Sunday, March 27, 2011

Programs for the week of Mar 28

I am about to take off for Syria and Lebanon, a vacation with family and friends that’s been in the works for a number of weeks and obviously pre-dates the protest movements in the Middle East which have now spread to the south of Syria. We’re monitoring websites closely and keeping our fingers crossed that we will not have to change our itinerary. Inshallah. For the first week, we’ll be airing some of my favorite programs which made the pick of the week, and Lori will be hosting Food Friday. For week two, Veronica Rueckert will be sitting in for me. Thanks to both of them, to the wonderful Here on Earth staff, and to you, our dedicated listeners.

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): The Green Path: A slam dunk, since I’ve been at a conference on Islam until today! (I’m not in the habit of using sports metaphors, but I spent an intolerable amount of time stuck in a sports bar waiting for a connecting flight in the Indianapolis airport yesterday). But I really liked today’s interaction with Black Muslim environmental leader Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, the author of GreenDeen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet, and so did listeners, based on the number and variety of calls we received. Being the environmental policy advisor for the City of New York, Mr. Abdul-Matin has a refreshingly practical approach to the environmental crisis we’ll all struggling with, and the involvement of Muslims obviously enhances our chances of success.

Monday: The Future of Recycling (Encore): Tom Szaky, the 28-year-old founder of TerraCycle, one of the fastest growing green companies in the world, is making a business out of recycling and a name for himself as "#1 CEO in America Under 30." Rebroadcast from January 20, 2011.

Tuesday: Freelance Diplomacy (Encore): After 15 years in the British diplomatic corps, Carne Ross found himself disagreeing with UK policies that led to the Iraq War. Disenchanted with conventional diplomacy, he re-invented himself as a "freelance diplomat," and founded Independent Diplomats, a bold nonprofit organization advising populations that would otherwise not have a voice in international relations. How far would you go for what you believe in? Rebroadcast from November 4, 2010.

Wednesday: The Lion's Eye: Seeing in the Wild (Encore): All her life, Joanna Greenfield dreamed of traveling to Africa to study wild animals. She got a once in a lifetime chance to follow wild chimpanzees in East Africa while she was still in college, an adventure strangely enhanced by her impaired vision. Rebroadcast from November 18, 2009.

Thursday: Talking to the Enemy (Encore): Anthropologist Scott Atran spent years talking to terrorists. In his new book he argues that terrorists don't die for a cause, but for each other. We'll explore the social lives of terrorists, and how things are changing in Afghanistan with a new generation of fighters. Rebroadcast from November 22, 2010.

Friday: The Wild Table: Spring is here, and delicacies such as morels, ramps, and elderflowers will soon make their way into the forager’s kitchen. Connie Green has spent the last three decades not only championing wild food, but also inspiring the finest chefs across the country to add foraged foods to their menus. She’ll join us to talk about her gorgeous new cookbook, The Wild Table.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Nowruz! 3/18

On today's show we explore the Persian new year holiday, Nowruz, like we always do on Fridays, through the food! During the show we learn about some fantastic Nowruz dishes from the high priestess of Persian cuisine, Najmieh Batmanglij (pronounced NAJ-meeah baht-MAHN-glijsh), but there's more to this spring equinox celebration than the food!

Below is a particularly beautiful Haft-Seen table, put together by Ms. Afzal Abrisham, a Madison resident and annual Chaharshanbe Suri hostess, the feast held prior to Nowruz in the last week of the old year. The traditional Haft-Seen table displays seven items all beginning with the Persian "S". Each item carries its own symbolism with regard to the New Year.
  1. Sabzeh : Wheat, barley, mung bean or lentil sprouts growing in a dish, symbolizing rebirth
  2. Samanu: Sweet pudding made from wheat germ, symbolizing prosperity
  3. Senjed: Dried oleaster fruit, symbolizing love
  4. Sir : Garlic, symbolizing medicine
  5. Sib: Apples, symbolizing beauty and health
  6. Somāq: Sumac berries, symbolizing sunrise
  7. Serkeh: Vinegar, symbolizing old-age or patience

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Programs for the Week of Mar 21

We’re digging into the Here on Earth archives for some of our best shows to repeat Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week while I’m at a conference on Islam in Bloomington, Indiana.

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): The Year of the Hare: Pico Iyer was downright subversive in the way he laid out his formula for “enlightened truancy” based on his reading of Arto Pasaalinna’s bestseller. He’s been living what sounds to me like the perfect unmediated life with his wife in a two bedroom apartment in a quiet little out of the way town near Kyoto, sans automobile, laptop, cell phone, radio or TV. Almost unimaginable, but he claims his days stretch out like eternity. Imagine having that much time and freedom! One wonders if Japan’s multiple catastrophe are likely to intrude on his idyll.

Monday: Madre: Perilous Journeys with a Spanish Noun (Encore): What's in a word? Linguistic anthropologist Liza Bakewell spent decades chasing after the many meanings of the Spanish word "madre" as its used in Mexico. In her memoir she chronicles the relationship between religion, nationhood and language and celebrates the role of the creative female in a sexist culture. Rebroadcast from December 1, 2010.

Tuesday: The Art of Listening (Encore): British Sociologist Les Back has been thinking a lot about famous listeners like Studs Terkel, about the importance Holocaust survivor Primo Levi placed on the connectivity offered by listening, and about why, despite the central role listening plays in a healthy political sphere, it just seems to be getting harder and harder to be good at it. Rebroadcast from September 8, 2010.

Wednesday: Finding Utopia (Encore): Will utopia ever exist? JC Hallman travelled the world’s intentional communities to study our quest for a better perfect. He came back thinking that even when perfect fails, there’s something human about reaching for it. Rebroadcast from December 13, 2010.

Thursday: The Green Path: Muhammed declared "The Earth is a Mosque." Environmental Policy Advisor to the City of New York, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin makes a spiritual case for environmentalism in which humanity is compelled to care for the earth not just in response to scientific data, but because of a sacred duty.

Friday: Blood, Bones, and Butter: All eyes in the food world have turned to Gabrielle Hamilton and her new memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef. She’s never been quite at home in the food world and still has little patience for credos or picky eaters at her table. At Prune, her East Village NYCity restaurant, it’s all about real, good food that says "hospitality," like the food she encountered on backpacking trips in Greece and Turkey.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day: Think Green!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Programs for the Week of Mar 14

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Fighting for Libya: As a third-generation Italian-American whose family emigrated from the most neglected and despised regions of southern Italy, I grew up hearing Mussolini lauded as a fascist dictator who, after all, made the trains run on time and wiped out malaria by draining the swamps. I never bought it. But, as an adult, I did attach myself to what Professor Ali Ahmida calls “the myth of Italy’s benign fascism.” Professor Ali Ahmida disabused me of that myth, and, painful as it was to learn about the horrors that Libyans suffered under Italian colonization, I am grateful to him.

Monday: Mooz-lum: A coming of age story based on the director’s real-life experience, "Mooz-lum" is a film that explores the trials of a young Muslim man brought up strictly who struggles through an identity crisis when he finds himself facing new freedoms in college amid the tensions of the 9/11 attacks. The film was shown in select theaters Feb. 11th with more theaters around the country.

Tuesday: The Year of the Hare: Have you ever felt the urge to chuck it all, slip out the back door, and start life anew? That’s just what the main character does in Finland’s best loved novel, "The Year of the Hare" by Arto Paasilinna. Renowned travel writer Pico Iyer, who wrote the forward to the book, did the same thing when he left for Japan many years ago. He joins us to talk about the new North American edition of the book and about the benefits of leaving it all behind.

Wednesday: House Committee Meets on Muslim Radicalization: Assemblyman Peter King’s hearings began Thursday, March 10 for the purpose of exploring the extent of radicalization in the American Muslim community. The hearings are being compared to those instigated by Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy on un-American activities during the so-called Red Scare in the fifties. But, surprisingly enough, some prominent Muslims are in favor of them. What do you think?

Thursday: Ireland Unhinged: Among the countries hit hardest by the economic downturn is Ireland, which had been riding high on a boom of prosperity that garnered it the highest quality of life index in the world. This St. Patrick’s Day American ex-pat David Monagan shares stories from Cork about the new troubles in Ireland and the country’s resilient spirit.

Friday: Nowruz: Persian New Year: Saideh Jamshidi, our Iranian-American producer, has found the perfect guest, Najmieh Batmanglij, to talk about the Iranian New Year celebration this month, which is an ancient and complex ritual connected to Zoroastrianism. Najmieh is the author of several highly esteemed cook books including "Happy Nowruz." Now, if I can only learn to pronounce her name.

In Solidarity!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Living with Soul - 3/9

Dominique Haller

On yesterday's show, Jean and her guest Chuck Pfeifer had a spirited conversation on our potential as human beings. Historic figures such as Jesus, Muhammad, Ghandi, and Dr. King have fully lived up to this potential. Jean and Chuck kept their conversation going after the show. You can check it out here:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Programs for the Week of Mar 7

Highlights of the Coming Week: Don’t miss a special broadcast of Here on Earth this week when Jean Feraca is joined by three of Africa's greatest guitarists for a live in-studio performance.

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Al Jazeera's Revolution: When Al Jazeera made its debut fifteen years ago its arrival was greeted with disdain, suspicion, and rejection in the U.S. Donald Rumsfeld demonized it; George W. Bush allegedly wanted to bomb its headquarters in Baghdad, and probably did. Now, as a result of its coverage of the popular uprising in Cairo its web traffic has risen 200%. What I most enjoyed learned about the network from Lawrence Pintak was that it subscribes to mission-driven journalism and has no remorse whatsoever about fostering democracy.

Monday: Fighting for Libya: Ali Ahmida grew up in Libya. Now, as a political scientist in the United States he's calling attention to the Libyan people's rich history of resistance including poetry produced by Libyans forced into concentration camps under Italy's colonial rule. He'll offer a people-centered view of Libya's ongoing struggle for democracy.

Tuesday: To a Mountain in Tibet: After the loss of his mother acclaimed travel writer Colin Thubron journeyed to the holiest mountain on earth: Mount Kailas, Tibet. It is sacred to one-fifth of humankind and has never been climbed. On an often grueling trek through an impoverished yet breathtaking landscape, Colin Thubron encountered a complex intermingling of religious beliefs while confronting his own experience with death.

Wednesday: Living with Soul: Walter Wink in his book The Human Being argues that we humans are more than we think we are. Using dialogue and the insights of Jungian depth psychology, he encourages us to consider our human capacity as exemplified in fully realized human beings like Jesus and other spiritual leaders.

Thursday: Africa's Greatest Guitarists: We're hoping to have Habib Koite, Oliver Mtukudzi and Afel Bocoum, three of Africa's best known guitarists representing three very different traditions, join us for a live in-studio performance as their American tour comes to Madison. Stay tuned!

Friday: Food-Tripping Though Vietnam: In her culinary journey through Vietnam Kim Fay frequently tasted Com Hen, clam rice with thin silver star fruit. She was fascinated by the tartness that sparked against the dry crunch of the wonton stick. We talk with Kim Fay about Vietnamese food and culture.

Old Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times!