“This has to stop.”

As I prepare to leave for Turkey, and as I continue to absorb the onslaught of the news and reflect on this harrowing summer, the words of Rachel Corrie echo,* written in an e-mail to her mother from Rafah, Gaza three days before her death:

I’m having a hard time right now. Just feel sick to my stomach from being doted on very sweetly by people who are facing doom. I know that from the United States it all sounds like hyperbole. A lot of the time the kindness of the people here, coupled with the willful destruction of their lives, makes it seem unreal to me. I can’t believe that something like this can happen in the world without a bigger outcry. It hurts me again, like it has hurt me in the past, to witness how awful we can allow the world to be….

….It is my own selfishness and will to optimism that wants to believe that even people with a great deal of privilege don’t just sit idly by and watch. What we are paying for here is truly evil… Just want to tell my mom that I’m really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us to all drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don’t think it’s an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comic books for my co-workers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of the world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world. This is not what they are asking for now. This is not the world you and Dad wanted me to come into when you decided to have me. This is not what I meant when I was two and looked at Captiol Lake and said, “This is the wide world and I’m coming into it.”

My ears ring and my heart implodes with Pochter’s letter as well:

I hope you will never stop your curiosity for the beautiful things in life. Go on hikes in canyons, forests and mountains, go fishing, research wildlife, and get out of the city if you can. Surround yourself with good friends who care about your future. Fall in love with someone. Get your heart broken. Then move on and fall in love again. Breathe life every day like it’s your first. Find something that you love to do and never stop doing that thing unless you find something you love more.

Don’t blame others for their mistakes. It makes you weak…. Speak with conviction and believe in yourself because your personal confidence is just as important as your education….

Try not to forget me.

You told me how proud you were, and so I’m not going to let you down. I’m going to learn a language and connect with real people. I’m going to eat regional foods and learn how to make them myself, with friends, in a kitchen.  I’m going to find the most beautiful mountain in Turkey and hike it and plant a tree for you there. I’m going to read, and ask questions, and write poetry, and I will never, ever forget you.

Egypt, Syria, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Iraq… my heart breaks and my resolve deepens. This has to stop.

*This quote is excerpted from My Name is Rachel Corrie, adapted by Alan Rickman and Katherine Viner.

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Changes Afoot in 2013

This was originally published by The Kenyon Observer on January 14, 2013. 

Today marks the beginning of a new (and my last) semester at Kenyon.  People are back from winter break, or from semesters spent off campus ready to enter again into the daily grind. After every break, I find comfort in returning back to a place which holds friends, memories and familiar campus landmarks. In my first week of classes as a freshman, the president of my a cappella group advised us that every new year necessarily involves changes which require thoughtful consideration and a flexible outlook. As I enter my last go-around on this Hill, I can’t help but notice some of the changes underway, here in this place which can often feel so static and familiar.

Regulating Health
What was originally dubbed a campus wide smoking ban apparently goes into effect today. No official proclamation has come from our Student Government, but emails from last semester indicate that the new regulations and designated smoking areas go into effect in January 2013. Though the language and regulations evolved following community input, this marks a milestone in the College’s regulation of its students’ behaviors from a public health angle.

Paving the Way
At the start of last semester, people were caught off guard by sections of Middle Path, in front of Old Kenyon, which were roped off and re-vamped. A number of aggregate compositions of gravel and concrete were being tested to determine the possible renovation of the campuses beloved “central artery” to make it more accessible.I haven’t heard anything recently, but expect the debate (and endless alumni input) to continue.

Fraternité
Greek life at Kenyon is shifting, with proposals for both a new fraternity and sorority making their way through Greek Council last semester. Greeks are also seeking recognition and a vote as part of Student Council. Frat.

Progress(ive)Curriculum
In my four years, Kenyon has added Programs in Islamic Civilization and Cultures, Latino/a Studies, and expanded the Asian Studies program to include a joint major, the first of its kind. Rumors are circulating that the Environmental Studies program is considering adopting a similar structure. Enrollment in Arabic is at an all-time high, as are rates of study abroad. A coalition of students, faculty, and administrators recognize the challenges facing current Kenyon students and the rapidly-globalizing world they will enter upon graduation. These people are promoting changes in the curriculum and social fabric of campus which expand what it means to be a liberal arts institution while retaining Kenyon’s character, essence, and traditions.

Maintenance Management
The debate that started with an announcement about potential outsourcing of maintenance staff has yet to reach a conclusion. Negotiations are still underway, after the receipt of recommendations from the advisory panel formed last fall. The decisions that are made in the coming weeks impact how the College is perceived by its employees, the surrounding community, and by concerned alumni and students.

Presidential Politics
One of the largest changes facing Kenyon in 2013 is the departure of President S. Georgia Nugent. The search is underway, and those involved are encouraging student and faculty input on what should be required and expected of the new head of the College.

In her address to the entering class of 2016 during the annual Matriculation ceremony, President Nugent commented on the inextricability of beginnings and endings. Both bring new challenges and decisions to be made; they shape those who experience them. Kenyon is undergoing a series of changes, some more readily apparent than others. Deciding when, how, and to what extent these alterations are made requires the continual and persistent input of the student body and faculty, as well as a supportive and receptive administration. Kenyon’s Mission Statement declares that, “… A liberal education forms the foundation of a fulfilling and valuable life. To that purpose Kenyon College is devoted.” From the long-term health of students, to their mobility on campus, to the rights and assurances given to those the College employs, and what is available as a program of study here, decisions are being made which impact what that “fulfilling and valuable life” might look like here in Gambier. As students, we should resolve to be part of the process.

Ray Kelly to DHS? Here’s Why Not

This was originally posted on AAI’s newsblog on July 19, 2013 under the title, “Why Commissioner Kelly is the Wrong Choice to Lead Homeland Security.”

Recent press reports have suggested that President Obama may be considering Ray Kelly, Commissioner of the New York Police Department (NYPD), for the recently vacated position of Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, formerly held by Janet Napolitano.  Last week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) praisedCommissioner Kelly, saying, “There is no doubt Ray Kelly would be a great DHS Secretary” and “Kelly’s appointment… would be a great boon for the entire country.”

Really?

Under Commissioner Kelly’s leadership, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has violated the civil liberties of Arab Americans and American Muslims in New York City and surrounding areas. In addition, Commissioner Kelly has a history of making inflammatory and slanderous comments about Islam and Muslims. In so doing, he has compromised the efficacy of the NYPD by damaging relationships with communities who should be his partners.

AAI has published extensively about the NYPD’s widespread and warrantless surveillance of Muslim American communities in New York and across the tri-state area.  Over a period of ten years, at least 550 places of worship, privately owned business, non-profit organizations, student associations, schools and more were unknowing subjects of NYPD surveillance and intelligence collection activities. These communities were targeted and profiled solely on the basis of religion and national origin without evidence of suspected criminal activity. Furthermore, the Commanding Officer of the NYPD Intelligence Division himself, Lt. Paul Galati, admitted during sworn testimony that this surveillance program did not produce once single criminal lead in his six years of oversight.

Many have spoken out against this program and taken legislative measures to prevent a recurrence. New York’s City Council passed two bills last month to establish an independent Inspector General to provide New Yorkers with oversight and accountability over their police force. There’s an irony here that should not go unnoticed: these bills are collectively known as the Community Safety Act, a testament to the reality that many New Yorkers feel less safe as a result of Commissioner Kelly’s persistent and aggressive profiling measures.

Federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the CIA have voiced concerns about the lack of oversight and unethical tactics that have characterized the surveillance of these communities. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security itself found that $4.1 million in grants to the NYPD were awarded without following the appropriate procedures, wasting valuable resources.

Programs under Commissioner Kelly’s direction aren’t the only thing that reveal his views about American Muslims. He was interviewed in a propagandistic and Islamophobic film, The Third Jihad, where he stated that Muslims want to “infiltrate and dominate” America. The egregiousness of that comment stands on its own, but it gets worse: the film was later used as part of a standard training program for nearly 1,500 NYPD cadets. Use of the film and Commissioner Kelly’s comments in it are both dangerous and counterproductive, fomenting unwarranted suspicion against a community, and, in so doing, eroding the trusting relationship necessary for effective counter-terrorism enforcement.

Commissioner Kelly’s record of profiling goes far beyond the Muslim American community though. According to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), since Commissioner Kelly’s appointment in 2002, the NYPD’s Stop and Frisk Program has stopped over five million persons, 86% of whom were black or Latino.

In a recent interview with Chris Hayes, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) echoed our concerns about Commissioner Kelly’s potential appointment: “He’s been a good administrator, and perhaps I could even support his potential appointment to this position in the absence of the massive aggressive stop-and-frisk program that he’s run, and the unconstitutional Muslim surveillance program, but that’s kind of like saying, I had a good year, if you don’t count the winter, spring, and fall.” He continued,

“There’s got to be an effective balance between national security or effective law enforcement on the one hand and a healthy respect for our civil rights and civil liberties on the other. Ray Kelly, during his tenure as police commissioner under Michael Bloomberg, has consistently disrespected that balance, and that’s why I think he would be a poor choice for Secretary of Homeland Security.”

Because of his disregard for the rights, liberties, and trust of thousands of Americans, and his consistent inclination toward profiling despite its inefficacy, Commissioner Kelly would be a highly inappropriate choice for Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Hill Briefing Demonstrates Complexity of US-Egypt Relationship

This post was originally published on July 25, 2013 on AAI’s newsblog. Full video of the event can also be found at that link.  

On Wednesday, July 24 the Arab American Institute hosted a Congressional briefing in Rayburn House Office Building titled, “Egypt: U.S. Policy Options Going Forward.” The briefing coincided with AAI President Jim Zogby’s release of new polling data by Zogby Analytics which surveyed American attitudes toward Egypt following the events surrounding June 30th in Egypt. These were compared with two decades of Zogby polling data regarding American attitudes toward Egypt, and discussed in the context of the most comprehensive poll conducted on Egypt, released just two weeks before the Tamarrod protests of June 30th. The event was attended by Congressional staff, media outlets and community members; the briefing was standing-room only, at full capacity.

Dr. Zogby was joined by a distinguished panel to discuss the poll, who engaged in a conversation with attendees about potential options for U.S. policy toward Egypt moving forward. The panelists included:

  • Geneive Abdo, Middle East/Southwest Asia Fellow at The Stimson Center; Author of three books, including “No God but God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam”
  • Steven Clemons, Washington editor-at-large of The Atlantic and Senior Fellow, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation
  • Michael Hanna, Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation

In his opening remarks, Dr. Zogby emphasized a steady decline in American favorability toward Egypt, citing a lack of understanding about Egypt by the general public as a contributing factor. He argued that, though this was true when polling began more than two decades ago, Americans remain woefully uninformed about contemporary Egyptian society. This confusion extends to our policy there as well, thus, Dr. Zogby encouraged U.S. policymakers to clearly articulate what they perceive our values and strategic interests in the region to be, both to the American public and the Egyptian people.

The panelists presented a wide range of opinions both about how to interpret recent unrest in Egypt, and how American policymakers should respond. Both Stephen Clemons and Geneive Abdo explicitly described Morsi’s ousting as a “coup,” whereas Michael Hanna argued that the observable decline in the Muslim Brotherhood’s legitimacy amongst the people of Egypt, corroborated by high turnout in the streets on June 30th, affirmed that the events could be regarded as both a popular uprising and a military coup. All the panelists were in agreement that the recent events are part of a much longer process, which will continue to evolve over an extended period.

The issue of U.S. aid to Egypt brought about the sharpest differences of opinion amongst panelists. Abdo reminded the audience that many Egyptians have been calling for an end to U.S. aid of any kind for years, and that the support the United States gives has recently paled in comparison to the support provided by certain countries in the Gulf. She did, however, suggest that we should consider temporarily suspending aid because she regards the events as a military coup. Her allusion to holding Egypt responsible for how aid received from the U.S. is used was echoed by Hanna, who described the intractability caused by multi-year contracts in the current process by which aid to Egypt is currently allocated. Clemons suggested changing how the aid is allocated, rather than whether it should be, arguing to shift from providing military aid to economic support funds (ESF’s).

All of the panelists took issue with U.S. policy toward Egypt in general in some way, describing it as inconsistent, misleading, and confusing both to Americans and the people of Egypt and the broader region. Concern was expressed about the future role Islamist parties may play in electoral politics Egypt and elsewhere; Abdo and Clemons warned of unforeseen challenges if Islamists don’t feel there is space within an electoral system for their political expression. Hanna warned that the previous U.S. model for the region, which he described as “repressive stability” is no longer tenable, given the uprisings of the last two years.

Remembering Andrew Pochter, مصلح

“Every act of violence is a betrayal of language.” -Naomi Shihab Nye

“I detest any form of violence.” -Andrew Pochter

Andrew

Pochter wrote that in an e-mail to a group of Kenyon students which included myself following violence in Gaza and Israel last November. A month and a half after losing him, I still don’t have the words to express the devastation we continue to feel. As I watch events unfolding in Egypt, the pain I feel in our losing Pochter is magnified because of the barrage of images and descriptions of mob violence which trigger my grief, the great losses Egyptians continue to face, and my consideration of what his response to such horrific violence might have been.

I was asked to write this brief memorial of Pochter for AAI. It was originally published July 1, 2013.

The news of Andrew Pochter’s death has been devastating and heart-breaking. Not only did I lose a friend, but we all lost an ally in the cause of peace and mutual understanding.

Andrew and I met on his first day at Kenyon College, in Gambier, OH, where he was to be a rising junior. I was assigned to be his “Upper Class Counselor,” a mentor for first-year students to assist in the academic and social transition to life at Kenyon. Even from his first few days in Gambier, I was impressed with his curiosity and enthusiasm for the Middle East. He had just returned from a gap year in Morocco, and on his first night he regaled the other two students in our group and me with stories from his travels. I had just finished an internship here with the Arab American Institute, and he peppered me with questions he’d been mulling over after reading Arab Voices by Dr. Zogby over the summer. Even from our earliest conversations, we were connected in our belief that religion, despite its reputation for inciting bloodshed and war, could also be a tool of peacemakers and justice seekers. He quickly became involved in Kenyon’s Middle East Student Association, and became an integral member of our organization. We took Arabic and religion classes together, we debated news and politics and which region or country of the Middle East had the best food, and we organized campus events to raise awareness and educate the campus about the Middle East. He spoke to me about pursuing documentary filmmaking in North Africa upon graduation.

Arabic word “sulh” means reconciliation or cooperation; it means peace, as it refers to the cessation of conflict. Its derivation “sulha” is the term used for a traditional process of conflict resolution and mediation in much of the Arab world, including historic Palestine. One of my last memories with Andrew was watching he and Sarah Gold, one of AAI’s summer 2013 interns, perform a poem they co-wrote, what they dubbed a “hip-hop sulha” as a final project for a class we were taking about Israel-Palestine. This video of their piece is a beautiful reflection of his spirit and the work he did at Kenyon. Through his leadership in MESA, he played a tremendous role in shifting campus culture surrounding discussions of Israel and Palestine. Andrew Pochter built bridges, organizing lunch dates with disparate friend groups, and always inviting new people to our meetings and events. He especially believed in the power of music and poetry to expand people’s appreciation of different cultures. He was a compassionate listener. He was never satisfied with a debate that didn’t include as many perspectives as possible. He wanted to understand the region through first-hand experience, not the banter of pundits or ideologues. While Andrew was excited to work with children while in Egypt, I know he was also looking forward to learning the Egyptian dialect, visiting historic sites, and immersing himself in Egyptian culture.

The Egyptian struggle for free and fair governance was not Andrew’s battle, and I think he knew that. Undoubtedly he was inspired by it, but he was a participant in a revolution of a different nature: an uprising of humanity to demand that all people have narratives and all people have rights, and that everyone should be treated with love, dignity and respect. This struggle is one that we now undertake with new vigor and purpose in his memory.

Interview With Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad

I had the honor and pleasure of tag-teaming an interview of Jad Abumrad with Matt Haugen for AAI. The published interview appears below, and was originally posted on July 26, 2013 on AAI’s newsblog. 

Jad Abumrad is a musician, producer, and host and creator of WNYC’s wildly popular radio show and podcast, Radiolab.The show won the George Foster Peabody Award for broadcast excellence in 2010 and Jad was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship—often called the “Genius Grant”—in 2011. After listening to some of Radiolab’s programs on race and identity, and reading a superb interview with him by Discord Music Magazine, we reached out to chat with him about Radiolab, how he understands his identity, the interplay of music and storytelling, and Arabic food.

We began with a simple question: Do you identify as Arab American?

Jad: Yeah, I feel very strongly Lebanese and it’s sort of impossible for me not to. It informs every decision I make and yet informs none of the decisions I make, in some way. It’s just kind of the background of my life. It’s sort of like a fish in the ocean, you know? You don’t even notice the water if you’re a fish, I imagine, it just sort of is your world. My parents are both first generation immigrants…or would that be me? Well they both immigrated to the US shortly before I was born and they’re both from Lebanon, sorta kinda neighboring villages, both Christian Arab. There has always been a sense within my family that religious identity and sectarian identity are dangerous and my parents fully assimilated as scientists. And so for me, more than anything, growing up Lebanese, it was never explicitly a part of my upbringing. I remember more than anything, 1980, watching them watch the TV. And never being fully commented on, but seeing some kind of sadness and drama in the way that they were watching it, and when I got to be in college, I became very interested in Middle Eastern politics. I think like a lot of children of immigrants, I tried to reclaim my identity and I got really interest in Palestinian rights and doing that whole thing in the way that a lot of college kids do. Following that interest out of school I did a lot of radio at WBAI which was centered squarely on Middle Eastern politics, but the thing is that if you’re smart and not interested in simple answers, then you discover quite quickly with Lebanon and with the Middle East in general is that it’s so complicated and there are no longer any easy answers. I think Lebanon is the shining example of that. If I could sort of pick the high-altitude view of it now, I think that my Arab American background—particularly my Lebanese American background—gave me a heightened sensitivity for nuance and for the ways in which seemingly simple truths are never simple and the way in which binary realities are never binary. So that’s something that I hold very deeply and that I carry into every story that we do. To that degree, I think my upbringing is the vehicle for every one of the decisions that I make, you know, programmatically.

AAI: Has your perspective ever influenced a piece you’ve worked on? I know you’ve talked a little bit about it in the Race episode, but does your Lebanese heritage especially connect you to any of these stories?

Jad: I thought a lot about it during those episodes. I mean, you know in the Race episode—the first one that we did—it began almost as a stunt. Like: “Oh, let’s just test my DNA and see what happens.” But, once I had swabbed my cheek and put it in the envelope and sent it off, there’s like a two week period where you wait for the results—or maybe it was a month, I forget—during that time, I remember thinking: “Jeez, this is kinda weird. What does it mean to be from where I’m from?” There’s that sort of definitional weirdness that you get into, which is: what’s a race and what’s a sect and what’s a simple arbitrary cultural divide versus something that’s more etched into your physical being because you and your ancestors lived in that land. It got very confusing, you know? I remember as I was waiting for the results, because so often Arab culture is misidentified as Muslim culture, in a way, and so I thought a lot about that, that this is a moment where I might get an interesting answer to those larger questions of race, at least as it applies to me. I’m not sure I walked away with anything concluded, but it was certainly something that made me reflect on my upbringing and my quote “race”, whatever that means. It came up again, the latest short we did, I don’t know if my Arab-ness had anything to do with that story, but it certainly resonates with my own experience. You know, the history of Lebanon: it’s this country that’s been destroyed over, and over, and over, and over, and over again and hundreds of thousands of people killed during the civil war. So, I carry with me a sensitivity for that trauma: a sensitivity to the people we speak to who carry similar traumas with them. There have been some pieces we’ve recorded where we’ve talked to people who’ve suffered and I think about that through the lens of my own upbringing.

AAI: Do you think that radio and music and how you use those change how you interface with your identity?

Jad: To the degree that I sort of see my identity as not static. The sonic landscape of the show is about flux. It’s about things fading in and out, and comingling, and one thing transforming into another. On the level of craft, I freaking hate a music bed. A bed that just sits there. I can’t stand that. It has to change. It has to move from background to foreground. It has to evolve from something thick to something thin; from something rough to something smooth. That’s just sort of the landscape of the show. It’s all about movement and flux and never being able to put your finger on what you’re listening to, and I feel that way about my identity, you know? It’s hard for me to give you a one sentence description of my family history, because it’s very complicated, and it comes from a land that’s full of complicated people. And so I think I am playing in some neighboring dimension with these ideas when I’m working the sound. I wouldn’t say they’re directly related, but they’re certainly moving in parallel.

AAI: Was there any element of storytelling in your childhood—whether related to Arabic storytelling traditions or not—which drives your inspiration for Radiolab?

Jad: Hm, that’s an interesting question. I don’t know, let me think about that for a second. I didn’t have what you’re describing in my upbringing. I didn’t actually have a lot of storytellers around. I’d love to say I did, but I didn’t. Where does it come from? I don’t know. It was sort of reverse-engineered for me. I came in as a musician and I remember some things on the radio where the story leads you step by step by step by step to this feeling of suspension and of wonder and that was the feeling I loved. I remember hearing this one particular piece—I wanna say it was about Tennessee Williams from the Lost and Found Sound series, this was maybe 20 years ago at this point—and I had been driving to Oberlin and we might have been driving through this part of Ohio which is utterly flat and it was pitch-black dark and I remember hearing this thing on the radio and it’s like the mixture of voices and the kinetic energy of all different cuts going into each other and the story was kind of receding so carefully. Suddenly, it got to this moment where you heard something or somebody said something and you could hear the emotion in their voices and there was this sort of space and silence and music where you could just kind of sit with it. I remember being amazed at the feeling and having an early sense that the story is the architecture that leads you to that moment and it’s all about the moment. And that moment is a musical moment as much as it is anything. It’s like the feeling where the heart sings and the way that the heart sings when it hears a beautiful piece of music. Initially, I was more interested in that moment, in that feeling, and I had a sense that you couldn’t achieve that unless you seduce people and the way that you seduce people is through a story. It’s the path that you create, the bridge that you build, that allows people to come to that moment of wonder. So initially, I started to tell story simply for that reason: as a necessity. Then as you begin to understand how stories work, you become amazed at the story structures themselves and how you can monkey with them and how you can make the beginning the end and the end the beginning. So I got interested in it just as an aspect of this craft that I had fallen into. It never came out of the culture of storytelling that’s very strong in the Arab community, but somehow it was not strong in my family. My family is a bunch of introspective brooders. They communicate a lot with looks and with gestures, but not a lot with words. So that’s where it came out of for me.

AAI: We were curious if you have a favorite Arabic food?

Jad: Oh man, I have so many. My favorite Arabic food—which is only my favorite because it’s so hard to find done well, although I did find this Palestinian place in Bay Ridge called Tanoreen that is the only place outside of Lebanon where I’ve actually tasted it done well—mloukhieh. That’s my favorite because my grandmother in Jounieh, Lebanon, she used to grow the mloukhieh plant—I think it’s a specific plant—she used to have it right outside. The whole process, it’s such a freaking hard dish to make. I mean like you have to pick the plants and then you gotta mash them into this little goopy sauce and then you gotta cut the onions and bake the bread and then do the rice and there’s five other layers that I’m forgetting and you put them all in a specific order. It’s just such a heavy, heavy meal, but it’s delicious and I remember that somehow if I think about Lebanon and as the memories of being in Lebanon have faded for me—because I haven’t been back in a long time—somehow so much of it gets distilled into that dish. If I think about an afternoon where we ate mloukhieh, I can suddenly conjure everything else about Lebanon because somehow that dish draws it all in. So that would be my favorite. Well, that’s my narrative favorite. My actual favorite, just in terms of what taste the best, would probably be mana’eesh. You know, like my dad lives in Nashville now and he found this guy who does these fantastic mana’eesh and every time we go there we just eat far too many. There’s something about that taste I can’t get enough of. And kibbeh, I have a neighbor now who lives right down the street—one of whom is this Lebanese kid—and he makes incredible kibbeh. And now my wife makes it, she makes a ton of Lebanese food like way better than me. So she’s like more the Arab, at least culinarily, than me at this point.

Want to learn more about Jad and Radiolab? Visit their website here. Radiolab is also doing a live tour in cities across the US called Apocalypitcal focusing on the topic of endings. Find more info atwww.radiolab.org/live.