Qisasna (Our stories)

Qisasna means “our stories” in Arabic and is the name of Amideast’s unique virtual podcast exchange between Yemeni and American youth. Funded by The Stevens Initiative, Qisasna seeks to instills global citizenship values and understanding among participants. Qisasna also provides participants with storytelling skills to help them develop more nuanced and empathetic views of others and with the pathways for sharing their efforts with the broader public.
Qisasna students from Yemen and the U.S. during a meeting.

Through student podcasts, this Yemeni and American students’ exchange focuses on discussions of global issues, perceptions of both cultures, and opportunities for young people and communities. Qisasna podcasts are the stories of our shared challenges and opportunities.

ACTIVITIES

Over two academic years, Qisasna is engaging 64 virtual teams consisting of ten participants evenly divided between Americans and Yemenis in this unique podcast exchange. The first 32 virtual teams completed their podcast exchange by the end of spring semester 2022. They produced 40 different podcasts. The next 32 teams begin fall semester 2022 and complete spring semester 2023.

As part of a cross-cultural effort designed to enhance bilateral understanding and cooperation, the 620 Yemeni and American participants join an orientation of facilitated online dialogues and complete a series of asynchronous podcast training modules. Afterward, the participants form bi-national podcast teams and continue to engage online, along with asynchronous work, to create a pilot podcast episode. The activities are complemented by synchronous mentoring by podcast experts to support their podcast efforts.

  • Number of Participants: 620
  • Participant Age Group: From high school through university (undergraduate), including "gap year" students.
  • Partners in the United States: District of Columbia – International Center for Religion and Diplomacy; Washington – Kerning Cultures, Utah State University, George Mason University.
  • Partners in the Middle East and North Africa: Yemen – Yemen Family Care Association and Hadhramout Foundation
  • Project Duration: April 2021– June 2023
  • Upon completion of the dialogues and podcast draft, Qisasna students are awarded Amideast digital certificates.

Listen to our students’ episodes on shared challenges and opportunities here: Qisasna Podcasts.

Inquiries 

U.S. universities and students interested in learning more about Qisasna opportunities on your campus, please contact qisasna-asssistant@amideast.org