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Building Blocks

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Andy Borowitz fills in for Leonard Lopate. Alan Khazei talks about his efforts to become what he calls a Big Citizen, and how to achieve social change. Then, Arab American comedian Dean Obeidallah discusses headlining the multi-city tour: “Arabs Gone Wild.” And Filmmaker Sam Wainwright Douglas discusses his documentary, “Citizen Architect,” about the late great architect, artist, and educator Samuel Mockbee. Plus, our latest Backstory segment looks at a record setting arms deal between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, and our Underreported looks at Roma in Europe.

Big Citizenship

Alan Khazei, who founded the non-profit City Year with his friend, Michael Brown, talks about national service and social entrepreneurship. In Big Citizenship: How Pragmatic Idealism Can Bring Out the Best in America, he explores how social change could be achieved through Congress, popular movements, and motivated alliances of groups.

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Dean Obeidallah and "Arabs Gone Wild"

Arab American comedian Dean Obeidallah talks about headlining the multi-city tour “Arabs Gone Wild.” The tour is coming to New York City’s Town Hall Theater on Saturday, October 2.

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Citizen Architect

Documentary filmmaker Sam Wainwright Douglas talks about “Citizen Architect,” his documentary on the late artist, architect, and educator Samuel Mockbee and the radical educational design/build program: the Rural Studio. The film explores Mockbee’s effort to inspire students to consider how they can use their skills to better their communities. “Citizen Architect” will be screened at Cooper-Hewitt on September 23.

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Backstory: U.S. Weapons Sales

The United States Congress is poised to approve a major weapons sale to Saudi Arabia valued at over $60 billion, making it the largest arms sale in history. On today’s Backstory segment, William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation, examines the deal, its political implications, and how the United States came to be the largest weapons dealer in the world.

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Underreported: Roma in Europe

In recent weeks, France has been locked in a war of words with the European Union over its effort to expel the Roma living there. But the Roma in Italy have also been facing discriminatory policies and prejudice. On today's Underreported, Bernard Rorke, director of Roma Initiatives at the Open Society, discusses what’s behind these restrictive policies towards Roma.

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Guest Picks: Dean Obeidallah

Dean Obeidallah is a fan of Glee! Find out what else he told us after his recent appearance on The Leonard Lopate Show.

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