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4 Podcasts Delving Into the Arab Third Culture Kid Experience

April 9, 2023
Photo credit: Shutterstock


More and more Arabs, who are a part of the diaspora, have been finding themselves oscillating between their identity within the context of the cities they grew up in and the strong pull towards their roots — the countries that they’re originally from. Searching for themselves in that blank space merging the culture that raised them, and the culture that runs through their veins, these Arabs are in a constant quest to reconcile the different aspects that make up who they are.

The term Third Culture Kid (TCK) was coined in the 1950s by American sociologist, Ruth Hill Useem; it described expat children living outside of their countries of origin during their formative years. As globalisation increased and families continued to move outside of their homelands for economic reasons, the term third culture kid gained popularity, becoming a form of self-identification.

But what is their experience? Being raised abroad and exposed to a medley of social norms and tradition, the TCK is a hybrid of cultures with a complex perception of identity. Being brought up outside of their native countries, the TCK doesn’t necessarily define home as one place.

Here are four podcasts that dive into the Third Culture Kid experience, from an Arab perspective.

Yalla Bye

TCKs are in a never-ending quest to reconcile the duality present within their identity: Who are they? Where do they belong? More importantly, where do they fit in?

Yalla Bye, which is hosted by sisters Hager and Mna ElDaas, looks at the TCK experience specifically as it pertains to women. The podcast has been praised for sparking conversations that are raw and authentic, with the duo discussing beauty standards, marriage, and a variety of other topics stemming from their Arab heritage and the cultural influences of their host country. The candid conversations explore the ideals formed within the westernised Arab who is wedged between a strong pull towards their roots and a tug towards the social influences from their host country.

Listen to the podcast on Spotify.

The Dukkan Show

The Dukkan Show is hosted by Mohammed Akkaoui, Omar Tom and Reem Hameed. With all three being TCKs, much of the conversations on the podcast examine identity, and displacement within that context. They do, however, talk about a variety of other topics including hip-hop, and motherhood. Inciting cultural conversations, the podcast is one of the first to come out of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Dukkan, which means shop in Arabic, finds its inspiration in echoing the types of conversations that one would potentially have at their neighbourhood store (dukkan).

Listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.

The Foreign Local

Much like the name suggests, the Foreign Local is a podcast that spotlights the return of the prodigal son/daughter to their homeland. It gives a voice to the Egyptian diaspora and explores their experience of returning to Egypt after having lived abroad. Through its interviews, the podcast looks into what it means to be raised in another country as an Egyptian, and the task of adapting in that transitional phase of moving back. It is hosted by Monica Gerges.

Listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.

The Hamburger Generation

The Hamburger Generation podcast shares stories from today’s “westernised Arab youth.” The name comes as a comic ode to the term used by older generations to define them. Hosted by Jamil Adas and Isra Abu Zayed, the podcast looks at life through the eyes of Arab expats, and more specifically Millennials. Inviting an eclectic range of guests to speak their truths, the podcast discusses a kaleidoscope of issues including motherhood, mental health, and racism.

Listen to the podcast on Spotify.

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