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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

Dec 19, 2017

In our final episode of the year, Paul Salem interviews several MEI scholars on the key events that transpired across the Middle East in 2017 including in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Guests include Gerald Feierstein, Charles Lister, Gonul Tol, and Alex Vatanka.

Dec 12, 2017

December 12, 2017 - The big news in recent days has been President Trump’s very contentious decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It was a decision roundly condemned by allies in Europe and the Middle East and marks a major shift in U.S. policy. MEI experts Eran Etzion, Yousef Munayyer, and Nathan...

Dec 7, 2017

The killing of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh marks a major turning point in Yemen’s ongoing civil war. Nadwa Al-Dawsari (POMED) and Gerald Feierstein (MEI) join Paul Salem to discuss the immediate fallout and what lies ahead.

Dec 1, 2017

From mixed signals over U.S. policy toward Syria's Kurds, to an alleged kidnapping plot involving Michael Flynn, to the implication of President Erdogan in an international corruption scheme, U.S.-Turkey relations have struggled to find solid ground. Nicholas Danforth, senior policy analyst at the Bipartisan Policy...

Nov 16, 2017

The war in Afghanistan has dragged on for 16 years, appearing to many Americans to have no end in sight or positive outcome. However, as Defense Secretary James Mattis recently testified, “Violence and progress in Afghanistan continue to coexist.” What is that progress, and what does it mean for Afghans themselves?...