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

Spartan Daily

Governor Jerry Brown sounded the alarm yesterday, not about the drought, but about the skyrocketing pension costs the state will continue to incur in the years to come.  In a letter to CalPers - the state’s pension fund - the governor warned that plans must be made for longer-lived retirees that will drive pension costs up by $1.2 billion a year.

  The late Abdelhalim Hafez is an icon of mid-20th century Arabic music. Like Elvis in the United States, Hafez has accrued a massive following of fans in Egypt and abroad, with fans affectionately referring to him under the one word moniker “Halim.” 

Joanna Strober is co-author of Getting to 50 50: How Working Parents Can Have it All by Sharing it All. She and her co-author Sharon Meers are both working parents in the Bay Area, and they set out to write a guide for couples on how to share the work of parenting while prioritizing both of their careers.  Strober spoke with KALW’s Hana Baba about what inspired her and Meers to write this book.

Stanford University, Department of Sociology

Last June marked a much anticipated achievement for the US Congress- the passing of the immigration reform bill.

Image from zawaya.org

The Arabic music ensemble Aswat is based in the Bay Area and plays classical Arab standards in concerts throughout the Bay Area. But you don't have to know the language to participate.

Five Percent Movement via www.fivemovement.org

 

The conflict in Syria has been raging for three years now. While other Arab countries witnessed the "Arab Spring", Syria's spring hasn’t happened yet. The government is shelling territory held by rebels – the Free Syrian Army – and it's gotten so messy with other militant groups infiltrating the country, that it is a completely chaotic situation.

Some Syrians, including Syrian Americans, have lost hope in any political process to solve the crisis, and have found other ways to help their country from right here in the Bay Area.

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.

Alameda County Community Foodbank

Earlier this month, a temporary increase in food stamps—enacted during the financial crisis—expired. More than 47 million people are affected—that’s one in seven Americans. These are the deepest cuts to the federal program since it started back in 1964. It means that a family of three now has 29 dollars less to spend on food every month.

In California, the food stamp program is called Cal-Fresh. And local food banks are seeing first hand what happens when money is cut. Keisha Nzewi, the Advocacy Manager for the Alameda County Community Food Bank  came to the station here at  KALW to talk about the future of food distribution in the Bay Area.

The Catholic Voice

The deadly Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines six days ago has claimed at least 2 thousand lives, with hundreds of thousands of survivors left with no shelter.

Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth

Today we're talking about Restorative Justice and how some schools are shifting their approach to student discipline.  Eric Butler is the Restorative Justice Coordinator at Ralph Bunche High School in Oakland. There are over  20 schools in Oakland that have incorporated some sort of restorative approach to discipline. This means, instead of a punitive approach to issues at school, all parties are encouraged to address the harm that's done and then try to repair any harm that was caused in their community. Eric Butler says the approach is a complete shift from how schools traditionally deal with discipline.  

ERIC BUTLER: "We’re doing something different we’re apologizing for those messed up messages that we taught because we should’ve been teaching tolerance."

Click the audio player above to listen to the full interview.

Seth Samuel

The weekend is a time for relaxing or maybe going to dinner and a show with friends. One typical scenario is you meet up with them, get dinner. Now, imagine you walk into a restaurant and it’s dark. Pitch dark. It’s not a power outage; this is darkness by design. Welcome to Blind Café.

We’re used to making movies here in California, but there are still places in the world where that art form is rare. Like in Saudi Arabia, which recently submitted an entry to the Foreign Film category of the Academy Awards for the first time ever. 

The Marsh Theatre

Don Reed is a nationally renowned comedian - maybe you've caught him during his warm-up act on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He started his career doing stand up, performing around the country with comedians like Chris Rock, Robert Townsend, and Damon Wayans. But, he says,  when it came to getting big gigs like they did, he never made the cut. The feedback was always the same says Reed, "I'm too white." 

Reed isn't white though, he's black. Talent agents thought his act wasn't black enough. 

Ladin Awad

 

Sudanese Americans and expats in the Bay Area are spending their days and nights online these days – getting little sleep, calling home multiple times a day, checking on the safety of their family and friends, hoping for good news.

Including myself.

And the news is disturbing.  

Black Power TV

Oct 3, 2013
Photographer: Morris Alston, http://blackpowertv.com/

When you turn on your television set today, you're bombarded with all kinds of shows - sitcoms, reality shows, news, sports, and political debates. And, you’ll probably see a lot of different kinds of people. Today, television is culturally diverse, but it wasn't always so. African Americans didn't really have a strong television presence until- well, what's the first black TV show you remember?

For 25 years, Ann Dyer was a successful touring and recording vocalist, singing jazz and other styles. But around 6 years ago, she took a hiatus from performing to devote herself to a deep study of yoga, especially Nada Brahma, or the yoga of sound. Originally she thought she would take about a year off, but actually, she never really returned to her old performing life. She opened a yoga studio in Oakland, and made teaching there the focus of her career.

AAYSP-MI

Not long ago, I attended a lecture at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, the law school. It was just before sunset and about 100 Yemeni Americans – mostly young men – filled the room to see and hear their countrywoman, 34-year-old Tawakkul Karman. She’s the activist and revolutionary, who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for sparking the revolution that ousted Yemeni president Ali Abdalla Saleh.

50 years beyond the dream

Aug 28, 2013

It was 50 years ago today that over 250,000 people gathered in Washington for the Jobs and Freedom March. On that day, Martin Luther King JR made one of HISTORY’S most famous speeches: “I Have a Dream.”

At 23 years old, Safiya Martinez was looking for a job teaching in public schools in New York. To get her credentials faster, she chose to teach at one of the toughest middle schools in the South Bronx, in a program for challenged kids.

Ian Babour

California’s cap and trade program creates a market place to buy and sell the rights to pollute. The system sounds simple, but there are some complex rules that must be followed. San Francisco Public Press have taken it upon themselves to break it all down and simplify what cap and trade means and how it really works. And what better way to simplify a complex system than turn it into a board game? Public Press executive director Michael Stoll and reporter and illustrator Anna Vignet joined KALW's Hana Baba to teach her the rules of the California Cap and Trade game.

A new exhibit called Muslima: Muslim Women’s Arts and Voices takes a deeper look at Muslim women and explores how they are one of the most misrepresented communities in the world. It’s currently showing at an online museum called The International Museum of Women.

After leafing through local newspapers from the 19th century, local author Jan Batiste Adkins found stories of African Americans who helped shape San Francisco. She dug deeper and decided to write a book about the city’s black history, African Americans of San Francisco. The photo book chronicles the lives of significant black pioneers from the Gold Rush to today, covering everyone from escaped slaves who landed in the city, to the Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris. Jan Adkins joined KALW’s Hana Baba to talk more about that history.

Under CC license by Flickr user Ian Barbour

Thirty years ago, it was rare for a kid to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Today, about five million children carry that diagnosis -- and more than two million of them are taking the drugs used to treat its symptoms.

Methylphenidate is a pharmaceutical most commonly-prescribed for ADHD. Its most well known trade name is Ritalin. It’s a psycho-stimulant drug that’s also used to manage obsessive-compulsive disorder, narcolepsy, and depression. But, pediatrician Sandy Newmark thinks it’s over-prescribed.

This is the week of Juneteenth – the holiday commemorating the day all black slaves in America were officially freed. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers captured Galveston, Texas. They brought news that the war had ended to slaves in Galveston who had not heard.

http://www.musikilumojeed.com/

Musikilu Mojeed is a Nigerian investigative journalist who has been reporting on his country’s oil sector for over a decade, risking his safety to uncover massive corruption that was found at the highest levels of government. He is now here at Stanford University on a one-year fellowship, where he is learning how to create an online database that will allow journalists in his country to access government files more freely. Mojeed spoke with KALW's Hana Baba. 

Hana Baba

Learning music and playing it is one thing, but teaching it is whole other can of worms, especially when you’re teaching kids – and especially when there are 850 of them.

That’s what Ivan DeSouza does every week. He’s been the music teacher at Delaine Eastin Elementary School in Union City since its birth 12 years ago. It's part of New Haven Unified School District that recently won $29 million  in the President's Race to the Top program.

http://www.thecjm.org/on-view/currently/storycorps-storybooth/about

StoryCorps founder Dave Isay joined KALW’s Hana Baba live by phone to revisit some memories recorded in San Francisco.

"I went to this meditation class recently…and I meet this woman and she's like, 'My name is Jennifer, but I prefer if you call me by my Sanskrit name, "Shavasana,'" opens comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan during one of her comedy sets. "Okay Jennifer, maybe you didn't know this, but Shavasana in yoga class just means lie flat on your back. Did your boyfriend give you that name?"

Lakshminarayanan performs with Samson Koletkar. Koletkar's stage name is Mahatma Moses, claiming he is "the only living Jewish Indian comedian in the world."

Older generations often want to teach lessons to those that follow. Sometimes, though, those discussions break down and younger generation are left to fend for themselves. Chris Johnson found this to be a particular struggle for black men.

Image courtesy of http://festival.sffs.org/

Tonight is opening night for the San Francisco International Film Festival – the longest running film fest in the Americas is in its 56th year, and this is its first run under the executive direction of film producer, Ted Hope, the new head of the San Francisco Film Society. Hope produced or executive produced 69 films over a span of four decades, including American Splendor, 21 Grams, and In the Bedroom. He is considered by many to be a father of the independent film movement in the U.S. He came by our studios to talk with KALW’s Hana Baba about independent films and what’s in store at the festival.

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