The internet has given us the chance to share information, be creative, and think out side the box. We now have many tools to share our voice with the world. It can be via a blog, video, and even podcast. We can choose from these tools what suits us best or even use them all! In today’s world, we want something that could be short or lengthy to listen to on our way to work (before COVID-19) or while we are studying to learn something on the move right from our phones.
Podcasts made this happen! They are changing the narrative of learning and you can find endless topics to listen to through them.
In this article, I am sharing with you the story of a podcast founder who is changing the narrative and sharing incredible lessons to reflect on with the world. Remember her name, Hannah Ghazal.
Hannah Ghazal is a Libyan-British podcaster, teacher, and a mom of two beautiful children. She is currently based in the UK but she spent some time of her life in Libya. I have gotten to know Hannah through Clubhouse. Her unique way of speaking and discussing openly drew me to find out more about her. I soon realized that she was one of the founders of a podcast called ”Tea with Almonds” which I discovered at the end of last year.
Therefore, I proposed the interview idea to Hannah and she gladly accepted. I was curious to first ask Hannah about the idea behind the name of the podcast. Basically, the idea started with her cousin during the break of COVID-19 last year. They were casually talking on the phone and they were both sharing feelings and thoughts of our new reality.
They wanted to come up with something that can help other people and a platform to share with the world. Firstly, a blog was suggested then they thought maybe it should be something else! Soon after, it was settled on a podcast. However, they still had another problem which was coming up with a name for the podcast! Many names came to mind. For example, they wanted some sort of a mix in the title. Hannah was making pancakes during the call with her cousin.
”Life is a pancake” she said but they didn’t feel the name. Then cappuccino was another proposed name. But all of a sudden, Hannah remembered the famous drink Libyan families have in gatherings and special occasions which is tea with almonds. If you’re Libyan then you know what I am talking about here! With this name, Hannah remembered all the memories linked to her childhood back in Zawiya. Therefore, they embarked on a journey of episodes during lockdown.
They successfully finished the first season of the podcast and they had a total of 10 episodes. They did the first episode of Q&A with her co-host. Both asked each other and the questions were a surprise for both of them. It was more personal and they thought in a very small scale. Through the podcast, they tackled many crucial topics such as self-love, autism, etc.
As you know, language is key in podcasts. Therefore, they did the episodes in Arabic but translated some of them into English. However, it was not practical and she is planning to keep the episodes in Arabic for the upcoming seasons. Also when it comes to length, the episode is only 30 minutes long, not too long nor too short. It was essential for Hannah to keep the length of episodes manageable. It also gave her the chance to understand the audience better. Hannah’s perceptions after they finished the first season, total of , they had an interview with Tabadul channel and Nas Radio station and people began to interact with the podcast. The podcast has good diversity and it is inclusive of all people. She wanted the podcast to be casual and fun at the same time.
”Talk from the heart reaches people”Hannah Ghazal
I asked Hannah about the themes for the upcoming seasons. She said that the upcoming one would cover women in economics and entrepreneurship. She is planning for the second season to be right after Ramadan. In addition, she wants to direct herself to YouTube and to expand the idea even more. Hopefully, it will grow into a full-time job because for now, it is still a hobby. Tea with Almonds podcast does not only cover Libya, but it covers the entire MENA region.
We also discussed the challenges during this journey. Hannah and her co-host Lubna are both mothers and workers. Both are based in two different places in the UK. However, Hannah will continue with the podcast on her own for the second season. This podcast is a learning experience for Hannah, she is learning the editing process. She is getting there and she wants everyone to come with her on this insightful journey as she told me during our lovely conversation. With Hannah’s busy schedule, support is very important. This comes greatly from her mom and she is very grateful.
With her responsibilities, Hannah is creating time out of time. Through tea with almonds, she discovered that she can explain things and simplify information to people. She loves interviewing people, sharing knowledge, and perspective with the world. She is mostly inspired by her mother and her grandmother. Her mom taught her not to ever give up. Her grandmother once told her ”do what’s good for you” and she is living by her words to this day .
Hannah’s advice to anyone who is hesitant to start a new experience in podcasting is to simply do it. She said something that I wanted to keep as a reminder as well: ”Whatever we learn in life is never wasted, every experience matters. We should never regret anything we once learned, we will find it useful later in life”.
You can find her podcast on Spotify: