The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Magazine for May 16, 2021

Host Piya Chattopadhyay discusses Palestinian-Israeli violence with Gershon Belkin, 'Wuhan Wuhan' with Yung Chang, the return of handshakes with Ella Al-Shamahi, and the secret life of taxi drivers with Marcello Di Cintio.

This week on The Sunday Magazine with Piya Chattopadhyay:

Where is Palestinian-Israeli violence heading?

Tensions, violence and bloodshed between Israel and Palestinians are nothing new, but the latest spasms of violence have taken on a more unnerving and ominous character, with fighting spilling beyond the armed forces of Israel and Hamas. Gershon Baskin, former peace negotiator, columnist for the Jerusalem Post and Al Quds newspapers, and founder of the Israeli-Palestinian Public Policy Institute joins Chattopadhyay from Jerusalem to explain the latest developments, the rapid escalation of hostilities, where the current violence appears headed... and what needs to happen to bring the conflict under control.

A window into Wuhan

16 months ago, the city of Wuhan, China, became notorious as the home for a frightening, new coronavirus that swept the world. But for Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Yung Chang, the reality was richer and more complex. His new film, Wuhan Wuhan, tells the human stories of medical staff, COVID-19 patients and ordinary people coping with the city's darkest outbreak.

Shaking off the handshake? Not so fast!

It's been more than a year since we were asked to stop shaking hands, and if you're anything like our host Piya, you may be hoping the practice never comes back. But in a fascinating new book, The Handshake: A Gripping History, paleoanthropologist and stand-up comic Ella Al-Shamahi argues the greeting will make a triumphant post-pandemic return because it's programmed into our very DNA. Ella tells Chattopadhyay the weird and wonderful story of how and why we've been reaching for each other through the millennia, and how a single handshake can change the world.

The secret lives of taxi drivers 

Calgary-based writer Marcello Di Cintio has travelled all over the world for his books and journalism — and his latest work chronicles a destination many are familiar with: the taxicab. In Driven: The Secret Lives of Taxi Drivers, Di Cintio unearths the tales of a handful of Canadian cabbies, and he hears the stories you may miss if you don't pay attention. He joins Chattopadhyay to discuss the ways a taxicab can function like a border, and the view of Canada from the eyes of its drivers.