When I hear that visitors from the Middle East are coming to Chicago, I always encourage them to experience some of Chicago’s great treasures: deep dish pizza and heavy condiment dawgs, our amazing accessible lakefront, views from tall buildings, outstanding live music and theater, and if they are lucky, an interview with WBEZ’s long running program “Worldview”.
Guests from the Middle East do not often experience press interviews where the host is well informed, asks probing but not offensive questions, and allows the guest to tell their story. Supported by a dedicated team of producers, Jerome McDonnell is the exception: he takes the time to know his guests – and makes connections to the issues people care about in Chicago.
Chicago is home to the largest Palestinian-American community in the U.S. We also have vibrant Jewish, Muslim, Christian and secular communities who yearn for analysis that goes beyond the headlines and public relations efforts of government officials. We have communities that want to learn how to support efforts in diplomacy and nonviolent resistance, rather than perpetual conflicts and endless war. They can hear that context and analysis when they tune into Worldview.
Just this winter, I brought Ahmed Abu Artema, the visionary Palestinian writer in Gaza who inspired the Great March of Return to speak on Worldview. Ahmed spoke with my colleague Jehad Abu Salim (also from Gaza) about why Palestinians are marching to the boundary fence with Israel each week, attempting to remind the world of the cruelty of the 12-year blockade and the decades long desire for freedom. After the interview, many people who heard the show came to public events we organized to dive deeper into these issues.
Worldview understands the importance of amplifying the voices from popular movement leaders from around the globe (and in our great city of Chicago) in a way most mainstream news programing does not. Like other listeners of WBEZ who are mobilized to save Worldview, I hope we can convince the management of WBEZ to keep this Chicago treasure.Jennifer Bing, American Friends Service Committee
Join Jennifer in advocating for Worldview by signing the letter to WBEZ.