Aga Khan Museum Launches 26-Episode, Bi-Weekly ‘This Being Human’ Podcast

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Poster of ‘This Being Human’.

TORONTO: The Aga Khan Museum, North America’s first and only museum dedicated to showcasing the arts of Muslim cultures and the contributions of Muslim civilizations to world heritage, has announced the details of its podcast, This Being Human.

Hosted by award-winning journalist and educator Abdul Rehman Malik, this 26-episode bi-weekly series explores the kaleidoscopic, global experiences of modern Muslim life through the prism of arts and culture.

Launching January 26, 2021, This Being Human is one of the first arts and culture podcasts devoted to amplifying the voices of leaders redefining what it means to be Muslim in today’s rapidly changing world.

Among Malik’s first guests will be game-changing cultural luminaries such as art collector and impresario Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, two-time Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and author and New York Times contributing op-ed writer Wajahat Ali.

“The launch of This Being Human could not be timelier,” says Dr. Ulrike Al-Khamis, Interim Director and CEO of the Aga Khan Museum.

“It tells remarkable stories about remarkable people whose diverse cultures and contributions, as well as their spirituality, are often misunderstood, misrepresented, or indeed ignored altogether. It is our hope that This Being Human will succeed in opening listeners’ minds to their wide-ranging contributions, creativity, and humanity in our globalized world today. We consider it an important and innovative resource in the growing on-demand audio realm.”

The host, Abdul-Rehman Malik.

“My journalism sits at the intersection of faith, culture, and social justice, and for over 25 years, I’ve tried to tell stories that go beyond easy clichés and hackneyed stereotypes,” says host Abdul-Rehman Malik.

“This Being Human is about having conversations that matter with extraordinary people who are shaping the world we live in. After all, Muslim stories are human stories.”

Toronto’s Antica Productions, one of North America’s largest independent podcast studios, is producing This Being Human. Each 20-to-40-minute episode boasts expert storytelling and thoughtfully cast interviews that are smart, funny, gripping, and surprising — offering a deep dive into the extraordinary lives, ideas, and contributions of the featured guest.

Relevant contemporary soundscapes, news clips, and music are imaginatively woven into the interviews.

The podcast’s name nods to “The Guest House,” a poem by the globally beloved 13th-century Iranian poet Rumi. “Rumi’s poem encapsulates the goals and the spirit of this project perfectly,” Al-Khamis says.

“With This Being Human, as with all of our public programs, we aim to spark curiosity, connection, and an openness to people and experiences that may be new to us. The medium of podcasting, paired with Abdul-Rehman Malik’s gifts as an interviewer and his fascinating guests, will allow the Museum to engage its global audiences in an innovative way.”

This Being Human will be accessible for free on the Museum’s website and wherever podcasts are available.

The first season features conversations with guests including:
Episode 1: WAJAHAT ALI – The New York Times contributing op-ed writer, CNN contributor, author, and playwright
Episode 2: SHARMEEN OBAID-CHINOY – Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and human-rights activist
Future episodes will feature: – SULTAN SOOUD AL QASSEMI – United Arab Emirates-based commentator and founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation – CRAIG CONSIDINE – Rice University sociologist, interfaith advocate, and author of The Prophet of Love: A Catholic’s Note on Prophet Muhammad

– OMID SAFI – Duke University professor of Islamic Studies and founder of Illuminated Courses, a spiritually-focused series of educational videos
o KEVORK MOURAD – Syrian-born, New York-based visual artist, animator, live-drawing performer, and contributor to Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada, has been established and developed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), which is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).

Designed by architect Fumihiko Maki, the Museum shares a 6.8-hectare site with Toronto’s Ismaili Centre, which was designed by architect Charles Correa. Details on https://agakhanmuseum.org/