The Transit Lounge

Episode 8: Hanan Dover – PsychCentral, Mission of Hope & a few taboos

Recent times have seen massive strides in Muslim mental health awareness. The ways in which we understand wellness have shifted a great deal and it’s increasingly clear that mental illness is not to be pushed under the rug. However, we often don’t hear of the individuals who tirelessly work on the ground to create this awareness. One such personality is Hanan Dover: Vice President of the International Association of Muslim Psychologists and a Founder of PsychCentral. Hanan’s fight against the taboos and superstitions surrounding Muslim mental health, alongside the struggles of being an outspoken Muslim woman, mother and community leader (who’s on her fifth degree and counting!), Hanan’s story is nothing short of inspiring.

Check out the Toledo Society blog where we summarise some of the key lessons from this episode with Hanan Dover.

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In case you missed it, check out our interviews with social justice advocate Dalia Mogahed & British MP Naz Shah.

Episode 7: Riyaad Minty – AJ+, TRT and everything in between.

Riyaad Minty grew up in a South Africa just recovering from decades of oppressive apartheid. With a keen interest in human rights in a post 9/11 world, Riyaad chose to do a Law degree at university; but only for so long. With a vision in mind and a company to build, Riyaad dropped out of university after his first year of study. Starting off in the animated greeting cards and ringtones industry (back when it was revolutionary, that is), Riyaad eventually moved to Doha to pursue an e-marketing role at Al Jazeera. Through a mixture of pure genius, a desire for impact and a deep spiritual drive, Riyaad went from the junior no one had time for to the man that would play a major role in bringing AJ+ to the world; a purely digital news outlet that has changed the way humans consume news.

Check out the Toledo Society blog where we summarise some of the key lessons from this episode with Riyaad Minty.

Available wherever you get your podcasts.
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In case you missed it, check out our interview with fellow South African entrepreneur, Haroon Meer on how to scale a successful start-up.
Also check out this great episode with Mohamad Jebara on entrepreneurship and Islamic values.

Episode 6: Mohamad Jebara – Islamic Values and Modern Business

By any measure of the word, Mohamad Jebara is a true Math whiz. Scoring in the top 0.5 percentile in his year 12 finals, he ventured to take on the toughest Math he could find at university: actuarial studies. By his mid-20s, Mohamad’s genius saw him being named senior partner of a lucrative derivatives trading firm in Sydney. But after just two months, Mohamad dropped it all. Something just wasn’t right. From here on, with a relentless pursuit of value, faith and principles, Mohamad brought Mathspace to the world; a unique start-up changing the way children learn Math through reward-based digital tutoring. We trace Mohamad’s journey from growing up in a Lebanese household of 8 siblings, all the way to the struggles of the start-up space and uncover some gems about practicing Islamic values in the corporate world.

Check out the Toledo Society blog where we summarise some of the key lessons from this episode with Mohamad Jebara.

Available wherever you get your podcasts.
Listen on Apple Podcasts here
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In case you missed it, check out our interview with Haroon Meer on how to scale a successful start-up.

Episode 5: Naz Shah – British Parliament via Poverty

Abandoned by her father at six, Naz’s family was jumping from squalor to squalor and living meal to meal. Far from a normal upbringing, she was sent to Pakistan at 12, to protect her from the man sexually exploiting her mother over a mortgage. She was forced into an abusive marriage at 15, and upon return to the UK, was beholden to her mother killing her abuser. From here on, Naz was thwarted into a life juggling between campaigning for her mother’s rights, visiting solicitors, working odd jobs and raising her younger siblings. We sit with Naz and hear of the incredible set of events which took her from homeless, abused and uneducated, to eventually gaining a sweeping victory over George Galloway as the Member for Bradford West. If there is any story that embodies true perseverance, it is this one.

Check out the Toledo Society blog where we summarise some of the key lessons from this episode with Naz Shah.

Available wherever you get your podcasts.
Listen on Apple Podcasts here
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In case you missed it, check out our interview with social justice advocate Dalia Mogahed.

Episode 4: Mufti Menk – Struggles of a Worldwide Mufti

The Transit Lounge Episode 4 with Mufti Menk

Mufti Menk is arguably the most popular and renowned Mufti on the planet. Having been in the ‘Top 500 Most Influential Muslims’ list 6 years in a row, his name and online lectures are a staple in millions of Muslim households. To no surprise, we learn the Mufti was reading the Quran at the tender age of 3 and memorised it cover-to-cover by 11 (yes, you read those numbers right). A fast-tracked upbringing was just the beginning; after being enrolled (somewhat a surprise to him) into Madina University, Ismail Menk began on a journey of hardship, enlightenment, struggle and joy. We trace the Mufti’s journey from childhood in a Christian school, to early medical career aspirations, studying abroad and a difficult divorce – all of which made the Islamic Scholar we know as Mufti Menk.

Check out the Toledo Society blog where we summarise some of the key lessons from this episode with Mufti Menk.

Available wherever you get your podcasts.
Listen on Apple Podcasts here
Listen on Google Podcasts here

 

Episode 3: Muslim Engagement & The White House – Dalia Mogahed

There are few Muslims who can say they had a seat at the President’s table, and Dalia Mogahed is one of those rare few. An Egyptian American at the forefront of Muslim Activism for over a decade, Dalia’s journey has seen her lecturing at colleges, training law enforcement and eventually, advising the Obama Administration. We trace Dalia’s life from a normal Egyptian American childhood to the banality of corporate life up until an event that radically changed the fabric of American society: 9/11. We dig deeper to uncover an inspiring mix of spirituality, hope, desperation and wisdom that drives Dalia to navigate the perplexing maze that is the life of an American Muslim.

Episode 2: A Method To The Madness – Haroon Meer

Toledo Society Podcast with Haroon Meer

Haroon Meer grew up in the tail end of Apartheid South Africa, but his future was far from bleak. After almost two decades in information security (and playing a lot of pool!), Haroon founded Thinkst, a start-up responsible for bringing Canary to the world, a cyber-security honeypot used by some of the biggest tech giants in the world including Slack and Etsy. In this interview we reflect on Haroon’s journey that saw him consulting NATO, sleeping on the Quantico base, and everything in between. What does it take to become an authority in one field? Haroon’s experience draws us closer to answering that question.

Episode 1: Georgetown’s Unlikely Scholar of Islam – Prof. John Esposito

Professor John Esposito took on a master’s program and later a PhD – specialising in a strange and unpopular subfield of a subfield – Islam. To contextualise, during the 1960s, Islam wasn’t a hot-button topic like it is now.

Prof. Esposito talks with host Mohamad Zaoud about his unlikely journey to become Gerogetown University’s Scholar of Islam. He shares his formula for success, how his upbringing helped shaped his mindset, and delivers a powerful & pragmatic message to the next generation of Muslims.

One thing that can’t go unnoticed is Prof. John Esposito’s sense of humour. It makes for a great conversation and is guaranteed to keep you engaged the entire way through. Listen away and let us know what you think!

Episode 0: The Transit Lounge Trailer – Why Transit Lounge?

So you might be asking, “Why Toledo Society? Why Transit Lounge? Why bother?”. We asked our Head of Content, Mohamad Zaoud the very same questions when he first told us about his idea for a Muslim Podcast network. His reply, an eloquent recount of a trip he previously took to an island of random animals. Listen in and you’ll see the snow ball effect of a single thought turning into a fully operational podcast network.

And for those that don’t know Mohamad Zaoud, who is also the host of our first original production – “The Transit Lounge”, you can see his short bio here:

Mohamad Zaoud is a brand enthusiast and consults businesses and NGOs on brand & growth strategies. He’s currently the Manager of Digital Growth – EMEA, and formerly Head of Marketing MENA, at Al Jazeera Media Network where he’s worked on flagship brands including Al Jazeera and AJ+.