Amal Alsadek is an Ontario, Canada-based teacher, grandmother and podcaster. Her inspiration for her children’s podcast, Storytime With Teta, came from her time spent reading to her seven grandchildren. Not only did she want to find fun, engaging stories for them, but she also wanted to help them work on their Arabic-language skills, and thus her podcast was born. In the year since she launched, Alsadek has had to learn how to produce, edit and manage her podcast and subsequent YouTube channel – and with pretty impressive results. Today Storytime with Teta has over 1.4k subscribers and she is in the middle of successful second season.
Alsadek’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
I started searching for a podcast for kids in Arabic and found none. Moreover, I know that in order to empower young children, we need to provide them with education. Early childhood education, which includes reading and listening to stories, is essential to the growth of children. It gives children a chance to build social, emotional and cognitive skills that they need the most. Providing resources in the mother tongue also helps children connect with their culture and makes them feel safe and more open to learning. My Goal is to enrich the lives of Arabic speaking children by providing fun, free and exciting stories that they can listen to with their whole family.
My definition of success is to do what you love, and love what you do! I am a grandmother of seven and I find my happiness in reading them stories again and again. Providing children around the world with free storytelling, through the podcast and youtube channel, for their favorite books and stories is my biggest joy. I know that I am providing a service to children through this platform, who wouldn’t be reachable otherwise. Through the podcast they can still listen to stories at bedtime with their parents. These families may not have the resources to purchase books, however they are able to listen to the podcast for free and receive the same benefits.
My biggest success is when I started the podcast in September of 2019. I had no idea if I would continue after the third episode as it took me a lot of time in recording, editing, uploading and advertising on social media. Now, I am very proud to tell you that I finished my first season with 40 episodes! The second season is up and running. The podcast has more than 35K unique downloads. Moreover, I started a new youtube channel in April 2020 for books that have wonderful illustrations. I have, to date, 22 youtube episodes, 28K viewers and with more than 1.4K subscribers! I’ve acquired all the necessary audio and digital permissions from publishing houses to record and share their books on our platforms and I currently have agreements with many major Arabic publishing houses.
When I started the podcast I had no idea what I was doing! It was a big learning curve as I studied the idea, how it is structured, what equipment, software and social media connections I needed. Now, I am doing all the recording, editing, sound effects, uploading and preparation for the podcast and youtube episodes myself. My biggest challenge right now is finding support and funding for the podcast so that I can continue to produce high-quality episodes in Arabic. I am an occasional teacher and I take time off during the work day to work on my project. Each episode can take up to 6 hours to produce (average episode is 7 min). The podcast has many expenses such as the hosting website, hosting podcasts sites, recording equipment, music copyright, sound effects, buying books and ads on social media. currently, I do not have any revenue. All expenses are provided by myself and members of my family.
I was inspired by many women and men who work hard for social justice and who speak on children’s behalf. People who promote education and wellbeing for children around the world. One of those wonderful women is Rana Dajani who started We Love Reading, a nonprofit organization based in Jordan. My Grandkids and their love for listening to stories also helped inspire me to choose the best books that give them lots of joy and pleasure.