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May 2006





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South African Diary: "Living With AIDS"

And the Oscar Goes To....

Egypt: Battling for Democracy



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South African Diary: "Living With AIDS"

Thembi Ngubane.

Twenty-year-old Thembi Ngubane.

Editor's note: Five million South Africans suffer from HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This makes South Africa the hardest-hit country in the world. Fully three-quarters of new cases are girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 25. One of those women, Thembi Ngubane, agreed to record an audio diary of what it's like to live with HIV. Thembi, who is 20 and lives in Khayelitsha, a wind-swept township outside Cape Town, spent long hours reflecting on what it's like to have an intruder in her body and how her life has changed since she was infected. In collaboration with independent producer Joe Richman of, FRONTLINE/World presents "Thembi's Story," in a format that is new for us, what we call a Direct Voice Dispatch.

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And the Oscar Goes To....

Xiaoli Zhou on horseback in China.

Xiaoli Zhou makes the seven-hour trek on horseback to reach a remote Mosuo village.

We are delighted to report that one of our FRONTLINE/World Fellows, Xiaoli Zhou, has won a Student Academy Award for her documentary, "The Women's Kingdom," which we debuted on this Web site last year. To notify Xiaoli, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had to track her down in China, where she and her husband Brent Huffman are working these days, making films about China's remote, wilderness areas.

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Egypt: Battling for Democracy

The Judges Club in Cairo.

The Judges Club in Cairo has been the focal point of a fierce standoff between the government of President Hosni Mubarak and an increasingly emboldened pro-democracy movement.

Editor's Note: Following protests and arrests this week on the streets of Cairo, we asked Egyptian-American journalist Fatemah Farag, a longtime resident of the city, to explore the pro-democracy movement in Egypt, both the way it looks on the street and what the confrontations between activists, judges and the government imply for the future of Egypt.

The streets are peculiarly empty for a Wednesday evening -- devoid of the usual constant traffic jams that are the hallmark of downtown Cairo. And yet as I drive past the headquarters of the Press Syndicate, I'm struck by a sense of foreboding that seems to hover over the empty streets.

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