December 7, 2012

This Week

This week we take on ... this week. Stories united by one thing: They all happened in the seven days prior to broadcast. We try our hand reporting the global stories in Egypt and Afghanistan; and take on super local stories, too, like a man who tries valiantly — valiantly! — to actually get out of bed when his alarm clock goes off. 

Hyder Akbar’s car after he was ambushed in Kunar Province.


A 17-year-old Ethiopian girl who is just learning English goes with her teacher to face her fears head-on: She orders tea in a local coffee shop. A woman in America talks to Ira about her husband, in Syria, who is currently negotiating with kidnappers for the release of two of his employees. In Doha, Qatar, the lead negotiator for the Philippines at the United Nations Climate Change Conference implores world governments to take action now. The Missoula Community Theater puts on a special performance of their Christmas musical, adapted to an audience of people on the autism spectrum. A group of 10 year-old girls in Charlottesville, Virginia, talk smack while competing in a local step competition. And a man on the Airtrain at Newark Airport gets ready to meet his newly-discovered half-brother. (11 minutes)

Act One

Kabul, Afghanistan

This American Life contributor Hyder Akbar heads into Kunar Province in Eastern Afghanistan to report back on life there this week. Things look good until he gets ambushed, shot at and his car catches on fire on his way back home. (15 minutes)

Act Four

New Orleans, LA

A group called NO/AIDS heads into bars to offer free HIV testing for high-risk people. Writer Nathaniel Rich tells the story of one man's test. Nathaniel is the author of the forthcoming book Odds Against Tomorrow. (6 minutes)

Act Five

Cairo, Egypt

It's been a tumultuous week of protests and demonstrations in Egypt. Nancy Updike talks to two Egyptian men whose ideologies are completely opposite, except one thing unites them: Their anger at the United States. (6 minutes)