Ahmed Ali Akbar

is creating the See Something Say Something podcast

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Salaam! My name’s Ahmed Ali Akbar and I’m a writer and the host of See Something Say Something, a critically acclaimed podcast that covers American Muslims.

Previously, the podcast was housed and developed at BuzzFeed. But in fall of 2018, BuzzFeed shut down it’s audio department and gave me the rights to the show. Since April 2019, I have been making the show independently by crowdfunding via Patreon. Since that shift, we’ve interviewed Ramy Youssef, explored the dangers and joys of teaching the Uyghur language in America despite Chinese government surveillance, and talked about Disney’s weird (but fun!) live-action Aladdin remake.

Your donations help make this level of quality possible and the more we grow, the better the show becomes.

What is the show about?

For our team and our dedicated listeners, the show is a platform that has a generous view of who gets included in the narrative of Islam in America — our vision is a world where we accept that our community has both good and bad, and that it includes people of all backgrounds. My job as host is to guide us through it all and to expand the purview of the American Muslim perspective.

In each episode, I cover the wide world of our community, from pop culture analysis to interviews with folks work. Past episode topics include: jinn exorcisms, building LGBTQ prayer spaces, and the hidden Muslim history of Gullah Geechie cuisine. The show is a unique space where we center Muslim experiences, and I’ve interviewed luminaries like Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad, model Halima Aden, Samin Nosrat of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, and more. Our team has won a Wilbur Award for reporting on religion in a secular medium and been featured in NYTimes, Salon, CNN, Glamour, Salon, NPR, and more.


What is Patreon?

Patreon is a platform and service that lets creators like me get paid directly so they can create.

Why do you need a Patreon?
Since leaving BuzzFeed, I’ve shifted to becoming a freelance journalist and writer. That means my food and living expenses comes from chasing down money. It’s a tough lifestyle. Thankfully, since making the Patreon, I have had a consistent paycheck that helps to center the rest of the work.

Plus, to me, the Patreon is a contract between the listeners and me. I am somebody who needs extrinsic motivation to produce — your consistent love and support for the show encourages me to move forward and keep making it. The moment I made the Patreon and donations started rolling in — I knew the show would go on, even though there were moments I considered stopping.

Where does my money go? How much money do you need?

So currently, as budgeted, 75% of the money goes towards expenses and the actual making of the show. The rest goes to paying my bills. I imagine this proportion will generally stay the same if the show budget increases.

As far as the money I need, I am still far from being fully self sustainable. But I’d love for this to become a full time job. There are moments where I’m scrounging to pay the bills. Some folks donate $1, some folks donate $10, and a few donate $100. Everything helps! We have averaged about 200 patrons recently — I’d be much more comfortable if we grew that number to 500 or even 1,000. We have the audience size!

How often will I end up paying and how often will you be releasing?

You will be charged on the first of the month and at our current budget, I will be releasing a minimum of one episode a month, but usually two.

What do I get out of it?

We are still building our capacity and tweaking, but we shout-out our Patrons regularly on the show. Patrons at $5 and up get access to things like the Discord, Newsletters, Bonus Episodes, and more.

Do I NEED to donate?
Absolutely not! The show will go on and we love all of our listeners equally.

I don’t want to do Patreon every month! How else can I support you?
Well first, make sure all your friends and family listen to the show! But if you still want to donate, you can find PayPal and Venmo payment links at the following:: https://moneyyy.me/$ahmedaliakbar.
$1,159 of $1,250 per month
When I reach $1250 a month, I'll be able to consistently make episodes for the show.
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