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

Salaam Dunk

Mar 27, 2012
Courtesy Seedwell Media

Women’s basketball got its start back in 1892 when the women of Smith College started their team, playing in floor-length dresses and corsets. Playing in a conservative society can be rough on women. And that brings us to our next story, which takes us on a trip, a long trip, to Northern Iraq.

Photo by David Waldorf

I. Spring rain has been sweeping the Bay Area. At this time last year, the world watched as revolutions swept across the Arab world. The uprisings ended decades-long dictatorships in the Middle East in what was called “the Arab Spring.” 

Last month on the show, we aired a story about the controversy over how UC Berkeley is a center for unearthing and studying the remains of native Californians. UC Berkeley In it, Professor Tim White says of the study of native remains:

“It is a holistic study, just like a crime scene investigation, but these are very cold cases with very ancient evidence."

Marilyn Pittman is one of San Francisco's first openly gay comics. She rose to fame during the AIDS crisis, and became known for bringing hilarity through her blunt tell-it-like-it-is comedy. But in 1997, tragedy struck, when her father murdered her mother, and then committed suicide. After that, Pittman went through her mother's journals, and her father's love letters, seeking answers as to why it happened. Pittman turned their tragedy into a one-woman show at San Francisco’s Marsh Theater. KALW’s Hana Baba sat down with Pittman to talk about "It's All the Rage.”

Being diagnosed with a terminal illness like cancer can be life shattering. For Darlene Harris, it was an opportunity to reflect on her life. She’s a certified massage therapist at Peace of Body, Peace of Mind in Richmond. The name of her business reflects a state of mind she has reached after living many years of what she calls misery – from a disturbed childhood, to a failed marriage, to being diagnosed with leukemia at age 45.

Recently, KALW’s Jon Atkinson headed out to Dolores Park to ask the resident young adults there about marriage. He mostly heard the words “outdated,” and “unnecessary” (save for the words of one hopeful park-goer). And those who follow marriage trends wouldn’t be surprised. People like local author Ethan Watters says young people are consciously prolonging the time between graduating from college and starting a family. In the meantime, they form networks of support that sustain them: groups of friends, neighbors, acquaintances, co-workers, and classmates who form a kind of family.

Photo courtesy the Hayward Area Historical Society

Head to the East Bay city of Hayward, and you’ll find a museum with a little bit of class. There, the city’s historical society puts on exhibits about the way we used to live. But were Bay Area citizens of the past really so different than us?

KALW’s Hana Baba wanted to know more, so she stopped by the museum for a lesson in what many people consider a lost art: formal etiquette.

Marilyn Pittman is one of San Francisco's first openly gay comics, rising to fame during the AIDS crisis, and known for bringing hilarity through her blunt, "tell it like it is" comedy.

But in 1997, tragedy struck, when her father murdered her mother, and then committed suicide. After that, Pittman went through her mother's journals, and her father's love letters, seeking answers as to why it happened. She asked questions like "did they really love each other?” and "could we see this coming?”

Back in the ‘50s, Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” challenged how people thought a poem should sound. Recently, e-books challenged how we think a book should feel. And now, the Twitter Novel is challenging how a novel should be written.

Smartphones bring us streaming audio, directions to where we're going, instant connections with our friends and family. But an increasing number of experts are sounding an alarm that smartphones may as well be called spyphones.

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