Aug 6th, 2011
The landmark was built as a museum for the late Enver Hoxha. The Albanian leader kept Stalinism alive in Europe for decades after the Soviet dictator died in 1953. The pyramid is still standing but it’s starting to crumble. In fact, during bloody anti-government demonstrations in Tirana back in February protestors broke off pieces of the pyramid to throw at other government buildings. Albanians have been trying to figure out what to do with the pyramid for years. Just last month, the parliament passed a law to tear it down. Even so, opponents of the demolition are gathering petitions to save the building. And the current president is deciding whether to sign the bill or side with the protesters. From Tirana, Matthew Brunwasser gives us a tour of the controversial pyramid.
May 22nd, 2011
How would you like the government to filter your internet usage? Family style? Children style? Domestic style? Or would you prefer the standard package? Internet users in Turkey will soon have to make that choice. Turkey often presents itself as the leading democracy in the middle east but free speech advocates say internet censorship there is among the heaviest in the world. And its about to get worse. As Matthew Brunwasser reports from Istanbul, protestors gathered across Turkey to express their opposition.
May 21st, 2011
Albania has had a vibrant if somewhat messy democracy since the fall of communism in the early 1990s. But while Albanian politics have evolved, other aspects of society have remained in the dark ages. In murder cases, victims families sometimes refer to a traditional legal code dating back to the 15th Century. It’s called the Kanun. Meditators are now trying to end this practice and resolve conflicts peacefully. From Fan in Northern Albania, Matthew Brunwasser reports.
May 21st, 2011
International non-governmental organizations often play a key role in developing new nations or rebuilding wartorn ones. NGOs are doing both those things in South Sudan. Africa’s newest country is in the process of emerging from a region that was torn apart by decades of civil war. Right now South Sudan is almost entirely run by NGOs. From the capital Juba, Matthew Brunwasser reports.
Mar 22nd, 2011
Religious identity has played a large role in the emergence of South Sudan, Africa’s newest nation. Theres a large number of Christians in South Sudan. That sets it apart from North Sudan where Muslims are the majority. American Christians were instrumental in pressuring the Bush administration to support the 2005 peace treaty that ended the long civil war between north and south. That influence is still felt in South Sudan as Matthew Brunwasser reports from Juba.
Mar 19th, 2011
Matthew Brunwasser reports on how racism has played a divisive role in relations between Sudan’s ruling northeners and the people of southern Sudan. Ethnically, northern Sudanese are generally classified as Arabs and Southerners as blacks. But many Sudanese are a combination of both Arabs and Africans and the deep rooted racism of the northerners has long been politically destabilizing.
Mar 18th, 2011
Sudan’s support for the the South Sudanese independence referendum has won the country praise from western nations. But the country has long been considered a pariah state. From Khartoum, Matthew Brunwasser reports on relations between Sudan and the West.
Jan 4th, 2011
Military service is mandatory in Turkey, and its policy on homosexuals serving in the military is quite different from the recently repealed US policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell”. Turkey’s armed forces consider gays ineligible to serve. From Istanbul, Matthew Brunwasser reports on Turkey’s policy of “will ask, must tell.”
Dec 31st, 2010
The Romanian rock band Vama has written a song that takes on some of the common misconceptions about the Roma or Gypsies. And it skewers French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s expulsion of Gypsies from France earlier this year.As Matthew Brunwasser reports, the English-language “Sarkozy vs Gypsy” is stirring up passions in both France and Romania.
Nov 23rd, 2010
Germany has one of Europe’s largest immigrant communities, with some 2.5 million Turks. Yet even third-generation immigrants, born and raised in Germany, are still considered foreigners. That’s prompted many Turks to leave Germany for a country they’ve never lived in. Matthew Brunwasser reports from Istanbul.