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Travel Show Smashes Stereotypes With Laughter

Arab Man! Arab Man!” Mohamed Al-Awadhi is yelling as he runs with his head-covering fluttering behind him like a cape. His comic take on Superman is classic Peeta Planet strategy: use shared laughs to undo stereotypes.

Peeta Planet, the travel show created by Mohamed and his brother Peyman, is all about making surprising new connections.

For starters, it’s the first-ever social TV show, meaning that via social media, its viewers decide nearly every place the two visit. Following these suggestions, the Emirati brothers discover cultural treasures and unsung innovators across 12 countries, from Singapore to Istanbul, Dublin and Buenos Aires.

It’s the opposite of being a tourist,” Mohamed says, because as a tourist, “you take your bubble with you and don’t leave it; it’s very safe. We feel it’s a shame to travel to a foreign country and not connect with locals—because the most meaningful travels people have always involve a person you met there; so for us it’s about being ultra-local.”

For more info – Peeta Planet Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram

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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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