The Goodness Podcast: A window on women’s struggles   

Noor Tehini is the co-founder of The Goodness Podcast. (Supplied)
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Updated 30 July 2020

The Goodness Podcast: A window on women’s struggles   

DUBAI: For years, women in the Middle East have struggled to speak up on issues that have only been whispered about in the region, said co-founder of The Goodness Podcast Noor Tehini. 

To give women a chance to openly discuss these taboo topics, Tehini, who is Lebanese and who grew up in the UAE, decided to start the online platform and community Goodness two years ago, dedicated to tackling matters relating to women’s wellness in a real, honest, and holistic way. 

In January, on the second anniversary of the online platform’s founding, Tehini launched The Goodness Podcast “with the goal of celebrating the inspirational stories of women living in the Middle East,” she said, speaking to Arab News.  

“There was so much information, wisdom and raw honesty to be shared and no better way to convey that than by allowing our community to essentially eavesdrop on our conversations,” added Tehini.

Now at its 26th episode, the podcast has welcomed a number of guests, including entrepreneurs, nutritional therapists and mothers.

“We’ve had women openly discuss eating disorders, postpartum depression, miscarriages, and more on our various platforms,” Tehini said. 

However, the entrepreneur still thinks there are specific topics that women are not yet comfortable discussing. “A few topics that I’ve found women still struggle to speak about openly are marital issues and matters relating to sexual health,” she explained.  

And if the tables were to turn and Tehini were a guest on the podcast, she said she would probably discuss self-discovery — “Finding your voice, both personally and professionally, learning about who you are, trusting yourself, and allowing a full and accepting expression of that,” she elaborated.

“In some of the darkest moments of my life, conversations and connections with other women were the light I needed. These are the moments when you realize that you are not alone, that other people are going through what you are going through, and that, through honest conversation, you can learn from each other or at the very least experience some sort of release through sharing,” she added. 

Now, at the top of Tehini’s guest list are Lebanese actress Razane Jammal, sexologist Sandrine Atallah, and body-positive advocate Danae Mercer.

“It’s a long and hard journey, but I’m loving every step of the way,” she said. 


Lebanese teen Nour Ardakani is global pop group Now United’s first Arab member

Updated 21 September 2020

Lebanese teen Nour Ardakani is global pop group Now United’s first Arab member

DUBAI: The search for global music group Now United’s newest member is finally over. Enter Nour Ardakani, the 18-year-old singer from Lebanon, who is set to become the band’s 16th member – and first Arab – after an extensive, months-long search for talent across the Middle East and North Africa.

Ardakani was hand-picked by Simon Fuller, the man who founded popular British girl band The Spice Girls and created “American Idol.”

“I think you are absolutely wonderful, and I think you would be perfect to join the group. And I would like to invite you to be the next member of Now United,” Fuller told the singer and dancer in a video call.

“Seriously, it’s me? You picked me?” asked Ardakani, to which Fuller replied: “You got it.”

The singer, who currently resides in Beirut with her family, joins fellow group for the band’s latest single “Feel It Now.”

Founded in 2017, the multinational music group announced in November last year that they were looking for a new member from the MENA region.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nour Ardakani (@noursmusicdiary) on

Out of thousands of hopefuls in the Middle East and North Africa, 13 were shortlisted and invited to participate in a virtual audition last week in front of Fuller. Eventually, it came down to Ardakani and a 15-year-old Emirati singer, Alya Al-Ali.

Fuller picked Ardakani after hearing her recording of Now United’s song “Habibi.”