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May 22, 2024 34 mins

Why do people migrate from one country to another, leaving behind friends, family, and familiarity in search of another life elsewhere? And how might their experiences look different if they are deaf? Ala’ Al-Husni is a deaf Jordanian who moved to Japan five years ago, where he still lives with his deaf Japanese wife and their family just outside of Tokyo.

Reported by Timothy Y. Loh, a hearing anthropologist who researches deaf communities in the Arabic-speaking Middle East, this episode explores the joys, pains, and unexpected gains of Ala's journey and the meaning of deaf migration in a globalizing world.

Timothy Y. Loh is an anthropologist of science and technology, and a Ph.D. candidate in history, anthropology, and science, technology, and society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. His ethnographic research examines sociality, language, and religion in deaf and signing worlds spanning Jordan, Singapore, and the United States. His research has been published in Medical Anthropology, SAPIENS Anthropology Magazine, and Somatosphere, and he has received support from the Social Science Research Council, the Royal Anthropological Institute, and the National Academy of Education and Spencer Foundation, among others.

We thank Annelies Kusters, Laura Mauldin, and Kate McAuliff for advice on accessibility for this episode.

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