Middle East Focus

A weekly News, Politics and Government podcast
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Episodes of Middle East Focus

Iulia Sabina-Joja and Alex Vatanka join today's program to discuss Iranian foreign policy and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Amid growing concerns about the regional repercussions of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the SCO met for
Ross Harrison, Paul Salem, and Randa Slim join host Alistair Taylor to reflect on 9/11’s impact on US policy in the Middle East over the past 20 years and how its legacy has been viewed by the region.
Maati Monjib and Rachid Aourraz join guest host Intissar Fakir to discuss the results of Morocco's Sept. 8 general elections, their context and why they are important, and what they signal about political trends in the country moving forward.
Elisabeth Kendall and Nadwa al-Dawsari join Charles Lister to discuss Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its place in Yemen’s persistent internal conflict.
Mick Mulroy and Ken Tovo join host Alistair Taylor to discuss their recent paper on how US intelligence and military operatives effectively collaborated with local Kurdish partners in Northern Iraq in the early 2000s, why it was a successful pa
Peter Bergen and Colin Clarke join guest host Charles Lister to discuss Bergen’s new book, The Rise and Fall of Osama Bin Laden, as well as the Biden administration’s handling of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and concerns about the country
Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, director of MEI’s Afghanistan and Pakistan program, joins host Alistair Taylor for a bonus episode responding to the Taliban’s rapid overthrow of the Afghan military and government over the past week.
Amb. Dennis Ross and Karen Young join guest host Gerald Feierstein to discuss the progress of relations between Israel and the Arab world one year after the signing of the Abraham Accords, as well as the agreement's economic impacts and what ro
Ebrahim Raisi was sworn in as Iran's new president on August 5. Ali Alfoneh and Henry Rome join guest host Alex Vatanka, director of MEI's Iran Program, to discuss the political and economic challenges the new president will contend with, his r
On August 4, 2020, a cache of improperly stored ammonium nitrate caused a devastating blast in the port of Beirut. Chris Abi-Nassif, Mona Fawaz, and Aya Majzoub join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the investigation into the blast, the reconstr
Marvin Weinbaum, Husain Haqqani, and Mick Mulroy join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the future of Afghanistan following the imminent US military withdrawal.
Guled Ahmed, Mirette Mabrouk, and Mohammed Soliman join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the latest developments for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Egypt's African diplomatic outreach, and the creative solutions required to meet the
Charles Lister, Mona Yacoubian, and James Jeffrey join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the upcoming UN Security Council vote on the renewal of cross-border assistance for Syria, Russia's threats of severing access, and how they might impact sta
Madiha Afzal, Syed Mohammad Ali, and Marvin Weinbaum join host Alistair Taylor to discuss a range of issues facing Pakistan, from the implications of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, to its bilateral relations with India, China, S
Alex Vatanka joins host Alistair Taylor to discuss Iran's upcoming presidential election on June 18. The election comes at a pivotal time for the country, as it faces a serious economic crisis and growing popular dissatisfaction at home, as wel
Sarah Johansson and Mohammed Soliman join guest host Mike Sexton to discuss the various legal, technical, and environmental challenges of cryptocurrencies in the region, among others.
Hanin Ghaddar and Kasra Arabi join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the challenges Hezbollah poses to the region and its key role in Iran's proxy network, which spans from Iraq to Syria and Lebanon to Yemen.
Alex Vatanka, Abdolrasool Divsallar, and Michael Eisenstadt join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the high-level talks in Vienna, now in their fifth week, aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal that the Trump administration withdrew the US from
Paul Salem and Randa Slim join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the Biden administration’s first 100 days in office and what it’s meant for U.S. Middle East policy, from Afghanistan to Iran.
Evidence shows that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the women of the Middle East has been disastrous, as lost employment, disproportionate health and well-being, and the burden of care work have set women back in terms of political and e
Marvin Weinbaum and David Sedney join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the recently announced U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan and what it means for the country, the U.S., and the region as a whole.
Jonathan Winer and Mirette Mabrouk join host Alistair Taylor to discuss Libya's new interim government, the complex regional and international dynamics at play, and what Libya's future might look like.
Khaled Elgindy and Lara Friedman discuss the public launch of their congressional teach-in series, “Israel-Palestine: Where We Are, What Comes Next, and Why It Matters to Congress.” The series of webinars features an array of American, Palestin
Matthew Levitt and Douglas London join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the new and evolving threats of terrorism at home and abroad and what the US needs to do to adapt and innovate to address them.
Amira Roess and Shahrokh Fardoust join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the public health and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic across the Middle East and North Africa, and how they compare to other parts of the world.
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