Faraj: Saigon to Sana'a to the USA

Part I: The little-known, intertwining of history between Yemen and Vietnam, told through the lens of a single family.

Part II: Nearly 40 years later, Faraj continues his family’s history of migration, this time further west as he moves from Yemen to the USA. We shed light on his experience as he navigates modern Arab migration, while simultaneously watching his home country spiral into a violent war.

Shake the Dust

From executive producer and rapper Nasir "Nas" Jones and journalist-turned-filmmaker Adam Sjöberg, Shake the Dust chronicles the influence of breakdancing, exploring how it strikes a resonant chord in the slums, favelas, and ghettos of the world and far beyond. The film captures the stories of young people, like Faraj, who are rising above their circumstances, becoming leaders in their communities and inspiring change around them. The "Shake the Dust Impact Fund" provides academic scholarships and grants to extraordinary young leaders to pursue their dreams in education, art, community outreach, and business. These grants empower inspiring youth, like those in the film, to impact the world.

To learn more and support the Shake the Dust Impact Fund, please visit www.shakethedustimpact.org

Episode Credits & Notes

Thank you to Faraj and his family for being so open and warm with us despite us poking around in their family history. To Adam Sjoberg who directed the film Shake The Dust that features Faraj and other amazing break dancers from around the world. And to all the Yemeni scholars and researchers who helped us unpack some of the complex history, especially Najwa Adra, Hasan Al Ansi, and Jon Swanson.

Part I was produced by Dana Ballout and Alex Atack, with editorial support from Hebah Fisher. Sound design by Alex Atack.

Part II was produced by Dana Ballout and Alex Atack with editorial support from Hebah Fisher. With thanks to Faraj Al Baadani, Fatimah Ahmad Mohammed, Linh Smith, Frank Smith, Najwa Adra, Jon Swanson, Hasan al Ansi, and Adam Sjoberg.


Interested in hearing more stories like this one? Support our work by becoming a patron for as little as $5 a month on Patreon (yes, perks included).