Middle East Focus-logo

Middle East Focus

News & Politics Podcasts

Weekly discussion of Middle East policy, arts, and culture, featuring experts from the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.

Weekly discussion of Middle East policy, arts, and culture, featuring experts from the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.

Location:

United States

Description:

Weekly discussion of Middle East policy, arts, and culture, featuring experts from the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.

Language:

English


Episodes

The role of US special forces in the war in Afghanistan

2/19/2021
Jessica Donati, foreign affairs reporter for the Wall Street Journal, joins host Alistair Taylor to discuss her new book, Eagle Down: The Last Special Forces Fighting the Forever War.

Duration:00:17:40

Conflict and Rivalry in the South Caucasus

2/11/2021
Paul Goble, Gonul Tol, and Alex Vatanka join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the role of Russia, Turkey, and Iran in the South Caucasus.

Duration:00:32:04

Black Sea Cybersecurity

2/4/2021
MEI’s Iulia-Sabina Joja and Chris Kubecka join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the range of cyber threats facing Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region, and how the EU is working to address them.

Duration:00:24:45

Regional tensions and proxy conflict

1/28/2021
MEI’s Paul Salem and Ross Harrison join host Alistair Taylor to discuss what the Biden Administration can do to reduce regional tensions and proxy conflicts in the Middle East.

Duration:00:38:11

Trends to watch in the Middle East in 2021

1/15/2021
MEI experts Gerald Feierstein, Alex Vatanka, Gonul Tol, and Charles Lister join host Alistair Taylor to survey what lies ahead for the region in the year ahead, with particular attention to Yemen, Iran, Turkey, and Syria.

Duration:00:56:15

Year in review: The Middle East in 2020

12/16/2020
In our final episode of the year, host Alistair Taylor interviews several MEI scholars on the key events that transpired across the Middle East in 2020 including in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, and they discuss US defense and diplomatic strategy in region as the as the transition to the Biden administration gets underway. Guests include Paul Salem, Bilal Saab, Randa Slim, and Marvin Weinbaum.

Duration:00:54:26

Cyber War and Cyber Peace in the Middle East

12/15/2020
Richard A. Clarke, the first US “Cyber Czar”, joins guest host Patrick Howell O’Neill, cybersecurity senior editor for MIT Technology Review, to discuss the state of defensive and offensive cyber capabilities across the Middle East, how it is impacting conflicts in the region, and steps the incoming Biden administration can take to reinvigorate US cyber programs. MEI’s new book, “Cyber War and Cyber Peace in the Middle East,” is available now in paperback and for Kindle e-readers. Visit...

Duration:00:30:29

Art in Isolation

12/9/2020
Artists Asim Ahmed, Reem Aljeally, and Jamila Rizgalla join guest host Lyne Sneige to discuss the challenges facing artists across the region during the global pandemic. Their works are featured in MEI’s first ever open call exhibition, titled “Art in Isolation: Creativity in the Time of Covid-19,” which is on display at the MEI Art Gallery until January 29. The pieces can also be viewed and are for sale online. Please visit mei.edu/art-gallery for more information.

Duration:00:29:16

US-Gulf relations and the Biden administration

11/25/2020
Elana DeLozier and Jerry Feierstein join host Alistair Taylor to discuss prospects for US-Gulf relations and regional policy under the Biden presidency.

Duration:00:24:45

Turkey and the Biden administration

11/23/2020
MEI’s Gonul Tol and Robert Pearson join host Alistair Taylor to discuss prospects for US-Turkey relations and regional policy under the Biden presidency.

Duration:00:20:20

Middle East policy under the Biden administration

11/10/2020
Paul Salem and Randa Slim join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the US presidential election and what lies ahead for US policy in the region under Joseph Biden’s presidency.

Duration:00:27:53

Iran and US policy after the election

10/29/2020
Nazila Fathi, Nazee Moinian, and Alex Vatanka join host Alistair Taylor to discuss Iran, U.S. policy, and the potential impact of the upcoming presidential election.

Duration:00:32:11

Syria and US policy after the election

10/23/2020
Charles Lister and Jomana Qaddour join host Alistair Taylor in a discussion about the current situation in Syria, US policy under the Trump administration, and what lies ahead following the presidential election.

Duration:00:36:27

Iraq’s domestic challenges and US relations

10/15/2020
Robert Ford, Hafsa Halawa, and Randa Slim join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the political and economic challenges facing Iraq, the state of US-Iraqi relations, and the potential impact of upcoming U.S. elections in November.

Duration:00:39:35

Prospects for the intra-Afghan talks in Doha

10/6/2020
Marvin Weinbaum and Omar Samad join host Alistair Taylor to discuss what to expect from the intra-Afghan talks underway in Doha, the ongoing violence on the ground in Afghanistan, and the challenges facing Afghan security forces as the US continues its troop drawdown.

Duration:00:31:55

Lebanon Then and Now: Revisited

9/23/2020
Patrick Baz, Kristine Khouri, and Emilie Madi join guest host Lyne Sneige to discuss the impact of the August 4 Beirut Port explosion on Lebanon’s artistic community; how museums and galleries are working to preserve cultural heritage; and how photojournalists recorded this tragic moment in Lebanon’s history. They are among the contributors and co-sponsors of “Lebanon Then and Now: Photography from 2006 to 2020,” an interactive virtual exhibit hosted by the MEI Art Gallery through September...

Duration:00:34:33

Hacker-for-hire: A story of Iranian cyber recruitment

9/17/2020
Cyber security researcher Chris Kubecka shares the story of how the Iranian government attempted for over two years to recruit her to come to Iran and teach the skills needed to hack critical infrastructure targets--until the FBI stepped in. Steph Shample of MEI’s Cyber program guest hosts this week’s special episode.

Duration:00:20:09

Turkey’s Black Sea gas find

8/27/2020
Mehmet Öğütçü and Gonul Tol join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the recent announcement of Turkey’s biggest-ever natural gas discovery—the Sakarya field in the Black Sea—and what it might mean for Turkey’s economy, domestic politics, and foreign policy.

Duration:00:34:10

Yemen’s dire crisis continues

8/26/2020
MEI’s Gerald Feierstein and Mick Mulroy join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the ongoing conflict in Yemen and the country faces crises on multiple fronts, from the unchecked spread of COVID-19 and widespread hunger to renewed fighting and a lack of international funding. [Update: After this episode was recorded, Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council (STC) announced on Aug. 25 that it was withdrawing from Riyadh agreement talks.]

Duration:00:27:40

Conflict in the South Caucasus

8/21/2020
Tom de Waal, Nicole Grajewski, and Theodore Karasik join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the recent border hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the role that Russia, Turkey, and Iran are playing in the geostrategically important South Caucasus.

Duration:00:31:34