Sports Politika
Sports Politika
How my time among revolutionaries and reporting on a warlord shaped my writing
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How my time among revolutionaries and reporting on a warlord shaped my writing

In the inaugural episode of The Sports Politika podcast, I talk about watching football with revolutionaries and MMA with a president. I also talk about how reporting on a warlord shaped my life.
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Transcript

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A picture of me and my commentary partner Ian Freeman during an M-1 Global event in Moscow, Russia in 2015.

Hey readers,

I love writing. I expect keep writing until the day I die. But I also know when it is time to challenge myself with different mediums in my quest to tell stories. Podcasts aren’t exactly new but they are new to me. I’ve been on plenty of podcasts over the years but I have never tried speaking into a microphone—alone—for an extended period of time and then publish it into the ether known as the internet.

Nevertheless, I tried my hand at podcasting this week and the result is the episode above—a 45-minute session where I walk you through my genesis into the world of sports and politics. I talk about my time in Egypt among a group of revolutionaries, my journeys to Russia and the cast of characters I encountered during those years, and how reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov shaped my career.

Some episode notes:

  • I discuss my time among the Ultras Ahlawy, the Egyptian football fans who became revolutionaries during the Arab Spring. To learn more about them, I suggest reading this longform I wrote about them earlier this year

  • I also discuss my time in Russia, including some of the absurd incidents I found myself in the middle of, like the time I was cornered into watching an MMA event with the president of Ingushetia—a man who is now Russia’s deputy minister of defence involved in the war in Ukraine. Read more about that here:

  • Finally, I also mentioned the article I wrote for The New York Times earlier this year about Lionel Messi’s involvement with Saudi Arabia’s Tourism authority. You can read that article here.

Happy listening and, as always, your feedback is very much appreciated.

Karim



Sports Politika is a newsletter about the intersection of sports, power and politics. If you like what you see, upgrade to a paid subscription ( or gift a subscription if you already have your own). We would appreciate if you could also like the post and let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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Sports Politika
Sports Politika
A podcast that delves into the intricate world of sports, power and politics.