Coming up next week on Focus, we'll talk with one of the most well-respected researchers studying terrorism, an authority on idioms in the English language and with journalist Fred Kroner about his new book "A Saucer Coming to Rest, A Half Century of Assembly Hall." Find our more about what's coming up.
Hugo Chavez, who was the President of Venezuela until he died March 5, started his controversial political career as an outsider. During the first half of this hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Damarys Canache, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Urbana-Champaign who is a Venezuelan native, about Hugo Chavez, his rise to power and what his death means for the country moving forward. Then during the second part of the show, we’ll talk with Theodore Piccone, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, about what Chavez’s death means for Cuba. We’ll also talk with him about Raul Castro’s recent announcement to step down after his current presidential term comes to an end in 2018 and what’s next for the Cuban Communist Party.
She’s been named 100 of the most power in the world by Forbes, has twice been recognized as “Woman of the Year” by Glamour magazine, is the recipient of fifteen honorary degrees and last but not least, is a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Jody Williams about her recently published memoir “My Name is Jody Williams.” Williams tells us about her life as an activist, why she’s spent her career advocating for freedom and human rights and what she really means when she talks about peace.
Williams in the inaugural Jane Addams Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Illinois.
Monday, March 11 - My Name is Jody Williams
Have you been an activist? What causes matter to you?
Jody Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her campaign to eradicate landmines. But she wasn’t always an activist. Monday on Focus, we’ll talk with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams about her new memoir, “My Name is Jody Williams.” She’ll tell us about her life as an activist, why she’s spent her career advocating for freedom and human rights and what she really means when she uses the word “peace.”
Mali, a former French colony, had long been considered a model for democracy, but that all changed last year in March. Soldiers angry about the government’s handling of a rebellion in the northern desert overthrew the country’s elected government during a coup in Bamako, the country’s capital. Since then, Mali has suffered political unrest, pushing the country to ask for help from the French government early this year. Even though the French have helped Mali’s government regain some control in the northern part of the country, conflict is far from over. According to the United Nations, fighting has displaced more than 430,000 people in the past 13 months in addition to countless reports of rape and human rights violations. This hour on Focus, guest host Chris Berube talks with Associate Professor of History at Columbia University Gregory Mann about what has happened in Mali, what lies ahead and what role the US should play moving forward.
During this hour on Focus, we talk with Professor Miriam Cooke about how she got started studying Muslim women and their writing and why their writings are important. She talks with us about women who inspired the feminist movement in the Middle East and why it became important during the 1990’s. Cooke is a Professor of Arab Cultures at Duke University and the Director of the University’s Middle East Studies Center. She’s been a visiting professor in Tunisia, Romania, Indonesia, and Qatar and is one of the foremost scholars on Islamic Feminism and Arab Culture.
Then during the second half of the hour, we talk with Mariam Sobh. She’s the founder and editor-in-chief of Hijab Trendz, a fashion blog for Muslim women. Host Jim Meadows talks with Sobh about her decision to cover her hair, what it means and how some Muslim women are choosing not to.
Ireland holds the European Union’s rotating presidency until June of this year and officials are making it a priority to address the Eurozone Debt Crisis and grow trade and opportunities for enterprise. This hour on Focus, host Craig Cohen talks with His Excellency Ambassador Michael Collins, Ireland’s ambassador to the United States. We’ll talk with him about the country’s debt problems, Ireland’s presidency, the role the EU is taking in turmoil in Syria, and how he manages Ireland’s relations with the United States. The ambassador will be speaking on campus at the University of Urbana-Champaign on Friday, February 15. Find more information here.
Born in 1948, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tamim Ansary is a writer, lecturer, editor, and teacher based in San Francisco. He directs the San Francisco Writer’s Workshop, teaches through the Osher Institute, and writes fiction and nonfiction about Afghanistan, Islam-and-the-West, democracy, current events, social issues, and as he says, "my cat, and other topics as they come up."
Dr. Stefanos Katsikas, Director of Modern Greek Studies, University of Illinois
João Vale de Almeida, The European Union Ambassador to the United States
John McCormick, Professor of European Union Politics, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
Host: Craig Cohen
A number of eyebrows were raised by the decision last week to give this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to The European Union. We’ll learn more about what was behind that decision, and discuss the history, complexity, and potentially challenging future of the European Union, including the fate of the Euro as a common currency, and the viability of economically struggling nations like Greece, with Dr. Stefanos Katsikas, Director of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Illinois; John McCormick, Professor of European Union Politics, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis; and João Vale de Almeida, The European Union Ambassador to the United States.
Eboo Patel, Founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core and member of President Obama’s inaugural Faith Council
Host: Craig Cohen
Following the attacks last week on U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya, which led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, we’ll talk about how there’s a tendency among some to lump violent Muslim extremists in with the Muslim community at large, in a way that we perhaps don’t do with other radicals who pervert other religions. We’ll consider how violent acts like this make it more challenging to bring peaceful people of various faiths together, as we talk with Eboo Patel, the founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core and a member of President Obama’s inaugural Faith Council. He’s the author of the book Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America.