Broadcast from the Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson Foundation Talk Studio, supporting arts and communications outreach.

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Jul. 10, 2012

Tuesday on Worldview:

There are fascinating developments happening around the burgeoning democracies in North Africa. The new president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, has defied the army and the courts by asking parliament to reconvene. Morsi and a majority of parliament members are associated with religious/political parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood. In Libya, however, voters have surprised many by choosing a more open, secular government in their recent elections. University of Michigan Middle East expert Juan Cole joins us by phone to break down these developments.

Then: In the 1970s, "traditional" practices were banned by the Chinese government — including burial. But Wenguang Huang’s grandmother insisted that she be buried when she died. And so, Huang’s father built a coffin in secret. Huang was named "coffin keeper," and part of that job included sleeping next to said coffin for years. All the while, the family had to keep the coffin from the authorities. Huang tells the whole story, and the effect it had on his childhood during turbulent times in China, in his new memoir, The Little Red Guard.