagement on this question throughout the years, Laura and I  explore the interrelated topics of identity, displacement, trauma - and  the right to narrate. Why do those who are displaced regularly get deprived of the right to  narrate their own experiences? What is 'Venezuelan-splaining'? Is it a  form of gaslighting to downplay the experiences of those who are seen as  having 'made it', by which I mean those who now live in relatively  'stable' cities/countries? How do those who are displaced deal with  survivor's guilt? Laura and I are good friends so don't be surprised if the tone of conversation is informal :) For more information and links click here: https://thefirethisti.me/2020/03/21/venezuelaandtheighttonarrate/ You can also follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes and you can also support it on Patreon @firethesetimes.  It is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, and RSS. More to come! Music by Tarabeat https://soundcloud.com/tarabeat/
01:04:51
March 22, 2020
2/Lebanon's Kafala System is 'Civilized' Slavery (with Sami and Ali)
This is part one of a two-parts series on the Kafala system in Lebanon. Under Lebanon's Kafala (or sponsorship) system, the legal status of migrant domestic workers is in the hands of their employers, making workers vulnerable to abuse. If the employer terminates their contract, the sponsorship gets automatically cancelled, turning these workers into illegal aliens and putting them at risk of arrest and/or deportation. In this first episode, we go back to the summer of 2018 when I sat down with Sami, a Beirut-based Ethiopian activist with, Mesewat, a solidarity network that supports migrant workers in Lebanon and the Middle East, and Ali, an activist with the Anti-Racism Movement. It was recorded at one of the Migrant Community Centers in Beirut. If you like this podcast, please review us wherever you get your podcasts and share it with your social networks. It is currently available on Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, and RSS. More to come! The second episode is being recorded in the next few days so you should find it wherever you get your podcasts by the end of March. You can already read the show notes for the Kafala series here: https://thefirethisti.me/2020/03/10/kafalasystem/ You can also follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes Music by Tarabeat https://soundcloud.com/tarabeat/
49:50
March 19, 2020
1/Hong Kong's Existential Crisis (with JP, Lausan)
This is a conversation with JP, a Hong Kong activist with Lausan, a left-wing and decolonial group based out of Hong Kong and its diaspora which proposes numerous fascinating analyses of Hong Kong’s ongoing situation. In our conversation, JP and I spoke about the meaning behind the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. What are they about? What are some of their achievements? Some of their weaknesses? Are the recent pro-democracy gains in the elections significant? What is the significance of time in the Hong Kong protests? How has the Coronavirus epidemic contributed to rising xenophobia towards mainland Chinese people? What are some differences and similarities between the protests in Hong Kong and those in Lebanon? You can find the show notes with the added links here: https://bit.ly/2QgiL3j  You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes and Instagram @thefirethesetimes Music by Tarabeat https://soundcloud.com/tarabeat/
54:56
March 14, 2020