Welcome to The Hidden Gem, a production of I Heart Radio and Greyman Mild from Aaron Manque. When I was a kid, there was this family that we were pretty close with and kind of grew up with, in fact, they had four boys all my age or older, and they reveled in telling us that stories every time they could get me and my younger siblings alone, they told us about a time when they were traveling in rural South Asia on the way to their ancestral village, bouncing along in a rickety train.
It was a hot night and the train windows were pushed down. So the dust that rose from the tracks created a haze both inside and outside the string of cabins. Things had quieted down, suppers had been unwrapped and eaten. The last of the young boys who were hawking boiled eggs, fried lentils and thick, sweet, hot tea had passed through the train. One final time, most of the other passengers were asleep, either slumped over a loved one next to them or with their head thrown back over a seat, their bodies steadily rocking back and forth with the movement of the train.
The younger two brothers were likewise asleep, curled up against their mother, who had pulled a cotton shawl partially over her face to filter out the dust. Or maybe it was so no one could see her mouth slack and open as she snored. It wasn't unusual to see other passengers with their faces covered by different means, with shawls, blankets, even the occasional burqa in the cramped quarters.
It was one way to have some limited privacy and make sleeping in public a little bit more comfortable.
Now, there was one woman in the cabin who was covered entirely in black from head to toe, sitting on the berth across the aisle from the two older brothers who were still wide awake. They were still pretty young, barely in the double digits and only a year apart, which meant they spent most of their waking moments trying to find ways to mess with each other. On that particular night, as the boredom got to them, they traded kicks and pinches and elbows testing each other.
Their goal was to keep from yelping and waking up their mom, who would likely take a slipper to them if they did. They giggled under their breath, still jabbing one another. And then they noticed the woman in black turn her head towards them. The bottom half of her face was covered and the black veil of a burqa. But the top half was exposed. Her large black eyes were wide open, lined with coal, staring at them intently.
The boys froze under her unblinking gaze. Whether a few moments passed or entire minutes, it's hard to say. But to the brothers, it felt like an eternity. And then, still silent, the woman turned her head the other way to look out the window. And as she did so, she stretched her legs in front of her. Her black gown rose to reveal her feet, which, to the shock and horror of these brothers, were bent completely backwards.
I'm Rabia Chaudry, and I'll be your guide into the ancient world of the hidden jinn. Welcome. I heard that story or some variation of it countless times from those brothers who swore that they witnessed a woman whose feet were on backwards in the dead of the night on a train to their village when they told others, elder relatives what they had seen. They were casually informed that that woman was definitely a jinn. It was a sure sign of a jinn trying to pass as human.
They could transform to a certain extent, but their feet for some reason still ended up backwards. Or maybe they wanted to keep it that way so they could frighten the unsuspecting with a flash of their feet. Essentially, and oftentimes the jinn manifest themselves to us as they please shifting into human or animal shapes to enter our dimension, but never revealing what they really look like to us, which is understandable because apparently their original forms are so fierce and terrifying, we wouldn't be able to handle it.
One legend tells of a gem that revealed itself to none other than Alexander the Great.
It was huge, as large as a building with seven heads and every head had two faces, four blazing eyes, a monstrous mouth full of flaming teeth and the massive nose of a bull. Strangely, though, it had the feet of a duck, a massive duck but duck feet. Nonetheless, it's not likely you'll see Ajin and its original form, though that would just give it away. And they usually don't want that. But there are some manifestations that seem to be most common when it comes to gin encounters, which will help us recognize Ajin when we see one.
But remember, we only see Ajin when it wants us to. And it's also said that they only appear to those who believe in them. Otherwise, our senses are closed to their realm. They can hide from us and they do. But it said that they cannot hide from certain animals. Now, there are many cultures that believe animals can see or sense the unseen storms on the horizon, for example, or even natural disasters. It's well known and well documented that days before the horrific 2004 tsunami that brutalized South Asian coastlines, local animals were acting out of sorts from India to Sri Lanka to Indonesia.
There were dozens of reports well before the massive waves hit of dogs that refused to go outside, elephants that fled to higher ground and zoo animals cowered in their shelters. There is nothing necessarily supernatural about any of it. After all, many animals have vastly different ranges of sound and sight that human beings do. And according to indigenous cultures, they're just simply more connected to the natural phenomena around them.
Which explains why animals may be also more likely to feel or sense Sejin or other creatures. We can't see and probably don't want to say, they say, to beware when a donkey brays because it's surely seeing a devil. But you don't have to own a donkey to witness a sixth sense animals have for the unseen. Every dog and cat owner has seen at some point the furry companion stare with alarm at a point in a room where apparently there's nothing to see.
Or they'll growl flat in their ears, crouch at some invisible threat, and then there are the three a.m. crazies, when cats suddenly begin tearing around the halls, slamming into walls, bursting with a manic energy that doesn't exist at any other part of the day. No one is exactly sure what causes this middle of the night feline mania. And there are some theories about it.
But none of them account for why this happens at a time otherwise known as the witching hour. That time of night when black magic is strongest, when the cover of darkness is deepest, and when those of us with a touch of insomnia often spring awake in bed only to see a neon glow from a bedside clock telling us it's three a.m.. Whether or not animals see Jen, we do know this. Sometimes the animals around us are in fact Jen themselves, while shapeshifting, Jen, have the ability to transform into pretty much any kind of animal.
Dogs, cats, scorpions, camels, lions and even insects like beetles, it seems the most common creature you may come across that could be a hidden jinn is a snake.
And it's no coincidence that Adam and Eve were tricked by a serpent in the garden.
The serpent was the devil himself, disguised as the devil, and some traditions is in fact a jinn. There's a story from 17th century Egypt in which a famous holy man named al-Hariri had died, but people believed that he had returned. Reincarnated as a large snake, the snake had made the holy man's shrine on the Nile River, its home stained, curled up at all times in the crevice of some rocks near the grave. In his lifetime, al-Hariri was known to be a healer, a pious man with miraculous powers to cure the sick.
But after his death, those powers seem to have become vested in the great serpent that guarded his shrine. And as long as that snake was there, the miracles continued. The locals had different theories about al-Hariri and a snake.
It could have been that he was never a human being to begin with, but instead that he was a benevolent jinn who transformed himself into a human so he could help heal people. Then, after living a human life and dying a human death, he turned into the giant snake to continue to bless those that came to the shrine for help. Interestingly, Coptic Christians in the region had a different take on unhurriedly, they were well aware of his miracles, but they didn't think he was a kindly din.
Instead, they believed that he was the incarnation of the Demon King Ash by the same Echemendia that King Solomon enslaved to build his temple along with legions of other gen. Regardless, it seems everyone on all sides did agree to one thing, that snake was definitely al-Hariri. The animal manifestations aren't always perfect. Sometimes the shapeshifting will result in beastly hybrids, Serpens, with dozens of arms and legs, are crèches with canine teeth, heads like birds and horse like hose.
Then there are those who don't quite come together at all. The nest knows, the nest knows. Up here as half formed human beings with half a head, one arm, one leg, half a torso and half a face, which may be positioned anywhere on its body. Some say these malformed creatures only inhabit the wilderness of Yemen, and others say they can be found on desolate islands in the South China Sea.
They can't speak, having only half the vocal cords necessary, but they can make strange, sad, guttural sounds rather fitting for their disposition. That's because the Nationals are weak and they're terrified of human beings instead of the other way around. They flee when people get too close, hopping away with a quickness on one leg, escaping as fast as possible lest they get captured and they better get away because in some parts they're hunted by locals not just to kill them, but to devour them.
Because apparently the flesh of the nervousness is reportedly delicious and sweet. If nosiness are the weaklings in the gin realm, towards the other end of the spectrum, there is a dangerous shapeshifting gin that you want to avoid at all costs. This gin has the ability to constantly and terrifyingly keep transforming in order to confuse and days its victims. And that gin is called the ghoul. That's right, Goul.
The word we all use at some point to describe someone unpleasant is actually the Arabic word for a very specific kind of gin, sometimes taking the shape of several animals at once reported at times to have the head of a cat and the tongue of a dog, other times appearing in their monstrous forms, hunched and hairless, razor sharp teeth and snake like tongues, models, skin and cabaniss dead eyes. Ghouls inhabit the most desolate places, keeping as far as possible from human civilization.
They lurk in deserts and cemeteries where they hide among ruins, biding their time for people passing by.
People who are likely to disappear forever if they make that unfortunate encounter with a hapless soul does stumble across their path, a ghouls will entranced them all the way to their deaths by repeatedly transforming from one thing to another shapeshifting, shifting speed from one hideous creature to another, confounding their victims.
This way, the ghoul drive their victim mad before making their kill to satisfy their hunger for human flesh.
Ghouls are said to be among some of the oldest Ginne, ancient and evil. They are so powerful that other genes that serve them and sometimes human beings also become their slaves, both willingly and unwillingly. Some of you may not know that the hidden engine isn't my first foray into podcasting for the past five years, I've cohosted and co-produced the biggest wrongful conviction podcast in the world, undisclosed, along with two brilliant colleagues, attorneys Susan Simpson and Colin Miller. Together, we reinvestigate cases in which an innocent person is paying the price in prison for a murder they didn't commit while a killer runs free.
We began with the infamous Adnan Syed case from Serial.
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A medieval Egyptian folktale relates that the ghouls came into existence in the land of Yemen through the unholy union of the smoke from a fire, the seed of a wolf and human seed inside a woman's body.
How all of these things found their way to the womb, I'm not sure. And I'm also not sure I want to know.
Nonetheless, the ghouls that were both haunted, the legendary valley of the ghouls in Yemen, an actual place these beastly siblings were eventually slayed by a king. But there are, of course, legions more. Some of those legions reside in the cave of ghouls located in Egypt and Mount Barker. A story from the late eighteen hundreds tells the tale of a man traveling with a group of people past this cave fell behind his party. And as he wandered along looking for them, a woman mysteriously appeared out of nowhere on the mountainside.
She was beautiful, as women often are in such stories, and she stood in the man's path, giving him two choices. He could either sleep with her or she would kill him. She was, as you may have realized, girl, that you can easily guess which a choice the man took.
And after their liaison, he was allowed to go his way. But a year later, the same woman appeared before the man, this time with a baby girl, his daughter. She left the child with him and disappeared. The man raised the little girl, and eventually she married a man from his tribe and went on to have children. Now, before we go on with the story, let's pause here to talk about the particular kind of jinn that gave birth to this little girl.
A beautiful woman outside the Cave of Ghouls was a particularly dangerous type of ghoul called Ocilla. And unlike the Beesly forums that other girls take, the Seela often takes the form of a seductive woman, Seela Stork's men, and often not only eats her victims, but she toys with them first, making them dance and scamper around full of terror before finally putting them out of their misery.
In order to trap her prey, the seller often pretends to be a woman traveling alone and seduces lone male travelers until they're so far off the beaten path, they have no hope of escaping, just like what happened in our Cave of Gore story. And killing A is no easy task for a number of reasons. But if there's any creature capable of it, it's the one that ghouls are unable to transform into the wolf.
Wolves hold a special place, an old Arab customs, a symbol of protection. It said that the wolf is so powerful against malevolent jinn that wolf teeth or even a wolf's eye are used as charms to ward off evil.
And mothers have long sung lullabies invoking the name of the wolf to scare off evil spirits from children.
You see, the wolf is the only animal that ghouls are actually scared of, and they have reason to be scared because wolves actively hunt the most dangerous ghoul, the killer, that temptress that lures unassuming men to their deaths. A 13th century polymath by the name of Zakharia, Al Cosini described that hunt like this, the wolf sometimes hunts at night and then eats her. As he tears into her, she raises her voice saying, Save me. The wolf is eating me.
But once a wolf has a hold of his prey, no one will rescue her and ultimately the killer is devoured by the beast. Now, no Wolf appears in the Cape of good story, however, and unfortunately, the daughter of the killer had to be disposed of in another way because according to the tale, after the daughter of the killer was raised, married off and had her own children, her father made a discovery that worried him deeply. One night he came across a grave that had been violated, dug up, its deceased inhabitant unearthed and parts of the body, Etan.
Father worried that maybe his daughter had something to do with it, given her origins and because he knew that girls primarily feasted on human flesh. Dead or alive? He hurried to his son in law and told him his fears. So the young man began keeping an eye on his wife and discovered that she was indeed making nightly outings. He followed her one night as she crept out of the house to the local cemetery, dug up a grave and began to feast on the body.
He was horrified. And that night, when she returned to their bed, he killed her, crushing her to death. But their children lived on, married and multiplied. And to this day, in the area close to the cave of Ghouls, the descendants of that couple still survive, and they are known as the gorilla. Tales of ghouls are spread far and wide, not just geographically, but also throughout time, long before the Cave of Bull Story, nearly six centuries prior.
In fact, an epic travelogue was written by a contemporary romance author by the name of Rooster Kellow, The Pizza. She had had the fortune of being detained for two years in a prison with an explorer who regaled him with fantastic stories of his travels and adventures to compiled the stories together in a volume called, quote, The Book of the Marvels of the World. Each yarn more amazing than the last. You see this explorer that de Pisa had been detained with described crossing entire continents from Constantinople to Baghdad through the magnificent Karakorum Mountain range onto Beijing and circling through the South China Sea, the Bay of Bengal and up the coast of the Arabian Sea, off the eastern shore of Africa.
And this explorer spent nearly two decades in the court of Coolahan, the grandson of the great Genghis Khan serving the Mongol emperor. And he had seen and heard it all this explorer. Well, it was none other than Marco Polo. And that book, well, it's better known in our part of the world as the travels of Marco Polo Holos travels along the Silk Road took him at one point to a vast desert at the center of trading routes between China, Tibet and Turkistan.
The desert was so vast that some said it took a month to cross it at its narrowest point and it took a year to cross it at its most wide. And while there, watering holes dotted throughout the desert was otherwise devoid of life. No animals, no people, nothing that could be hunted and eaten. And yet it wasn't completely empty. There is a marvelous thing related of this desert, which is that when travelers are on the move by night and one of the chances to lag behind or to fall asleep or the light when he tries to gain his company again, he will hear spirits talking and will suppose them to be his comrades.
Sometimes the spirits will call him by name and thus Shell, a traveler, ofttimes be led astray so that he never finds his party.
And in this way, many have perished.
Sometimes stray travelers will hear, as it were, the trap and hum of a great cavalcade of people away from the real line of road and taking this to be their own company. They will follow the sound, and when day breaks, they will find that a cheat has been put of them and that they are in an ill plight. Even the daytime one hears those spirits talking and sometimes you shall hear the sound of a variety of musical instruments and still more commonly, the sound of drums.
Paolo had also heard of a terrifying monster found in the wilderness of Baharestan in Iran, the famed and feared the whole airborne meaning the ghoul of the waste. The ghoul was huge, dreadful to behold, and lurked in the wastelands of Central Asia, gobbling up travelers right off of their horses. Now, Marco Polo had not confessed to seeing the school himself, but he had heard it referred to many times by locals he met in his travels. And while he seemed to believe in the desert spirits that lured travelers astray, Polo didn't put much stock in the Holy Baban stories.
It could be that he thought, as others did, that the goals of the desert wastelands were simply a projection of the fear even the bravest soul feels when facing the desolation of a vast, deserted place. The isolation, the silence, the nothingness for miles in every direction could be enough to disorient the most headed among us. And in that condition, howling dust storms could both look and sound like a beast rising into the sky.
For the travelers that survive those journeys, fantastic tales to tell would certainly be a badge of honor. And for those that didn't, well, it might be kinder to think they were just snatched up by a ghoul than the alternative that they just couldn't cut it or the tails could be precautionary. A warning to those seeking to set off into the wilderness a threat of imminent danger to those who didn't stick close to the tribe, which is just what the lesson from another ghoul story, this one from the 15th century in Baghdad also just might be.
In this story, the son of a wealthy merchant falls in love with the daughter of a poor old wise man against his father's wishes. And that, dear listeners, is the disobedience and rebelliousness that the story may have been crafted to prevent. Nonetheless, the story goes on that the father eventually relented and allowed his son to marry the beautiful young girl, and their marriage was celebrated with all the ceremony and bling that was expected of the wealthy family. The son was elated with his new bride, but was disturbed that she would never eat.
She would just leave her food untouched at every meal. He shrugged it off. Maybe she was just shy in her new home with his new family and didn't feel comfortable eating in front of them. But one night the new groom awakened to find himself alone in bed. His beautiful wife was nowhere to be found. He stayed awake waiting for her, and she didn't return till an hour before the sun rose, creeping quietly back into their bed. The next night, he decided he would only pretend to sleep to see if she again left their bed.
And she did.
He followed her at a distance out of the house and all the way to a cemetery where he saw her step into a large tomb with an open door.
He cautiously entered after her, only to behold a ghastly sight. A circle of ghouls feasted on bloody decomposing corpses, and among them was his lovely young bride munching away with them. The man hurried home, terrified, but said nothing to his wife when she returned to their bed hours later. The next day, when she again refused to eat, he finally couldn't take it anymore. He screamed that he knew her secret, that she fasted all day so she could feast every night with the ghouls.
The wife silently rose from the table and retreated to their bedroom, where she waited for her groom.
He eventually joined her uneasily, getting into bed, neither of them saying a word, both silent and tense.
That night, she didn't leave her husband's bed at all instead of sneaking out for her midnight meal. She waited patiently for the first signs of slumber to overtake him. Then she pounced on her hapless groom, teeth bared towards his neck, attempting to draw and drink his blood. He awoke immediately and fought back, struggling to subdue her. The fight was vicious. She had a shocking superstring, but ultimately he was able to kill her with a blow to the head.
The next day he buried her, but she didn't stay buried. Three days later, she rose from the dead and returned to her formal marital bed to once again try and suck her husband's blood. He fled and escaped her and the next day returned to her tomb, where he found her cold, dead body. This time he took no chances. He burned her corpse to ashes and scattered them in a river.
And it worked. She never returned. Now, you may have noticed that while this woman was fond of eating corpses as ghouls do, she was also pretty focused on sinking her teeth into her husband's throat.
So if this particular angle sounds very much like a vampire, there's good reason the connection here runs thick as blood. Thou shall not eat the blood of any flesh at all because the life of the flesh is in the blood and whosoever eat it shall be cut off.
Leviticus spells it out pretty clearly that consuming blood for God-Fearing believers is not just a nono. It means being condemned to exile, to being cut off from family and community and from God himself and driven into darkness because of their blood lust. Well, that's where we find vampires hiding shun from the rest of the world in the world of the jinn, much like the vampires of our imaginations. There are some who are driven by pure blood lust. The first of those are the palace, the palace, Argin, associated with the desert.
And they have a peculiar way of satisfying their cravings. They have what you could call kind of a foot fetish. The palace will wait until the intended victim is asleep and then lick the bottoms of their feet until they bleed. It said that these jinn aren't very bright or even really too dangerous, but the fact that they can manage their feet licking without waking anyone up does take a certain level of skill. Luckily, it's not too hard to outwit this kind of gin.
All you have to do is sleep feet to feet with another person so nothing can get to the bottom of your foot. Apparently the police either don't know or don't care that they could get blood from other parts of your body. The palace may give you a good giggle, but there's nothing funny about another blood sucking creature found in Hindu folklore that's not only believed to be a jinn, but some call the original vampire. Hundreds of years before Vlad the Impaler came onto the scene in Romania, the Batalla already existed in Hindu folklore and tradition, a terrifying evil species of jinn.
The Batalla were thought to inhabit the reanimated corpses of the dead.
They often haunt eternal grounds, which are above ground sites where the dead are left either putrefy or be cremated.
They are superstrong supersmart and super hungry for the blood that sustains them. One of the most famous stories about the Batalla is found in ancient Sanskrit book hailing from the 8th century called The Batalla Pi Chiesi, which means the 25 stories of Batalla. The story revolves around the famous Indian king Vikram Aditya, who was an actual historical figure from the first century that reached mythological status over the centuries.
There are different interpretations and version of the story. The basic premise is this The mighty king was asked by a sorcerer to help capture of Attala that could be found hanging from a tree in a graveyard.
An 1870 adaptation of the story by the British orientalist, Sir Richard Francis Burton recounts the encounter of King Vikram and the Vampire like this. Approaching the tree, he sat there for a while to observe the body, which hung head downwards from a branch a little above him, its eyes which were wide open, more of a greenish brown and never twinkled.
Its hair was also brown, and brown was its face. Its body was thin and ribbed, like a skeleton or a bamboo framework. And as it held onto a bow, like a flying fox by the toe tips, its drawn muscles stood out as if they were ropes of queen blood. It appeared to have none. And as the rajha handle its skin, it felt icy cold and clammy, as might a snake. The only sign of life was the whisking of a ragged little tail, much resembling a goat's.
King Vikram climbed the tree and sliced the branch, the beast hung from with a sword. He scrambled down the tree trunk to get a hold of the creature, but it slipped out of his grasp like a worm and levitated with legs up and once again grabbed a tree branch with its toes.
The Batalla swung back and forth from the branch, laughing in the king's bewildered face. The king tried again and again and again to cut down the beast and capture him.
But each time the Batalla rose back up into the tree, unbothered. Finally, the Batalla, growing tired of the game, asked the king, Who are you and what do you want?
His Royal Highness responded that he was Raja Vikram, the great king of the land, and it was his mission to take him back to the sorcerer as he had promised to do. Hearing this, the Batalla suddenly became coy and agreed to accompany the King, if only he was allowed to tell him stories during the journey. And in those stories pose riddles with this condition. Every time the King asked one of the Tull's riddles, the demon would escape and return to his tree.
But as long as the king remained silent, either out of humility or because he couldn't answer the question, the Batalla would remain in his custody. Now, this might seem kind of counterintuitive and contradictory to most such stories that involve conditions with riddles. But you see, this was a test of the king's pride and he accepted the test.
And so they took off and the vampire told King Vikram story after story after story 24 in all and in each story, a riddle.
And every time the king, unable to control his ego and pride, would respond to the Vitale's riddles with an answer. And every time he did, the Batalla would slip away, journeying back to his tree in the graveyard and the king would have to start all over. Finally, after hearing the 25th story and riddle King, Vikram pressed his lips together, refusing to answer this overjoyed the Batalla, who then revealed a secret to him. The sorcerer, he said, was no friend of the king.
Indeed, he was his enemy in disguise for the king's blood. And the Batalla himself was in fact, a trap the sorcerer had placed for the king. Once revealing the secret, the Batalla extracted itself from the body it inhabited, letting out a slow, low hissing sound as it left. Thanks to the secret spilled by the Batalla king, Vikram was able to trick and kill the sorcerer, thereby growing in power himself. And all this because he was able to just once show a little humility.
Now, the Ayatollah isn't the only vampire creature in Indian folklore. In fact, there are lots of them. The stories about the origins and how they terrorize people vary. And you can hear all those echoes in European vampire lore. But most of them have a few things in common that you'll find vampires lingering and living among the human dead and graveyards and crematoriums that they yearn for human blood and that like the Jinn woman in the train at the beginning of this episode, you'll find that their feet are turned backwards.
As you may have guessed it by now, there's no one definitive way to identify a gene, but you'll probably know when when you see it.
The only time you might not, however, is when a gene takes what I think is the most dangerous and sinister form transforming into someone, you know, which has been known to happen. Gene can and will take on the appearance of not just any human, but an actual human who's already living or sometimes a human who's very much dead. They can then play tricks on the friends and loved ones of that person, lying to them, persuading them to do things or believe things they shouldn't.
Imagine how easy it could be to mislead someone that way and how much trouble it could get an innocent party in. But then there is that one way to make sure the person you're dealing with is really who they say they are, because for some reason, the gene can shape shift to trick you. But the one thing they can't change is their feet. Their feet will either be backwards or they'll be cloven holes, like in the story of the beautiful Queen of Sheba, who was reportedly born of a mother and a human father.
But even she couldn't shake the jinn genes. And in some accounts, while she was stunningly beautiful, she did, in fact, have hairy goat legs, hooves and all.
Now, let's close out with the story closer to home and closer in time to us from New Mexico.
According to the book The Vengeful Ginne, in 1993, the uncle of the Quester, New Mexico police chief was driving home late one night on a lonely highway. A woman appeared out of the darkness, walking on the side of the road by herself, dressed strangely enough in a red evening gown. There was no telling where she had come from.
The highway was empty and he hadn't passed any abandoned cars. He pulled over and offered her a ride, and she hopped into his pickup truck quietly, not saying a word.
After a few silent minutes, the man turned to his passenger to ask her what she was doing in the middle of nowhere that late at night and was horrified to find her dress had fallen open, revealing legs like a goat and cloven hooves. But before he could react or even scream, she poof vanished into thin air. I guess the lesson to all of us is then, when in doubt, check the feet. Thanks for joining us this week, next week, we'll be back to take you another step into the world of the hidden gem.
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The Hidden Gem is a production of I Heart Radio and Greyman mile from Aaron Manque. The podcast is written and hosted by Robert Choudhry and produced by Miranda Hawkins and Trevor Young with executive producers Aaron Manque, Alex Williams and Matt Frederich. Music for the show was provided by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Our theme song was created by Patrick Cortez. For more podcast from My Heart Radio, visit the I Heart radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.