Yasmine Ziadat | June 9 2016
This week I discovered a fantastic podcast series called Broads Who Brain, by a Saudi-American Masters student, Ruba Al-Sweel, who is currently studying in France. In the world of podcasting, it takes a great deal of skill and charisma to attract a large audience, and Ruba has just that.
In each episode, Ruba discusses pertinent topics in an engaging way, with guest stars who are equally as clever and interesting as she is herself. My favourite episode, ‘#2 The R Word’, revolves around the intersection of race and gender, and features two of Ruba’s friends, Iyone and Lindsey. In this episode, they talk about everything, from whitesplaining and microaggressions, to Angelina Jolie and internalised misogyny. The tone and natural progression of their conversation makes me feel like I’m in the room with them, laughing and nodding along with what they have to say. The way they touch upon subjects like rape culture and beauty ideals through their discussion about female identity, and society’s unattainable ideal of femininity for women of colour, is particularly note-worthy.
The discussions in Ruba’s podcasts articulate many of the conversations I’ve had with my own friends, which makes them uplifting and reassuring in that you feel less alone in the struggles that women of colour face. The latest episode, ‘#4 HEjab or SHEjab: Reclaiming the Female Body and Other Horrible Puns w/ Bushra’, is especially interesting because it provides different perspectives on female Muslim identity, and the representation of Arab women and LGBTQIA+ people in video games and the gaming industry. Whether she is chatting about challenging the patriarchy with the founder of the official Riyadh Writing Club, or drawing the fine line between funny and offensive with female Arab comedians, Ruba is able to both entertain and educate her audience in an effective and inspiring way.
Broads Who Brain is just one of the many amazing new things being created by Arab women on the daily. It holds of a lot of potential as a relatable, informative and exciting show ‘for smart girls and the boys who support them’.
Yasmine Ziadat is an undergraduate history and politics student with an interest in current affairs and sassing the patriarchy. If she’s not taking selfies or watching cat videos, you can find her exploring London in search of coffee, music and museums. You can follow her on instagram, twitter, or read her dardishi articles here.