Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
Tunisia's national assembly has approved the country's landmark new constitution – its first since the ousting of president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali three years ago, in the Jasmine Revolution that sparked the events of the Arab Spring.
Max spoke to Mabrouka M'Barek, a member of the Tunisian Constituent Assembly, the body that was tasked with drafting it.
She said that the passing of the constitution was "an amazing day because you saw that all of the world, of the countries were giving us support and praising our constitution. This for us represents so much. It's also strengthening our legitimacy as a newly born democracy."
M’Barek says the drafting of the constitution involved as many citizens as they could in the process. "We always felt that we have a huge responsibility, not only towards the Tunisian people, but also all the people in the region who followed the Tunisian revolution."
M'Barek says the voting was “proof that we can build a pluralistic democracy, and that was very big."
Last week, Victoria Nuland, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, was allegedly recorded using blunt words about the EU in a phone conversation. Naturally, the story sparked a lot of reaction both in Europe and around the world.
Max spoke to former State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley to find out if the incident reflected the hidden side of diplomacy, and if it offered any warning for others about the modern lack of privacy.
Crowley said that the use of profane language in diplomacy was certainly nothing new and noted that "American diplomats and European diplomats have been swearing about each other and at each other for decades. This is not easy business.” When asked whether this recording enforces the perception among many Europeans that America feels dismissive towards the E.U., Crowley said; "I think there's a natural imbalance here. I mean the United States is the most influential country in the world. If US formulates its policy it's able to move rather quickly. The European Union by definition, by structure, has many members, and it's a much more deliberative process."
But in Crowley’s opinion, the most shocking aspect of the story was “the circumstance under which a private conversation became very public. I think this reflects the world in which we live and the difficulty in keeping private conversations, whether they're in a verbal form in this case, or a written form as was the case in WikiLeaks.” He said that this shows how “things that used to be done diplomatically behind closed doors are increasingly emerging into the open space."
On who was responsible for the production of this recording, Crowley expressed this opinion: "In this case the Russians are perhaps the most likely suspect, and I think this underscores how seriously Vladimir Putin and the Russian government see the situation in Ukraine."
Violent anti-government protests are spreading in Bosnia.
Max spoke to local Sarajevo journalist, Kenan Cerimagic, to find out the situation on the ground.
Cerimagic says the majority of the protesters are frustrated by unemployment and that their main demand is “to have a chance to work, to earn a living, to provide their family with the good, meaningful life.” He also says that people want “the government to start thinking about them."
At 27.5 percent, Bosnia’s unemployment rate is the highest in the Balkans and Cerimagic says the anger that’s spilling out on the streets has been building up for years. He said that the demonstrators wouldn't be satisfied until politicians started paying less attention to themselves and more attention to their voters: "Twenty years after the war they cannot provide decent living in this country."
Harry Benson says he first "hit the big time" when he caught the Beatles having a pillow fight on camera. This gave him the opportunity to travel with the Fab Four to America for their 1964 tour, which took the band truly global. Since then Benson has been called upon to photograph every U.S. President from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama. He's marched alongside Martin Luther King and taken intimate pictures of just about every cultural icon from Frank Sinatra, to Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse.
Now he's celebrating 50 years behind the lens with an exhibition of his half-century of work at the Mallett Gallery in London. We asked him to talk us through his favourite pictures and the memories behind them.