Egypt

Abortion. Right to die. Stem cell research. How do Muslims around the world approach modern bioethical dilemmas?

Women around the world are striving for full gender equality in how they speak, work, and pray. But feminism takes on new meaning when viewed through the lens of Islam.

America Abroad partnered with public radio station KCRW and Egyptian channel ONTV to host a groundbreaking international town hall connecting audiences and a panel of experts in LA and Cairo. The conversation explored the Muslim Brotherhood's future in Egyptian politics; the role of Islam in politics and public life; what the military's recent government takeover means for Egypt's fragile democracy; and how Americans perceive recent developments in Egypt. The town hall was co-hosted by America Abroad's Madeleine Brand and ONTV host Ramy Radwan.

Arabs under thirty drove the region's revolutions, and they have emerged as prominent social and political actors. But with new governments now in power, are youth satisfied with the pace of change? On this month’s episode of America Abroad – Youth in the Arab World: After the Revolution – we travel to Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia to find out.

The Middle East is largely Muslim but it’s also the birthplace of Christianity, Judaism, and many other religions. Many non-Muslims have left in recent decades, leaving relatively small populations of non-Muslims and Muslim minority sects.

Now, the rise of Islamist political parties in the Mideast raises questions about the rights and protections such minorities can expect or whether they can expect them at all.

Across the Arab world, Islamists are the new political power brokers. In elections in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco, Islamists won big. Similar results are expected in Libya, and if the Assad regime falls, they might well emerge on top in Syria too. After decades of repression by secular rulers, Islamists are now poised to transform the region's politics and culture. But it's still not clear what they plan to do with their power, and what that will mean for those who don’t share their views. 

In a world that seems increasingly secular, the role of religion remains surprisingly strong. Across the globe, nearly nine out of 10 people say they have some affiliation with religion. Yet, at the same time, conflicts because of religion are on the rise.

“People value the ability to practice their own religion more highly than they do the ability of others in their country to practice their religion. So you could call that somewhat of a religious intolerance gap.” –Brian Grim, Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life

A generation ago, young Arabs went to the streets to protest repressive governments. Now, they hop on the information highway – blogging and tweeting their discontent. They upload music, download protests. But this generation is up against rulers who know a thing or two about staying in power – and they are keeping the kids in check. It's an old battle on new ground – young activists fight to express themselves as Arab governments find better ways to outflank them. 

The Arab world has the largest youth bulge on the planet. Millions of young people are living in a pressure cooker of social, political, tribal, and religious forces. We visit Jordan and Egypt and speak with young Arabs in America about their struggles with identity, and how globalization, Islam, and a turbulent region are shaping how they look at themselves, and the world. 

"I think that public diplomacy has been done as if the channels of communication are the same as the 1980s. They have completely and radically changed, and I think Americans need to understand that the rules of the game have changed." 
–Lahcen Haddad, Professor at Mohammed V University

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