Hana Baba

News Reporter/Host

Hana Baba is a reporter and host of Crosscurrents, KALW's evening newsmagazine. She's also part of KALW's project The Spiritual Edge.

She interviews and reports on ethnic communities, poverty, health, culture, religion, arts, and the global nature of the San Francisco Bay Area.  Her work also appears on NPR programs, PRI's The World, BBC World Service, and New America Media. A Sudanese-American, Hana also reports from and about Sudan and Sudanese.

Ways to Connect

Image cropped and modified from http://marcibowers.com/

Dr. Marci Bowers is an OBGYN with a practice in Burlingame, and she's a global leader in her field. She also may be the first gender reassignment surgeon to have undergone the surgery herself.

Aspen Baker / resized and cropped

Aspen Baker is on a mission to help people listen to each other. Baker’s the founder of Exhale, an Oakland-based non-profit she formed in 2000 after she had an abortion. Baker grew up in a born-again Christian family and abortion wasn’t something she ever thought would happen to her. Until it did. 

Courtesy of CAIR - San Francisco Bay Area

Anti-Muslim sentiment around the U.S. is on the rise. The uptick started right after the attacks in Paris in November. Then came the December shootings in San Bernardino, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim entry into the country.

There are hidden costs attached to almost everything we buy. T-shirts, mortgages, and hamburgers.  In the book “The Value of Nothing: How to reshape market society and redefine democracy,” Raj Patel argues that even a hamburger may have hidden ecological and social costs of as much as $200. 


On today’s episode of “Crosscurrents,” we are talking about identity. We have heard how people, whether intentionally or not, can “pass” as another race, just by the sound of their voice. Passing can also be a full-time, physical endeavor. The United States has a long history of African Americans who chose to live as white in their daily lives. 

Interview: Steven Hill

Dec 1, 2015
Courtesy of Steven Hill

The Sharing Economy is a term we’ve heard a lot in the past couple of years, with companies like Uber, AirBnb, and Taskrabbit on the rise.

Image source: http://bit.ly/1NM4Qqs

In 2014, the annual mean wage an American teacher made was a little over $57,000 a year.

Teacher pay in the Bay Area is higher than the national average, and salaries vary depending on where you're located: This year, a teacher in Oakland can make up to $83,000 a year, whereas the same teacher can go to Hillsborough and make up to $124,000.

Josh Harkinson

Last July, 32- year old San Francisco resident Kate Steinle was walking along San Francisco’s Embarcadero, when she was shot and killed on Pier 14. The man who allegedly shot her, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico had been deported  from the U.S. multiple times, with seven felonies on his record. The case has raised the issue of San Francisco being what’s called a “Sanctuary City,” a status it’s had since 1989.

Bay Area Beats: Zena

Sep 14, 2015

Zena, from Oakland, is a singer songwriter, visual artist, storyteller –  and one of the few women masters of the kora – a West African harp – taught directly by Malian kora master, Toumani Diabate. She blends West African music with American Delta Blues and Appalachian tunes, to create what she calls "Afrofolk." Zena came to our studios - kora in hand- to tell KALW's Hana Baba about her story of migration and music.

Hana Baba

Through much of their history, Sunni and Shia Muslims have lived peacefully together in countries like Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. But since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, sectarian conflict has escalated in the region. Here in the Bay Area,  around 75% of Muslims identify as Sunni, just four percent identify as Shia.

The place is Argentina. The year is 1913.  A young woman named Leda has just arrived from her home in Italy to join her new groom, only to find that he has died.  But Leda decides to stay and navigate the unpredictable life of an immigrant girl in the land of the tango. That’s the plot of the new book "The Gods of Tango" by Oakland author Carolina De Robertis.

PHOTO COURTESY NAIMA SHALHOUB, TAKEN BY SARAH DERAGON

San Francisco musician Naima Shalhoub performs for incarcerated women, and recorded her latest album live inside the San Francisco County Jail. We meet the Lebanese American musician in this segment of Bay Area Beats.

This year, Tova Ricardo earned the title of Oakland Youth Poet Laureate. From a young age, she was taught never to censor herself. That attitude caught the judges' attention. Now that she’s Oakland Youth Poet Laureate, she wants to show the rest of Oakland’s young literary community that they shouldn’t be afraid to speak out, either.

 

 

Janice Nimura

Japan and the U.S. have a long history together. In the late 1800s, Japan had just emerged from a civil war, and the government had a mission to build the country back up again by learning the ways of the West. So they started sending young men to the U.S., to learn how Americans do business, build and work. Then, came the idea to send young women. Actually -- girls.

Karen Hester

One solution to the Bay Area housing crisis is cohousing, in which multiple people and families choose to live together. Whether in a single home, or a compound, they share the costs of living and housework.

One example is in Oakland's Temescal neighborhood. The Temescal Creek Cohousing Community is a cluster of two story houses:  There's a shared garden, play yard, chicken coop and even a solar hot tub. It was started in 1999 by Karen Hester, who gave Hana Baba the grand tour on a quiet weekday morning. 

Hana Baba

Americans are often stereotyped as not knowing much about the rest of the world.  But, according to the numbers, it’s more than a mere stereotype. In the latest national geographic poll of geographic knowledge, American 18- to 24-year-olds place almost last, second only to Mexico.

courtesy of SETI

In the 1997 film Contact, you’ll recall a scene where Jodie Foster, playing alien-hunting astronomer Ellie Arroway, lies on her car hood with huge headphones on her ears, in a field of towering white satellite dishes. She’s waiting for something. A signal. She lies still, her eyes closed. And suddenly, she hears something, the sounds of something – someone  – beyond the earth, communicating with her.

Well, that was just a movie, based on the novel Contact by Carl Sagan. But the character of Ellie Arroway was not all fictional. It was based on a real live female astronomer, Jill Tarter. Tarter’s a pioneer for American women astronomers, and the former director of the SETI Institute. Since she was a little girl, she’s been fascinated by what else, or who else is out there. And she still is.

Hana Baba

About 20 Muslim families are gathered on a hilltop outside the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, just after sunset. A water fountain bubbles, women and men chat, kids run around with snacks in their hands, and everyone at some point or another, looks up to the sky. They are moonsighting, scanning the sky for the new crescent moon that will signify the beginning of the month, Ramadan. 

I spoke to Marianne Cooper, a sociologist at Stanford University's Clayman Institute for Gender Research and author of  the 2014 study: Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure TimesCooper spent two years shadowing 50 affluent, middle class and low-income families in Silicon Valley to understand how they are faring as big high-tech firms move in the neighborhood and reshape their lives.


Attending a Grateful Dead concert during the 1970s was a powerful and positive experience for many fans, but what was it like for those who worked with the band backstage? 

 

Islam has a rich artistic heritage of architecture, design, music, painting, and poetry. Muslim poets like Rumi and Hafez are famous for a depth and beauty that defies time. Today, that poetic tradition is still strong. It's kept alive in what many may perhaps consider an unlikely place—urban America, through the genre of hip hop.

 

Pak Han

In 1963, Duke Ellington made a famous tour and on that stop was Iran. He played jazz clubs in Tehran and Isfahan, and later produced his album Isfahan Blues.

At that same time, Vida Ghahremani, was living in Tehran.  She was a film star there, and decided to open the country's first dance club. Jazz was big in Iran then. Vida Ghahremani is now in California. Her daughter Torange Yaghiazarian is a playwright and Founding Artistic Director of Golden Thread Theatre in San Francisco.

Carolina Lugo is a professional flamenco dancer. In fact, she’s the fourth generation of women flamenco dancers in her family. So when Lugo had a baby girl, she knew that she wanted her to follow in the tradition of her mothers before her. Today, Lugo and her grown-up daughter Carolé Acuña perform together as Ballet Flamenco, bringing the traditional Flamenco dance form, not only to the Bay Area, but to national and international audiences. KALW's Hana Baba sat down with Lugo and Acuña to learn more.

LUGO: The magic that happens on stage with both of us -- the energy we draw from one another -- can't be explained. But it's there.

http://louisearonson.com

We're all getting older, so what are some ways we can embrace it better? When women hit major markers with aging, like menopause, Dr. Louise Aronson, a geriatrician and professor at UCSF, says that there is no reason to get so down about it.

Center for Investigative Reporting

The Center for Investigative Reporting is experimenting with bringing investigative journalism in many formats, from everything from print to live performance to animation. One of their latest projects is Techsploitation, a graphic novel that looks at shady employment practices in the tech world.

To many Americans, Falafel is a fried ball of mashed up garbanzo beans that you can put in a sandwich. But to me, falafel reminds me of where I’m from – Sudan. Until recently, I thought there was really only one way to make it. But it turns out, there are many ways to fry a falafel, depending on where you’re from – and of course, everyone thinks their way is best. So I headed out around the Bay on a falafel shop hop.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gazeronly/14290955660
Under CC license from Flickr user torbakhopper

The latest edition of the San Francisco Public Press features a report called "Choice is Resegregating Public Schools." In it, reporter Jeremy Adam Smith unveils the reality of diversity, or more accurately the lack thereof, in San Francisco's public schools. San Francisco Unified School District's 'choice' system allows parents to rank and choose any school in the city for their children. Then, a lottery determines where they go.

 

On Thursday, March 26th, at the Tech Museum in San Jose, the Bay Area News Group is screening a documentary as part of its latest investigation into the over-prescription of drugs in California’s foster care system. The state has almost 60,000 foster youth – and one out of every four is given psychotropic drugs. Those are drugs to fix their behavior, not to help a mental illness. And they’re known to have horrible side effects. 

Reporter Karen de Sa spoke with many foster children for the investigative series “Drugging our Kids.” She came by our studios earlier this week to talk about what she discovered.

Courtesy of blackgirlscode.com

Electrical engineer and computer programmer Kimberly Bryant says that when she was in college, she was one of only a few women, and the only black woman, in her graduating class. When she had her own daughter, Kai, she wondered what she could do to get more young girls of color into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math-- known as STEM.

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