From Tehran: 27 March 2020
For audio only, find the podcast on SoundCloud.
This podcast takes you to several cities/countries affected by Covid-19 to discuss social, economic, and political challenges facing their societies, with emphasis on the most vulnerable groups and on what this pandemic reveals about the human condition (wow, big phrase). Based on personal and incisive conversations with various interlocutors on location, we hope both to learn from others and to provide some solace as we address how we are collectively experiencing and dealing with similar challenges.
We will be speaking with our guests, one or several at a time, via Skype, and will try to have brief, informative, and non-draining calls within 20-30 minutes.
Look out for upcoming episodes in the coming week(s) from Iran, San Francisco, Vancouver, and more. Listen to the previous episodes in the series on Gaza here, Dublin here, and Cairo here.
Hosted by Noura Erakat and Bassam Haddad
Production Set by Khalid Namez
Edited by Alicia Rodriguez
Directed by Bassam Haddad
Research by Naim Mousa
Data shown is as of March 29.
- Total confirmed cases: 38,309
- Total deaths: 2,640
- Total recovered: 12,391
- Total cases per 1 million people: 456
- Total deaths per 1 million people: 31
- First case recorded on February 19.
- About 6,000 people are being tested daily (This data is based on an article written on March 14).
- Estimates put the death toll at around 3.5 million by late May, when the outbreak is expected to peak.
Alex Shams is a writer and PhD student of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. His research is focused on sacred space and pilgrimage in the Middle East. He is also an editor of Ajam Media Collective, an online platform focused on cultural and social issues in Iran and Central Asia. He is based in Tehran
Hoda Katebi is an Iranian-American writer, community organizer, and creative educator based in Chicago.
Bassam Haddad is Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program and Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. He is the author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience (Stanford University Press, 2011) and co-editor of the forthcoming book, A Critical Political Economy of the Middle East (Forthcoming, Stanford University Press, 2021). Bassam serves as Founding Editor of the Arab Studies Journal and the Knowledge Production Project. He is co-producer/director of the award-winning documentary film, About Baghdad, and director of the series Arabs and Terrorism. Bassam is Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya Ezine and Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute. He serves on the Board of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences and is Executive Producer of Status Audio Magazine. Bassam is Co-Project Manager for the Salon Syria Project and Director of the Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI). He received MESA's Jere L. Bacharach Service Award in 2017 for his service to the profession. Currently, Bassam is working on his second Syria book tittled Understanding The Syrian Tragedy: Regime, Opposition, Outsiders (forthcoming, Stanford University Press).
Noura Erakat is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University in the Department of Africana Studies and the Program in Criminal Justice where she teaches topics such as human rights law, humanitarian law, national security law, refugee law, social justice, and critical race theory. Her scholarly interests include humanitarian law, human rights law, refugee law, and national security law. She earned her BA and JD from Berkeley Law School and her LLM in National Security from the Georgetown University Law Center. She is a Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya e-zine. Prior to beginning her appointment at GMU, Noura was a Freedman Teaching Fellow at Temple Law School and has taught International Human Rights Law and the Middle East at Georgetown University since 2009.