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

"Facebook" by Flickr user Chris. Used under CC BY-SA 2.0 / cropped and resized

 

If you're on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed the new emojis you can use to express your feelings in reaction to a post. For those of you who don't know: Before, you could only "like" a post. But now you can also express anger, sadness, shock and love, too.

 

Tim Hussin

 

 

Talking to peers can be a vital tool for making it through dark times. But what happens when your friends and loved ones aren’t around anymore? That’s the situation for many older gay men in San Francisco, whose community was decimated by the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s.

From Donald Trump’s attack of Latinos, to Ted Cruz's call to 'patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods', some of the political rhetoric this year can be downright depressing.

Image courtesy of Global Press Institute.

Reporter Cristi Hegranes trains women around the world to take control of their stories.

Eli Wirtschafter

The East Bay’s congressional representative Barbara Lee (CA-13) introduced a bill last year that would greatly expand access to abortions. It gets rid of what’s called the Hyde Amendment, the restriction on abortion spending by the federal government.

Image by Flickr user Youth Radio, under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / cropped and resized

 

 

For decades, media has treated the Saudi Arabian woman as the posterchild for female oppression. But changes in the Kingdom are now challenging that image.

 

Courtesy San Francisco Public Defender's Office / cropped and resized

 

On July 1st last year, Kate Steinle was shot and killed. An undocumented man, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, is currently on trial for her murder. The shooting spurred anti-immigrant groups nationwide, who rallied to end Sanctuary City policies – polices that limit how much city employees may help Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Critics say they protect undocumented people from being handed over to immigration authorities – even when they commit a crime.

 

Therapy for therapists

Feb 25, 2016
Guy McPherson. www.thetraumatherapistproject.com

 

Guy McPherson is a trauma therapist from Oakland who spends many hours a day talking to people who have gone through life changing accidents, marital abuse, and war. Hearing about pain and suffering over and over takes a toll, and McPherson says that many of his colleagues feel the same.

Courtesy Edward Miguel

Some scientists are saying that you can’t talk about the global refugee crisis without talking about another crisis: climate change.

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

Editor's note: This interview originally aired on Sept. 28, 2015. The text has been updated to reflect more details about the original lawsuit and that a federal magistrate dismissed the portion of suit against the city and its former sheriff on Jan. 6, 2017.   

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? 

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