The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Edition for January 12, 2020

Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright.

Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright:

The Canadian government's responsibilities in the wake of the Iran plane crash: Lawyer Amanda Ghahremani talks about the federal government's obligations to Iranian-Canadians who lost loved ones, and the role it can and should play in investigating the plane crash. She specializes in international criminal law, access to justice and redress for survivors of atrocity crimes, and makes the case for reinstating diplomatic relations with Iran. Ghahremani did extensive legal, diplomatic, and advocacy work to free her aunt, Homa Hoodfar, a Canadian-Iranian professor who was held for almost four months in the infamous Evin prison. 

How Trump managed something Iran's ruling clerics could not — unifying the country: Ervand Abrahamian, perhaps the pre-eminent historian of modern Iran, argues that the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani has strengthened the hand of Iran's theocratic government. In an interview with Michael Enright, Professor Abrahamian — whose books include The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations — says the fallout from the assassination will include more anti-Western hardliners and right-wing populists being elected in Iran's upcoming elections.

A dark time for Iran and Iranians: Iranian-Canadian political scientist Nader Hashemi, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver, says the Iranian admission that its own military shot down the Ukrainian airliner compounds the anger so many Iranians feel toward their government and will just perpetuate the current cycle of protest and government repression. He believes that the best hope for Iranians lies in new political leadership in both the US and Iran.

Anguish, hope and resistance: 40 years since the Iranian Revolution: In 1979, the Iranian Revolution ousted the shah and brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power. Michael talks to the preeminent historian of modern Iran, Ervand Abrahamian, and to Homa Hoodfar of Concordia University, who was held in Tehran's Evin prison for 112 days on charges of "dabbling in feminism." We also hear from an Iranian-Canadian who participated in the revolution as a university student, and Chowra Makaremi, whose mother was a political dissident executed by the Islamic Republic. Our special one-hour broadcast is called "Azadi: Freedom and Revolution in Iran." (Repeat)

The Splice of Life: Exploring the science behind gene-edited foods and their implications: Gene-edited foods haven't hit Canadian supermarket shelves yet, but they could start appearing within the next couple of years, promising longer shelf lives, less food waste, and greater safety. But as Ira Basen's documentary — The Splice of Life — explains, many questions remain about the science behind gene-edited foods. And there are also questions about consumer confidence. Twenty years after genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were introduced into the food system, many Canadians remain suspicious about their safety. Will this next generation of genetic engineering fare any better?

More Canadians than ever are listening to books, not just reading them: Publishers are struggling to meet the burgeoning demand for audiobooks of Canadian titles. We speak with Ann Jansen, who left CBC Radio in 2017 to become the director of audiobook production at Penguin Random House, the largest publisher in the country. And Canadian actors Braden Wright and Tess Degenstein share the challenges and joys of audiobook narration — an increasingly lucrative form of work for actors.

Remembering a larger-than-life Canadian political figure: John Crosbie, who died on Friday, was one of the most prominent and trusted — and certainly most colourful — cabinet members of Brian Mulroney's governments and served as the Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland from 2008 to 2013. We'll pay tribute with excerpts from Michael's 1997 interview with him. 

Mail: Walking, words

Music this week by: Kayhan Kalhor, Colin Purbrook, Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet, Creaking Tree String Quartet, Jackson Browne, David Belle, Dimitrije Vasiljevic, Steve Earle, Bruce Cockburn, David Piltch