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

Baraka Blue (Facebook Mobile Upload)

The religion of Islam has been showing up in hip hop and rap music for decades.  Artists like Mos Def are open about their Muslim faith, and how it influences their music. And there are many others too -- Big Daddy Kane, Lupe Fiasco, and some members of the iconic 90s hi hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Similarly, hip hop artist Baraka Blue draws inspiration for his music from Sufi Islam. But unlike these artists who are African American -- he’s white.

SF Public Press

San Francisco's housing crisis has been making headlines for a while now. It’s hard to avoid the numerous news reports on skyrocketing rent prices, controversial evictions, or horror stories of terrible housing situations. But, there’s been far less coverage of what actual solutions there might be for these issues.

Photograph by www.kvandco.com

Choreographer Namita Kapoor grew up in the East Bay town of Moraga, dancing jazz, tap, and ballet. She says, at the time, there were no dance classes in her surroundings that reflected her Indian heritage. It was when she went to college that she discovered Indian dance, and as she did her research, she discovered a fascinating link between classical Indian dance and American Jazz dance. In the 1940s and 1950s, theatrical jazz dance legend Jack Cole invented a dance form called Hindu Swing: jazz dance that draws on ancient Hindu tradition and form. You may remember this from dance numbers he choreographed in films like the 1955 film Kismet

Takei was one of the first stars to portray Asian Americans in a positive light on the small screen. But he’s been a role model in other ways too. In 2005, at the age of 68, he came out as gay and became a fierce advocate for marriage equality. He’s also spoken out against the kind of hatred that landed him and his family in the a Japanese-American internment campo during World War II.

In her new film 'To Be Takei', Jennifer Kroot takes a close look at Takei’s life, spanning from his recent activism to his internment as a child. Kroot spoke with KALW's Hana Baba.

 


These days, a lot of people prefer the word “spirituality” over “religion”. Many people associate religion with dogma handed down by inflexible institutions that don’t keep up with the times. 

The Marsh- SF

 

Dezi Gallegos is a playwright who is searching for God. He's only 18 years old, but says he's already lived through numerous tough life experiences that led to him asking the question: is there a loving God? And if so, why are these bad things  plagues, he calls them  happening to me and my family? 

New Americans Campaign

Last February, the federal government announced a new form to apply for citizenship -- one that is twice as long and more complex than the previous one. The price to apply for citizenship, or naturalization, has gone up from $200 in 2000, to $680 today. That means a family of four will have to pay over $2,700 to apply. And it's one reason so many eligible immigrants are putting off citizenship.

http://www.anamericanmosque.com/

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to 250,000 Muslims. They work in tech, medicine, commerce, the service industry. And if you drive two hours north of San Francisco, to Yuba City, you’d find a Muslim farming community that’s been there for nearly a century. Pakistani immigrants made their way to Yuba City in the 1920s and today grow almonds, oranges, alfalfa, and prunes. Lots of prunes. The community was living peacefully until one fateful day in 1994, when disaster struck. Oakland filmmaker David Washburn’s new film An American Mosque tells their story. I spoke to Washburn about making the film.

Ho John Lee

 

With redevelopment happening in places like San Francisco’s Hunter’s Point waterfront, and Oakland’s new Brooklyn Basin project along the shoreline, it can look like a lot of our natural landscape will turn into shiny residential towers.

Blues legend Sugar Pie DeSanto still hits the high notes

Jul 10, 2014

She began winning talent shows up and down Fillmore Street at 18, when she weighed just 85 pounds, wore size 3 shoes and went by her given name, Umpeylia Marsema Balinton. 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/child-sex-trafficking-a-story-about-love

 

Oakland activist and filmmaker Sheri Shuster has been advocating against the sex trafficking of youth for more than a decade. Her new film, 'Child Sex Trafficking: A Story About Love,' exposes and explores the world of girl trafficking in Oakland through the story and activism of trafficking survivor Leah Albright-Byrd. 

 

For 23 years, retired California Highway Patrol Sergeant Kevin Briggs patrolled the Golden Gate Bridge for suicide jumpers. He talked hundreds of people off the ledge and back onto the bridge and earned the nickname, “The Guardian of the Golden Gate.” His powers of persuasion were the doorway between life and death. Sometimes, unfortunately, they just weren’t enough.

CCSF

City College of San Francisco is now able to stay open for another two years while it meets accreditation standards, according to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

This is a relief for the college which has feared closure since last July, when the commission decided to terminate the college’s accreditation this coming July.

A new play in in Berkeley is trying to capture and preserve the diverse character of the city through the stories of its people. Playwright Dan Wolf interviewed hundreds of people from all around Berkeley and asked them these three questions: when did you come to Berkeley, why do you stay in Berkeley and what’s magical about Berkeley?

Behavioral health courts can give offenders who are mentally ill the option to be tried for non-felony crimes. Within the program, offenders can have access to not only the district attorney and public defender, but to several social services programs in order to help them get them back on their feet. 

One catch — they have to want to be in the program. 

Bay Area Beats: DOE EYE

May 28, 2014
Olivia Lee

In this edition of Bay Area Beats, we meet Union City based musician Maryam Qudus, who says she was a shy child of an Afghan immigrant family. When she wanted to pursue music, it was a first for her family, her culture, and her larger community.

“There was NO music in my family. ----- my mom knows who Beyonce is, who MJ is- that’s all,” says Qudus.

www.loveinshallah.com

Two years ago, we interviewed two local Muslim women about their intimate stories of love. These stories were told in an anthology called Love, Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women. The book created such a stir, that the editors Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi were bombarded with letters from Muslim men saying who wanted to share their love stories too. 

Playwright Chinaka Hodge writes, sings, studies, directs plays and teaches about Oakland. She went to school in New York and Southern California, but her artistic work has always focused on her hometown- more recently on the gentrification she sees happening in Oakland, while native Oaklanders, she says, continue to live in poverty.

Courtesy of Half Our Deen, a Muslim matchmaking site.

Finding a life companion can sometimes be easy, like when you meet someone at work, at school, or at an event. But more often than not, it’s hard – especially when you come from a conservative culture where arranged marriages and parent involvement in choosing a spouse are common. Sixty-three percent of Muslims in America are first generation immigrants, and come with strong value sets that are not very compatible with the American dating scene. 

www.ethiopianopinion.com


Last June, the U.S. Congress made a landmark decision to pass immigration reform. The new law eliminates the Diversity Immigrant Lottery Visa, also known as the Green Card Lottery. 

 

San Francisco is home to more than 5 thousand people of Arab descent. And despite living in what is perceived as one of the most culturally competent, tolerant areas in the country, since 9-11, Arab students have been complaining of abuse, taunting, and discrimination.

The Arab Cultural and Community Center of San Francisco has developed a toolkit and curriculum to help teachers better understand their Arab students’ backgrounds, and, give them the tools to address difficult issues they deal with.

One of Caifornia’s loveliest independent bookstores is The Great Overland Book Company, located in the Inner Sunset. Owner Beau Beausoleil not only runs the bookstore, but also runs the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition--a community of writers and artists that produce a collection of work to raise awareness about in support and commemoration of a major bombing on the street in Iraq in 2007.

MaydanSF

It’s been three months since violent clashes erupted in Ukraine’s capital city, Kiev. At the heart of the conflict is the Ukrainian government’s decision to abandon their EU Association Agreement. A move seen by some Ukrainian nationalists as a move to strengthen the country’s ties with former ruling power, Russia. 

Hana Baba

The Bay Area’s cultural diversity is translated in so many different ways; you can hear it in how many languages are spoken here.  For parents wanting their children to be immersed in another language, there are  50 immersion programs , mostly  teaching Mandarin, Spanish, and French, but there is one school in Berkeley that’s one of the first Persian immersion preschools. It’s called Golestan Kids, named after a province in Iran that was a vital Persian stop on the silk road, thousands of years ago. Golestan kids is not just a Farsi language school, it’s a full cultural immersion experience.

When Jimmy Carter was in the Oval Office, the nation was still reeling from Watergate and Vietnam. As president, he created the Departments of Education and of Energy, brokered peace in the Middle East, and installed solar panels on the White House roof. But soaring inflation and a hostage crisis in Iran eroded Carter’s popularity, and many people consider him a failed president.

Academy of Art, SF


Sophia Sattar was born in Karachi, Pakistan to an Indian mother and Pakistani father who were both doctors, and she loved to paint. But, living in a world where you were groomed from childhood to become a doctor or an engineer, being an artist was out of the question.

http://www.lpfi.org

Documentary Filmmaker Freida Mock’s latest film, Anita, Speaking Truth to Power, tells the story of Anita Hill, who testified during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991. 

Photo by Tearsa Joy Hammock / San Francisco Public Press

 

Elementary school parent-teacher associations (PTAs) might conjure up images of bake sales and silent auctions. But how much money do you think a PTA can really raise?

Bayview Opera House


This year marks the 125th birthday of a San Francisco historic Landmark. Not City Hall, not the Golden Gate. The Bayview Opera House — San Francisco’s oldest theatre. 

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