Last month in the Manara Arts & Culture space in Amman, the team behind the popular music podcast Dom Tak held their first live performance to herald the show’s second season.
Produced by the Sowt, an Arab podcast company, Dom Tak joins the ranks of Sowt’s other popular shows, such as Blank Maps and Eib, which include discussions of statelessness in Arab countries and probing episodes on supposedly taboo topics.
The rapid explosion of Arabic podcasts and audiences in the past few years has led to a proliferation of podcasts that can be heard on a variety of platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify, Anghami and Podcast Arab. (See a related article, “Arab Podcasts Find a Growing Audience”.)
The first season of Dom Tak, released in April 2019, concentrated on famous yet underrepresented female singers of classical tarab and folk music from around the region. According to the podcast presenter, Rana Daoud, the majority of singers were new to her and generally “not familiar to our [younger] generation.” Including the likes of the Lebanese singer Nahawand and the Moroccan pop singer Aziza Jalal, the podcast season explored the personal, often tragic, circumstances and stories behind the overlooked divas of Arabic music.
Initially, the stories and research behind the podcast came from a collaboration with Ma3azef, the first online music magazine fully in Arabic. The podcast’s first episode, on Nahawand, used the research material from an article by Nour Ezz El-Din that detailed the singer’s almost forgotten, powerful will to sing despite her family’s initial objections to a life on stage and her decades of struggling in the music industry.