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10 Great Podcasts to Tune Into on a Laid-back Weekend

If you’re looking to take some downtime at home this weekend, or interested in listening to something engaging while on a long road trip, perhaps it’s time to explore the world of podcasts. Podcasts cover a plethora of genres that fit every mood and taste. The same way you would stream for a show, film or documentary on Netflix, you can choose from a large library of content. We put together a list of highly recommended podcasts to tune into. Whether you’re in the mood for a perfect thriller, an investigative documentary, an inspiring interview, or an epic love story; this list has something for every listener.

English Podcasts:

I am not a Monster: The Story of Shamima Begum – BBC 
: Documentary – True Story – Thriller
Some stories are shocking beyond belief. This story is definitely one of them. Shamima was a shy schoolgirl living in East London, until one day she disappeared. Four years later, she was found in Syria, having joined ISIS and their self-proclaimed ‘caliphate’. An award-winning BBC production, I am Not a Monster: The Story of Shamima Begum investigates the real story of Shamima and explores the events that led her to join a terrorist group. Shocking, thought-provoking, and unexpected, this podcast unravels mind-blowing insider facts on the nature of ISIS, their shady recruitment agenda, and how their ties and influence extend way beyond anyone would expect. Listen

From Oslo with Love – Kerning Cultures
Genre: Narrative – Love story
Some stories are too good to be true. This one is about the love we can find in the strangest of places. Elie was a journalist looking for her next story in Istanbul. Ziad was a Syrian refugee hoping to travel to Europe and apply for asylum. But the trip he was about to embark on can only be made through a series of illegal cross-boarding. When Elie decided to follow Ziad on his dangerous journey to Norway, the two began an epic odyssey that neither could have expected. From Oslo with Love, is a captivating tale about hope, resilience, and the love you might find even in the darkest of times.

Mo Amer Standup Comedian –  al empire
Genre: Interviews – Celebrity – Inspiring stories
Do you have a knack for inspiring stories from the Middle East? al empire might just become your favorite podcast. Produced by Kerning Cultures Network, al empire features exceptional Arabs around the world and their journeys to the top. In this episode, Palestinian-American standup comedian Mo Amer shares his epic journey and how he moved from being a refugee with a dream to do comedy, to becoming one of the most influential comedians in the world and an icon for Arab-Americans around the world. Tune in to Mo Amer’s episode on al empire here.

Past Life – Kerning Cultures
Genre: Narrative – True Story
Heba is a girl who lives in a small town in Lebanon. One day, she heard a knock on her door from someone who claimed they knew her from a past life. Meanwhile, she could vividly remember herself making a sandwich as a 5 year old for a boy called “Amir”.. Ever been curious about reincarnation? Do you believe that past lives are nothing but figments of made up false memories? This story from Kerning Cultures podcast might just change your mind. Tune in to this chilling story that explores past life and reincarnation.

The End Up Miniseries – Esmail Corp
Genre: Anthology – Thriller – Fiction
If you love Black Mirror, or a good dystopian thriller, you’ll really enjoy The End Up. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Benji decides to enroll in ‘The Place’, a facility that claims to help terminal cases ease their suffering, and say goodbye to their loved ones. When checking into a week-long bootcamp, Benji, along with his best friend Jacob, start questioning the facility’s true intentions. Produced by Esmail Corp – of Mr. Robot and Homecoming – The End Up is a great cerebral thriller with exciting plot twists that will leave you wanting more, and an unexpected ending unlike anything you would expect. Tune in here.  

The Sleeping Children – Kerning Cultures
Genre: Documentary – Investigative
After nearly six years struggling to seek asylum in Sweden without paperwork, a Yazidi family’s daughter mysteriously falls asleep and wouldn’t wake up. She spent half a decade in comatose. An award-winning documentary, The Sleep Children investigates “resignation syndrome” the elusive condition that affects thousands of asylum-seeking children, unraveling the root causes of this illness and how to treat it. Tune in here.

Arabic Podcasts:

Born Naked – Jasadi Podcast
Genre: Narrative – Women Issues
From a young age, women are taught to dissociate from their bodies. They learn and internalize shame instead of love. A Jasadi production, Born Naked is a woman’s introspection on her complicated relationship with her body and her attempt to redefine a healthier, more wholesome relationship with it. A beautiful narrative debunking the shame that female bodies are confined with since birth. Listen here.

Fictional Characters – Bhob
Genre: Narrative – Love Story – Emotional
Can you make friends with someone that doesn’t exist in real life? This writer’s story proves that a figment of your imagination can help you cope with depression, solitude, and weave a better world where anything is possible. ‘Lana Fel Khayal Hayah’ (Fictional Characters) is an episode of Bhob podcast, where an author shares how Sama, a main character in his novel, changed his life for the better. Listen here.

Office Romance – Bhob
Genre: True Story – Romance
Workplace romance has always been romanticized in movies and TV shows. But similar to many love stories, office romance comes with its own set of dramatic complications and can be the cause of heartache. Office Romance follows the budding romance between Arwa and Eric, a love story that goes through all the stages of love inside the workplace. A tale on the beauty and complexities of sharing an office space with your soulmate. Listen here.

Swipe Left – Kerning Cultures
Genre: Narrative fiction – Comedy – Romance
If you’re curious about the trials and tribulations of modern love or what the dating scene in the Arab world looks like, we highly recommend Swipe Left. Swipe Left is an Arabic series chronicling the challenges of finding a significant other in today’s world. Season 1 follows Sara’s journey to find love in the vast pool of online dating, while Season 2 follows Nader’s quest to understand love, search for a soulmate, and find himself from teenage years to adulthood. Listen to Swipe Left here