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PodFest Cairo is Egypt and Africa’s first podcasting conference. The 2021 edition took place virtually March 7 on Zoom. It featured conversations in English and Arabic on the topic of producing podcasts. The event was hosted by AUC’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (JRMC) and provided simultaneous translation.
The two-and-a-half hour event brought together Egypt’s podcast listeners and creators. The lineup featured keynote speaker Linah Mohammad from The Washington Post’s Post Reports Podcast. She spoke about growing up in Jordan before moving to Texas and about her introduction to audio via National Public Radio in the United States. She also discussed her recent audio essay “Bachelorette in Arlington” that was published on This American Life.
Other sessions included “The Road to a Successful Podcast” with Noran Morsi, host and producer of the recently launched Egyptian Streets Podcast along with Heba Shunbo, the host of Mommy’s Happy Hour Podcast, which launched last year. They spoke of the successes and challenges they’ve experienced with their new podcasts. In the session “Telling Narratives in Arabic,” Tala Eissa from Sowt spoke of the challenges of de-centering English when it comes to podcasting.
Several local podcasts and podcasters were spotlighted in one of the last segments of the event. PodFest Cairo 2021 — Virtual concluded with several rounds of speed networking, a chance for the attendees to mingle and get to know each other in a short period of time.
“The podcasting scene is growing in Cairo and Egypt and we want to continue to share resources to encourage the production of podcasts.” The PodFest Cairo team is available for consultations.