The Mstdfr Show

Mstdfr (Arabic: مستدفر) is a Middle Eastern geeky podcast spoken in "Arablish". Every week, Ammar and Rami host different regional guests to talk about various topics including: current affairs, culture, technology, media, challenges facing the new Arab generation, and everything in between.

Hosted by المسثضيف Ammar Sabban


From Jim Henson to North Carolina

Guests: Gary Paben & Zack Paben

On October 17th 2019, Ammar was sitting in the main Ithra stage during rehearsals for the Tanweer event that he was participating in. Suddenly one of the speakers (Zack Paben) sat next to him, he looked at Ammar’s laptop’s wallpaper which had a picture of Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog which ammar keeps as motivation, he looks up to Jim. Zack told Ammar “Hey, I met Jim Henson”.

Zack’s Father Mr. Gary Paben was leading one of the last projects Jim Henson worked on with Disney before his death (Muppet Vision 3D), in fact Jim passed away mid project, and in one of the meeting where Zack was with his father on a “bring your kids to work day” he met Jim.

So on November 2nd 2019, Ammar traveled to North Carolina to visit the Paben family and record today’s episode and know more about that encounter among other things.

Gary Paben is a creative director and writer who also taught theater at Meramec in the 1970s and went on to have a 30 year stint with Disney. He took a leave from Disney during his career to be the Vice President of Entertainment at Madison Square Garden. Paben knows about staging big events. His credits include the halftime show at the 2000 Super Bowl XXXIV and the Millennium Parade at Disney’s Epcot Center.

Zack is the co-founder and CEO of the More Heart Than Scars Foundation, who empower people to say in the affirmative,”I have more heart than scars,” or to be able to receive the affirmation, “You have more heart than scars.” They have seen the transformative power of those words. More Hearts than Scars Foundation’s mission is to quest for faith, love, hope, and heart in order to transcend visible and invisible scars, by overcoming obstacles together, and encouraging others to live so boldly.

Since 1991, Zack has been empowering adolescents and adults as a mental health/recovery professional in a variety of modalities, including wilderness and residential. As he continues to face his own visible and invisible scars, he innately has to acknowledge the wounds of others and encourage them in their own healing process.

And you can follow Zack and his initiatives on:

MHTS Instagram – MHTS LinkedinMHTS YouTube – MHTS FacebookZack Paben Facebook – Zack Paben Linkedin – Zack Paben Twitter