Arab Spring in the Southland

On December 17, a Tunisian street vendor set himself alight and sparked protests that engulfed the Middle East. Six months and six countries later, the Arab Spring has swept from Tunisia to Cairo – and to California.

The majority of California's nearly quarter-million Arab-Americans live in the Southland. That is more than in any other U.S. state. KPCC found out what it's like for them to watch a revolution from 8,000 miles away.

Check back for updates, suggest ideas, and/or send us your photos of the Southland's Arab Spring.

Jump to: Video | On Air | Photos

Recent KPCC shows on: Tunisia | Egypt | Libya | Bahrain | Yemen | Syria

Tunisia

AirTalk

The nuts & bolts of nation building

It's been four months since Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution toppled the Ben Ali regime. Now an interim government is trying to maintain law & order, but moreover trying to build a brand new government. And they're getting help from a Tunisian-Angeleno. Bechir Blagui created an organization called Free Tunisia. Listen to the story

The Madeleine Brand Show

Tweets of revolution in Tunisia

Tunisia's interim leaders announced a new government Monday after a surge of violent demonstrations toppled autocratic president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. BoingBoing contributor Xeni Jardin weighs in on the role of social media and Wikileaks in fomenting unrest in the country. Listen to the story

NPR

Tunisian poet's verses inspire Arab protesters

Among the chants and slogans of protesters on the streets of Egypt are the words of an early 20th century Tunisian poet. The poem has become a rallying cry both in Egypt and in Tunisia. Listen to the story

The Madeleine Brand Show

Inside the Tunisian Facebook hack

In Tunisia, the government is trying to block access to social media sites. Writer Alexis Madrigal wrote about how Tunisian authorities tried to infiltrate Facebook and how Facebook fought back. Listen to the story

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Egypt

Patt Morrison

On the ground in Egypt’s revolution

Egypt’s communication systems are slowly coming back to life after a weekend-long blackout of email and cell phone networks. Even with the shutdown of communication lines images and reports flowed out of Egypt since Friday as the popular movement against the regime of Hosni Mubarak, a movement that seems to transcend class, religious and political distinctions, grows in size and scope. Listen to the story

The Madeleine Brand Show

Egyptian Christians in LA watch protests and wait

Egyptians here in Los Angeles are watching the protests closely. And some - Coptic Christians - have mixed feelings. Ten percent of Egyptians are Coptic Christians and they've been protected by President Hosni Mubarak. Listen to the story

The Madeleine Brand Show

Update from Tahrir Square: protests continue in Egypt

It's early evening in Egypt, and the biggest protest continues in Cairo's main square. More than a quarter million people are demonstrating peacefully. One of them is Rania Saleh. Yesterday on the program we spoke with her husband, a graduate student here in L.A. Rania is studying in Budapest and flew to Cairo several days ago to be part of the demonstrations. Listen to the story

Airtalk

Egypt’s historic revolution leads to President Mubarak’s resignation

Mubarak is the second Arab leader to relinquish power in the face of a massive populist uprising. Tunisia's President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali stepped down in the face of overwhelming street protests less than a month ago. “This is the greatest day of my life,” said Nobel Laureate and opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei. “The country has been liberated." . Listen to the story

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Libya

AirTalk

U.N. votes for air strikes, Libya declares cease fire

On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council voted to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized all necessary measures – short of ground invasion – to prevent Gadhafi's planes from carrying out aerial attacks on rebel-held positions. Listen to the story

AirTalk

Coalition forces intensify strikes on Libya

The international campaign to create a no-fly zone over embattled Libya entered its second day with another aerial bombardment on Sunday. The primary target of the weekend attacks was Libya’s air defense network and was intended to protect civilians from Gadhafi’s forces, which are advancing on rebel controlled areas near Benghazi in the east. Listen to the story

The Madeleine Brand Show

Middle Eastern comedians fueled by uprisings

The uprisings across the Middle East that have grabbed headlines over these past months haven't just ushered in a new political reality in the region. They have also provided a glut of new material for Middle Eastern stand-up comics. Egyptian Omar Elba and Palestinian-American Aron Kader join Madeleine in studio. Listen to the story

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Bahrain

AirTalk

Protesters in Bahrain come under fire

Just before dawn Thursday, riot police armed with clubs, shotguns and tear gas attacked a camp filled with mostly sleeping pro-democracy protesters in the capital of Bahrain. At least five people are reported dead and dozens critically wounded. The late-night raid on Manama’s Pearl Square came without warning, as officials had promised to respond to peaceful protests peacefully. Now grief is turning quickly to anger, possibly setting the scene for more clashes between protesters and police. Listen to the story

AirTalk

Egypt’s domino effect in the region

nspired by Tunisia’s overthrow of its longtime president and Egypt’s historic ouster of President Mubarak, a tide of revolt is now sweeping the Middle East. Pro-democracy protesters are rallying for reforms in Iran, Bahrain, Yemen and beyond. Listen to the story

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Yemen

AirTalk

Egypt’s domino effect in the region

Inspired by Tunisia’s overthrow of its longtime president and Egypt’s historic ouster of President Mubarak, a tide of revolt is now sweeping the Middle East. Pro-democracy protesters are rallying for reforms in Iran, Bahrain, Yemen and beyond. Listen to the story

NPR

Trouble in Yemen could give Al-Qaida new opening

Protesters are demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down, but U.S. counterterrorism officials say that if the president does indeed fall and Yemen dissolves into chaos, that could be bad news for the fight against terrorism. Listen to the story

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Syria

The Madeleine Brand Show

Arab spring brings life changing events in SoCal

For tens of thousands of Arab immigrants in Southern California, events in the Middle East over the past few months have been life changing. KPCC's resident videographer, Grant Slater, spent time in Little Arabia, a single street in Anaheim where there's a little revolution going on as well. One that's almost as complicated as its big brother in the Middle East. Listen to the story

The Madeleine Brand Show

Local Syrian watching protests closely

Samir Hammado, a Syrian living in Pomona who immigrated in 1985, is watching the events in Syria closely. His family was affected by the violent crackdown during uprisings in the 1980s. Two of his brothers were arrested by the security police in 1982 and never seen again. We speak to Hammado about his hopes for the future of his country. Listen to the story

AirTalk

Syria: should we intervene?

The violence in Syria has continued this week -- coming after last Friday's spike that saw more than 100 people killed. The government of Bashar Al-Asad is cracking down on protestors in a number of towns throughout the country. Listen to the story

The Madeleine Brand Show

Emergency laws lifted in Syria

After weeks of anti-government protests in Syria, a key demand of the demonstrators has been met today. According to Syria's official news agency, the cabinet has approved lifting the country's nearly 50 year old state of emergency laws and abolished the state security court. Cal Perry, the Middle East correspondent for Al Jazeera English outlines what these changes mean for Syria and the wider issues of reporting from the region. Listen to the story

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Photos

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Video Editor: Grant Slater
Videos by Grant Slater, Katherine Sheehan, Amir Shoucri, Sarah Weinstein, & Faun Kime
Web Production: Eric Zassenhaus
The Multi-American blog is co-produced by KPCC and NPR, and edited by Leslie Berestein-Rojas