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Common Ground Berlin

Common Ground was launched in September 2020 as the flagship talk show of KCRW Berlin 104.1 FM. Every week, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson brings together prominent guests from all walks of life to tackle questions on everything from local to transatlantic topics. Look for us every Monday wherever you get your podcasts.

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  • 27.06.2022
    33 MB
    34:28
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    Mobility Blues in 2022: How war and politics affect the way we get around

    In this “Transatlantic Takeaway” episode, hosts Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Rachel Tausendfreund debate the growing problems with plane, train, car and bike travel in Germany and beyond and government attempts to fix them. Their guests: Dirk von Schneidemesser of Changing Cities, an initiative specializing in democratic sustainability transformation. Katja Diehl, host of the podcast: “She Drives Mobility” and author of “Autokorrektur – Mobilität für eine lebenswerte Welt.” (Autocorrect: Mobility for a World Worth Living In). Peter Chase, GMF Senior Fellow in Brussels. This show was produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 20.06.2022
    34 MB
    35:45
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    Smooth Sailing or Rocky Road? How U.S.-German relations are faring amid the global upheaval

    It’s been 18 months since Donald Trump left office, but with one global crisis after another, the relationship between the United States and Germany has not had time to rebound. But does it matter? Is Germany squandering an opportunity to set its own international agenda? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson discusses the state of German-U.S. relations in these precarious times with: Jeremy Shapiro, research director at the European Council on Foreign Relations and a former advisor to the State Department during the Obama administration; Joerg Lau, Die Zeit international correspondent; Laura von Daniels, head of the “Americas” research division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. This show was produced by Dina Elsayed. Note: This episode was taped before Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Ukraine on June 16th and announced Germany wants Ukraine to be admitted into the European Union. But extra steps are needed before that can happen.

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  • 13.06.2022
    42 MB
    44:36
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    From Crime to Choice and Back – The Transatlantic Experience with Abortions

    Any day now, the Supreme Court of the United States will almost certainly overturn the landmark ruling known as Roe v. Wade. That will make it harder – if not impossible – for women to get abortions in dozens of states. But in Germany, the new government is headed in the opposite direction, trying (to a point) to ease access for women to abortion services. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks about these impending, monumental changes and how they are linked with guests: Constance Chucholowski, a public affairs expert who chairs the Berlin chapter of Democrats Abroad; Dr. Caroline Scherf, a German gynecologist in Wales who in 2021 worked in a Bremen clinic run by ProFamilia, a government-funded NGO for reproductive rights; Alexandra Linder, head of the Bundesverband Lebensrecht, a Berlin-based association of German groups opposing abortion and which organizes the annual March for Life in Berlin. We also hear from Green Party activist Laura Sophie Dornheim about her struggle to get an abortion in Berlin. This show was produced by Abigail Megginson and Dina Elsayed.

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  • 23.05.2022
    33 MB
    34:35
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    Exit, Ukraine?

    In this “Transatlantic Takeaway” episode, hosts Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Rachel Tausendfreund delve into scenarios to end Russian President Vladmir Putin’s war on Ukraine and how the conflict is changing the global order. Their guests are: Michal Baranowski, senior fellow and director of the GMF office in Warsaw. Gesine Dornblueth, co-author of “Ruhmlose Helden,” a book on a plane crash that changed German-Russian relations. She is a former Moscow correspondent for Deutschlandradio. Liana Fix, program director for international affairs at the Körber Foundation in Berlin. Joerg Forbrig, senior fellow and director for Central Eastern Europe at the GMF office in Berlin. This show was produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 16.05.2022
    34 MB
    36:18
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    The Angst about Denglisch

    Handy. Public Viewing. Home Office. Boostern – It’s hard sometimes to tell German from English. But is the incorporation of English into German a bad thing? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson discusses the impact of the resulting hybrid called Denglish with Anatol Stefanowitsch, an English linguistics professor at the Free University of Berlin and Oliver Baer of the Verein Deutsche Sprache or German Language Society. This show was produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 02.05.2022
    32 MB
    33:24
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    Why Germany loves Winnetou -- An Obsession with Indigenous peoples in the United States

    In this special episode, guest host Abigail Megginson examines the widespread use of American Indian imagery in German culture since the 18th century. But is it flattery or racism? Her guests are Renae Watchman, co-author of “Indianthusiasm,” which examines indigenous people’s responses to the German obsession with American Indians, and Florian Schleburg, chair of the Karl May Gesellschaft, a group dedicated to the prolific German author who fueled that obsession. This show was produced by Abigail Meginnson and Dina Elsayed.

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  • 25.04.2022
    110 MB
    45:50
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    To Weed or not to Weed – Germany’s plan to legalize cannabis

    On April 20 – a date associated with marijuana – we hosted a spirited debate on Twitter Space about Germany’s controversial proposal to make personal cannabis use legal for adults. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson moderated the talk with Steffen Geyer, legalization activist and longtime head of the annual “Hanfparade” or hemp parade in Berlin; Joa Helms, CEO of Green House Amsterdam coffee shops and Kevin Sabet, former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy advisor and founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM.) This show was produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 18.04.2022
    30 MB
    32:03
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    The Digital Markets and Digital Services Acts: What do they mean for Big Tech and you?

    In this “Transatlantic Takeaway” episode, hosts Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Rachel Tausendfreund dissect sweeping new EU digital laws and their impact on large tech companies, start-ups and users with guests: Constance Chucholowski, founder and managing director at Candid Public Affairs; Travis Todd, co-founder of Silicon Allee; and Julia Trehu, program manager and Fellow with the German Marshall Fund’s Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative. This show was produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 11.04.2022
    3 MB
    01:18
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    Make your mark on Common Ground Berlin -- We'd love to hear from you!

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  • 04.04.2022
    37 MB
    38:46
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    The new surge: How Ukrainian and other refugees are faring in Germany and the EU

    The Russian war in Ukraine has led to millions of Ukrainians fleeing, many of them to the West. How are Germany and its neighbors handling the new refugee surge? And what does it mean for others escaping war, terrorism and persecution who come to the EU? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson discusses the crisis with Wiebke Judith, legal policy advisor for the refugee group, Pro-Asyl; Julia Chenusha, deputy chairwoman of the Blue-Yellow Cross German-Ukrainian Association; and Sami Sharifi, an Afghan lawyer and volunteer with the Kabul Luftbruecke. This show was produced by Dina Elsayed and Abigail Megginson.

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  • 28.03.2022
    116 MB
    48:22
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    A Woman’s Touch? Female Correspondents and How They Change the Way We Look at War.

    Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley and Joanna Kakissis, and Ukrainian journalist Katerina Malofeyeva discuss their experiences reporting on the Russian war in Ukraine and how women journalists redefine the way conflicts are covered. Recorded on Twitter Spaces on March 22, 2022. This show was produced by Dina Elsayed and Stefano Montali.

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  • 18.03.2022
    844 MB
    00:50
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    Join our first ever live conversation on Twitter Spaces on Tuesday, March 22.

    Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson @sorayanelson will be talking with fellow war correspondents Eleanor Beardsley @ElBeardsley, Joanna Kakissis @joannakakissis and Katya Malofeyeva @KatyaMalofeyeva on Twitter about our experiences reporting on the Russian war in Ukraine and how women journalists are reshaping the way combat is covered. Join this important conversation on Twitter by following @cgberilnpodcast and tune in at 9 p.m. Central European on March 22nd. You can also hear highlights of our conversation in a @cgberlinpodcast episode available later this month.

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  • 14.03.2022
    39 MB
    41:32
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    A German about-face – Is the “Zeitenwende” sustainable?

    A watershed speech by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in late February that cast off Germany’s long-standing, military-averse policies is lauded by NATO and the United States. But can Germany enhance its armed forces quickly enough to protect Europe against Russia? And what does this sea change mean for a proposed European army? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores the new German tack and its ramifications with Rachel Tausendfreund, editorial director for the German Marshall Fund and co-host of Transatlantic Takeaway, and Heiner Brauß, Senior Associate Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in its security and defense program. He was a lieutenant general in the Bundeswehr and is a former assistant secretary general for NATO defense policy and force planning. We also hear from Col. André Wüstner, chairman of the German Armed Forces Association. This show was produced by Dina Elsayed and Abigail Megginson.

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  • 07.03.2022
    35 MB
    36:25
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    Is it finally over? An update on the COVID-19 pandemic

    Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks about the future of vaccines, social restrictions and Vladmir Putin’s impact on the pandemic with Korinna Hennig, science editor and co-host of German public broadcaster NDR’s weekly podcast “The Coronavirus Update” and molecular Kai Kupferschmidt in Berlin who writes for the magazine, Science. This show was produced by Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Abigail Megginson.

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  • 28.02.2022
    30 MB
    31:30
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    Feast or Famine? The turbulent start of 2022 and its impact on the economy

    Blame it on Omicron, Vladimir Putin and Europe’s biggest war in decades, but the global economy is in a weaker position this year than anyone expected. So what exactly is the impact the pandemic and Ukraine crisis are having on businesses and consumers in Germany and the United States? And are key economic players doing enough to keep it from getting worse? On the day Putin invaded Ukraine, hosts Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Rachel Tausendfreund talked with Jacob Kirkegaard, Senior Fellow in the Brussels office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and Sebastian Dullien, an international economics professor who is director of the Macroeconomic Policy Institute of the Hans-Boeckler Foundation in Duesseldorf. This show was produced by Dina Elsayed and Abigail Megginson.

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  • 14.02.2022
    34 MB
    35:54
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    The Young and Restless – A new generation of German MPs take charge

    Chancellor Angela Merkel defined politics in Germany for a generation and with her gone, younger German politicians have a rare opportunity to reshape the governance of their country and address key topics facing it. This episode features excerpts of a virtual town hall Common Ground co-hosted with our partner, the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks with young German parliament members about their plans for the future and the pressing issues for their generation. Her guests: Adis Ahmetovic, Member of the Bundestag (SPD); Ria Schröder, Member of the Bundestag (FDP); Merle Spellerberg, Member of the Bundestag (Alliance 90/The Greens). This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 07.02.2022
    34 MB
    35:22
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    Forging Ahead? Or Hanging by a Thread?

    Afghanistan’s former education minister, a female activist who climbs mountains and a German foundation director dissect the Taliban’s impact on the Central Asian country on the semi-anniversary of its return to power. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson speaks with guests: Ellinor Zeino, Southwest Asia regional program director at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Rangina Hamidi, Afghanistan’s former education minister and professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management. Activist and mountain climber Shogufa Bayat Haidari. This show was produced by Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Dina Elsayed.

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  • 31.01.2022
    28 MB
    29:58
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    Street Names

    Why is a Nazi resistance fighter big in Brazil and unheard of in Germany? How did an African American bass-baritone artist become a national hero in the former GDR? Does Onkel Toms Huette refer to a German man and his cabins or the protagonist of a controversial American 19th-century novel? Senior Producer Dina Elsayed explores the fascinating stories behind Berlin’s unusual street names in this special Common Ground collaboration with the Goethe Institute for The Big Ponder series. Featuring guests: Blogger and author Beata Gontarczyk-Krampe ; Musicologist and historian Kira Thurman ; Saxophonist and sound experimentalist Matana Roberts ; Literary and cultural historian Todd Carmody ; Artist Tatiana Heide; Filmmaker Thais Nepomuceno . This show was produced by Dina Elsayed and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson. Frederic Chopin’s Prelude Opus 28, No. 9 was performed by Paul Cantrell. Also featured are "Brazil" by Serge Quadrado, "Woke up this Morning" by Till Paradiso and All is Written by Matana Roberts from their album Coin Coin: Chapter Three . And from Blue Dot Studios, we heard Nine Count, Minister Creek, Vulcan Street and Ervira. Note on the correct pronunciation of Matana Roberts' first name: equal emphasis should be given to all three syllables.

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  • 17.01.2022
    30 MB
    31:28
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    Transatlantic Takeaway #2: Europe on the brink of war?

    Russia appears ready to invade Ukraine, with the recent deployment of roughly 100,000 Russian troops along their mutual border. In this episode of Transatlantic Takeaway -- a monthly collaboration between Common Ground and the German Marshall Fund of the United States -- Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and her guests discuss the ongoing crisis and its impact on the EU, the United States and Moscow. Our experts: Rachel Tausendfreund, GMF editorial director in Berlin and host of “Out of Order” podcast; Liana Fix, GMF Resident Fellow and program director for International Affairs at the Körber-Stiftung; Michael Kimmage, GMF Non-Resident Fellow and Catholic University history professor who was part of the U.S. Secretary of State’s planning staff from 2014-2016 advising on Russia and Ukraine. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 20.12.2021
    26 MB
    27:39
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    Humor – Do Germans have any?

    Our collaboration with the Goethe Institute that shatters the stereotype of the unfunny German – Or does it? Laugh at and learn about German humor with host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and her guest comedians Carmen Chraim, Christian Schulte-Loh and Daniel Stern as well as German Institute for Humor founder Eva Ullmann and Nicola McLelland, a German professor and linguistics expert at the University of Nottingham in the U.K. The music was Latin by Crowander and Lemoncholy by Tea K Pea. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 13.12.2021
    34 MB
    35:29
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    A new German Chancellor and French EU presidency -- Are the changes a recipe for more gridlock in 2022?

    On the inaugural episode of Transatlantic Takeaway -- a monthly collaboration between Common Ground and the German Marshall Fund of the United States -- Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores what German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the French taking over the EU presidency will mean for the European bloc and the United States. Her guests: Rachel Tausendfreund, GMF editorial director in Berlin and host of “Out of Order” podcast; Sudha David-Wilp, GMF deputy director in Berlin and Senior Transatlantic Fellow; Michal Baranowski, GMF director in Warsaw; Martin Quencez, deputy director of the GMF Paris office and a research fellow in its Security & Defense program. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 29.11.2021
    995 MB
    01:00
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    Waiting for the Punchline? Stay tuned to Common Ground for an episode on German humor

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  • 01.11.2021
    39 MB
    41:25
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    Common Ground’s First-Ever Stammtisch: A Scintillating Look at the News

    How will Germans respond to beer getting more expensive? What will the outcome of the ongoing coalition talks mean for younger Germans? How do Americans perceive the legacy of Angela Merkel? And is Joe Biden a hit or a miss in Germany? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and her guests delve into these issues and more on this special episode of Common Ground, which was the opening event of Podfest Berlin 2021 . Joining her are guests: Agence France-Presse Correspondent Deborah Cole ( @deborah ); Comedian Georg Kammerer ( @GeorgFKa ); and Podfest Berlin Founder and Performer Daniel Stern (@ DanielandStern ). This show was recorded live at Comedy Café Berlin and produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 04.10.2021
    782 MB
    00:46
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    Happy Fall! Common Ground will be back later in October

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  • 27.09.2021
    28 MB
    29:51
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    Being Jewish in Germany -- What does that look like as the country marks 1,700 years of Jewish life?

    In A.D. 321, an edict drawn up by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great appointed Jewish people to the Cologne town council . This decree is the oldest known document showing Jewish life thriving north of the Alps. But what does it mean to be Jewish in Germany today? In this episode, guest host Stephanie Wolf speaks with Anti-Defamation League’s Assistant Director for European Affairs, Dalia Grinfeld, and visual and performance artist Rachel Libeskind. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed and Stephanie Wolf.

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  • 15.09.2021
    25 MB
    26:57
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    Mildred Harnack: Resistance leader or obedient wife?

    Today marks the birthday of Mildred Harnack, an American academic and spy who was murdered by the Nazis in Berlin and who is the subject of Rebecca Donner ’s New York Times bestseller “All The Frequent Troubles Of Our Days.” In this episode, Common Ground host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks to Donner about her great-great-aunt's life, the state of women in the Third Reich, and how sexism distorted her legacy. Plus, Donner reads a few of her favorite passages. We also hear from German historian Arnd Bauerkaemper and president of the American Women’s Club in Berlin Shweta Gupta. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 13.09.2021
    1 MB
    01:18
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    Coming up on Common Ground: A conversation with Rebecca Donner, author of the New York Times best seller: "All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days."

    Tune in to a special episode of Common Ground on Sept. 15th, which is the birthday of the protagonist of Donner's new book about an American heroine in Nazi-era Berlin.

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  • 06.09.2021
    32 MB
    33:31
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    “None of the Above?” It’s a horse race to determine who will succeed Angela Merkel

    In this joint episode by the Common Ground and Out of Order podcasts, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and GMF Senior Transatlantic Fellow Sudha David-Wilp examine the struggle to elect the first new chancellor in 16 years and what Germany’s top three political parties in opinion surveys are doing about it. Featuring: Tobias Hans of the CDU, minister president of Saarland; Katarina Barley, SPD European Parliament Member; Katharina Schulze , parliamentary leader of the Greens in the Bavarian state parliament. This show is produced by Corinna Blutguth, Dina Elsayed and Stephanie Wolf.

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  • 30.08.2021
    28 MB
    29:14
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    Vexed Over Vaccinations

    The pandemic has dramatically changed our lives for nearly 18 months now. The learning curve of how to deal with COVID-19 has been steep and definitive answers remain elusive. So were the experts right about the vaccines? What about booster shots? And should children be inoculated against the coronavirus? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson speaks with German Ethics Council Chair Alena Buyx; Korinna Hennig, science editor and co-host of public broadcaster NDR’s weekly podcast: “The Coronavirus Update;” and New York Times health and science writer Apoorva Mandavilli . This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 23.08.2021
    30 MB
    31:57
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    Is the Party Over? How COVID-19 has changed Berlin’s iconic nightlife

    If you like music and dancing, Berlin has a club for you. At least it used to until the pandemic struck. But now that there’s light at the end of that tunnel, will the German capital’s culture of clubs return? Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson hosted an on-air special on Aug. 13 at Germany’s top electronic music radio station, sunshine live , and spoke with DJs, club scene leaders and more. We bring you the highlights in this Common Ground episode. Featuring guests: Georg Kössler , Berlin MP and Club Culture spokesman for the Green Party; Robin Schellenberg, United We Stream co-founder, and manager of the Berlin club Klunkerkranich ; Marc Wohlrabe, Livekomm Board Member, Director of the ‘ Stadt nach Acht ’ Nightlife Policy Conference; Katharin Ahrend, head of the Berlin Club Commission Awareness and Diversity Department. And featuring DJs: Wannadosomething? , Nikola and Sagan We also hear from Remi Letournelle of Fitzroy and Marie Anoinette , and Tino Zaddach of Nuke Club . This show is produced by Dina Elsayed and Stephanie Wolf.

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  • 09.08.2021
    1 MB
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    Preview: The Fate of Berlin's Famous Club Scene -- LIVE on sunshine live!

    Coming up on Aug. 13, Common Ground and Germany's top electronic music radio team up on air to bring you the latest on nightlife in the German capital, which continues to grapple with COVID-19. Tune in from 7 p.m to 10 p.m. CET Guests and DJs include United We Stream’s Robin Schellenberg, Berlin's Club Commission’s Lutz Leichsenring and Georg Kössler of the Green Party. (Find your local FM station and streaming links at sunshine-live.de ).

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  • 26.07.2021
    1 MB
    01:07
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    #Sommerloch 2021

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  • 19.07.2021
    30 MB
    31:37
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    Cycling in Berlin -- A bonanza or a bust?

    This episode of Common Ground -- the last before our summer hiatus -- was recorded outdoors in the Berlin neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, where host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores the mounting challenges facing cyclists with Andrew Bulkeley, who writes for Berliner Zeitung English Edition ; Dirk von Schneidemesser of Changing Cities , an initiative specializing in democratic sustainability transformation and award-winning journalist and author Matthew Schofield. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 05.07.2021
    33 MB
    35:03
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    Federalism Fail? How COVID-19 exposed “German inefficiency.”

    Germany’s handling of the pandemic has sparked a debate about whether the country’s form of government still makes sense. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson untangles the complex federal and state relationship with Bloomberg Opinion Columnist Andreas Kluth and Wolfgang Renzsch, professor emeritus at the University of Magdeburg, who has written extensively about German federalism. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 28.06.2021
    32 MB
    33:21
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    Best Friends again? A transatlantic update

    It’s been nearly six months since U.S. President Joe Biden took office, but has he repaired the frayed U.S. relations with Germany? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson brings you an update from both sides of the pond with Bloomberg Opinion columnist Andreas Kluth; Sudha David-Wilp, senior transatlantic fellow and deputy director of the German Marshall Fund’s Berlin office and Brett Samuels, White House reporter for The Hill. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 21.06.2021
    29 MB
    30:59
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    Summer’s here! But are travel and tourism?

    It’s the first day of summer and #berlinreopens is trending, but are tourists coming back? And what about international travel? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores how the pandemic has changed the way we vacation and the kinds of summer travel we can expect. Her guests are: Christian Tänzler, spokesman for visitBerlin, the city’s official tourism service; Volker Adams, head of government affairs at the German Travel Association; and Nicky Gardner, travel writer and editor of Hidden Europe magazine and co-author of “Europe by Rail.” This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 14.06.2021
    31 MB
    32:28
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    Afghanistan 2.0: What happens to Civil Society and Afghan women after NATO forces leave? (Part Two)

    As NATO leaders meet in Brussels, our episode features the second part of a special town hall Common Ground co-hosted with the German Marshall Fund of the United States about the future of Afghanistan once the alliance’s troops leave in the coming months. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks with: Atia Abawi, award-winning foreign correspondent and children’s author. Kathy Gannon, award-winning News Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Associated Press and author. Marina Kielpinski LeGree, founder and head of "Ascend," an NGO that trains Afghan girls and women to be leaders through mountain climbing and community service. Metra Mehran, Fulbright Scholar who co-founded the Feminine Perspectives Movement, which provides a platform for women across Afghanistan to raise their voices and ensure their views are heard at the peace talks. Almut Wieland-Karimi, executive director of the Center for International Peace Operations. Ellinor Zeino, Afghanistan Country Director for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Also featuring Pen Farthing, founder of the Nowzad Veterinary Clinic in Afghanistan, Veterinarian Zahra Nasiri and Renja Farein Ahmadi of the Enabled Children Initiative (ECI).

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  • 07.06.2021
    31 MB
    33:11
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    Afghanistan 2.0: What happens to Civil Society and Afghan women after NATO forces leave? (Part One)

    On May 27th, Common Ground and The German Marshall Fund of the United States co-hosted a special town hall with Afghan women, aid workers and analysts on three continents to talk about the future of the Central Asian Country after two decades of military and humanitarian intervention. This episode includes excerpts and interviews from that event. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks with: Atia Abawi, Award-winning foreign correspondent and children’s author. Kathy Gannon, Award-winning News Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Associated Press and author. Marina Kielpinski LeGree, Founder and CEO of "Ascend," an NGO that trains Afghan girls and women to be leaders through community service and mountain climbing. Metra Mehran, Fulbright Scholar who co-founded the Feminine Perspectives Movement, which provides a platform for women across Afghanistan to raise their voices and ensure their perspectives are reflected in the peace talks. Almut Wieland-Karimi, Executive Director of the Center for International Peace Operations. Ellinor Zeino, Afghanistan Country Director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Also featuring GMF Editorial Director Rachel Tausendfreund and Ascend Program Assistant Shogufa Bayat.

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  • 24.05.2021
    32 MB
    33:47
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    Voting while young

    What role will Germans between the ages of 18 and 35 play in choosing the next chancellor? Germany is often called a “pensioner democracy,” which has made it hard for young people to make a difference. That could change this year following a rare court victory and the surge of the Green Party and Annalena Baerbock, who could become the youngest chancellor in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks with Green Party national deputy chairwoman Ricarda Lang; climate activist and Fridays for Future co-founder Carla Reemtsma, and GMF Europe program associate Anne Flotho-Liersch, who also coordinates the Berlin chapter of the Young Transatlantic Network. We also hear from Andrea Ugrinoska, who chairs the Advisory Council on Youth, which is the voice of young people in the Council of Europe. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 17.05.2021
    1 MB
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    Coming up on Common Ground: Young German voters and a live episode!

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  • 10.05.2021
    34 MB
    36:10
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    Why don’t women feel safe? Outrage in Europe and beyond after the murder of Sarah Everard in London

    Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson delves into why women struggle with fear despite wielding more political and economic power than ever before, with guests Anne Ruetten, social media manager of Plan International; Conny Vogt of Heimwegtelefon, a private initiative in Germany and Austria helping women feel safer when they walk home at night; and Sarah Riese, a researcher on violence prevention at the independent institute, Camino. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 03.05.2021
    35 MB
    36:26
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    No Roof over our Heads, Part II: The Mietendeckel is no more, so what happens to affordable housing in Germany?

    Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores what the end of the Berlin rent cap means for renters, landlords and the upcoming German federal elections with guests Wenke Christoph, state secretary in the Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing; Economist Konstantin Kholodolin of the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin; and Kalle Kunkel, a Berlin activist with the Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen and Company initiative. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 26.04.2021
    37 MB
    39:30
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    Old But Not Broke -- Can we afford to retire?

    Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores the impact of changing attitudes, governments and the pandemic on people’s plans to retire, with guests llka Houben, head of pensions policy at the German Insurance Association; Michael Heuser, research director of the German Institute for Wealth Creation and Retirement Insurance and Megan Leonhardt, senior money reporter with U.S. broadcaster CNBC. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 19.04.2021
    1 MB
    01:05
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    Catching up with Common Ground

    Tune in on Mondays for interesting insights about Berlin and beyond. Our next episode is coming up Apr. 26, 2021.

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  • 12.04.2021
    34 MB
    35:51
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    A Shot In The Arm -- Should immigrants living in Germany fly home for their COVID-19 vaccine?

    Common Ground’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks to Korinna Hennig, co-host of a top German coronavirus podcast and Stefan Gosepath, a German philosopher and professor at the Freie Universitat Berlin, about the growing exodus in search of inoculations. We also hear from an American in Berlin who returned to the United States to get vaccinated and two others who are thinking of doing so. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 05.04.2021
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    Coming up on Common Ground

    Teaser: A Shot In The Arm -- A growing number of expats living in Germany are headed home for the COVID-19 vaccine, but is it ethical or safe for them to do so?

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  • 29.03.2021
    34 MB
    35:49
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    Agree to disagree? The U.S. and German do-si-do on China

    The Western allies’ coordinated sanctions on China this month for human rights abuses in Xinjiang are the first of their kind since the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. But do they signal a new, unified approach by Washington and Berlin toward China? Or will the transatlantic unison be short-lived? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks with Noah Barkin, a senior visiting fellow with the German Marshall Fund’s Asia program and managing editor of Rhodium Group’s China practice; and Glacier Kwong, a political and digital rights activist from Hong Kong who is a columnist and also a doctoral student at the University of Hamburg. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 22.03.2021
    38 MB
    40:08
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    Wir Schaffen Das -- Except in the Bundestag?

    Immigrants and their descendants account for a quarter of Germany’s population, but still have a hard time breaking into the political arena. Will any of that change this election year? Is the first-ever Syrian refugee candidate a good start? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks with MP Aydan Özoğuz, a Social Democrat who was previously the federal commissioner for migration, refugees and integration and Andreas Wüst, a professor of political science and government at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed. Update 30.3.2021: The Green Party says the first refugee to run for the Bundestag -- Syrian Tareq Alaows, who we report on in this episode -- has since withdrawn his candidacy because of threats against him and his family.

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  • 15.03.2021
    33 MB
    35:13
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    Time to reboot -- Germany’s rocky road to the digital age

    What accounts for the slow digitalization of Europe’s economic powerhouse? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores Germany’s digital reality with Social Democratic MP Daniela Kolbe, who serves on the Artificial Intelligence Study Commission; MP Anke Domscheit-Berg, The Left party’s spokeswoman on the Digital Agenda parliamentary committee; and Philip Meissner, founder and head of the European Center for Digital Competitiveness at the ESCP Business School Berlin. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 08.03.2021
    44 MB
    46:41
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    No roof over our heads -- A look at Germany’s growing housing shortage

    Affordable housing in German cities is increasingly hard to find. What went wrong and can it be fixed? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks with Berlin housing activist Thomas McGath of Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen und Co; Barbara Steenberger, head of the EU Liaison Office of the International Union of Tenants and Konstantin Kholodilin, senior economist at the German Institute for Economic Research. Also featuring commentary by Berlin MP Iris Spranger (SPD). This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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