QF’s Doha Debates Launches Arabic-Language Podcast
Qatar Foundation’s Doha Debates has released its first Arabic-language podcast, Lana, which explores timely issues impacting young Arabs. Doha-based journalist Rawaa Augé hosts the podcast, produced in partnership with the Amman-based podcasting company Sowt.
Rooted in Doha Debates’ mission to bring people together around complex global topics by bridging divides and seeking consensus, Lana — the Arabic word for ‘Ours’ — features young Arabic speakers who represent different sides of an issue, but are committed to listening to one another and engaging in open, thoughtful dialogue. During the podcast’s first season, guests will discuss contemporary issues such as ‘cancel culture’ and beauty standards, as well as long-standing challenges such as immigration and work.
The podcast’s launch event on 18 March took place at the TEDinArabic Summit, organized through a partnership between TED and Qatar Foundation. The summit was held from 18-19 March at Qatar National Convention Centre.
Lana is hosted by Rawaa Augé, a news anchor, producer, moderator, and digital content host at Al Jazeera Media Network. Augé hosted and executive-produced 70 episodes of the award-winning show Bekasretaa (which means Women’s Voices) for Al Jazeera Arabic TV from 2019 to 2021. Since joining Al Jazeera in 2014, she has contributed to report and produce stories from across the globe, including Central Africa, Bosnia and Lebanon.
Augé has also conducted a number of high-profile interviews for Al Jazeera, including with Nobel Prize winner Nadia Murad at the Doha Forum 2018. She holds master’s degrees in geopolitics and mass communication, and received a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism from the Carter Center in 2021.
“I’ve been following Doha Debates’ English content, and hosting the Arabic edition has been a dream,” Augé said. “I am very proud to have been selected as a host of their first Arabic podcast. I look forward to the listener responses to the topics we’ll tackle, which are close to the interests and concerns of today’s youth.”
The inaugural episode of Lana will explore the use and value of online debate. Other episodes in the first season address the evolution of the Arabic language, mental health issues affecting younger generations and the complex topic of immigration and asylum.
Doha Debates’ managing director Amjad Atallah said, "At Doha Debates, we’ve been able to create a number of spaces for people with diverse viewpoints to seek common ground despite their differences.
“We’ve found an excellent partner in Sowt for our first Arabic-language podcast, and we’re confident that it will create a similar space for Arab youth to engage in the kind of constructive dialogue that leads to social change.”
Ramsey Tesdell, CEO of Sowt, added: "Sowt's goal has always been to create thought-provoking, intellectual and engaging content. When we started speaking with Doha Debates about a podcast, it was clear that we are closely aligned on this goal.
“Launching this podcast together has been a collective effort that we strongly feel will tackle difficult topics we as young Arabs face today, and help push that debate in a more constructive direction."
Listen to ‘Lana’ at DohaDebates.com/podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
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