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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

Jul 11, 2024

About the series: This is a critical year for the future of democracy. Half the world’s population will go to the polls in 2024, at a time when citizens in America and across the globe are losing faith in democratic institutions. We often view the rollback of democracy and threats to the liberal international order as...

Jul 3, 2024

On July 9-11, Washington will host the leaders of NATO’s 32 member states for a special anniversary summit, celebrating 75 years since the Alliance’s founding. But the NATO heads of state and government are unlikely to spend much time reminiscing. Their agenda will be full, spanning from Ukraine, Russia, wars in...

Jun 24, 2024

Alex Vatanka (Director, MEI's Iran Program) and Ali Afshari (Iranian political analyst and pro-democracy activist) discuss Iran’s snap presidential elections, set to be held on June 28th, following the sudden death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash last month. The 63-year-old regime loyalist was widely...

Jun 13, 2024

MEI’s North Africa & the Sahel Program Director Intissar Fakir and Guillaume Soto-Mayor discuss Soto-Mayor's paper “Libya, Tunisia, and Niger as Case Studies for Counter-Productive Anti-Migration Policies” - including how EU policies reinforce criminal patterns and empower illicit networks in these areas. 

May 30, 2024

Ambassador David Hale joins MEI's US-Lebanon Fellow Fadi Nicholas Nassar to discuss his book American Diplomacy Toward Lebanon: Lessons in Foreign Policy and the Middle East. They cover takeaways from his time as ambassador and the state of US-Lebanon and regional diplomacy following the Gaza war.