Calling Others is a podcast mini-series featuring the stories of young SWANA-American creatives and advocates. This podcast is a little reminder: our personal stories matter. They have more power over politics than we realize.

This podcast is hosted by Win Without War’s Policy and Advocacy Fellow, Nastaran Far, and co-produced by Nastaran Far and Natalie Bettendorf.

*Content warning: This podcast contains discussion of violence, war, trauma, and death that some listeners may find disturbing or triggering. Caregivers should be aware that this content may not be suitable for younger audiences.

**Disclaimer: The views expressed by guests on this podcast do not necessarily reflect the opinions or perspectives of Win Without War or its members.

Episode 0: Calling Nastaran

Wondering what Calling Others is all about? This editor’s note describes the process and purpose behind the series.

Episode 1: Calling Julia

Episode 1 features Julia Elihu, an Iranian-American writer, director, and producer. We talk about Julia’s films (Yasamin and Winter of ’79), her family’s persecution in Iran, their experiences with discrimination in the U.S., and Julia’s everyday tensions with generational divides, mental health stigmas, beauty standards… and more.

Episode 2: Calling Yara

Episode 2 features Yara Ismael, a Kurdish/Iraqi-American founder of two nonprofits, the Effendi Foundation and the Kurdish Refugee Relief Foundation. We talk about the messiness of demilitarization, diasporic existential crises, gender roles, the taboo of menstruation… and more.

Episode 3: Calling Colette

Episode 3 features Colette Ghunim, a Mexican/Palestinian-American documentary filmmaker and a founding member of the Mezcla Media Collective. We talk about Colette’s films (The People’s Girls and Traces of Home) and dive into being happy, healing intergenerational trauma, understanding the relationship between violence in patriarchy and colonization… and more.

Episode 4: Calling Bahar

Episode 4 features Bahar Ghandehari, an Iranian-American digital organizer and founder of Middle East Matters. We talk about the power of social media, the need for citizen journalism, and the ways we can build diasporic/regional solidarity… and more.

Episode 5: Calling Zahra

Episode 5 features Zahra Wakilzada, a student, poet, war-survivor, and activist of Afghan descent. We talk through Zahra’s journey to writing, her effort to balance competing identities by asking questions like ‘what does it mean to be an Afghan American, and the role of poetry and language in social justice, policy, politics… and more.