Friday, September 05, 2008

Sept 8-12 Programs

Dear Here-on-Earthlings,

Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders is a program that was conceived to show who we humans are at our best, and how much we have in common. We set out when we began five years ago in a spirit of adventure and delight to explore other cultures, increase our understanding of our interconnectedness, and bind the world a little closer together. This in the wake of 9/11. So you can imagine how pleased we were this year to be named the recipient of a grant from the Social Sciences Research Council to produce a series of programs called Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates.

The first program in the series will be broadcast on Thursday, September 25. It will feature Mark Levine, author of Heavy Metal Islam, and explore heavy metal bands in Iraq, Iran, Morocco, and other parts of the Muslim world. Apart from the fact that the project suits our mission so well, we’re excited about it because we get to experiment with a whole new way of producing radio that has the potential to expand our impact and grow our audience. So we’re asking you for input. Watch for information on our Inside Islam blog which should go online within a week.

While we’re waiting to get up and running, and while I’m out of town this week, we’re offering two encore programs we think will get you primed:

Monday: Salman Rushdie talks about his latest novel and gets huffy when I ask him about his relationship with Islam.

Tuesday: Former NPR reporter-turned-activist Sarah Chayes reports on her latest trials and misadventures as the head of a start-up cottage industry making soaps and perfumes in Kandahar, Afghanistan, a notorious Taliban stronghold. Brave woman.

Wednesday: They call him the Jimi Hendrix of India, but that’s only part of the story. Today at 3:00, enjoy a live performance by Prasanna, an electric guitarist who deftly combines rock, jazz and classic Indian carnatic music into a sound all his own. We’ll feature him in advance to his performance this weekend at the UW-Madison World Music Festival.

Thursday: We’re also working on a show with Syrian jazz singer Gaida Hinnawi. She’s also slated to play the World Music Festival, but if things go according to plan, you’ll get to hear her Here on Earth first. When Lori Skelton, subbing for me last month, introduced Gaida’s mix of New York jazz cool with Middle Eastern dynamics she had our blog bursting with comments like “who was that?!?” and “where can I get her CD?”

Friday: Calling all beer lovers! Okay, you’ve already tried matching wine with food, but how about beer? Omnivore Caryl Owens will try anything. Join her for this special Food Friday.

I’ll be back on Monday, September 15, with Moustafa Bayoumi, author of How Does It Feel To Be A Problem: Being Young and Arab in America. He’s one of the featured writers in this year’s Madison Book Festival.

Caio! Y’all come back now, heah?



Kevin said...

Jean, how 'bout a follow up to this weekend's showing of "Pride & Passion: The Italians in America"?


P.S. Is this the best way of offering suggestions?

Anonymous said...


Hi Kevin, this is Joe Hardtke, Jean's technical director. Jean's away on business this week, but we've got your ideas and we'll discuss them during our meetings this week.

Kevin said...

Thanks for the reply, Joe. Very nice to hear from you. Possible resources for an Italy/USA show would be the authors of "Four Seasons in Rome" ( more interesting--"Ciao, America" (