NPR World News

Parallels
3:42 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Lebanon's Reality TV: Like The Kardashians, Only Less Serious

A photo of the Abdelaziz sisters before their reality show aired.
Nadine Abdelaziz Via Instagram

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

The Abdelaziz sisters live in a world of pretty artifice. Alice, Nadine and Farah answer the door in a flurry of hellos while their fluffball dog Stella barks and tinkles the bells on her tiny collar.

They usually live in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, in a family home, but for the purposes of their new reality show, The Sisters, they reside in this apartment where green hillsides spill down from picture windows to the Mediterranean below.

"The view is amazing here," says Nadine, the middle sister. "And you see the weather today is sunny."

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Parallels
2:50 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

With Improved Relations, Are The U.S. And Cuba Ready To Play Ball?

Yoan Francisco, a rookie for the Havana Industriales, warms up before a game at Havana's Latin American Stadium. Cuban baseball has been facing hard times, but improved diplomatic relations with the U.S. have raised the possibility of increased cooperation and new opportunities.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 5:57 pm

It has already been a messy game at Havana's Latin American Stadium, the premier baseball stadium in Cuba. The home team, the Industriales, has given up five runs in the first inning; a shortstop fumbled a ball, an outfielder failed to hustle and an easy out became an extra-base hit.

The home crowd isn't deterred. The vuvuzelas, those ear-splitting plastic horns, still swell when an opposing batter reaches two strikes.

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Parallels
12:07 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

An Object Of Desire: Hope And Yearning For The Internet In Cuba

The Havana studio of prominent artist Kcho is ringed by Cubans with their heads buried in screens. Users say the only other free Internet connection in Havana is at the U.S. Interests Section.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:05 pm

After the sun sets on Havana on weekends, G Street turns into a kind of runway.

Blocks of the promenade — which is very colonial with its big, beautiful statues and impeccable topiaries — swell with crowds of young Cubans. For the most part, they just walk up and down, greeting each other with kisses.

It's a spectacle: Everyone, it seems, is here to impress. They're perfectly coiffed, perfectly matched; they're splayed on benches, arms wrapped around each other.

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Songs We Love
10:55 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Tal National Brings The Joy On 'Zoy Zoy'

Tal National, the most popular band in the West African country of Niger.
Jason Creps Courtesy of the artists

Just as we hit springtime (finally!), I think I've found the happiest song to greet the season. It comes courtesy of Tal National, a band from the West African country of Niger. This rollicking track is called "Zoy Zoy," which is also the name of their new album.

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Parallels
9:53 am
Sun March 22, 2015

Qatar Digital Library Preserves The Music Of A Vanishing Past

Ṣawt musicians during a performance in Kuwait in May 2014.
Rolf Killius Qatar Digital Library

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 1:30 pm

The songs our grandparents sang can tell us who we are. Here in the U.S., the Lomax family became famous in the 1930s, when they recorded America's folk music.

In other countries that are changing fast, people are also trying to hold onto their heritage. The tiny, super-rich state of Qatar takes pride in its modernity, with its gleaming skyscrapers and lucrative gas fields. But it is also investing in a huge history project.

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