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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

Aug 30, 2019

Randa Slim, director of MEI’s Conflict Resolution and Track II Dialogues initiative, and MEI Senior Fellow Alex Vatanka join guest host Jerry Feierstein to discuss recent regional developments that may be early indicators of an emerging round of diplomatic talks between the United States and Iran, and what renewed...

Aug 22, 2019

Water scarcity is a global concern that disproportionately affects the Middle East. Mirette Mabrouk, director of MEI’s Egypt program, joins host Alistair Taylor to discuss steps Egypt has taken to manage its own water resources, and what more needs to be done to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Aug 16, 2019

Turkey and the US recently announced an agreement for establishing a safe zone in northern Syria to serve as a buffer between Turkey and the YPG, which is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group and by Washington as a partner in the fight against ISIS. MEI’s Gonul Tol and Charles Lister join host Alistair Taylor...

Aug 7, 2019

Iraq’s state-sponsored, majority-Shiite militias — called al-Hashd al-Shaabi, or the Popular Mobilization Forces — were central to the fight against ISIS, but there are major questions over their ongoing political and economic role. Enabling Peace in Iraq Center program manager Omar Al-Nidawi, American University...