Episode 7: Ndeye Ndao, Senegal and Reflections on Life in the US

Ndeye and I cover a lot of ground in this episode, from her initial impressions of American culture as a 19-year-old international student, changes in Senegal since she left to pursue her education, civil rights in the US and Senegal, the role of religion in her life and in Senegalese culture, why she wants more African Americans to visit Africa and connect to African culture, the differences between racism, bias, and passive support for racist systems, her feelings about being a woman of color and an immigrant in America today, and more.

Episode 6: Aram AlSaed, From Syria to Berlin, Part 2 of 2

In this second of a two-part interview with Syrian artist and paramedic Aram AlSaed we discuss the process of his arrival in Germany, his family back in Syria, his thoughts about the use and abuse of the term "refugee" and his complex relationship with this word, and the differences in how religious identity is discussed and inhabited in Syria and in Germany. I close with some questions for you, the listener, concerning the role of religion in contemporary political culture around the world.

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.

Latitude Adjustment recommends this charity…

“We develop Innovative Education programs for Syrian refugee youth, distribute
Smart Aid to Syrian families, and fund Sustainable Development projects initiated by Syrians for Syrians.”

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 4: Clara de la Torre- Pro Boxer, Firefighter & Traveler

Clara is one of those people who just seem programmed from birth to dive into life with both feet and to experience as many things as possible along the way. And aside from stints as a professional boxer and a wilderness firefighter, she's seen a lot of the world from some unusual vantage points. I met Clara in New Mexico about 9 years ago, before I started my own long stretch of solo travel. Aside from discussing her travel and her career paths, we also talk about growing up as hyper religious kids and we examine the similar experiences that we've had in dealing with grief. Plus I struggle to remember some stuff I read about Socrates a long time ago, and try to see how his observations might apply to daily life and the way we approach relationships with others.

And, we’ve just launched a Patreon page for Latitude Adjustment podcast. The show will remain free to the public, but if you find value in it then please consider supporting us with a dollar or more per month to help make our efforts sustainable. And remember to tell your friends about us! Thank you for your support!

 

K Lawrence Photography.jpg

Clara recommends Kiva for those looking to make an impact…

“Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.”

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.

Episode 2: Tara Todras-Whitehill, Middle East Photojournalist

I met Tara in Cairo in 2012, and then again in Washington DC. A recipient of the James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting, she's been on the move for a long time, both as a veteran of Middle East reporting with Reuters, AP, and the New York Times, and now with her own production company, Vignette Interactive, which helps humanitarian nonprofits tell their stories through mixed media. Her photos have lead the front page of the New York Times and recent assignments have taken her to Nepal and Nigeria. 

We discuss her intense first day on the job in Beirut, how she got into photojournalism, the challenges and advantages of being a woman in her field, work-life balance in a notoriously demanding profession, and the relationships between foreign reporters and the local teams and communities they interact with.

And, we’ve just launched a Patreon page for Latitude Adjustment podcast. The show will remain free to the public, but if you find value in it then please consider supporting us with a dollar or more per month to help make our efforts sustainable. And remember to tell your friends about us! Thank you for your support!

 

 

Photo credits left-to-right: Matt Ford, Evelyn Kahungu-Kihara, and Kevin Frayer

 

Episode 1: Andrius & Lithuania & Turkey & Travel

For this first episode I talk to my buddy Andrius Mažeika in Vilnius, Lithuania. Andrius and I met in Istanbul in 2015 and hit it off over beers and politics. We discuss growing up after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, his experiences traveling in Western Europe as an Eastern European, learning to let go of certain things in Asia, Lithuanian Jazz and Reggae, and reflections on culture and politics from his years living in Turkey through the string of bombing attacks and the attempted coup. Heads up, there's some naughty language at the end. 

Also, Andrius takes some really cool photos. Check out his stuff here.

And, we’ve just launched a Patreon page for Latitude Adjustment podcast. The show will remain free to the public, but if you find value in it then please consider supporting us with a dollar or more per month to help make our efforts sustainable. And remember to tell your friends about us! Thank you for your support!

It's the Latitude Adjustment Manifesto Teaser Intro Episode!

Welcome to Latitude Adjustment and to a journey around the world through conversation!

This will be an interview-format show, but for this initial teaser episode I'll be introducing myself and offering some reflections from my years of solo travel across the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Europe, and the US-Mexico borderlands. Also, thoughts on why it's our moral and civic duty to be curious, examining some of the formulas that are often used to manipulate populations into allowing and committing acts of violence, why we should give ourselves permission to be ignorant, and an invitation to participate in the conversation after each show. I'm just one guy figuring this out, so thanks for your patience and for tuning in! Join the conversation group on Facebook and swing by iTunes and leave a nice review... it will help the show get noticed. 

Latitude Adjustment is 100% listener supported. If you agree that we need more independent media that prioritizes curiosity and connections over fear and divisions then please support us with a monthly donation through our Patreon page. Thanks!