Strictly Business #24: Dina Elsayed

Dina Elsayed// Multimedia producer. Podcaster. Full-time jazz lover.

I hopped around a lot. My journey from Cairo, Egypt to Berlin, Germany was one with many stops in between. Some stints lasted for weeks and some stretched for years. Despite the crippling chains of my right-to-left green Egyptian passport and my very Arabic middle names that visa officers at countless embassies do not appreciate, I got to subjugate the paperwork gods and had my passport stamped a million times.

Six years later, I still value Berlin as the place where I found myself. It’s the place where I’ve been able to pin down my passions, my goals, my people, and what I want out of the world. It’s here that I’ve been able to develop my voice as a media professional and dig deeper in my biggest love of all mediums: Radio.

I currently produce a half-hour weekly talk show called Common Ground Berlin. Like the name suggests, our goal is to bring together guests on the opposing sides of critical issues with the goal of reaching a common ground. It doesn’t always work, but I always end up learning something new, including a lot of odd facts about naming streets in Berlin, for example. Or the odd history behind the cult-like obsession with American Football in Germany.

I also spent last summer as the  Supervising Editor at Refuge Worldwide, the community radio station broadcasting from Neukolln, amplifying voices and creating unity in the community.

Six years on, I’m still happy to call Berlin my home, even though complaining about this city is one of my favorite pastimes. I’m lucky to have found so many circles and avenues where I can not just express myself as a FLINTA, Arab immigrant, but also find camaraderie, compassion, connections and inspiration from and with like-minded people. This is what keeps me going.

Racism, prejudice, entitlement and microaggressions will always be a significant component of my life in Europe, day in and day out. Instead of it shutting me down and sending me to a dark, defeatist and depressive state of mind, I am determined to filter all these experiences, good and bad, and funnel them into something creative, and, hopefully, make a slight difference in the world.

Want to know more about Dina (she/her) and her work?  Check out her Instagram @dinasalahel !

📸 Credits: Dalia Aly

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