It's been 5 years (June 4, 2009) since President Obama's landmark Cairo speech in which he spoke of common values between the West and "muslims around the world: they were values of "justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings." A year later, the world witnessed the popular uprisings and protests that gripped countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan and Syria...popular political expression that was once thought to have the power to liberalize. As that political momentum has given way to renewed repression in some states, terrible conflict or chaos in others, what is left is art. Among the selections in this program are "Horses of God," the new film out by French-born Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch about the roots of extremism in the heart of Casablanca...the film echoes the real events of an actual mass suicide bombing that killed 47 people back in 2010. Lebanese singer Tania Saleh who sings for peace between Sunni and Shiites. Pakistani playwright Shahid Nadeem who's been jailed for his use of satire to expose taboo political topics and Lebanese rap crew, Ashekman. They rap and paint graffiti about terrorism, war and corruption. And more.
In Rabat Morocco, there's a new breakdancer on the scene who goes by the name B-Girl Scarf. While many are taking a note that she dances wearing a hijab, she hopes you'll pay more attention to her hip hop moves. Producer Jake Warga brings us her story.
The film "Horses of God" talks about one of the most tragic events in recent Moroccan history, the 2003 suicide bombings in Casablanca that killed dozens. Host Madeleine Brand speaks with the director of the film about why it's important for Moroccans to tell their own story about terrorism.
For the last several years under President Mubarak, then the Muslim Brotherhood, and now President-elect al-Sisi -- an expanding group of independent filmmakers in Egypt has been trying to capture the gritty realities of life in the country, while carefully maneuvering around censorship from the government, as well as society. One such The 2013 film is the most recent by Egyptian filmmaker Ahmad Abdulla, who is trying his best to fly under the radar of authority but still make an impact with audiences. Kimberly Adams has the story.