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Episode #1

What The Hell Happened?

October 3rd, 2022

What do Beirut, Kabul and Hong Kong have in common? A discussion about the loss of freedom and what it feels like for a young generation watching the world around them unravel.

“In the first episode of People Like Us, I bring you to the heart of the show’s purpose and genesis of its concept, connecting the dots between far away places that have been on my mind.”

“Even before Putin invaded Ukraine, the global world order was imploding with stunning rapidity as Xi Jinping’s China strangled Hong Kong, Lebanon’s economy crashed and Afghanistan fell to Taliban rule. What does it mean for people there, and people like us everywhere? I speak to Muqadessa Yourish, a former deputy minister of commerce of Afghanistan who had to flee Kabul in August 2021, Lina Mounzer in Beirut, writer and translator who captured the mood in Beirut in her essays for the NYT and Shawn Yuan, an award-winning journalist who covered the protests in Beirut and Hong Kong protests and had hoped China’s future would look like Hong Kong.”


Muqaddesa Yourish

Muqaddesa Yourish was a deputy minister of commerce and industry in Afghanistan until she had to flee Kabul when Taliban took over in August 2021. She is now living in the U.S. and a visiting professor at George Washington University in Washington DC. Muqaddesa grew up a refugee in Pakistan and returned home to Afghanistan in 2002, after the Taliban were ousted. She was politically active to rebuild her country until she had to leave.

Twitter: @YourishM

Lina Mounzer

Lina Mounzer is a Lebanese writer and translator based in Beirut whose work has appeared in The New York Times, LitHub, New Lines Magazine, and L’Orient Today. One of her notable essays is “War in Translation and Giving Voice to the Women of Syria” published on LitHub.

Twitter: @warghetti

Shawn Yuan

Shawn Yuan is an award-winning, American-Chinese journalist and photographer who has covered Hong Kong and the Middle East. His work has been published in a number of renowned outlets such as Vice, Al Jazeera English, BBC, and Bloomberg, among many others. His most recent articles are published on his website.

Twitter: @shawnxyny / Instagram: @shawnxyny

Further reading

What the Loss of Freedom Looks Like Kim Ghattas

Lebanon as We Once Knew It is Gone Lina Mounzer

A Journey Through Kabul on the Day of the Fall Mujib Mashal

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