Promised Land (CBC Radio One)

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Promised Land is a CBC Radio One program about refugees to Canada that first ran in the summer of 2010. It was presented by Natasha Fatah.


Promised Land features interviews with refugees to Canada who have gone through, in the words of the show's presenter Natasha Fatah, "an escape that starts anywhere in the world but always ends in Canada".[1] The interviewee is introduced by Fatah, who briefly outlines the refugee's story and allows them to tell it. The refugee's story is interspersed by clarifying comments by Fatah to fill in gaps caused by omissions in the recorded story. Finally, once the refugee's interview is finished, Fatah makes concluding remarks and outlines the plot of next week's program.[1]

Ten instalments of Promised Land aired between June and August 2010, with shows premiering Monday evenings at 7:30pm at each station's local time (8:00pm Newfoundland Time), repeating on Friday mornings at 9:30am (10:00am Newfoundland Time). The show was broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 137 on Mondays at 6:30pm and 10:20pm Eastern Time (ET) and on Fridays at 8:30am and 12:30pm ET.[1]


Promised Land was produced by CBC Radio One producers Natasha Fatah, Mark Ulster and Dagna Pielaszkiewicz. Fatah's own family escaped from Pakistan to move to Toronto in 2002. The 10-part documentary series was released in CD format for sale online,[2] although all ten episodes are available to download as a podcast from iTunes[3] or the CBC web site.[4] Fatah, the presenter and interviewer, claims to have had to stop recording her interviews on a couple of occasions because she had started crying in response to her interviewees' stories.[5]


# Title Show guest Home country Broadcast date
1 "Escape from Vietnam" Uyen Vu Vietnam June 28, 2010 (2010-06-28)
2 "Escape from Iran" Shahram Tabe Iran July 5, 2010 (2010-07-05)
3 "Escape from Czechoslovakia" Alino, Eva and Miso Baranik Czechoslovak Socialist Republic July 12, 2010 (2010-07-12)
4 "Escape from Argentina" Alberto Lalli Argentina July 19, 2010 (2010-07-19)
5 "Escape from Uganda" Anwer Omar Uganda July 26, 2010 (2010-07-26)
6 "Escape from the USA" Gary Hoag United States August 5, 2010 (2010-08-05)
7 "Escape from the Eritrea" Aaron Berhane Eritrea August 12, 2010 (2010-08-12)
8 "Escape from Honduras" Nora Lopez Honduras August 16, 2010 (2010-08-16)
9 "Escape from Ethiopia" Daniel Biru Ethiopia August 23, 2010 (2010-08-23)
10 "Escape from the Holocaust" Max Eisen Occupied Czechoslovakia August 30, 2010 (2010-08-30)


Despite receiving few reviews, Promised Land was well received by critics. Elisabeth Mahoney from The Guardian praised the show, writing, "[The interviews] make gripping radio. These well-produced half-hour shows are driven by stories that cannot help but be dramatic, and are assembled to heighten that using archive news clips, music (especially for the most terrifying moments of the escape) and, most crucially, voice."[6]


  1. ^ a b c "About the Show". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  2. ^ Fatah, Natasha. "Promised Land (CD)". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Promised Land podcast". iTunes listing. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Pielaszkiewicz, Dagna. "Promised Land Past Episodes". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  5. ^ Barnes, Rodney (30 July 2010). "Natasha Fatah on Keeping CBC's Promised Land". Torontoist. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  6. ^ Mahoney, Elisabeth (11 August 2010). "Radio head: Promised Land". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2010.