open roads media

Episode 5: Aram AlSaed, From Syria to Berlin, Part 1 of 2

Aram AlSaed was a paramedic and a student of fine arts before he left Syria in 2015, traveling by bus, plane, boat, and by foot to reach Germany, while stopping along the way to provide medical and translation support for other refugees.

In this first of a two-part interview, I speak with him about life in Syria before the war, when things began to change, his work as a paramedic in Syria, when he realized that it was time for he and his brother to leave, and his journey up to the German border. 

Be sure to browse the additional content provided below for current information on the state of the refugee crisis in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. 

And be sure to catch the second half of the interview in the next episode. 

 

Sign up & stay informed!

Are You Syrious provides daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.

 

Information resources for refugees & asylum seekers...

There are more than 60,000 refugees in Greece and an overwhelming demand for information to understand what is happening to them. Refucomm is a nonprofit registered in Germany and working in Greece to provide multilingual instruction materials and videos that inform people about their rights, asylum procedures, and how to prepare for their interviews.

Episode 3: Yousef Aljamal, Gaza, Palestine

Yousef and I met in Gaza in 2013. In this long-format episode we discuss life in Gaza under 11 years of siege imposed by Israel and Egypt, his travels and his personal losses, the ongoing Great March of Return Protests, solidarity with indigenous communities and movements, and we take a critical look at internal Palestinian politics, the stigmatization of mental health treatment, the status of Jerusalem and the implications of the US embassy move, the role of Hamas and its politics, and pretty much everything you would want to know about the present situation in Gaza and the rest of Palestine that we could fit into two very long conversations.

I also provide a longer intro and closing thoughts to address the divisive nature of this subject in the US and the West, and my own travels in Palestine.

It would be impossible to produce a podcast on this subject that everyone will agree with, and that's not the aim of Latitude Adjustment on any subject. However, considerable effort was put into producing a show that will give you a detailed look at the present situation from a Palestinian perspective. Particular attention was given to topics that are often absent from the treatment of this conflict in mainstream and alternative media. This episode should be educational for just about anyone trying to get a better understanding of what is often characterized as the most intractable conflict in the world.

Please be sure to leave a review on iTunes or your preferred media platform, and please join the ongoing discussion in the Latitude Adjustment Conversation Group, on Facebook.

You can follow Yousef on Twitter.

 

The US has just cut all funding to UNRWA. Please donate today.

Since 1949 UNRWA has been the UN body responsible for providing medical clinics, education, and food aid to Palestinian refugees. There are currently 5.4 million Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA, and the US administration - the principle donor to this UN organization- has just elected to cut all financial support. Whatever your view of this conflict, Palestinians need food, medicine, and an education. Please contribute what you can. And if you are a US voter, please call your elected representatives and ask that they demand the reinstatement of US funding.

For more context please read this recent op ed in the Washington Post.


Below you will find the two videos mentioned in the show. Also check out Yousef's suggested reading list. and this article Yousef wrote about his experiences of traveling as a Palestinian

Yousef's Suggested Reading:

Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History, Dreaming of Freedom: Palestinian Child Prisoners Speak
The Last Earth: A Palestinian story



1. Again I did not produce this video tutorial on the history of the Israel-Palestine Conflict. It's not perfect, and there's stuff I personally would have framed differently, and other things I would have included that were left out. But of all of the stuff I came across it seemed to provide the best balance between breadth of content with the least amount of objectionable material and omissions. 

 

2. The second video is part of a collaborative film project produced by Open Roads Media, a small nonprofit I founded in 2015. The bi-national street-interview-format film collaboration was completed by youth in Gaza, Palestine, and The Netherlands in 2017. The late Yaser Murtaja was one of the lead producers on the Gaza team, and it's his drone footage that provided the aerial views of Gaza in this short film. 

This episode of Latitude Adjustment is dedicated to Yaser and to his family, and to his friend and co-founder at Ain Media Rushdi Sarraj and their team. Ain Media created this short video memorial to Yaser as well

 

3. The third video is a helpful explainer, answering some of the common criticisms of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) campaign.