CL-057 Omar Foda Bridges the Gap Between Past and Present

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Manage episode 276484567 series 2300559
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Today's guest is historian Omar Foda, author of the book Egypt's Beer: Stella, Identity, and the Modern State. In this book, he traces the country's history through one iconic national beer brand: Stella (not to be confused with Stella Artois). Recently, Omar wrote an article for GBH called, "You Cannot Hate These People — Heineken, Nasser, and the Fight to Decolonize Beer in Egypt," similarly using a specific incident to highlight how decolonization changed everything for one Heineken-owned brewery.

What struck me about this article was how urgent the issues felt, which is noteworthy, since Omar wrote a historical account of an incident that happened over half a century ago. I felt like I was reading about something that was happening right now—and that's partially intentional on Omar's part. In this piece, he deftly bridges the gap between what's happened in the past and why we should care now. And in this conversation, we talk about how to make history relevant (Omar has done AMAs on Reddit before), how the lens through which we view history is always marked by our own experiences and interests, and why a disagreement at a brewery in Egypt over 50 years ago can shine a light on what's happening in our society today.

Here's Omar Foda. Listen in.

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