Genocide, Optimism, and Belly Dancing: An Interview with Dr. Emily Bashah and the Honorable Paul Johnson

Wait, what? Genocide, optimism, and belly dancing in the same conversation? Our guests, Emily Bashah and Paul Johnson, cover those topics and more. Emily is a psychologist who has worked on high-profile cases covering terrorism. Her parents survived Saddam Hussein’s campaign of genocidal violence against Jews in Iraq in the 1960s and 70s. Paul’s background is as a politician (he was mayor of Phoenix when he was 30 years old) and entrepreneur. Their recent book is called Addictive Ideologies: Finding Meaning and Agency When Politics Fail You.

And what about belly dancing? Listen to the end of the interview, where Emily explains how she became an accomplished belly dancer as an expression of her cultural heritage. And at around the 60-minute mark you’ll hear Emily and Paul’s amazing story of how their relationship transformed from colleagues to romance and marriage.

You can find the “Optimistic American” podcast that Paul and Emily host at https://www.optamerican.com/.

Want to suggest a topic or someone for us to interview? Go to https://ctin7.com and send us a message.

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