"Buzzfeed’s “See Something Say Something” podcast draws crowd to talk about Arab issues"

By Keith Salowich For The Press & Guide

"A podcast named one of the best new podcasts of 2016 by The New York Times and iTunes recorded its latest episode before a live audience in Dearborn.

The Arab American National Museum’s Aliya Hassan Auditorium held a near capacity crowd Saturday for the recording of Ahmed Ali Akbar’s popular Buzzfeed podcast “See Something Say Something.”

Akbar originally is from Saginaw, but moved to New York — where he typically records his weekly podcast — about three years ago.

Returning to see friends and family in the mitten state was a big reason to bring the third live taping of his podcast to Michigan, according to Akbar, but he also wanted to bring the show to Dearborn because it feels like a home to him.

“Dearborn is really different from Saginaw,” Akbar said. “I just felt at home here many times. Seeing all the Arabic grocery stores makes me happy. Seeing the ads that are like, ‘Mr. Alamir’s Accident Attorney’s Office wishes you a happy Ramadan,’ on billboards makes me happy. I didn’t have that in Saginaw, but I found it here.”

Akbar chose to host the event at the Arab American National Museum specifically because he recognizes the importance of a space that represents Arab identity.

“Better representation is always good, but it’s never going to end racism or anti-Muslim bias,” he said. “It may not even always make things easier, but having these spaces where we’re comfortable to be ourselves and talk as we would is really good. It moves the goalpost and it’s rare and I value that.”'

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