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Esin Erkan

US Public Radio Series

Airing from 2003-2018, America Abroad is an award-winning documentary radio program distributed by Public Radio International (PRI) and broadcast on public radio stations nationwide. Each episode takes an in-depth look at one critical issue in international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.

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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.

The world's population is growing, and with it, so is the demand for water. This month's America Abroad examines global issues related to water, from dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, to droughts and floods in Queensland, Australia. We'll also discuss solutions from water-related I.T. in the developing world, to solar-powered purification after the Haiti earthquake.

It's been called the most successful alliance in world history. President Obama and fellow leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, are meeting at an important summit in Chicago this month to discuss the future of the alliance.

NATO troops have now spent a decade in Afghanistan, and more recently, NATO airpower helped to overthrow Moammar Ghaddafi in Libya. But in the face of economic stress, and war-weary publics in the United States and Europe, how will the alliance move forward?

“Because we have employed so many of the options that are available to us to persuade Iran to take a different course, the window for solving this issue diplomatically is shrinking.” 
–President Obama during a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on March 14, 2012

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. 

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