|Listen below or at https://open.spotify.com/episode/2CmXavINMz3QTwXq3lzRS5|
My guest this week is Dr. Ramzi Salti, a recipient of the Stanford Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. He is an author, a radio host and a lecturer in Arabic at Stanford University for over twenty years. He believes language goes hand in hand with learning about the culture and introduces his students to all styles of Arabic music and popular TV shows in an interactive and modern way.
Today, we discuss how we met on his radio show Arabology, after my sketches from The Rania Show became a big part of his teaching. Ramzi describes how he broke free from teaching Arabic in the traditional way and how he started his Radio show in English during the Arab Spring in 2011. He also discusses his book "The Native Informant" tackling culture, family issues, and sexuality and going viral before viral even existed in 1994.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Dr. Ramzi explains why he thinks podcasts are here to stay. (1:40)
- Dr. Ramzi talks about growing up in Lebanon before the civil war broke out in 1975 and his family moved to Jordan. (3:20)
- How Ramzi’s mother was instrumental in him getting a Doctorate Arabic and Comparative Literature. (5:00)
- What it felt like for Dr. Ramzi to receive the Stanford Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. (16:20)
- How Dr. Ramzi combined culture and language when teaching Arabic to his students (21:25)
- How breaking free was a process of unlearning the way he had been taught so he could make it more reachable to a new generation. (23:17)
- How Dr. Ramzi started his radio show at Stanford University KZSU (26:45)
- Discovering the groundbreaking and controversial Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila (31:58)
- How the series Ramy, winner of a Golden Globe award in 2021, was appreciated and accepted in the Arab world after it got the stamp of western legitimacy (34:38)
- How Rami Malek won the Oscar for playing the part of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. (36:08)
- Dr. Salti tackled feminism and marginalized sexualities in 1994 when he published his book The Native Informant and Other Stories.
- Dr. Ramzi Salti describes how proud he felt to be published by Three Continents Press who owned at the time most English translations of Nobel prize winner author Naguib Mahfouz’s books. (44:42)
- A reading by Rania Kurdi of one of Dr. Ramzi’s short stories titled "Vivian and Her Son." Text available here.
Arabology Interviews Rania Kurdi (December 2019)
Dr. Ramzi Salti interviews singer/actress/producer/motivational speaker Rania Kurdi who candidly speaks about her TV/Film/Music career, her cathartic work as a life coach, and the many projects she has on the horizon. Listen below or at this link.
Arabology Spotlights Rania Kurdi PART 1: Bio ft Music Excerpts (August 2013)
Rania Kurdi Returns with New Season of "The Rania Show" by Zoom