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Podcast: Misadventures On The High Seas; Minsk Madness; Classic Afghan Music In Decline


Giorgi Kurashvili, whose first tour as a sailor, under his father's command, saw him spending 11 months as a veritable hostage in a Libyan port.

Giorgi Kurashvili, whose first tour as a sailor, under his father's command, saw him spending 11 months as a veritable hostage in a Libyan port.

In this week's show, we visit the musicians of Kharabat Street in Kabul. The street -- once the spiritual home of Afghanistan's rich classical music tradition -- is suffering after years of war, harsh Taliban edicts, and the emigration of its finest talents. Jeremy Bransten tells the story.

Grant Podelco
Speaking from exile, former Belarusian presidential candidate Ales Mikhalevich -- imprisoned for two months in a KGB jail in Minsk -- says he believes President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has presented the opposition with a grand moment to unify. Richard Solash, an RFE/RL Washington correspondent, reports.

And staying on the topic of Belarus, writer at large Jamie Kirchick caught up with acclaimed British playwright Tom Stoppard. Stoppard has been championing the causes of free speech and democracy in Belarus since 2005, when he began a relationship with the Belarus Free Theatre.

It sounds like the plot of an adventure novel -- sailors trapped for months on a ship without food, supplies, or navigation equipment, forced to fish in order to survive. But as Daisy Sindelar tells us, it's the real-life experience of one Georgian ship, the Vasilios N, which was held in Libya for 11 months before making a dramatic escape in early March.

This week's host is Grant Podelco.

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RFE/RL's The Blender -- 4/1/11
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