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Saturday 20 December  
The State We're In team. From left, Mignon, Belinda, Greg, Jonathan and Diana.

The State We're In - The Last Show: Our Favorites!

On air: 27 October 2012 2:00 (Photo: RNW)

The State We're In, 27 October 2012. Past and present members of TSWI join Jonathan to talk about their favourite all-time interviews and how they capture something essential about the show’s spirit.

Comment on this show or listen to previous shows.

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Tita Begashaw
Tita Begashaw
Greg Kelly's pick "Laughing Matters" - listen in new player

Tita Begashaw
loves to laugh.

In fact, she teaches people how to laugh till their sides ache.

She tells how she discovered the magic of laughter, and teaches skeptical host Jonathan Groubert how to join in the fun!

TSWI editor Greg Kelly explains why he picked "Laughing Matters" as his favorite piece. 


Taher Moslimany and Rita Isaac
Taher Moslimany and Rita Isaac
Diana Steenbergen's pick "Tunnel of Love" - listen in new player

Taher Moslimany and Rita Isaac are both Palestinian, and madly in love.

But he lives in Israel and she lives in Gaza.

They’ve seen each other only once in their whole relationship - and that’s when Taher crawled through illegal tunnels leading into Gaza to attend their wedding.

Producer Diana Steenbergen tells Jonathan why the love story of Taher and Rita touched her heart.


Martha Rivera Alanis with her students
Martha Rivera Alanis with her students
Belinda Lopez's pick "A Teacher’s Song" - listen in new player

Martha Rivera Alanis isn’t exactly the kind of person who’d seek fame on YouTube.

She’s a dedicated kindergarten teacher in Monterrey, Mexico. Earlier this year, gunfire from drug gangs came dangerously close to her class full of five and six-year-olds.

She tells Jonathan how she sang to her students to keep them calm – and how a video of the incident was seen by millions around the world.

Former producer Belinda Lopez, now in Sydney, Australia, joins us to talk about her pick, "A Teacher’s Song". 

Ashraf El-Hojouj
Ashraf El-Hojouj
Jonathan's pick "Libya and Lies" - listen in new player

As the world continues to watch Libya’s painful rebirth, one man may be watching more closely than most: Ashraf El-Hojouj.

He was part of the "Benghazi Six": six foreign medical workers accused in 1998 of infecting 400 babies with HIV.

He tells Jonathan how he was arrested, tortured and detained for nine excruciating years.

TSWI host Jonathan Groubert says his pick, "Libya and Lies", represents all the "tough" stories we did that were sometimes hard to listen to, but needed telling – and listening to. 

Samuel Maoz
Samuel Maoz
Anik See's pick "A Tank's Eye View" listen in new player

Samuel Maoz is the director of the celebrated film "Lebanon" which dramatizes his first 24 hours as an Israeli tank gunner in Israel’s 1982 war in Lebanon.

He tells Jonathan about the moral minefields he encountered when life and death were just a trigger pull away.

Former producer Anik See says our interview with Samuel Maoz ("A Tank’s Eye View") about his film depicting Israel’s war in Lebanon is exactly the kind of unusual view of controversial subjects our show excelled at. 

Don Ritchie
Don Ritchie
Mignon Aylen's pick "Australian Angel" - listen in new player

For almost 50 years, Don Ritchie lived across the street from Australia’s most notorious suicide spot, known locally as 'The Gap', near Sydney.

From his bedroom window, Don could see people as they’re considering jumping. So he’d walk over to them and gently ask them if they’d like a cup of tea back at his home.

Before he passed away in May of this year, Don saved at least 160 lives.

Producer Mignon Aylen tells Jonathan why “Australian Angel” Don Ritchie is her most memorable story.

Otto Baxter
Otto Baxter
Chris Chambers' pick "Downs But Not Out" - listen in new player

Otto Baxter is in his early 20s and has Down's Syndrome. He also wants to have sex.

But that’s not so easy in a culture which marginalizes people with disabilities.

He and his mother, Lucy, talk openly about Otto’s dream of having a love life.

One of our original producers, Chris Chambers recounts why the story of Otto and Lucy still moves him to this day.

Zahed Haftlang and family
Zahed Haftlang and family
Listeners' pick "Two Enemies, One Heart" - listen in new player

Two soldiers, one Iraqi and one Iranian, meet on the battlefield.

The Iranian saves the Iraqi’s life, risking his own in the process. That was 1982.

Nearly 20 years later, and on the other side of the world, sheer coincidence brings the two men together again in a life-saving drama. 

Jonathan narrates and plays clips from The State We're In's most popular piece ever - "Two Enemies, One Heart".


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Furyz 27 July 2013 - 1:50pm

Your show is amazing; the stories are always thoughtful and moving, and frequently funny. I will miss this show so much; it anchors my week. You always did an excellent job and made a difference for people. Good luck to you! 

Francey 14 April 2013 - 2:09pm / UNited States

I miss TSWI!!!!!! Every Sunday morning I surface from sleep around 7a.m. & listen drowsily to my Chicago Public Radio station expecting to hear one of my favorite shows. This morning I awoke & remembered the show was called "The State We're In," & Googled it--hoping I could hear it on a different PR station. My heart sank when I saw the word "cancelled." What a unique & mesmerizing show ... What a loss! I miss JG's sweet, humane voice & outlook. I'm an avid PR listener & TSWI was/is one of my favorites... Please bring it back...& T
THANK YOU for a memorable listening/life experience--from a sad fan in Chicago!

nassiliki 20 December 2012 - 3:49pm

There are no other shows like it. I am sorry that this talented lot will be lost to us.  Please find new financial support soon! We need radio that feels inspirational.

Anonymous 2 December 2012 - 2:05pm / romania

hope you will be back after CRISE pass.....

Siddika 15 November 2012 - 5:58am / USA

What a beautiful window into the human condition The State We're In has been for the world!
The goodness your stories have sent out into the world is simply endless. It's like a great sea that has touched and transformed millions of hearts.
If you never do another thing, your lives have been treasures that have changed humanity for the better! However, inshallah, you will do more wonderful work! Jonathon, you may be the best interviewer of our time. Bless all of you. Thank you!

Gayle Turner 25 November 2012 - 11:07pm / USA

I will miss my weekly ritual of listening to TSWI! It was an important program and our world needs it. Thank you so much for linking us to the world. I will be watching for you...... Gayle

aetritschler 11 November 2012 - 6:35pm / usa

I am SO awfully sorry to see you guys go! What a terrible shame that we/the world aren't able to provide your wonderful work an ongoing means of support. Many, many THANKS for your complex, compassionate viewpoints and wonderful, beautifully produced stories. How sorely you'll be missed! peace&love&happiness to each and every one of you, tswi'nners! gratefully, - A.

Elizabeth S 31 October 2012 - 8:51pm / Canada

I'm so sad to hear that this show has been cut. I discovered it very late one night on CBC and have been listening online ever since. I really hope that you're able to find the funding to continue and bring more amazing stories to life.

Barbara Riley 31 October 2012 - 4:47am / Canada

I am very upset to hear that this program will no longer be on the air. I do hope that there is still time for negotiations and that this very informative program will be able to come back on air. I always look forward to be able to listen to Jonathan and his guests, as it teaches one important lessons with regards to how we treat each other. Maybe the bosses who cancelled the show should take this lesson to heart.

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