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Babel: Translating the Middle East

A weekly Government, Society and Culture podcast featuring Jon Alterman
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Episodes of Babel

As Bahrain aims to become a regional leader in pharmaceuticals and medicine, the country is rolling out a range of innovative technologies, some of which undermine the privacy of patients. That may be a hard pill to swallow for some Bahrainis.
This week on Babel, Jon talks with Chloe Cornish, the outgoing Middle East correspondent at the Financial Times, where she covered Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria. They discuss sectarianism in Lebanese and Iraqi politics, similarities and differences
Morocco debates how to integrate young African migrants into Moroccan society. A New Mezze from the CSIS Middle East Program.
This week on Babel, Jon speaks with Emile Hokayem, a senior fellow for the Middle East at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). They discuss changing Middle Eastern views of the United States, the United States' focus on "de
Crowdsourcing of female roles is rising in Egypt driven by the digital revolution. A New Mezze from the CSIS Middle East Program.
This week on Babel, Jon speaks with Dr. Monica Marks, a professor of Middle East politics at NYU Abu Dhabi who has been thinking about Tunisia for almost 15 years. They discuss Tunisian President Kais Saied's recent moves to consolidate power,
Recent moves by two food delivery services in Qatar highlight that in the struggle for both labor rights and sustainability, Qatar's challenge is both establishing its priorities and prioritizing between them. A new Mezze from the Middle East P
This week on Babel, Jon talks with Colin Clarke, a senior research fellow and the director of policy and research at The Soufan Center. They discuss what Iran is set to gain in Afghanistan, Iran's relationship with al Qaeda and the Taliban, and
For agricultural workers laboring on large tomato farms in Morocco, low wages keep many living hand-to-mouth, while a few large tomato companies—many with foreign ties—have continued to grow. As a result, for many rural Moroccans, the governmen
This week on Babel, Jon talks with Daniel Yergin, the vice-chairman of IHS Markit and author of the new book, The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations. They discuss the global energy transition and the longevity of oil, the effect
If there is one thing Abu Dhabi has in abundance, it’s sunlight. But investors in the UAE are pouring millions of dollars into farming enterprises that don’t use any sunlight at all. Find out why with a new Mezze from the Middle East Program.
This week on Babel, Jon talks with Sen. Chris Murphy, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism. They discuss the U.S. relationship with Gulf allies, regional proxy battl
Eight years ago, Syria recorded the lowest rate of female labor participation in the Middle East. Now, Syrian men are increasingly the ones trapped at home and women are filling the vacancies they leave. A new Mezze from the CSIS Middle East Pr
This week on Babel, Jon talks with Peter Salisbury, the International Crisis Group's senior analyst for Yemen with over a decade of experience working on the country. They discuss who's fighting in Yemen, what's at stake in the ongoing battle o
With their savings in U.S. dollars trapped in Lebanese banks, many Lebanese have come to believe that in Lebanon, the easiest way to save money is to spend it. This is a new a mezze episode from the CSIS Middle East Program.
This week on Babel, Jon speaks with Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where focusing on Iran and U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East. They discuss tipping points in Iran, the future of th
When engineers plant reeds as part of a new project in Azraq, Jordan, they'll be doing more than just revitalizing the local environment. This is a new a mezze from the Middle East Program. This vignette is taken from the CSIS Middle East Progr
This week on Babel, Jon talks with Carsten Wieland, a German diplomat who served in the United Nations with three separate special envoys to Syria. They discuss the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, the politicization of humanitarian a
With the help of a local startup, for one municipality in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, not all organic waste has to actually go to waste. A new Mezze from the CSIS Middle East Program. This vignette is taken from the CSIS Middle East Program’s repor
This week on Babel, Jon speaks with Dahlia Scheindlin, a public opinion expert and international political consultant who has advised 8 Israeli elections. They discuss the deep divisions in Israeli society, where the new Israeli government can
Entering Tunisia’s solar industry takes more than just a sunny disposition. A new Mezze from the CSIS Middle East Program. This vignette is taken from the CSIS Middle East Program’s report, “Sustainable States: Environment, Governance, and the
This week on Babel, Jon Alterman talks about Jordan with Dr. Jillian Schwedler, professor of political science at the City University of New York's Hunter College and a non-resident fellow at Brandeis University's Crown Center. Jon and Dr. Schw
In Egypt, hot sauce might not be all that comes with your liver sandwich. This is a short mezze from the Middle East Program at CSIS.
This week on Babel, McKinley Knoop interviews Jon Alterman, Natasha Hall, and Will Todman about the Middle East Program's new report, "Sustainable States: Environment, Governance, and the Future of the Middle East." They discuss the origins of
In the struggle for Tunisia's post-revolution future, the past has been getting a controversial new lease on life. Statues commemorating Tunisia's past leaders have not been left unscathed.
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