Middle East

Airs Sunday, March 17 at 6 p.m.
Anchored by Ray Suarez
The Arab awakening has led to a rise in Islamist governments in the Middle East – raising concerns about the rights of religious minorities. The Middle East is largely Muslim but it’s also the birthplace of Christianity, Judaism, and many other religions. Many non-Muslims have left in recent decades, leaving relatively small populations of non-Muslims and Muslim minority sects. Now, the rise of Islamist political parties in the Mideast raises questions about the rights and protections such minorities can expect or whether they can expect them at all. In this edition of America Abroad, we’ll learn about the Jewish population in Tunisia, and how they're faring under a new Islamist government there.  We'll hear from Egypt about the Christian community and their reactions to a new president. And we'll provide a primer on Alawites, the minority Muslim sect to which Syria's president Bashar al-Assad belongs.

Stephen F. Austin State University will bring together Middle East scholars, analysts and journalists for a two-day conference in Houston. The conference will focus on the future relationship between the United States and the Middle East. The goal is to develop some policy recommendations that can be forwarded to the U.S. State Department and policy institutes. The conference will be held Oct. 18-19 at the Magnolia Hotel in Houston. It's free and open to the public.

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