1. Taylor Dobbs
    Taylor Dobbs June 4, 2021 at 11:43 am | | Reply

    Wonderful interview! For someone who says he couldn’t possibly explain, Irfan is a fountain of wisdom and insight.

  2. Mark
    Mark June 5, 2021 at 8:56 am | | Reply

    I haven’t felt that many different things in the course of 40 minutes maybe ever. But it made me feel a little ashamed that I didn’t consider owning a Dunkin at the age of 17. I grew up next to one and the thought never crossed my mind. I am a lazy American. Thank you Irfan for trying to help us understand what it’s like to grow up in a war.

  3. Tobin
    Tobin June 5, 2021 at 7:25 pm | | Reply

    What an amazing episode. I think Irfan is absolutely right — the actual experience of war is opaque to most of us here in America. (His description of complications on top of complications is so perfect.) Thank you, Irfan, for sharing your story, and for the incredible lucidity of your insights even you were in the middle of chaos. There are not many people who could remain that clear-sighted. You’re an extraordinary person.

  4. jim
    jim June 7, 2021 at 12:00 pm | | Reply

    I have know Irfan for the past 15 years an should not be surprised by his amazing outlook on life, strength, compassion, and ability to see and articulate the intersection of his emotional response with life experiences. A fantastic interview of an incredible individual that has lifted me up. Thank you!

  5. Shanna Cowan
    Shanna Cowan September 7, 2021 at 11:35 pm | | Reply

    This story was extraordinary in every way! Listening Irfan’s stories. His love for life, strength and compassion is absolutely wonderful. Keep being you Ifran! If only everyone saw things in the same way as you.

  6. tristan Stowards
    tristan Stowards November 4, 2021 at 11:29 pm | | Reply

    I was just reading this and it reminded me of what Irfan was saying about war. It’s from Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory, quoted in Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score “if you were not there, it’s difficult to describe and say how it was. how men function under such stress is one thing, and then how you communicate and express that to somebody who never knew that such a degree of brutality exists seems like a fantasy.”

Leave a Reply

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here


Get the Newsletter

I'll email you when new episodes arrive.

Get the show

Never miss an episode! Subscribe to have the show downloaded to your device:
the iTunes store

Follow me

Extras, chatter, and other observations (and show notices, of course):


  • Will W. commented on Speaking Whale: Tom notes that "Its not about individuals, it (...)
  • Brenna Everson commented on Speaking Whale: This episode has sent me here to write to you (...)
  • erica commented on Fifty. A Phoenix Moment.: Thank you so much for listening Ellen! (...)
  • Ellen Pratt commented on Fifty. A Phoenix Moment.: I’m late coming to the party as I just recent (...)
  • LISE GAGNON commented on Speaking Whale: Beautiful and so touching episode! Oh the lon (...)