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Imani Barbarin

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A worker at the Kangso Mineral Water Factory that is shown to foreigners to display its modernized industries
North Korea

Pyongyang Potential: Could North Korea's Economy Take Off?

With its mineral resources and cheap labor, the country has significant potential for growth, but economic openness could undermine its dictatorship.

SEOUL — Last month, Ian Bennett hosted a start-up workshop in Pyongyang. Several times a year, the computer scientist travels to North Korea to run training seminars organized by the Singaporean NGO, Choson Exchange. The workshops feature foreign professionals introducing North Korean workers to marketing skills, economic analysis and sales techniques.

"There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit," says Bennett. "Many people who seek to develop these new skills have experienced famine in the 1990s, and now know they can't rely any longer on the state alone. Those who have not tried to fend for themselves in the past often die."

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Reda takes his audience back to the Sixth Century.

Islamic Antidote To Radicalism: A French One-Man Show On The Koran

In the southern city of Marseille, actor Selman Reda draws on his personal experiences to explore the ins and outs of being Muslim in secular France.

MARSEILLE — His slow, warm voice is that of a storyteller. The same is true of his hands, which accompany the poetic language with arabesque gestures. But Selman Reda isn't here to tell old wives' tales.

The script is his own creation, rather, a monologue called Ne laisse personne te voler les mots (Don't Let Anyone Steal The Words), which the actor from Marseille wrote and has performed more than 20 times since December in local theaters, middle schools and high schools.

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