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

Under CC license from Flickr user dakini

Many air strikes were launched by Israel in Gaza City over the past few weeks in response to Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli cities. Since that moment, the violence in the region has subsided after a cease-fire. The Palestinians made a successful bid to upgrade their UN status, and Israel announced it would build 3,000 new settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. So the situation remains as tense and volatile as ever.

Hana Baba

California’s 15th District race featured young newcomer and Democrat Eric Swalwell challenging the 39-year incumbent Democrat Pete Stark. It didn’t look too good for Swalwell ​– and even the Democratic party endorsed his rival – but last night Stark was unseated by his challenger.

Under CC license from Flickr user valuef

We conclude our series in partnership with New America Media, delving into the issues California’s ethnic voters care most about this year, with a look at the politics of Korean Americans. California is home to 451,000 Korean Americans. The biggest community is in LA, but a sizable number are here in the Bay Area, with the highest concentrations in Santa Clara and Alameda Counties. So what’s this community talking about one week ahead of the elections? KALW’s Hana Baba spoke with Won Yi, a talk show host on Korean television KEMS TV in San Jose.

For the past 39 years, the California’s 15th Congressional District has been represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by 81-year-old Pete Stark. He has gone mostly unchallenged until this year.

Eric Swalwell – a member of the Dublin City council – is running against Stark. Swalwell is quite a contrast: he's 31 years old, a soccer coach and a prosecutor. He’s also a democrat, which makes this race Dem v. Dem. This is the first time that two candidates from the same party can run for the same seat, a reform made possible by voters in 2010.

http://californiaprisoncrisis.org/

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been bringing you exclusive stories from inside some of the state’s most secure prisons, including San Quentin. And we've been focusing on the people with the least amount of political power: the inmates. Now we turn our attention to another group within the prison system, and one with considerably more political influence: the prison guards. 

The Bay Area Muslim community includes at least 100, 000 people. There's a large Afghan community in the East Bay, a sizable South Asian population in the South Bay, and the Peninsula is home to large Arab American and Iranian American groups.

Historically, the Muslim community has voted Republican – until 2008 when they voted for President Obama. However, many say they are now disappointed by his presidency, especially in terms of issues like closing Guantanamo Bay, renewing the Patriot Act, and the continuing drone attacks in Pakistan.

As part of our ongoing series with New America Media exploring the ethnic vote, today we discuss how American Muslims may vote this year. We spoke with Javed Ali, editor-in-chief of Newark-based award-winning Muslim affairs publication, Illume Magazine.

Courtesy of newamericamedia.org

The Pew Research Center says Asian Pacific Islander Americans are now the fastest-growing ethnic and immigrant group in the United States. Asian Americans as a whole also tend to be the most educated and prosperous. Almost half have college degrees. The US Census Bureau estimates that 450,000 of the country’s more than three million Filipinos live in the greater Bay Area.

Falafel — those crispy, filling fried balls of mashed beans, herbs and spices — is found in cafes and homes all over the Middle East and parts of Africa. It's like a common language shared among sometimes fractious nations.

But until recently, I always thought falafel was made one way — garbanzo beans, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro and cumin. (That's how my Sudanese mother taught me.) But it turns out there are many recipes out there, each with a flavor distinct to its region.

Courtesy of www.loveinshallah.com

Note to listeners: This interview contains mature content. 

San Francisco’s premier literary festival, Litquake, is in its final days, with dozens of readings, performances, and author events all over San Francisco.

Note to listeners: This interview contains mature content. 

San Francisco’s premier literary festival, Litquake, is in its final days, with dozens of readings, performances, and author events all over San Francisco.

This weekend marks the Arab Film Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area, with 40 films showing this year from all over the Arab world.

The Palestinian short film Private Sun deals with the ironic reality of being Vitamin D deficient in a sun-drenched country like Palestine. It’s increasingly a problem among the country’s women, many of whom cover their bodies in public.

The latest census numbers say that Latinos make of 38 percent of California’s population, a voting bloc to be reckoned with on issues like domestic workers, farm labor, and immigration. Latino San Francisco Supervisors Avalos, Campos, and Olague are up for reelection in Latino-majority districts.

KALW’s Hana Baba spoke with Marcos Gutierrez, host of the show "Hecho en California" on KIQI 1010 AM based in Daly City, about the Latino vote in California.

Flickr user greendoula

On September 18th, an incident cut short an Oakland City Council meeting (see what happened in the video below).

We continue the joint series with our friends at New America Media discussing the issues that various Bay Area ethnic communities care about this election year, and where they stand on local issues. Every Tuesday until election day, we’ll be speaking with representatives from local ethnic media to hear about what’s important to their audiences.

As part of our joint series with New America Media, every Tuesday until election day, Crosscurrents will be speaking with representatives from local ethnic media to hear about what’s important to their audiences this election season.

This Bay Area Life

Sep 6, 2012

This edition of Crosscurrents is a special one-hour show dedicated to an interview with This American Life host Ira Glass by Hana Baba in KALW studios, and stories from his show that were based in the Bay Area. In that spirit, we’re calling this show This Bay Area Life (in which Hana tries to pull off a subtle imitation of Glass).

Flickr user antderosa

The Democratic National Convention is underway in Charlotte, North Carolina, and current and former Bay Area political stars are taking the stage. Speaking at the convention are House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Congresswomen Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and California Attorney General- Kamala Harris. 

The economic recession hit many Bay Area cities hard, including the city of Newark in southern Alameda County. In January 2010, dozens of employees were laid off or lost hours, and all but the most essential city services were cut. One of the casualties of Newark’s budget crunch was its decades-old senior center.

Genealogy is becoming an easier field to navigate these days, with websites and organizations encouraging people to discover their family heritage.

That’s what Oakland’s Regina Mason did, but on her own. In the upcoming film Gina’s Journey, Mason chronicles her adventure in searching for her family history. Being an African American, that meant she would surely encounter slavery, which she did.

The Republican National Convention is underway in Tampa, Florida, after being postponed because of Hurricane Isaac. Although it’s been on the quiet side overall today, we were curious as to what the mood is like, what delegates are talking about, and what to expect over the next few days. San Francisco Examiner contributor Melissa Griffin is on the ground in Tampa. She spoke with KALW’s Hana Baba about her impressions on how the event is shaping up so far.

Listen to the full interview above.

Earlier today Governor Jerry Brown announced that he had reached a deal with state lawmakers that would mean sweeping changes for California’s public pensions system, and affect hundreds of thousands of state workers. The new rules would cap pensions while increasing the amount employees pay in; they would also increase the retirement age by up to seven years.

The California Department of Health has issued a scathing report about a board-and-care home for people with disabilities in Sonoma County.

The Sonoma Developmental Center houses about 500 patients in the city of Eldridge. California Watch obtained a copy of the nearly 500 page document which details numerous citations of neglect and abuse by staff, including sexual abuse and violence, as well as lack of action on these cases by on-site law enforcement.

Flickr user Crisis Hopkins

You might remember the TV program “Whose Line Is it Anyway?” where four comics get on stage with no script or plan whatsoever, take suggestions for skits from the audience, and then see what happens. 

New legislation has reached the Governor’s desk that would change the way juveniles are sentenced. Senate Bill SB9, introduced by State Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco introduced the legislation ,which would allow people who are serving life without parole for crimes they committed when they were juveniles, to ask for sentences of 25 years to life instead.

Thousands of Californians spent years working for city governments and are now collectively owed billions of dollars in retiree health care benefits. But a new study by the nonprofit research group California Common Sense finds that many cities, including Oakland and San Francisco, haven’t ever set aside money to pay these costs.

Flickr user D.H. Parks, Under CC License / http://www.flickr.com/photos/parksdh/

Last night’s fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond put city residents in a state of panic. The fire sent up a huge plume of black smoke, stopping traffic, closing bridges, and shutting down BART stations.

The large-scale chemical fire still has local residents concerned for their health and safety. Many say they heard about the fire late, and that the multi-lingual phone system that is supposed to alert the diverse communities of Richmond in case of a disaster didn’t work. 

Courtesy of SETI

If you think back to 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.

The US dominates in many Olympic sports – track and field, swimming, basketball. But, one sport the US has never won a medal for is table tennis.

This year, the US team is hoping to change that. It’s going to be challenging. Only 4 players qualified to compete on the 2012 US Olympic Table Tennis team. Three of those four live and train right here in the Bay Area at an unlikely Olympic training ground – a converted warehouse that’s part of the Indian Community Center in Milpitas (ICC).

Street art has long been at the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District. With its colorful wall murals, it has been called the largest concentration of public painting in the world, embodying culture, passion, and activism. It would be quite a treat if you could see hundreds of the Mission's murals in one place – well, now you can.

The book Street Art San Francisco: Mission Muralismo features over 500 full color photographs, with 30 essays by icons in the San Francisco public art movement. KALW’s Hana Baba sat down with the editor of the book, artist Annice Jacoby.

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