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Ahraz: a new podcast investigating true crime from Sowt
Sowt launches its newest show this year – a narrative podcast in the world of crime and mystery. In each season, Ahraz follows a real case and delves into the legal, ethical, and societal details to solve the puzzle and help us gain a better understanding of the case.
True-crime and mystery podcasts are extremely popular, attracting a large audience from all over the world, especially after the unprecedented success of Serial, the podcast that started a revolution in the medium and shaped the podcasting scene today.
The name Ahraz comes from the Arabic word hirz, which means ‘the silent witness,’ or evidence collected from a convicted individual once they are arrested. The first season follows a story that started in July 2018, when Anba Epiphanius was found dead after being struck on the head three times in the corridors of the monastery he heads in northern Egypt.
Throughout the season’s episodes, we are introduced to four different characters whose lives intertwine throughout the story. The first is the head of the monastery and the victim of the crime, and the second is his rival whose life ended strangely. The cause of his death was not confirmed to be murder or suicide.
The third character is a young monk who attempted suicide, which linked him directly to the case and caused his current imprisonment, and the last character is a young monk who has been tortured, deprived of his status, and sentenced to death after being accused of killing the Anba, the main character of the first season of Ahraz.
The season is produced and hosted by Egyptian Journalist Ahmed Ragab, who returns to investigative journalism through this new medium, drawing us in with his narrative of characters and events, in light of case files, interviews, and story developments.
Ragab comments: “the story of the Anba caught my attention because it discusses bigger topics like disputes in the Egyptian Coptic Church, torture, failure of justice, and the death sentence. I had many reactions from my colleagues in investigative journalism who said that the story opens doors to similar stories that stumbled in the past because of production issues or censorship in the Arab world. So, I hope this is the beginning of new and varied journalistic investigations”.
Ahraz is available for listening starting this April, and you can find it wherever you get your podcasts.
Sowt is a leading independent podcast production company in MENA.
They are currently producing over 30 shows as Originals fully owned and produced by Sowt. They also work with brands and clients on white-label through Sowt Studios. Their network of partners and collaborators include working with regional media outlets and international organizations to promote social, economic, gender and equality.