Chaldeans take on podcasting and Facebook Live
By Monique Mansour
Critics of technology argue that it can hinder interpersonal communication and limit face-to-face interactions. While there may be some validity to these statements, technology can also bring about enhancements to the natural connections we strive to make with one another by making interactions more accessible than ever before. Take Jay Nalu and Omar Binno, for example –two Chaldeans utilizing the advancements of today’s technology to connect to a wider audience of individuals craving insight, wisdom, entertainment, and knowledge.
Jay Nalu of West Bloomfield owns Echo Network –a podcast network and studio. Nalu, who studied Advertising and Marketing at Ferris State University, felt that the move to work in this medium came naturally to him. “I had been listening to podcasts since the advent of the medium and I loved the on-demand aspect of it –I could start and finish a show at my leisure. Over the years, podcasts have introduced me to interesting people and ideas that otherwise would’ve never crossed my radar.” Then, it dawned on Nalu, why not create a podcast network and studio? “In the summer of 2014, I offered to produce a friend’s entertainment podcast free of charge in an effort to learn more about the business. After doing the weekly show for 15 months at another podcast studio, I left to launch Echo Network in November 2016.” The rest, as they say, is history.
Echo Network produces around 20 shows. “We broadcast live from our recording studio in downtown Royal Oak and air two syndicated shows from Ohio.” One of their most popular podcasts is You’re All Set, which is hosted by the Detroit area rap fusion band Feral Ground. “What’s exciting is that many up-and-coming artists from the Chaldean community including filmmaker Shawn Shaman and musicians Alexa Delly and Danielle Bahoora have been featured guests on our shows,” said Nalu.
For Nalu, the best part about owning a podcast network and studio is the ability he has to help others. “It’s very rewarding to be able to provide the opportunity for anyone to have their own podcast radio show and have their voice heard across a global platform. Our goal is to create a positive environment where people can flourish and be themselves. I’m always being told by our clients that coming into our studio to record is the best part of their week – that’s a wonderful feeling.”
On a day-to-day basis, you can find Nalu doing numerous tasks. “We’re a fairly new company so I’m always busy trying to add new content and interesting sponsorship partners. You can often find me editing shows and audio clips, working as the sound engineer during the recordings, and screening on-air phone calls, among other things,” said Nalu.
Nalu believes that with the advent of these new technologies, reaching your goals is now more possible than ever before. “Create your own opportunities. People may try to steer you away from your dreams, but you can’t listen to the negative voices. If you love it, make it happen for yourself,” said Nalu. For more information about Echo Network shows or starting your own podcast, visit echopodcast.com.
Similar to Nalu, the inspiration for Omar Binno, also of West Bloomfield, to create a Facebook Live show came from the desire to reach a wider range of people. “For years before my show began, I’d post statuses on Facebook that would cause controversy. I’ve always felt that we have too many taboo issues that we refuse to face or that we altogether ignore –both individually and as a community. As long as stereotypes or stigmas remained taboo, unaddressed, or unresolved, they would also remain hurtful to our growth psychologically, socially, and spiritually. I started this show about three years ago via a site called blogtalkradio.com, and it was more of a radio show where people would call in with their thoughts. This year, however, we decided to air the show through Facebook live, because the reality is that we live in a very visual society, and people want see who they’re listening to,” said Binno.
The Nadi is the title of Binno’s Facebook Live show. “I decided to call it that because,
in a sense, that’s what it resembles. We’re a group of people sitting around chatting openly at a table. The only thing missing are plates of kabob, tika, gus, kari, rice, and chai. I may incorporate those into the show at some point in the future,” said Binno. The show is broadcast biweekly on Tuesdays at 8pm EST and viewers can comment and interact with the show from their Facebook accounts. “Part of the reason for moving the show to Facebook Live was so that people could express their thoughts, opinions, and concerns on the issues we bring up as we talk about them in real time. The viewers’ comments are essential to the show.”
For Binno, a favorite aspect of his show is the open forum that it brings about. “As long as we can talk about pressing issues and do it in a tasteful and respectful manner, we can talk about anything. I think that the Chaldean community needed an outlet like this to address issues that we tend to shy away from. As far as I know, this show is the first of its kind to achieve this,” said Binno.
For aspiring show hosts, Binno offers the following advice. “Always try and think outside of the box. We have nearly limitless outlets and avenues to express our thoughts and opinions to share with the world. It takes way more creativity to do that productively and constructively than it does to just attack or bash a person or an issue –anyone can do that. Hosting a show is a form of art: just like producing music, writing poetry, or creating paintings.”
With all the noise we find ourselves in during our modern, busy lives, Nalu and Binno remind us to make the time to stop and listen to those around us.