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Markos Kounalakis

US Public Radio Series

America Abroad is an award-winning documentary radio program distributed by Public Radio International (PRI) and broadcast on public radio stations nationwide. Each month, we take an in-depth look at one critical issue in international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.

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It's been 5 years (June 4, 2009) since President Obama's landmark Cairo speech in which he spoke of common values between the West and "Muslims around the world: they were values of "justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings." A year later, the world witnessed the popular uprisings and protests that gripped countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan and Syria...popular political expression that was once thought to have the power to liberalize.

As America draws down troops from Afghanistan, cuts back on military spending and the size of its military, many worry that America’s leadership in the world and ability to protect its allies is eroding. On this edition of America Abroad we travel to Estonia, Japan, and Saudi Arabia to speak with US allies as well as officials and experts in Washington to understand how America’s defense cuts are perceived around the world.

With Afghans preparing to vote tomorrow to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai, America Abroad, DC public radio station WAMU 88.5 and Afghanistan channel TOLOnews connected audiences, along with a panel of experts in Washington and Kabul, for an international town hall.

Participants in both cities debated the future of the US-Afghan relationship, women's rights and education, reconciliation with the Taliban, and regional peace and stability as President Karzai steps down and international forces begin to withdraw from the country.

Governments around the world are trying to figure out if and how they can help promote entrepreneurship, which is considered critical to global competitiveness. But in the United States, there's nothing more politically contentious than the role of government in the economy.

In this episode of America Abroad, we look at how government intervention helps and hurts entrepreneurs, and we examine what the US can learn from the success and failures of other countries.

Have women in Arab countries achieved greater equality since the revolutions swept the region, and which rights are yet to be won?

The revolutions that swept across the Middle East in 2011, known as "The Arab Spring," promised greater freedoms for many in the region, including women. While there have been some advances in women's rights, the promise in many cases has not been realized.

In this month's show, Women's Rights after the Arab Spring, we travel to Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey and the Gulf States to assess how and where women's rights have progressed.

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