2018 Action Project – East to West Podcast


Muhammad El Hawary, Karim El Sharkawy, Wes Rogerson,   Charles Truxal, and Sarah Walker

The Challenge

While podcasts have become an American phenomenon in recent years, there is a lack of high-quality content podcasts in Egypt. Those that do exist have faced communication challenges, resulting in low listener rates rather than reaching a wide audience. Especially notable in today’s political environment, there is often a misunderstanding of cultures between Egypt and the United States, which the East to West Podcast aims to address.

Project Overview

This project is designed to confront the widening gap of cultural communication between Egypt and the United States through an initiative aimed to attract diff erent sectors of the community. Since the beginning of time, storytelling has served a critical role as the sole means of abstracting experiences and emotions in narrative form. Ancient oral storytellers were revered keepers of local knowledge, history and traditions in their communities. Podcasts are a modern and active medium which provide an unconventional communications vehicle for diff erent societies. The main mission for this project is to off er exposure to diff erent cultures, acknowledging points of both intersection and diversion, accepting diff erences, and cultivating awareness.

The Goal

  • Promote experiences, expertise and cross-cultural awareness among Egyptian and American communities.
  • Recognize the cultural exclusivity of the other, while engaging in a learning experience regarding diff erent topics, including politics, economics and culture.
  • Advocate for podcasts as a modern tool for self-learning.

Population Served

The podcast will be accessible to listeners of all ages worldwide but will specifi cally be targeted at Egyptians and Americans to foster East-to-West dialogue.

Project Milestones

Phase 1: Establish Working Group

Establish the working group for the podcast in Egypt and the United States, as well as   secure the required equipment and space.

Phase 2: Content Drafting

Draft the content of the first season, promote the show among different hosts, and create the   marketing campaign.

Phase 3: Podcast Launched

Record and publish the show on a weekly basis, preparing a sustainable cadence for the   podcast.

Expected Outcome

  • Enhance Egyptian-American cultural understanding on a social level by discussing various topics, as well as public opinion on both sides.
  • Introduce grassroots organizations to podcasts and showcase them as a valuable, modern tool for self-learning, gaining knowledge, and acquiring different perspectives.
  • Provide the working group with invaluable experience. The project will become a permanent podcast that works towards explaining various Egyptian and American affairs and may expand towards other universities that would copy the model.

Furthering the Foundation’s Mission

With new technologies readily available, anyone with an internet connection is empowered to create their own content and undertake individual initiatives to facilitate dialogue with people on the other side of the world. This project carries on the Foundation’s tradition of facilitating dialogue between young emerging leaders from Egypt and the United States. To maximize its reach, the team will engage its wider networks and facilitate ongoing exploration and discussion about key topics of especial interest to listeners in both countries. By sharing conversations and discussions with a broader audience, the podcast will empower the audience as intercultural ambassadors and normalize enduring connections between the two cultures.