The Ask – Year in Review

At the top of 2022 I want to take a moment and look back on the second year The Ask Podcast.

For the inaugural episode of 2021, I sat down THE EDITOR, my friend Mirwais Amiri – to talk with him about the hard choices that forced him to leave Afghanistan and seek safety and shelter in Europe.

I next interviewed acclaimed filmmaker Barry Avrich and myself, as we explore his award-winning work on his feature documentary film: PROSECUTING EVIL: THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD OF BEN FERENCZ, exploring the life and work of lawyer, soldier, and last surviving prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials, Mr. Ben Ferenz.

In Episode 9 I had the opportunity to interview award-winning journalist and filmmaker Catrin Einhorn about her work with her Co-Director Leslye Davis on the Netflix feature documentary FATHER SOLDIER SON, a decade in the making this monumental film traces the winding journey of a wounded veteran father and his sons.

I then reconnected with previous guest and filmmaker Saeed Taji Farouky in Episode 10 to discuss his work on his latest feature documentary A THOUSAND FIRES. Set in the Magway region of Myanmar, this is a beautiful film about the universal story of one father trying to succeed and provide and provide a better life for his children.

My next interview in Episode 11 gave me the chance to meet Hamid, Sajid, Tamim, and Abouzar, former Afghan interpreters for foreign forces.

Recorded just weeks before the Taliban conquest of Afghanistan, I was grateful for an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the hopes, pain and sacrifice of thousands of Afghans that risked their lives working for US Forces throughout Afghanistan through the experiences of these former Afghan interpreters.

An interview made even more poignant by all those left behind in the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan.

For the landmark and grim 20th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I produced the first-ever roundtable discussion on The Ask.

Episode 12 explored the topic of Afghanistan after America, I was privileged to host Ambassador Ronald E Neumann, Former Deputy Chief of Staff to President Karzai, Homayra Ludin Etemadi, New York Times Bureau Chief Carlotta Gall, Author & Soldier Elliot Ackerman, and Tolo Media Executive, Massood Sanjer.

For Episode 13 I was fortunate to host award-winning filmmaker Michael Tucker and discuss his work on THE MEANING OF HITLER. Joining famed Nazi hunters and top scholars in an urgent interrogation of our culture’s fascination with Hitler and Nazism, set against the backdrop of the current rise of white supremacy.

Finally, in Episode 14 I ended the year with an interview of refugee, activist, author, and filmmaker Behrouz Boochani about his groundbreaking novel NO FRIENDS BUT THE MOUNTAINS: WRITINGS FROM MANUS PRISON.

Together with my first ever Co-Host Cliff W. Gilmore, we explored Behrouz’s poignant testimony as a prisoner at a refugee detention center on Manus Island. Laboriously tapped out on a mobile phone and translated from the Farsi, this book is an unforgettable lyric first-hand account of five long, lonely, and dangerous years of incarceration and exile.

Reflecting on the second year of my podcast, I am again deeply grateful to every guest that showed up to take my questions on The Ask.

And I remain grateful to anyone that tuned into the episodes I have published so far, without you listeners this podcast could not exist. Thank you again for your time and interest in The Ask.

Looking ahead to this New Year, I am excited to continue to seek out extraordinary people and ask them the kind of questions that can provide you, the listener, with captivating answers.

I am not sure where we will go next on The Ask but I pledge to continue to try and produce episodes that entertain, captivate and inspire.

I look forward to inviting Co-Hosts such as my friend and colleague Cliff W. Gilmore for future episodes of The Ask and experimenting with the presentation and storytelling in the months ahead.

See you soon in the next episode of The Ask. ^_^

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