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Middle East Focus is a weekly podcast featuring talk and analysis on U.S. foreign policy, contemporary political and social issues in the Middle East, and the arts and culture of region. It is produced by the Middle East Institute, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C. For more information visit

Apr 19, 2018

Amb. Robert Ford and Charles Lister join host Paul Salem to discuss last week’s U.S. airstrikes in Syria in response to the Assad government’s ongoing use of chemical weapons, what the Trump administration is signaling about America’s plans there, and the escalating standoff between Israeli and Iranian forces in...

Apr 12, 2018

The Middle East has withstood a series of major economic shocks over the past decade, and growth is slowly coming back. But sustained high unemployment, especially among women and youth, will continue to put strain on the region’s economic prospects. Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia department...

Apr 5, 2018

The leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey held a high-profile summit in Ankara this week, their second such summit in six months. Are we seeing the formation of a new security axis in the region, and if so, where would that leave the United States? MEI’s Gonul Tol and Alex Vatanka join host Paul Salem to discuss.

Mar 29, 2018

Amb. Nabil Fahmy, dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the American University in Cairo, joins host Paul Salem to discuss the political situation in Egypt and the range of issues facing President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi following his reelection this week to a second term in office.

Mar 22, 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman passed through D.C. this week to sell his Vision 2030 roadmap for transforming the Saudi economy. Karen Young, senior resident scholar Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, and Gerald Feierstein join host Paul Salem to discuss this, as well as other key policy issues...