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January 08, 2008

Karachi After Bhutto

Karachi After Bhutto

Pakistani elections were to be held today, but the death of Benazir Bhutto has changed all of that.  Dick Gordon talks to Munizeh Sanai, a young radio host on a pop music station in Karachi.

The night Benazir Bhutto was killed, Munizeh was on air. She stopped playing music and later watched with sadness from a rooftop as a bus was burned in front of her office building. Yet as she tells Dick, the city remains largely misunderstood by those outside it.

Munizeh knows what she's talking about. She was born and raised in Karachi. She went to college in the US but then moved back 3 years ago to a city that was even more volatile than the one she left.

She's lived through that volatility herself: a year and a half ago, her apartment was robbed by armed men while her grandmother was at home. She chooses not to walk anywhere in Karachi. Yet life in Karachi and its people are resilient. And she remains faithful that the country's best days still lie ahead.

African Jazz

Since she was a child, Somi has used music to explore her identity as a Rwandese-Ugandan who grew up in the United States. Somi identifies deeply with her cultural roots, especially the idea that she was taught while very young: that everyone has a song worth hearing. Somi specializes in jazz music. Her latest album is  Somi: Red Soil in my Eyes.

Dick Gordon talks to Somi about how her intercontinental family helps inspire her music.

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