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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 www.mei.edu.

Aug 17, 2018

Seven years after Syria’s civil uprising broke out, the war isn’t over, but it is entering a new phase. MEI Senior Fellow Robert Ford, the last U.S. ambassador to Syria, and Charles Lister, director of MEI’s Countering Violent Transnational Movements project, join host Paul Salem to discuss the state of play and...


Aug 9, 2018

Three months after Iraq held its latest parliamentary elections the results are still being counted. Meanwhile political parties are jockeying for power and Iraqi citizens are taking to the streets to protest the government’s handling of services and the economy. Dr. Abbas Kadhim, senior fellow at Johns Hopkins...


Aug 3, 2018

As long as there have been tombs, there have been tomb raiders. Today the plunder is taking place on an unprecedented scale, and the multi-billion dollar illegal trade has been used to fund groups such as ISIS. Brigadier General Fabrizio Parrulli of Italy’s Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage,...


Jul 27, 2018

Andrey Kortunov, director general of the Russian International Affairs Council, and Randa Slim, director of MEI’s program on Conflict Resolution and Track II Dialogues, join host Paul Salem to discuss the Helsinki Summit and takeaways from the latest meeting of the US-Russia Middle East Dialogue in Berlin, where...


Jul 17, 2018

With the Saudi-led coalition’s offensive operations against the strategic port and city of Hodeidah stalled, eyes are now on UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths as he attempts to negotiate a political resolution. Fatima al-Asrar, senior analyst at the Arabia Foundation, and Sama’a al-Hamdani, director of the Yemen...