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Democracy in the Middle East24:42
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photoIraq has had its first free election in half a century. Palestinians have voted anew. Popular protests this week brought down Lebanon's pro-Syrian government. Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak has announced that he will allow Egypt's first direct multiparty elections this fall.

In his second-term inaugural speech, U.S. President George W. Bush said that liberty at home depended on the promise of liberty and democracy abroad. As winds of change are sweeping across the Middle East less than two months after that speech, could his vision for democracy in the region be working?

Hear a discussion about what's really going on in the Middle East's ripple of democratic ferment, and where credit is due.

Guests:

Steven Weisman, chief diplomatic correspondent, The New York Times;

Stephen Van Evera, professor of political science, MIT;

Fouad Ajami, director of the Middle East Studies Program, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Samer Shehata, visiting professor in comparative Middle Eastern politics at Georgetown University

This program aired on March 1, 2005.

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