Middle East

Kickflips Over Occupation image
Courtesy image / Maen Hammad

Maen Hammad, the son of Palestinian refugees, grew up in Michigan and fell in love with skateboarding. On a trip back to the Middle East, he found others who loved the sport, too, and made a documentary about it. Now, he hopes to bring his sport’s therapeutic powers to Syrian refugees in Lebanon.


In the second part of Scott Pohl’s conversation with Mahtob Mahmoody, author of “My Name is Mahtob”, she describes forgiving her father for holding her and her mother captive in Iran when she was a child. 

Mahtob Mahmoody photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

In “Not Without My Daughter,” Betty Mahmoody told the story of how her then-husband took her and her daughter from their Michigan home to Iran and held them captive, and how they escaped to return to the U.S. 

Graham E. Fuller is a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, a former senior political scientist at RAND, and a current adjunct professor of history at Simon Fraser University. He is the author of the new book, "Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East".