Episodes
Published 10/22/21
Marsin Alshamary joins the program to discuss the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections on Oct. 10. Originally scheduled for 2022, the elections were moved up amid pressure from the Tishreen protest movement that began in late 2019. MEI Senior Fellow Randa Slim also speaks with two long-time watchers of Iraqi politics, Farhad Alaaldin and Naufel Alhassan, about how they see things playing out and the impact the elections might have on Iraq’s political landscape going forward.
Published 10/08/21
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 its 20th anniversary summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on September 16th and 17th. Regional security cooperation and Iranian accession were at the top of the agenda, with Iran formally joining the organization as a full member on September 17th. 
Published 09/22/21
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.
Published 09/10/21
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.
Published 09/09/21
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.
Published 09/07/21
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 partnership, and what lessons it may provide for future operations. The paper, “Irregular Warfare: A Case Study in CIA and US Army Special Forces Operations in Northern Iraq, 2002-03," is available now on MEI's website.
Published 09/01/21
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 once again becoming a safe haven for Al Qaeda under the Taliban.
Published 08/25/21
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.
Published 08/17/21
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 role the United States will play moving forward.
Published 08/17/21
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 relationship to Ayatollah Khamenei, and the future of Iran and the country's leadership.
Published 08/06/21
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 reconstruction process, and the political, economic, and social impact in Lebanon.
Published 07/29/21
Marvin Weinbaum, Husain Haqqani, and Mick Mulroy join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the future of Afghanistan following the imminent US military withdrawal.
Published 07/22/21
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 region's growing energy needs.
Published 07/19/21
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 stability across the region.
Published 06/30/21
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, Saudi Arabia, and the United States under the Biden administration.
Published 06/24/21
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 well as a changing regional environment and ongoing talks over the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Published 06/11/21
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.
Published 05/25/21
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.
Published 05/20/21
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 in mid-2018.
Published 05/13/21
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.
Published 05/06/21
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 economic gains. Where have the biggest losses been sustained, and how are activists and policymakers across the region seeking to address them? Sahar Khamis and Negar Mortazavi join guest host Eliza Campbell to discuss.
Published 04/30/21
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.
Published 04/23/21
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.
Published 04/16/21
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, Palestinian, Israeli, and international experts on topics dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and U.S. policy. View the series here: https://www.mei.edu/congressional-briefing-series
Published 04/08/21