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Rabia Chaudry

Month: April 2015

Drop It Like It’s Hot

All day people have been tweeting at me to find out when the second episode of our podcast Undisclosed will post and there were a lot of moans and groans when I told them 6pm EST. That’s what happens when everyone involved has full time jobs that having nothing to do with the podcast, sorry not sorry folks.

I’m in Istanbul, Turkey right now for a closed conference on violent extremism convened by the Hollings Center, and had to make sure (and inconvenience the others) that we did all our taping before I left the US. Having now established a state of the art sound studio in my home, its the only place I can tape. Check it out. Continue reading

Undisclosed: Here it Comes

I’ll be honest. I’m a little nervous. I had no clue (why? because I am ridiculously naive and don’t have the time to think even a week ahead) that our podcast would get covered by the NY Times, the Washingtonian, the Rolling Stone, PBS Newshour, Huffington Post, People, Vanity Fair…and the list goes on.  Considering the success of Serial, I certainly should have anticipated it, but not thinking this venture will be at all comparable, I kind of didn’t.

And to be clear as glass, really clear glass all cleaned up with Windex and baby spit, we are not even in the same universe as Sarah and the Serial team.

When Serial ended the brilliantly strategic Shahed Amanullah sat me down and tried to convince to start a podcast to keep the new information about the case coming. I threw my head back and laughed in the evil way I do. I said no. That makes no sense. I would NEVER do that. Like EVER. That’s what blogs are for, so people can read up dammit. I do not podcast, Shahed!

Keep that crown of shame handy for me, Shahed. I now podcast.

Dennis, who’s been volunteering as a Trustee and in lots and lots of other ways, brought it up a few weeks ago. This time, I listened. I thought, no sweat, we got this. How HARD could it possibly be? I’ve listened to two whole podcasts! I can talk, lots!

First came the name. I fought to call it “Shut Up and Let Me Talk*” but was voted down. Susan, clearly more mature and less self-indulgent than me, nailed the name. Then came the logistics and production. I barely knew how to work a headset last week. I had to repress the urge to interrupt Susan and Colin with a “eureka!” or “DUN DUN DUN!” every few minutes. I am realizing how weird and dry and manly my voice is. That’s not static dear editor, that’s just my full throaty-ness.  Fun times!

Head-first into the foray we go though. For better or worse. In sickness or health. Dammit, we are going to podcast our butts off. We will be as good as first-timers can be (keep that bar low Charlie), this I vow! It may not be pretty, but we will GIVE YOU LOTS OF INFORMATION.

Gobble it up. Get down and dirty with it. Take notes. Make a crazy-ass board with string and pushpins all over it. Join us in the weeds. More specifically into the weedy vaults that are the minds of Susan Simpson and Colin Miller.

Which takes me to some important information, a PSA if you will:

Susan is not getting paid for this. Colin is not getting paid for this. I am not getting paid for this. The musician/photographer is not getting paid for this. The editor is not getting paid for this.  We are all volunteer. The Trust is covering minor technical costs. And that’s about it.

The making of the photography of "Undisclosed". Dun dun dun! Ok I just wanted to say that.

The making of the photography of “Undisclosed”. Dun dun dun! Ok I just wanted to say that.

We have a Twitter account. We have a Facebook page. We debut tomorrow at 2pm EST.

I will not sleep tonight.

Do you want to hear a little bit?  You can do so on our website here.

*I’m lying. I didn’t fight to call it that. I was rooting for “I Will Pay You Three Dollars To Listen, Mom”.

A Thousand Little Pieces

On Sunday I visited Adnan after a very long time – at least four months. Since he was moved to Cumberland six years ago, it’s been difficult for anyone, including his family, to see him often. The trip takes most of the day going back and forth and the past few months have been a tornado of busy-ness related to Adnan’s case, my work projects coming to a head, travel, moving, and generally just trying to keep it together.  Frankly, I’ve been treading water. Barely.

So in all of this, the talks about Adnan’s case, the blogging, the media, etc, Adnan himself got kind of lost.   Last week I pulled out some of his old letters to remind myself of what this is all about and decided it was time to get to Cumberland.

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