Launching Arabic podcast: Bint Ibrahim

بنت أبراهيم على اللأثير

It’s amazing how different we sound in a different language. Arabic is my mother tongue, but I started speaking English very young and considered it as my second-first-language. However, when I speak in Arabic, a different voice comes out. Not just the voice in terms of ‘sound’ but also content and feeling. In Dutch, yet another voice comes out (this one mainly talking fairytales and Fables… I guess it brings out the child in me.) 

I noticed that my breathing is more relaxed in Arabic than in English (or Dutch)… it’s as if the words come out of my core. I guess it makes sense.

I had recorded my ‘teaser’ for Bint Ibrahim about a month ago to create a soundcloud account. My plan was to launch it on world bee day. Not that the podcast will be exclusively dealing with bees – though considering my current fascination with these creatures, it will surely come to pass – but because I like the symbolism. Bees… honey… sweet. But the internet that evening decided to go on strike, and I just set it aside. I mean, I’m still not finding a rhythm with my first podcast; ArabWomanTalking, posting one episode just once a month. Besides, I was too busy with the bees and plants, or Shabby en de Regenboogjongen or a host of other things that I love to do (or have to do), that the time flew and suddenly, it’s a month later. 

Today, the 18 of June, marks the birthday of my father Ibrahim. Considering the influence he has had on my life and my literary developments (and the title of my book in the making as well as the podcast), I chose today to launch the podcast.  Now, that sounds more serious than it really is… I guess I could just say, I posted it on Facebook, which is a first step in letting the world know about it. What this means however, is that I will now have to commit to making episodes. I think I am finally ready for it. It’s not like I am short of ideas… quite the contrary. My problem however – being new to editing – is that because I have not perfected the art, I keep delaying it.

This is how it’s gone so far based on my English language podcast ArabWomanTalking]: I’d be excited about a topic, I’d record an improvised episode, the feeling would be great, the ideas sometimes choppy and too many hmms and ahmmms. I’d write it down, and that sometimes would end with many re-writes. Then I’d enter the recording studio to record, to decide it’s not good enough, I’d record it again or not…eventually, I’d talk myself out of any topic. After too many takes or too much time or too much frustration with editing software, the topic would feel outdated – at least in my books. Dump it in the archives. 

You see…for me, whether it’s writing or podcasting or talking, it’s often about processing ideas. Once I feel I have reached an understanding of something, then I’m done and ready to move on. This sometimes happens before pressing ‘post.’

So, the lesson of the day. Remember: it’s all important and none of it is important. Essentially, the podcasting experiment is also a chance for me to learn in-house-audio editing and perfect my narration skills. I’m an old school narrator and ‘voice-over-talent.’ I began in the good old days where all you needed was a good voice. You’d go to the studio; a professional would be sitting behind the mixer; someone else would have written the text… and the ‘talent’ would get a nice check at the end of it. But the times have changed… and while some wonerful people have offered to help with the editing.. I’ll wait till I record that sample for national geographic before I ask for their help. In the meantime, I will just keep talking and learning. 

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