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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.

Jun 20, 2018

Worries of economic downturn loom large as Turkish voters head into a critical election for the president and members of parliament on June 24. MEI’s Gonul Tol and W. Robert Pearson join host Paul Salem to analyze the myriad issues facing voters, and the prospects for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling...


Jun 15, 2018

Aid groups are warning that a major offensive underway to capture the strategic port of Hodeida could make Yemen’s humanitarian crisis even worse. Basma Alloush (Norwegian Refugee Council), Farea Al-Muslimi (Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies), and Gerald Feierstein (MEI), join host Paul Salem to assess the situation.


Jun 8, 2018

Can a deal to withdraw U.S.-backed Kurdish forces from the contested Syrian town of Manbij help to break the tension between opposing Turkish and American strategies in Syria? MEI’s Gonul Tol and Charles Lister join host Paul Salem to discuss.


May 31, 2018

Several countries have engaged in a flurry of diplomatic moves in recent days to prevent combat between Israeli and Iranian forces in southern Syria from escalating into full-scale war. MEI senior fellows Robert Ford and Charles Lister join host Paul Salem to discuss these moves and the state of the Syrian conflict.


May 24, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened Iran with the “strongest sanctions in history” following the U.S. exit from the nuclear deal and outlined twelve demands as conditions for striking a new treaty between the two countries. MEI’s Rauf Mammadov and Ahmad Majidyar join Paul Salem to discuss the implications of...