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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 6, 2020

Paul Salem and Randa Slim join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s massive explosion in Beirut, which killed over 150 people and left as many as 300,000 homeless. The blast caused extensive damage across the city, and compounds the stress of Lebanon’s preexisting political,...

Aug 5, 2020

Beirut-based art and documentary photographers Chantale Fahmi, Vicky Mokbel, and Marwan Tahtah join guest host Kate Seelye to discuss their efforts to capture the aftermath of Lebanon’s long civil war as well as the street protests that erupted on October 17, 2019 in response to the corruption and political...

Jul 30, 2020

MEI's Mirette Mabrouk and Guled Ahmed join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the ongoing dispute between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), recent developments in Somaliland, and changing dynamics in the Horn of Africa.

Jul 23, 2020

Jerry Feierstein, Karen Young, and Dania Thafer join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the political, economic, and foreign policy challenges facing the sultanate and its new ruler, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, who ascended to the throne following the death of Sultan Qaboos, Oman’s long-time ruler, in early January.


Jul 17, 2020

MEI’s Paul Salem and Randa Slim join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the main trends and developments across the region over the first half of 2020, and what to watch for in the months ahead.