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Episode 015 - How Gary Lineker Once Helped an Innocent Iranian Prisoner

How do you get one of the world's most beloved ex-footballers to speak out about an innocent political prisoner in Iran? In this episode (part 2 of a 2-part show), Iyad El-Baghdadi and Maryam Nayeb Yazdi talk about a campaign they ran for Arash Sadeghi, and what activists can learn from it. Maryam can be found on Twitter at @MaryamNayebYazd. Iyad and Ahmed can be found at @iyad_elbaghdadi and @gatnash. Tweet us, or join the conversation on #ArabTyrantMan.


Episode 014 - Inside the Iran Bubble, with Maryam Nayeb Yazdi

In this episode (part 1 of another 2-part show), Iyad El-Baghdadi (Twitter: @iyad_elbaghdadi) interviews Maryam Nayeb Yazdi (Twitter: @MaryamNayebYazd), a Canadian-Iranian human rights activist, about her journey into activism, and she tells us more about the country since 2009. Maryam has joined the team of HRANA, who publicise human rights news from Iran, and you should follow them too - their Twitter account is @HRANA_English Stay tuned for part 2 in the next few days.


Episode 013 - Can Debate Save the Arab World?

A discussion between Belabbes Benkredda, Founding Director of the Munathara Initiative, and Iyad El-Baghdadi, Nasser Weddady and Ahmed Gatnash, on the public sphere, what teaching young people to debate can do for the world, and how to normalise civilised exchange of ideas and evaluation of them on their merits. Belabbes is currently Senior Research Scholar at Yale Law School's Information Society Project, and can be found on Twitter (@AbuLavinia). The Munathara Initiative (@Munathara) can...


Episode 012 - The Absentee Landlord of Cambodia's Internet?

Part 2 of the conversation with Buzzfeed News' Megha Rajagopalan, continuing the discussion on China but also touching on the effects of Facebook on various South Asian countries like Cambodia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, including amplifying communal violence, and inadvertently empowering autocrats. The BBC video mentioned near the end of the episode: You can find Megha on Twitter (@Meghara), and you should also check out her reporting on the issues mentioned...


Episode 011 - China: The Police State of the Future

Part 1 of a meandering conversation between Ahmed and Megha Rajagopalan, BuzzFeed News' China bureau chief and Asia correspondent, about surveillance and censorship in China - the high-tech police state they've built, WeChat and other tech companies, Chinese memes, the effect it's having on other south Asian countries, as well as comparisons and contrasts to Arab states. You can find Megha on Twitter @Meghara: And you should also check out her reporting on the...


Episode 010 - Dictators and Development Statistics

We attended the Oslo Freedom Forum last month. Ahmed (@Gatnash) sat down with Alex Gladstein (@Gladstein) to get an introduction to the forum, and speak about their goals and some of their achievements, as well as some of Alex's research on dictatorships use of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other development statistics. You can follow Alex on Twitter: Some of his writings on the UN SDGs and other development statistics:...


Episode 009 - The Catch-22 of Arab Economic Reform

In this conversation, Ahmed and Nasser discuss the Catch-22 of economic reform in the Arab World - the conflicting pressures on regional governments from established business interests and burgeoning youth populations create a true 'rock and a hard place' and allow us to understand much better the situation in Jordan, as well as the economic reforms in Saudi Arabia and possibly even predict what's going to happen in other countries.


Alert: The Saudi Regime Declares War on Women's Rights Activism

An emergency episode about the 9 women's rights activists arrested in Saudi Arabia in the last week. They are: Dr Eman al-Najfan, Joujain al-Hathloul, Dr Aisha al-Mana', Dr Madeha Al-Ajroush, Professor Aziza Al-Yousef, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Modaimeegh, Mohammad Al-Rabea and Abdulaziz Al-Mesha’al. You can find out more about them here, courtesy of Al-Qst, the Saudi human rights abuses monitoring organisation: Find out more about the...


Episode 007 - Inside the UAE-Saudi Alliance

In this experimental episode format, Iyad gives his take on the dynamics of the UAE-Saudi alliance and the possibility of fractures appearing. Let us know your thoughts, and join the conversation on #ArabTyrantManual


Episode 006 - The Arab World Won't Fix Itself

A wide-ranging conversation in which Ahmed Gatnash and guest Nasser Weddady, touching on American air strikes on Syria, coup-proofing, Syrian regime relations with Nazis, emergent models of digital surveillance in China and the gulf, the Arab league, the perks of allying with authoritarian regimes and the long-term prospects of the Arab world. Find us on twitter at @Gatnash and @Weddady, and join the conversation on #ArabTyrantManual


Episode 005 - Nonviolence

Iyad El-Baghdadi and Ahmed Gatnash discuss nonviolent resistance to oppression - realistic mechanism of change or idealistic and ineffective? What is it, and how does it apply to different struggles today? Got any thoughts or questions? Tweet us @iyad_elbaghdadi, @gatnash. #ArabTyrantManual


Episode 004 -Scholars and Tyrants

Ahmed and Iyad talk about #globalpeace17 and Muslim scholars who legitimise and support tyrants. Why they do so, and what does this mean both for the Muslim world and for Islam? People mentioned in this episode: Womens rights activists Loujain alhathloul and Masyaa Al Amoudi (@LoujainHathloul and @maysaaX), Salman al-Odah (@salman_alodah), Hassan Farhan al-Maliki (@HsnFrhanALmalki), Mustafa Akyol (@AkyolinEnglish) and Emad Effat. Join the discussion on Twitter #ArabTyrantManual or tweet us...


Episode 003 - Iran Protests

Ahmed and Iyad discuss the protests in Iran, what they're about, and what they mean for the future. Mentioned in this episode: Jamal Khashoggi's article on Saudi's response: And Iran activist Maryam Nayeb Yazdi: Got any thoughts or questions? Tweet us:


Episode 002 – Saudi Reforms (Part 2)

In episode 2, Ahmed and Iyad continue the discussion on Saudi Arabia. Obama's legacy, what's behind it's regional rivalry with Iran, and how can their historical differences tell us more about their wordviews. How can we fix the crises we're in at the moment? Got any thoughts or questions? Tweet us @iyad_elbaghdadi, @gatnash. #ArabTyrantManual


Episode 001 – Saudi Reforms (Part 1)

In our first episode, Iyad and Ahmed discuss the recent events in Saudi Arabia, and what Mohammed bin Salman's reforms mean in context. Got any thoughts? Tweet us @iyad_elbaghdadi, @gatnash. #ArabTyrantManual