Ricardo Karam embarks on a new journey through a series of conversations with his friends from around the Arab world and beyond. Each conversation unlocks a new key to success on how to live a better and more purposeful life.
A Conversation with Salah Tizani (Abou Salim)
32:48In this episode, Ricardo sits down with Salah Tizani aka Abu Salim El Tabel. Salah Tizani is a Lebanese comedian and TV actor, known for his sense of humor, who began his long career with the launch of Lebanon TV in 1959, producing many comedy series with his band on a weekly basis until 1975, when the Lebanese civil war broke out. In the 90's, he resumed his distinguished work. Take a listen.
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A Conversation with Etel Adnan
32:09In this episode, Ricardo meets poet, essayist, and painter Etel Adnan 2 years before her passing. Etel Adnan expressed her prodigious creative and intellectual vision in many forms. In addition to being a visual artist, she is a renowned poet, a prominent journalist, and the author of one of the defining novels of the modern Arab world. Adnan’s biography is notable for its rich convergence of cultural influences. She was born in Lebanon to a Greek mother and Syrian father; grew up speaking French, Arabic, and Greek; and as an adult lived for extended periods in Lebanon, the United States, and France. She began to paint in the late 1950s, while working as a professor of philosophy in Northern California. It was a period when, in protest of France’s colonial rule in Algeria, she renounced writing in French and declared that she would begin “painting in Arabic.” While Adnan’s writings are unflinching in their critique of war and social injustice, her visual art is an intensely personal distillation of her faith in the human spirit and the beauty of the natural world. She once stated, “It seems to me I write what I see, paint what I am”. Etel died on November 14, 2021.
A Conversation with Sabah
31:40In this episode, Ricardo unveils a 25-year-old interview he conducted with Sabah, one of the Arab world's best-known entertainers, who has released over 50 albums and acted in 98 films as well as over 20 Lebanese stage plays during her more than six-decade-long career. Few artists in the Arab world enjoyed the level of glory and stardom of Sabah. Her incredible signing talent, especially in the so-called mountain folk style, was discovered at a young age and she released her first song at age 13. With beauty and pleasant personality to go with the voice, this winning formula caught the eye of producer Asia Dagher, who encouraged Sabah’s family to bring her to Cairo for a three-film contract. Her family agreed and the young woman never looked back. Sabah was among the first Arabic singers to perform at the Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Royal Albert Hall in London, and the Sydney Opera House. She passed away in 2014 at the age of 87 and remains considered as one of the holders of the artistic memory of Lebanon and the Arab world.
A Conversation with President Michel Aoun
44:27In this very special episode, Ricardo sits down with President Michel Aoun for a conversation that took place at the most critical time in Lebanon’s history. Michel Aoun was then the President of Lebanon elected on 31 October 2016 on the 46th electoral session of the Lebanese parliament, breaking a 29-month deadlock. The encounter took place on the eve of the centenary proclamation of the nation of Lebanon and less than a month after Beirut blast killed at least 190 people, injured thousands, destroyed the city and left thousands of citizens homeless. Lebanese, who underwent decades of accumulated crises, endemic corruption and mismanagement by an entrenched ruling class, were all waiting to hear what the most controversial President was about to say.
A Conversation with Tracy Chamoun
43:06Today, Ricardo sits down with Tracy Chamoun for a special conversation. Tracy Chamoun is the scion of one of Lebanon’s most famous dynasties and the first woman to found a political party in the Arab world - the Liberal Democrats Party of Lebanon. In this conversation, she talks about her plans and hopes for her country, and about coming to terms with the murder of her father, his second wife and their young children during the Lebanese civil war. Tracy was appointed as ambassador of Lebanon to Jordan on 19 June, 2017 and became one of the first officials to resign from her position following the devastating explosion at Beirut port that killed at least 158 people and injured more than 6,000. She decided to run for presidency in 2022.
A Conversation with Nidal Al-Ashkar
35:52In this episode, Ricardo sits down with Nidal Al-Ashkar for a very special conversation. Nidal Al-Ashkar is among the most influential women to shape the cultural landscape of Lebanon and the Arab world. Much of the development of theatre in Beirut is attributed to her efforts, which culminated in the establishment of “The Beirut Theatre Workshop” in the late 1960s and the “Arab Actors” theatre company in the mid-70s. In 1994, after renovating a historic cinema in Beirut and making it available to Lebanese civil society, she founded there a cultural centre, Masrah Al-Madina, which quickly became the epicenter for cultural and artistic events in Beirut. Nidal tapped into the world of theatre, poetry, politics and many other art forms.
A Conversation with Baria Alamuddin
44:37In this episode, Ricardo sits down with Baria Alamuddin for a very special conversation. Baria Alamuddin is an outspoken, award-winning political journalist from Lebanon. She has been making waves in the media world for many decades and is best known in the Middle East, the US, and the UK for talking tough with cultural icons, heads of state, and religious leaders till she was dubbed as the "Well of Secrets." Memorably, she was also the last journalist to interview Prime Minister Indira Gandhi before her assassination in 1984. Beyond her career, she is a wife, a mother, and the mother in law of George Clooney.