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Heart and Soul

Podcast Heart and Soul
Podcast Heart and Soul

Heart and Soul

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  • Kenya's last great Laibon
    In traditional Maasai culture one of the central figures of the community is the laibon. A laibon is a person who has been gifted with the power to see the future. They are not really a fortune teller and they are certainly not a witch doctor. They are more like a seer, but some also have the power to cure illnesses. A laibon is the one who advises the community as a whole on the best course of action to take in a given situation. For example, they can use their powers to say where the community’s cattle should be taken in order to find better grazing when there’s a drought. They are the ones who can pronounce when the time is right for important ceremonies. Today hardly any laibon remain. There is still one though. Called Mokompo, he is today an elderly man who lives in one of the remotest corners of Kenya, far from towns, villages, and surfaced roads. Although very few Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania have ever met him, he continues to command huge respect. In this programme journalist Stuart Butler travels to Kenya to meet Mokompo and find out the spiritual secrets of one the country's last laibons. (Photo: Mokompo. Credit: Stuart Butler)
    5/13/2022
    27:20
  • Faith in journalism
    According to some studies, journalists tend to be less religious than the general population. Some find solace in faith, but others begin to question it. So is it a profession which challenges your religious convictions, strengthens faith or attracts the faithless? Atif Rashid, a Muslim, has started questioning his role as a journalist who believes in god. What place does religion have in the work that he does? To help him consider his future career steps he speaks to other journalists who have turned to god and others who have questioned their beliefs after seeing so much suffering as foreign correspondents. He meets other young Muslim reporters from the USA and the UAE and asks how their jobs impact their faith. And also catches up with two of his former editors, who quit their jobs to lead a more spiritual lifestyle, one as a vicar and another as a monk. Along the way, he considers whether he should follow the same path.
    5/6/2022
    27:29
  • Not even water?
    It is the number one question asked to anyone who is fasting for Ramadan, which began at the beginning of April. But what is Ramadan? Why Fast? And how do young Muslims manage Ramadan in their respective lives and work? Former teacher turned journalist Mehreen Baig goes in search of the answers by speaking to Muslims from different cultural backgrounds. She explores all aspects of fasting like abstaining from food, sex, music and of course…water. Basically everything you wanted to know about but either didn’t ask or just weren't aware of. (Photo: Iftar water for Ramadan fast opening. Credit: Getty Images)
    4/29/2022
    27:21
  • Emancipation, assimilation and Jewish identity
    For 500 years the Jews of Europe were kept apart, legally segregated in ghettos. Then at the dawn of the 19th Century Jews were emancipated and overnight what it meant to be a Jew in the world changed. Michael Goldfarb looks at how this historic event changed Jewish identity and the world in which Jews lived. In interviews with prominent members of his community in three different countries - a Rabbi, a musician and educator, and an organiser for eastern Europe’s rebuilding Jewish communities, he explores the rapid changes of identity in a group of people who lived an essentially unchanged existence for more than half a millennium. Emancipation changed the practice of Judaism and brought new ideas to the arts. It created controversy within the Jewish community about how far one should assimilate, and hatred outside the Jewish community among those who did not want Jews to assimilate at all. This reaction would create an ideology - anti-Semitism, which would ultimately lead to the near annihilation of Europe’s Jews. (Photo: Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto rebellion. Creddit: Bernard Bisson/Sygma/Getty Images)
    4/22/2022
    27:29
  • Ukraine: Faith in a time of war
    Easter and Passover are among the most important religious festivals of the year for Christians and Jews. But after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, how will the people of faith still left in the country celebrate? Is it possible to practise your belief when your country is at war? In Odesa, an Orthodox priest is preparing to deliver an Easter service as best he can, even though half of his congregation has left. In the west of Ukraine, members of the Jewish Ukrainian Social Initiative are organising supplies for those elderly members of the faith left in Kyiv. And Radio Maria, a Christian radio station based in the capital, is still broadcasting to as much of the country as possible, and has seen listening figures soar. But will it be safe enough for them to broadcast mass at Easter? Julia Paul speaks to people from the Orthodox, Jewish and Catholic faiths in Ukraine, to hear what it is like living, and worshipping, in a war zone.
    4/15/2022
    27:19

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