Co-founded by Noor Tehini in January 2020, the Goodness Podcast came to fruition with a view to celebrate the inspiring stories of women living in the Middle East. The platform highlights the plight and stories of women who have overcome major life challenges, have shown resilience, and have survived. The Goodness Podcast is on a mission to foster an honest and real conversation around topics that matter the most to the women of the Middle Eastern region.
Covering emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental wellbeing in an inclusive manner, Goodness aims to break many of the taboos surrounding women’s health in the region and AboutHer.com caught up with Noor Tehini to find out more about why we should be talking about topics deemed “taboo” and how important these conversations are for us all…
Tell us a little bit about who you are and what inspired you to launch the Goodness podcast and website?
I’m the co-founder of Goodness, which is a platform dedicated to tackling women’s wellness in a real and honest way, as well as the host of The Goodness Podcast. I’ve been working in digital media for 8 years now, having previously led the editorial and production departments at Savoir Flair. After six years in the fashion industry, I was called to do something more with the knowledge and skills I had acquired. I felt like the regional conversation around women’s wellness was very limited to diet and fitness, and I wanted to expand that, to give women a space to learn and talk about all of the different facets and factors affecting their health. And so Goodness was born.
What is Goodness? Who does it speak to?
Goodness is an online platform and podcast that speaks to women from all walks of life. It tackles certain shared experiences that most of us will go through in our lives, from body image issues to ones relating to relationships, motherhood, career, and health. Whether you listen to our podcasts or browse our articles online, you’re bound to find a topic that resonates with you.
What kinds of topics can women expect to see being covered, and why do you think its important for them to be discussed across a number of platforms?
We think of women’s wellness in very broad terms, covering the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. We also focus on topics that were previously considered taboo, ones that women were embarrassed or scared to talk about. We’ve covered everything from the isolating and frightening experience of postpartum depression to the commonly shared concerns of bacterial vaginosis and incontinence to the culturally sensitive issues encountered in marriages. The Goodness Podcast allows us to explore these in a lot more depth, and you’ll be able to listen to real women recounting their own experiences, as well as renowned regional experts sharing advice and knowledge.
Clearly, you are passionate about female empowerment - who have you found inspiring and empowering within your own journey?
Female empowerment is a very broad term. What really drives me is the idea that, by reading one of our articles or hearing one of our podcasts, a woman will realize that she is not alone in what she is experiencing or going through. We have so much more in common than we think, but our culture and society sometimes discourage a lot of these crucial conversations because they are deemed “3eib”.
How do you use your platform to reach women who perhaps live in an environment were contemporary social norms are overlooked or not applied?
My dream is to be able to one day provide this information in Arabic as well. This will allow our content to reach a much wider audience in the region, especially in communities that are not as exposed to these ideas.
What challenges have you faced in your own life that determined you to launch Goodness, and what helped you to overcome those obstacles?
Around the time that I launched Goodness, I was suffering from an eating disorder. I was also a newlywed, trying to understand and navigate a new relationship dynamic. In both of these cases, I felt like there weren’t many regional resources that were culturally relevant and that answered my questions. I also felt that I couldn’t speak up about my experiences. I started to talk about this to really close friends, and the more women I spoke to, the more I realized how many of us were going through our own personal experiences and feeling alone.
Who appears on your podcasts and what makes them relevant to your project?
The Goodness Podcast hosts women from across the Middle East. They fall under two categories: they are either renowned experts in their fields (psychologists, nutritionist, holistic healers, relationship councilors, and parenting experts, for instance) or they are simply women who have been brave enough to share their own journeys and experiences. In both cases, the listener will walk away with so much knowledge and value and, hopefully, the realization that she is not alone in whatever she is going through.
What would you say are the biggest challenges women face today and how do you think your website and podcasts can help them?
Our goal is to encourage honesty, openness, and conversation, and to hopefully equip women with the answers and information they need to make informed decisions for themselves and their families. Before the pandemic, we hosted monthly events and workshops around different key topics, allowing our audience to meet other women with shared experiences and to discover experts and professionals in their country that could help guide them. Today, that’s done through the podcast.
Lastly, what words of empowerment can you share with our readers?
Whatever you’re going through, you are not alone. There are other women experiencing similar feelings, and there are people out there who can help you. Don’t be afraid to speak out about your experience and thoughts from fear of judgement. There is so much wisdom and healing that can come from open, honest conversations.