Translate page with Google


Ear to the Ground: Podcasting the Pandemic in the Middle East & North Africa

Event Date:

June 29, 2021 | 4:30 PM CDT TO 5:30 PM CDT
A family walks in Hamra, Beirut. Stores and restaurants are closed due to the Covid-19 virus. Image by Hassan Chamoun / Lebanon, 2020.

An Arabic-language news podcast by Sowt Podcasting, focusing on COVID-19 in the Middle East and...

author #1 image author #2 image
Multiple Authors

Join the Pulitzer Center and the University of Chicago on Tuesday, June 29 at 4:30pm CDT for a conversation with journalists Abir Kopty and Lama Rabah about the Almostajad podcast, an independent and critical alternative to state-owned and traditional media in the Middle East and North Africa. The podcast was produced by Sowt podcasting and a team of independent media companies in the region.  

In its first season, Almostajad focused on listening to people's stories through the COVID-19 crisis. Rabah and Kopty will explore how the pandemic exacerbated systemic issues of power, control, racism, mental health, economic inequality, and vulnerable communities in the Middle East and North Africa.  

Kopty, a Palestinian journalist and writer based in Berlin, is the senior editor and host of Almostajad. She holds a master’s in political communication from City University, London, and is a doctoral candidate at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. She contributes political analysis to media outlets such as Middle East Eye and TRT, and hosted in 2018 Eib, an audio podcast about motherhood and parenting produced by Sowt podcasting.

Rabah is a podcaster, editor, and journalist based in Palestine. She is currently a full-time podcast producer at Thmanyah, a Saudi-based publishing platform. Rabah holds a master’s in multimedia journalism from the University of Oregon, and a bachelor’s in radio and TV broadcast from Birzeit University. She previously worked as a senior producer at Sowt podcasting, and co-hosted the monthly podcast and live show Radio No Frequency. Her main interest is experimenting with audio storytelling, political satire, and performance.

After a Q&A with Kopty and Rabah, participants will have a chance to connect with one another to network and identify opportunities for aligning Kopty and Rabah’s reporting with their curricular goals for next year. 

This webinar is part of a multi-day virtual conference for educators to bring award-winning journalists together to discuss the global and local inequalities that COVID-19 has amplified.

Featuring a combination of journalist-led presentations and interactive activities, the program will also introduce methods for integrating global news and journalism skills into diverse curricula to reinforce students’ critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills. Participants will leave with the tools to incorporate new content into their classes, as well as connections to journalists working on pressing global issues. Illinois-based educators are eligible to receive CPDU credits for attendance.

Register for the Zoom webinar here.


navy halftone illustration of a covid virus



navy halftone illustration of a female doctor with her arms crossed


Health Inequities

Health Inequities
navy halftone illustration of a group of pharmaceutical pills


Outbreaks and Epidemics

Outbreaks and Epidemics