March 21, 2011
Afghan Star: Defying the Taliban in an American Idol Spin Off
Can an American Idol spin off unite a country, promote women, and enable citizens to experience democracy? The award-winning documentary Afghan Star answers these questions as it follows contestants on the program as they compete, campaign, and even face death threats. The screening was followed by a panel discussion with Daoud Sediqi, the former emcee of Afghan Star, who defected to the United States and now works for Voice of America; Georgetown Professor Katrin Sieg, who is writing a book on the impact of Eurovision; and Georgetown Professor Cynthia Schneider, cultural diplomacy expert who attended the Afghan Star finals in Kabul on March 21st. The event was sponsored by the Mortara Center for International Studies and co-sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs.