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Facing Danger

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Historian and foreign policy analyst James Peck talks about how the United States has used human rights as a potent ideological weapon. Then, we’ll hear about an Afghan woman who had to give up her dream of becoming a teacher after the breakout of civil war and the Taliban’s rise to power. Also, we’ll get a sneak peek at the Iranian Theater Festival. And Ted Danson explains the dangers facing the oceans.

The U.S. Government and Human Rights

Historian and foreign-policy analyst James Peck argues that Washington has used the language of human rights to promote American interests abroad and further America’s global reach. In Ideal Illusions: How the U.S. Government Co-opted Human Rights, he looks at Soviet dissidents, protesters in Tiananmen Square, and today's war on terror. Peck reveals how the human rights movement often fails to challenge Washington's strategies.

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The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

Former ABC journalist Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells the true story of Kamila Sidiqi, an Afghan woman who started a dressmaking business, earning enough to eventually support her and her five siblings. In The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, Lemmon recounts Sidiqi’s story: She was banned from teaching and confined to her home when the Taliban rose to power, so she created an alternative career for herself.

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The Iranian Theater Festival

Gyda Arber and Michael Gardner, curators of the Iranian Theater Festival, discuss the festival, the first in New York devoted solely to Iranian Theater. Leila Ghaznavi, playwright and director of the featured production “Silken Veils,” joins them to speak about the current state of Iranian drama. The Iranian Theater Festival is presented through March 26 by the Brick Theater.

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Ted Danson on Our Endangered Oceans

Actor Ted Danson discusses his decades-long efforts to save our oceans. In his latest book, Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them, he describes what has happened to our oceans over the past century—from overfishing to the devastating effects of ocean acidification—and offers solutions to how we can combat these abuses in the future, and details his own journey into environmental activism.

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