Ahmed Badr was seven years old when a bomb came in through the bathroom window of his home. Luckily no one was inside the house. But the incident still made his family leave Baghdad for Syria.
Unable to find employment in Syria, the family applied for the UN's refugee programme after learning about it from a bus driver. A few months and interviews later, they received a phone call. They had been accepted and were heading to South Dakota, United States (US).
A podcast can be thought of as a digital radio show. In fact, many radio shows are now also made available as a podcast.
When asked what he likes about podcasts, Ahmed puts it simply, “it offers a different form of entertainment, very powerful, yet casual”.
Podcasts have grown in popularity over the last few years. In 2017, nearly 1 out of 3 Americans listened to podcasts, and over 40 million did so on a weekly basis.
A Way Home Together just recently released its fifth episode.
Ahmed travelled to Utah for this one where he meets 21-year-old football coach Mohammed Abbas Abdi. Originally from Somalia, Abdi was born in a refugee camp in Mombasa, on the Kenyan coast. He lived there until he was 13, when his family resettled in the US.
Abdi coaches a team of Somali refugee children named the "Somali Stars'' . They play in the local league and are part of Utah's youth football community.
In the first two episodes of the podcast, Ahmed speaks with his family and tells his own story.
In the third episode, Ahmed's guest is Mariam Abuamer, a singer based in Brooklyn, New York. Mariam was born in the Soviet Union and grew up in Palestine before moving to the US.
Episode four tells the story of Espoir who was an infant when his family fled for their lives. He is a survivor of the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Today, nearly two decades later, Espoir is making a new life for himself in Austin, Texas. The episode also features Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM DRC Chief of Mission.
Is Podcasting the Future of Storytelling?
Podcasts are increasingly recognized as a very powerful form of storytelling. The award-winning podcast Serial which tells a single story a season was the first to break the 10 million download mark in 2014.
Podcasts comparing to other mediums (print; online; video) benefits from being able to be listened while driving/biking, the easy portability of headphones, and the unique content it creates by helping “non-writers” share their stories.
A Way Home Together podcast can be found on iTunes.